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Illinois State Treasurer Alexi Giannoulias opens exploratory bid for Senate today

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CHICAGO--Illinois State Treasurer Alexi Giannoulias, 32, opens his exploratory bid for Senator today hoping his close association with President Obama, generational appeal, record and early start locks him in as a front-runner in what today is a very undefined field.

Giannoulias, I am told, is running no matter the election scenario or the other contenders. Last week, William Daley, the former Commerce Secretary and mayoral brother, floated his name in order to head off Giannoulias securing early endorsements. Rep. Jan Schakowsky (D-Ill.) is also mulling a run, with her chances of getting in more likely in a special election.

Though a special election is being called for by some to force embattled Sen. Roland Burris (D-Ill.) from office, lawmakers may have second thoughts because of the cost. The regular primary and general election is in 2010 and nominating petitions are due later this year for the February primary.

Giannoulias is figuring the primary could cost $5 million and a general election at least $15 million. After a series of interviews to discuss his bid today--there is no splashy kick off--Giannoulias heads to Florida to prospect for labor support at the annual AFL-CIO Winter meeting in Miami. His initial campaign focus will be on fund-raising.

Jordan Kaplan, who directed the Obama fund-raising effort in Illinois, is assisting Giannoulias on the money front. "The goal is to get out early and start raising money," I am told. Giannoulias' has the wealth to self-fund a portion of his campaign. Eric Adelstein is Giannoulias' media consultant and Greenberg Quinlan Rosner his pollsters.


Burris, tapped by ousted Gov. Blagojevich faces inquiries from the Sangamon Cty. state's attorney and the Senate Ethics Committee over conflicting statements he made about the events leading up to his appointment. Close associates to Burris have told me Burris has come to realize he will have a very difficult time hanging on to the seat in an election after a slew of Democratic leaders--and both Chicago papers--have called for him to resign.

11 Comments

It seems like Giannoulias is always looking to run for another office (first Governor now Senator)instead of focusing on the office that he is in right now.Isn't this only his first term as Treasurer? It is getting on my nerves.

Rep Jan Schakowsky has impressed me the 3-4 times I have seen her on TV. I don't know enough about Alexi because he's unknown. I as a Black person am embarrassed about the lack of morals & the gigantic EGO of Roland Burris, he made a horrific ego-driven mistake by accepting that appt when he knew what the Governor had attempted to do because HE heard the tapes just like the country did, he blatantly LEFT OUT pertinent information at the IL Impeachment committee intentionally because this guy is a lawyer and lobbyist so he chooses HIS WORDS carefully. With the JOBLESS RATE in this state at 7.6%, I am shocked that these Black ministers & Alderman would be all on TV talking about Mr.Burris who will survive if he the US Senator or NOT. Where are their priorities when Black folks like myself are JOBLESS & don't see any indignation or solutions by these ministers & Alderman such as having job fairs, or seminars with businesses that are hiring, or even job assistance. I haven't seen 1 minister on TV talking about what HIS church is doing to help the JOBLESS find JOBS. Thes ministers & alderman should be out their in front of the cameras exhibiting the same CONCERN & INDIGNATION about the THOUSANDS of JOBLESS black folks like myself, they should be OUT THERE trying to do something to help us NOT Mr. Burris. He is a Lawyer & a lobbyist and will survive whether he's a Senator or not.

So who's going to perform the office of Treasurer while Alexi is out campaigning for the next 18 months?

Alex G. is a political hack, he comes from a wealthy family that bought his his way into a state wide office, and all of sudden he wants to go to Washington? Can't we find some politicians that art not connected to wealth or are honest? Roland Burris should resign ASAP.

This is the guy who wants ALL of the State pension funds consolidated into big fund. He wants to abolish all of the elected members of those boards (the people who’s pensions are involved) and HE want to control all of it. Sounds like a Napoleon to me! Or just one big egotist to me at best or a crook who has made some very questionable loans in the past to crime families at the worst.

By far our best statewide office holder!

Giannoulias has a huge problem as evidenced by the letter he sent out last week to those of us who unfortunately placed our children's college funds in Illinois' Bright Start program. A major component of the Illinois-managed funds, the allegedly stable bond fund, is a disaster. Benchmark funds are up 2 percent; Illinois is down about 20 percent. So Mr. Giannoulias wrote us all to say this would be investigated. The problem is why was our money put in such funds under Giannoulias' watch. Giannoulis' lack of diligence (especially since his banking background was supposed to be so helpful) has already cost my family a big chunk of our college savings. And he wants a promotion?

Is this guy for real? Can he just keep to his outh of office and work for the people of Illinois.

MR. GIANNOULIAS WANTS TO MESS WITH MY TEACHER'S
PENSION...AND NOT IN A GOOD WAY. THIS IS A BIG
MISTAKE. PEOPLE WHO MAKE BIG MISTAKES SHOULD NOT
RUN FOR US SENATOR OR WORK IN THE PUBLIC SECTOR.

WE MAY ALL BE BETTER OFF WITH HIM WORKING WITH PRIVATE PENSIONS IN THE PRIVATE SECTOR.I WISH HIM
WELL IN THAT AREA.

I feel he is the right person for the job as with Burris however the reward factor for moving through the press, for this position at this time is just not worth it.

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Lynn Sweet

Lynn Sweet is a columnist and the Washington Bureau Chief for the Chicago Sun-Times.

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This page contains a single entry by Lynn Sweet published on March 2, 2009 4:37 AM.

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