Now that we pretty much took care of the main GOP primary competition, it's time to begin focusing on the general election for U.S. Senate. Until proven otherwise, State Treasurer Alexi Giannoulias is the guy to beat, and the State GOP has already turned their gunsights on him in a big way. This past week, the State GOP sent around the following press release and link to video, that speaks volumes about the trustworthiness and ethics shortcomings of Alexi, and is a nice precursor of what we can expect during the general election campaign. No wonder the White House was desperately looking for an alternative candidate. While a number of bloggers were talking about this last week, since we were preoccupied with the Ditka-Hughes kerfuffle (Hey, I had thought getting smacked around on endorsement claims only happened to guys like Dan Seals), we are playing a little bit of catch-up, but this is definitely worth taking note of.
Listen by clicking below. Press release is printed below the video link.
Ethics Alert: Giannoulias Breaks Pledge to Local Radio Station, Takes PAC Money
The Illinois Republican Party is blasting Democrat Alexi Giannoulias for accepting third-quarter contributions from special interest political actions committees (PACs) after telling a local radio station he “personally” thought politicians should swear off contributions from special interest PAC-like unions.
As State Treasurer, Giannoulias accepted more than half a million dollars from corporate and special interest PACs since 2006. But when he appeared on WLS’ Don Wade and Roma program on July 27, 2009 (key quote at 4:34), Giannoulias said he would oppose all special interest money, including union support.
Alexi: So I’m also proud to be the first candidate running for the U.S. Senate in the history of the state of Illinois not to take money from lobbyists or from corporate PACs…
Roma: In that spirit of swearing off corporate PACs and lobbyist contributions, what about all special interest money, from unions, from trial lawyers, from, zero PAC money, is that something that you think politicians should all do?
Alexi: I personally do.
According to the Giannoulias’ third-quarter fundraising report, Alexi for Illinois received $40,350 from special interest PACs -- $30,000 from union PACs alone.
“Like Rod Blagojevich before him, Alexi Giannoulias launched his campaign pledging reform – but his actions speak louder than words,” Illinois Republican Party Chairman Pat Brady said. “As if gambling away $85 million in children’s education savings while skimming money for his own SUV wasn’t bad enough, Alexi Giannoulias is blatantly misleading voters about his campaign contributions. The people of Illinois deserve better than another politician speaking out of both sides of his mouth.”
Background here. More at Marathon Pundit.
In 10th District News: Check out the endorsements that State Rep. Julie Hamos has collected for her Dem primary against two-time loser Dan Seals. It's filled with former Seals supporters, including (at the top of the list) Comrade Jan Schakowsky.
Maybe Seals should have primaried his old political patron Jan (being a 9th District, not 10th District, resident after all). Poor Dan doesn't even have a list of endorsements on his campaign webpage. Hey, Max, what's up with that???
Petition Filing Begins Tomorrow: Petitions for all February primary races may begin to be filed tomorrow. As many people know, you have to be in line at the appropriate office to be first on the ballot (usually if there is more than one candidate in line when the applicable office opens, a lottery is held), and if you aren't there, you lose your chance to be at the top of the list. In a close race, that can make a difference.
I understand Mark Kirk's main problem is that he has over 5,000 signatures too many (you need a minimum of 5,000 but can have only a maximum of 10,000), so he's going to have to sift through and decide what petitions to turn in. I expect we're going to see an attempt to show support from people all around the state by the petitions he selects to turn in.
Will Pat Hughes turn in petitions tomorrow to have a chance to compete for the top ballot slot with Kirk ? The last tweet I saw from Pat implied that he was scrambling for signatures still this weekend... Will any other GOP U.S. Senate candidates even end up filing by the Nov. 2 deadline?