Monday, August 9, 2010

Boffo Banker Bought By 'Bama

In many electoral districts, Democratic candidates are running for cover when President Obama comes to town. He is quickly becoming the Bill Clinton of elections. He can get himself elected, but he's the kiss of death for candidates he endorses. Illinois is quite a different matter--particularly Chicago. One Illinois Senatorial candidate couldn't wait for the messiah to sweep into town.

In Chicago and much of the rest of the State, it's not how many votes you can win, it's how many votes you can buy. And what could be better than the fund-raising machine of Obama combined with the mob money of banker Alexi Giannoulias, the Democratic pick for the United States Senate? Giannoulias would be taking Obama's old seat as junior Senator. Last week Obama came into town to raise funds for Giannoulias, and the boy banker couldn't have been more excited. The photo ops looked like the grinning Hitler and Stalin dividing up Poland (that's as close to a Hitler analogy as you'll ever get from me).

While Michelle and the girls were spending the taxpayers' money on their imperial visit to Spain, Obama was busy in Illinois conning the locals out of their money to support a corruption-tainted Senatorial hopeful. And a great con job it was. He raised nearly $1 million dollars to go with Giannoulias's own dubious financial bankroll. The Obamists have pulled out all the stops to keep that Senatorial seat safe for slimy Democratic politicians. Beside Obama's revival meeting and tent show, he will also send imperial ambassadors Joe (What Did I Say This Time?) Biden, senior adviser David Axelrod, and Obama's own favorite campaign-manager David Plouffe into the State before election day.

Just as Obama will not allow any crisis to go unexploited, he will let no opportunity to make unintentionally ironic comments about his endorsees pass him by. Said Obama of Giannoulias: "I appreciate his strong advocacy for ordinary Americans. You can trust him--you can count on him." By "ordinary Americans," I assume Obama is speaking of the mob-connected front corporations that Giannoulias's bank lent millions to. Other "ordinary Americans" include Michelle's brother, current Secretary of Education Arne Duncan, and disgraced hedge-fund manager John Rogers (former husband of former White House social secretary Desiree Rogers). Those "ordinary Americans" look an awful lot like the political elite to me.

Giannoulias's bank was not among the elect banks that was too big to fail. And fail it did. But not before it had lent millions upon millions of dollars to sketchy businesses run or owned by convicted mafiosos. The other nefarious activity that the bank and the Giannoulias family engaged in was spending plenty of the investors' money on Obama's political campaigns from State senator to President. Among the activities of the bank over the past few years was the matter of half a million dollars worth of rubber checks written by Obama friend and neighbor, and now convicted felon, real estate scam artist Tony Rezko. The checks were written to Las Vegas gambling casinos. Just recently, it turns out the bank had also lent Rezko's enterprises nearly $23 million for questionable real estate deals in 2006.

Bank inspectors began to smell a rat about five years ago, and eventually invited the federal banking authorities in to investigate the Giannoulias family and its entire banking empire. Giannoulias himself claims he knew nothing about the mafia loans, but they were all granted while he was the chief executive loan officer for the bank. $27 million dollars of investor funds were lent to Michael "Jaws" Giorango and Demetri Stavropoulos. "Jaws" used the money to fund a nationwide prostitution ring (I'm not referring to the Democratic political whores), and Stavropoulos used his loans to fund a multistate bookie ring. Both are serving time in federal prisons.

Once the irregularities came to the attention of the feds, the family was required to adhere to rigid bank rules and ethical standards or face closure. Needless to say, they were unable to comply, and the federal regulators finally closed the bank down for good last April. The federal guarantees that had to be paid off by the FDIC cost the taxpayers about $400 million.

Never let it be said that Obama doesn't remember his friends (usually just before he throws them in front of the oncoming train). Fearing that poor Alexi might be lonely in Illinois without his bank, his family and his ill-gotten gains, Obama wants the poor man to join him in Washington, DC. That's the only place beside Chicago that a disgraced crook can be glorified as a "liberal lion." Giannoulias has announced that if he's elected, he will make Tony Soprano his chief adviser (OK, I made that up).

