Yesterday, State Treasurer (and former "senior loan officer" at his family's Broadway Bank) Alexi Giannoulias desperately tried to turn the focus of the U.S. Senate race here in Illinois from the scandal-plagued bank issues, to his opponent, Congressman Mark Kirk.
However, either Alexi is short on campaign strategy brainpower, or just doesn't have a lot to hit Kirk with, or perhaps both. Alexi's big new direction was to label Mark Kirk as a consummate Washington insider, calling him a "posterboy for why Washington is broken."
Maybe Alexi needs to step back and look at who's standing behind him. Oh, yeah, that's his campaign chairman, Illinois Senator Dick Durbin, the #2 guy in the Senate, and as consummate a Washington insider as you'll ever find. If Washington is broken (and it's clearly the Democrat's Washington now), it's a lot more Durbin's fault than Kirk's, pal. So much for Nancy Pelosi's claim she would drain the swamp. Rangel, anyone?
No wonder Alexi is trying to turn things away from his banking problems. It's already showing to be a drag on Alexi's fundraising, which his campaign has purposely let slip that will be less than Kirk's impressive Q1 results of $2.2 million.
If yesterday's talk at the City Club of Chicago was any indication, however, reporters are not going to let Giannoulias off the hook for the banking issues, not now, and certainly not when it goes under. And, we confess to great curiosity as to whether Giannoulias is one of the names named by former guv Rod Blagojevich in his trial this summer.
Good times ahead, folks.
UPDATED: KIRK CRUSHES GIANNOULIAS IN Q1 FUNDRAISING
From the Kirk for Senate Campaign:
Kirk Raises $1 Million More Than Giannoulias in First Quarter
“I am humbled by the outpouring of support from citizens across the State of Illinois who support our thoughtful, independent message of creating jobs, lowering taxes and fighting corruption.” – Congressman Mark Kirk
Kirk Advantage Shows Growing Difficulties Facing Scandal-plagued Giannoulias Campaign
Northbrook, Ill. – Five-term Congressman and Navy veteran Mark Kirk released the following statement after Alexi Giannoulias’ campaign reported it raised $1 million less than the Kirk campaign in the first quarter of 2010:
“I am humbled by the outpouring of support from citizens across the State of Illinois who support our efforts to create jobs, lower taxes and fight corruption. After Rod Blagojevich and Roland Burris, Illinois voters are looking for clean government and they will have a clear choice in the coming election.”
Earlier today, Giannoulias reported he raised $1.2 million in the first quarter of 2010 – one million less than the Kirk campaign. Giannoulias did not provide any significant details on his coming FEC report, including his current cash-on-hand, out-of-state support and union PAC money. The Kirk campaign reported raising more than $6.6 million for the 2010 cycle with over $3 million in the bank at the close of the first quarter.
As of April 1st, the Kirk campaign received contributions from more than 9,000 individual contributors (80% from Illinois). More than 4,200 people (85% of all contributions) donated to the campaign in the last three months alone.
UPDATED x2: DALEY DEFENDS LEXI: The Tribune's Clout Street Blog is quoting Chicago Mayor Richard Daley as defending Alexi Giannouias against an apparently growing chorus of people who think he ought to drop out of the race.
UPDATED x3: ALEXI'S STAFFERS CAN'T EVEN CONVINCE ELLEN: My blogging nemesis, Ellen of the Tenth, gives a firsthand report of one of Alexi's surrogates (his "director of social media") trying to explain away Broadway Bank. Always the smartest person in the room, Ellen spends her post giving the blow-by-blow description of the Alexi shill trying to answer some tough Broadway Bank questions and not convincing Ellen, who of course offers up her own spin as more 'effective' at explaining away Alexi's troubles.
Bottom line, Ellen seems to think the main problem is that both the Tribune and the Sun-Times are in the tank for Mark Kirk. Um, yeah, that bastion of right-wing extremism, the Sun-Times, is really out to carry the water for Kirk and demolish Alexi because they hate progressives over there. Sheesh. If this is how the Alexi field army is failing to convince even the die-hards like Ellen, he's in some serious trouble, folks.