Chicago Sun-Times
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Giannoulias fund-raising lags behind Kirk in Illinois Senate contest

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WASHINGTON--Illinois Democrat Senate Alexi Giannoulias raised just over $900,000 in the second quarter ending June 30 and has over $1 million cash on hand, with most of the money coming in June, campaign spokesman Kathleen Strand told the Chicago Sun-Times.

GOP Senate rival Rep. Mark Kirk (R-Ill.) campaign said earlier this month that Kirk raised $2.3 million in the second quarter and has about $3.9 million cash on hand.

Giannoulias' fund-raising was hobbled most of the last quarter because of a cloud over him because of the April failure of his family owned Broadway Bank. Giannoulias, the state treasurer, is also declining to accept donations from federal lobbyists and corporate political action committees.

Kirk has been attacking Giannoulias for his tenure at the bank--calling him a "mob banker" and in the past weeks also criticized Giannoulias because he owed no 2009 income taxes because of the bank failure.

People started writing Giannoulias checks again when his campaign showed it was surviving the Kirk hits over the bank failure and the Obama White House sent signals of support with a string of figures fund-raising for Giannoulias, including Vice President Biden, former Obama campaign manager David Plouffe, Education Secretary Arne Duncan and White House Deputy Chief of Staff Jim Messina. Senior White House advisor David Axelrod is in Chicago on July 25 for a Giannoulias fund-raiser.

While all these events have been small, they went a message to the activist Democratic donor community that Giannoulias remained viable despite the bank controversy. At the end of May, Kirk's campaign had to deal with Kirk's series of embellishments about his military career. Most polls show the contest in a deadlock at this point.

This morning in Chicago, Giannoulias is hosting a press conference where he is expected to highlight Kirk's opposition to Wall Street reform--a Senate vote is possible today on the overhaul bill--and on Kirk's accepting donations from the financial services industry. Kirk voted against the House version of the main Wall Street reform bill.

Both Kirk and Giannoulias devote an enormous amount of time to fund-raising, with most of it deliberately kept out of public view. On Wednesday in Washington, Kirk hosted a low dollar fund-raiser aimed at young Republicans and last week brought in Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) for fund-raisers in Jacksonville and Quincy, Illinois. Earlier this week, Gianoulias was in Los Angles and Vancouver for fund-raising.

1 Comment

It's one thing to recognize a business loss on your income tax return if it's only your money you are losing. It's quite another to get to recognize the loss and stiff the FDIC for hundreds of millions of dollars. Such behavior is unconscionable for a politician.

Alexi is unfit for any office.

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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 July 15, 2010 7:35 AM.

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