Obama believes in keeping his friends close, and his mobbed-up friends even closer. The most ethical administration in history operates under the theory that it takes a thief to catch a thief. Another thief in the Senate is just a big bonus. Unfortunately for the plan, right now Giannoulias is running behind his RINO opponent, Republican Mark Kirk. A mob-backed, Obama-supported candidate might be struggling much harder in, say, Kansas or Montana, but you must remember that this election is taking place in Illinois. California is merely crazy, but Illinois is both crazy and crooked as hell. Don't count Alexi out in this battle. When the only difference between the candidates is a liberal Republican without mob connections and a Democrat with mob connections, put your money on the Democrat.

Jim Geraghty at National Review put it very succinctly: "It's funny that Obama's allies call the Tea Party an angry mob, because in Obama's home state, they're trying to elect the actual mob's banker."


LL said...

If people in Illinois vote for barack hussein obama and friends, they deserve them.

I don't know that obama is THE slimiest politician to swim in the beltway sewage, but he's up there toward the top of the list.

Writer X said...

The majority of the voters in Illinois are dumb enough to vote for Giannoulias, unfortunately. It must be something in their water. They can't help but vote for corruption.

AndrewPrice said...

From everything I've heard about this Giannoulias guy, he should be in jail, not running for Senate.

I have to think he'll lose, but it saddens me to think that there is any question about that. And it doesn't surprise me at all that the most corrupt administration in history would be out there trying to help this guy get elected. They have no shame.

Anonymous said...

LL: I agree, with reservations. Each crooked politician serving Illinois in the Senate is one less Senator serving America's interests as part of the common goals of the nation.

Prior to the ratification of the Seventeenth Amendment, the Senate was actually supposed to serve that purpose by being the representative of the State, appointed by the State legislatures to represent the whole State.

Once that logical scheme was undone by popular election, the Senators began to represent the most powerful political apparatus. In Illinois, the Chicago tail has been wagging the Illinois dog ever since.

Anonymous said...

WriterX: The national Democrats have been trying to make the tag of the "Party of No" stick to the Republicans, but it's not working out well as more people realize that "no" is always the proper response to spoiled children who want things they don't need and can't afford. But in Illinois, the Republican Party is sadly largely the "Party of Me Too." A solid moderate/conservative would have had a much better chance to win this fall, but the Republican machine is much like the Democratic machine, and the people got a Republican liberal instead.

Anonymous said...

Andrew: Chicago is a city that has a certain nostalgic fondness for Al Capone, or at least the legend of Al Capone. At least one felony indictment is almost required to run for office, and is often flaunted as a badge of honor. Cook County (Chicago mostly) can essentially outvote most of the rest of the State. Therefore, Illinois tends to produce two kinds of successful Democratic candidates: The smooth, slippery, sock-puppet, genteel front man (Obama), or the foul-mouthed, fist-in-your-face thug (Blago). There are damned few in-between.

The only thing that will defeat Giannoulias in relation to his dishonesty is that he was just so damned bad at it. I think the Republican will win the seat, but I'm not holding my breath.

StanH said...

Sleaze balls, the bunch of them! Barry will pull out the stops to preserve his old seat, if they have to break a few laws, or legs, what the hell!

On a side note I went to a Sarah Palin speech today for our Republican runoff tomorrow, between Karen Handel and Nathan Deal. Sarah flew in to boost support for Handel. I’ve seen, and heard many a political speech, quite frankly she was dynamite. She spoke extemporaneously (no teleprompter) using simple notes for about thirty minutes, and skewed statist Washington, professional politicians, with the skill of a practiced surgeon. I was impressed.

HamiltonsGhost said...

Lawhawk--I'm afraid if this guy wins, it will be a signal to crooks across the nation that criminal behavior doesn't disqualify a candidate. California has Maxine Waters and New York has Charles Rangel, but at least they weren't proven crooks when first elected. A Giannoulias victory would raise dishonesty to all new heights, with its anchor in the Windy City.

