With the Illinois Senate race heading into the final weekend as a toss-up--with an edge to GOP contender Rep. Mark Kirk, the Kirk campaign is highlighting claims from two Democrats--Illinois state treasurer Alexi Giannoulias and Sen. Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.) for saving the Illinois based Hartmarx clothing maker.
I talked to Joe Costigan, who is the treasurer of the the Chicago Midwest Region of Workers United, the union representing a lot of Hartmarx workers. Costigan was involved in all aspects of the Hartmarx rescue. "Anybody trying to suggest that Alexi was not critical in the effort to save jobs at Hartmarx is flat out wrong," Costigan said. Without Giannoulias throwing a spotlight on Hartmarx--by threatening not to do business with Wells Fargo, which wanted to liquadate Hartmarx instead of finding new buyers, "we would have been just another bankruptcy."
Schumer was also involved, in another part of the fight, Costigan said. "So both were critical players."
Check out a report on this from Maggie Haberman, Politico's New York specialist.
Alexi Giannoulias ad, featuring President Obama talking about Hartmarx.
Chuck Schumer spot, where he talks about saving Hickey Freeman; Hartmarx is the parent company of Hickey Freeman.