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Obama heading to Chicago for Giannoulias fund-raiser. UPDATED

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WASHINGTON-- President Obama hits Chicago on Aug. 5 to headline a fund-raiser for Illinois Democratic Senate candidate Alexi Giannoulias and will be the draw at another event for other Democrats, Giannoulias spokesman Kathleen Strand told me on Sunday. Vice President Biden, in Chicago to fund-raise for Giannoulias in June, will be doing more to help him, likely in the early fall.

Obama's visit back home to stump and fund-raise for his old Senate seat--should send a strong signal that the White House is strongly behind the Giannoulias bid. Obama was last back in Chicago on Memorial Day, when he spent the weekend at his Kenwood home with his family.

Obama's fund-raising help is critically needed. The White House boost comes as second quarter June 30 fund-raising showed Giannoulias, the state treasurer, lagging far behind GOP nominee Rep. Mark Kirk (R-Ill.): Giannoulias raised about $900,000 in the second quarter compared to Kirk's $2.3 million. Kirk has about $3.9 million cash on had compared to about $1 million for Giannoulias.

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 will be 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.

UPDATES BELOW

Giannoulias campaign manager Mike Rendina said, "We're excited to welcome President Obama back to Illinois to campaign with Alexi in early August. The President's visit will reinforce the importance of the clear choice Illinois voters face between Alexi, who supports helping the President move America forward and career Congressman Mark Kirk, who wants to go back to the same failed Bush policies that got us into this mess."


Ryan Tronovitch, Republican National Committee spokesman said, "President Obama's hypocrisy is stunning - one minute you hear him attacking the 'fat cat bankers' and the next he is raising money for a mob banker in Illinois. As someone who promotes transparency and openness on a daily basis, President Obama should be condemning Mr. Giannoulias for his risky actions and associations, not raising money to support his campaign for U.S. Senate."

"Illinois and the country face serious challenges. In November, voters will
choose between Alexi Giannoulias - a failed banker who wants to raise taxes and
Mark Kirk - a thoughtful independent with a plan to create jobs and turn our
economy around," Kirk spokeswoman Kirsten Kukowski said.


Amber Marchand, National Republican Senatorial Campaign Committee Press Secretary said, "It's ironic that just days after Congress passed a bill that claims to crack down on Wall Street, President Obama is going to raise campaign funds for a candidate whose risky financial decisions at Broadway Bank cost the FDIC $394.3 million. Alexi Giannoulias is a failed mob banker whose thin resume epitomizes the antithesis of everything that President Obama claims to represent, which is why the voters in Illinois will elect a commonsense leader in Mark Kirk to the U.S. Senate this November."

8 Comments

stupid move on the part of BHO -- Alexi "Golden Boy" Giannoulis is toast, a total loser.

I will never vote democrat again. The obama daley connection is way too shady. I don't and won't trust Obama again, he's in bed with the wrong people.

It's Beavis and Butthead reunited!

Things are going to start getting very uncomfortable for Obama when Blago's lawyer starts putting on the defense.

Obama-Rezko-Blago.

2 are going to be in jail. Will the third?

I'll take the exaggerated military record over the fraud and cheat anytime.

At least Kirk has and does serve his contry in the military, while Alexi is too busy lying about his business dealings - first saying we should believe in his extraordianry business career and then telling us to forget it.

Alexi Giannoulias-- The Obama emulator and imitator.

This may just be the Kiss of Death for Giannouli!

It's about time Obama campaigns for Alexi.
Kirk's special interest money should not be allowed to buy the election.
Kirk wants to use his cash to drown out concerns about his lying ways.
Illinois voters should rise up and reject Kirk. I'm sick of his lying.
Alexi is a saint compared to Kirk.

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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 18, 2010 4:57 PM.

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President Obama official schedule and guidance, July 19, 2010. John Glenn, Phoenix Mercury, Broadway is the next entry in this blog.

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