Usually Friday is a good day. Last day of work for the week, for most people; an evening out, perhaps, with the chance to sleep in late on a Saturday. The weekend to look forward to. And, of course, if you are a politician, it represents an opportunity to dump bad news in a press release submitted to the media around 4:50 p.m., in the hopes that nobody reads the Saturday newspapers and something, anything, happens over the weekend to give the papers something else to focus on come Monday.
Almost all politicians are guilty of playing this game to some degree, and Democratic U.S. Senate candidate Alexi Giannoulias is no exception. In fact, he's used this tactic several times since he seems to have more than his fair share of bad news to dump. Most recently, the news that his taxes show he filed for an approximate $30,000 tax refund as a result of the losses he sustained when his family's Broadway Bank was taken over by the Feds was released on a Friday.
So, what might today bring? Well, it occured to me that we still haven't heard from Alexi as to his second quarter fundraising results. And today is the last Friday available before the Q2 reporting deadline, so I'd say the odds are pretty good we'll hear something. His opponent, Republican Congressman Mark Kirk released his Q2 results about 13 minutes after the final checks were counted, it appears, in order to crow about his record $2.3 million fundraising haul, and also made the point that he raised a million or so in June, even when the media was lambasting Kirk for discrepancies in his description of his military record.
In other news, yes I know the latest Rasmussen poll shows Kirk a point behind Giannoulias, and the popular spin on this seems to be that Kirk is 'trending down.' Well, guess what kids, it's a only a point difference (as Rasmussen says, a "virtual tie"), and given the volatility in this race, you can bet that if I was chortling over a one-point lead by Kirk over Giannoulias at this time, I'd be rightly taken to task. So I think any reports that Kirk is in "trouble" are greatly overblown. Me, Team Kirk and Kirk's $4 million in the bank says that we will weather this storm and come out on top in the end.
The fact that Alexi has not yet released his Q2 numbers is telling. Today may be the day, though, since, as we noted above, it is the last Friday available before the Q2 reporting deadline. Let's see what his momentum becomes once we see those numbers, and then we will take a look.
UPDATED: Today's Wall Street Journal looks at the Blago trial and suggests that the connection of President Obama and "Chicago Way" politics may just about to become a lot stronger, as the Blagojevich defense team is standing in the wings ready to come out fighting... and one of their primary defensive arguments appears to be that 'everyone in Chicago does politics' the way that Blago did... including the President, his closest advisers, and political allies like Alexi Giannoulias:
The [Tom] Balanoff testimony [regarding his discussion with Blago on the suggestion of apppointing close Obama associate Valerie Jarrett to Obama's U.S. Senate seat] was a hint of what may come. Illinois Democratic Senate nominee Alexi Giannoulias has been subpoenaed over his role in setting up a meeting between Mrs. Jarrett and Mr. Balanoff. The trial thrusts back into the spotlight convicted Chicago felon and Obama booster Tony Rezko. Democratic Sen. Dick Durbin was subpoenaed over his own call with Mr. Blagojevich about the seat. Obama adviser Valerie Jarrett (a former aide to Mayor Richard M. Daley) has been subpoenaed. So has White House Chief of Staff Rahm Emanuel, who has become entangled (though not charged) in a separate accusation that Mr. Blagojevich sought to trade favors with him when he was a Chicago congressman.
All those subpoenas thrown out there by the Blago defense team, including one for Alexi Giannoulias, may be about to come home to roost.