Anonymous said...

HamiltonsGhost: This kind of thing in politics has gone on since Athens, and it waxes and wanes. This just seems to be a peculiarly fertile time for crooks and demagogues in American history. Big city machines used to have a monopoly on raw crookedness. Today, it seems to have infected nearly every burg in the country. Human nature says that there will always be thieves among us, but it used to be considered a shame. Now it's just another lifestyle.

Unknown said...

You nailed it on the culture of corruption becoming endemic. Here in California, we have a beaut of a scandal. Bell is a city of less than 40,000 people. It's one step above poverty level. Yet it came out recently that the city manager was making almost $800,000.00 a year, and the mayor was making more than the mayors of Los Angeles and San Francisco. The city council was very close in income. They've all resigned now, but the damage was done.

Anonymous said...

CalFed: And now, the pretentious Attorney General, Jerry "Moonbeam" Brown," is "investigating." Investigating what? The clowns running Bell were outrageous, but it isn't illegal to openly screw the locals when they give full consent. There have been some rumblings about voter fraud, which would require an investigation from an Attorney General who actually gave a damn. But come on--Jerry Brown? These guys committed the sin of greed, but didn't get caught until the greed exceeded the city's income and federal poverty funds, requiring the layoff of union city employees. See any connection to Jerry Brown here?

Anonymous said...

Speaking of Democrats running away from Obama in states other than Illinois, his successful regal entrance into Chicago was countered by his sneaking into Texas. Upon his arrival in Austin, the capital and most liberal city in Texas, not a single Democrat running for office, including the candidate for Governor, showed up at the airport to welcome him. Illinois, California and New York may be hopeless, but Texas always reminds us that there is hope after all. The Dallas and Houston Democratic fat cats will ante up like good sheep, but Obama is about as popular as a skunk at a picnic among real people in Texas.

Anonymous said...

Stan: Palin can indeed give a rousing speech. I've mentioned my reservations in the past about highly visible Republicans taking public stands on and/or endorsements of primary candidates. However, I don't know the situation with the candidates you mentioned, and I make an exception where the choice is between a true, provable RINO and a tested, genuine conservative.

StanH said...

Lawhawk, as you may know, this is Georgia! …conservative is a given. Nathan Deal is establishment Washington, Karen Handel not so Washington. I was for Handel for that reason. Newt Gingrich, whom I like, and Mike Huckabee, he kind of bugs me? …perhaps it was the political tag team he and McCain got into against Romney, who was my guy in the Republican primary ‘08, but I digress.…they came to Georgia for Nathan Deal, establishment Washington, that bugs me nowadays, no! …let me color that a little brighter, Washington pisses me off!

Sarah’s speech was fresh, new themes colored for that moment, capacity crowd (1500apx). She apologized for saying “you guys,” and changed to “ya’ll.” Referred to “Hotlanta,” Allman Bros. fame. Had a grasp for the general tenor of the GA campaign, and happily set about skewing our dear Barry, something I suppose, to be fair, I’d stand up and applaud a street preacher pounding away our Clown-n-chief, sick pleasure I suppose.

Anonymous said...

Stan: There's no question that Palin can give a barn-burning speech. I also think that the more enthusiastic the Obama-bashing, the better.

But based on what you told me, I think this sounds a lot like the kind of race that outside Republicans should stay out of. I would always prefer the candidate who is less Washington, less establishment. But as you said, both candidates are Georgia-style conservative, to a greater or lesser degree. I think a national "uniter" harms party unity when the worst that is going to happen is that the Republicans will nominate the lesser of the two conservatives.

Except for those cases where the Republican is more Democrat than Republican, I just think it's a bad idea for a national figure, no matter how much we make like her, to intrude in State races. It produces resentments that later damage the national ticket and dampen the enthusiasm of the locals. If Palin plans to run for President, she should remember how many potential Republican voters she may be cooling down in Georgia.

All of that said, I don't claim to know the temperament or political thinking of the Republicans in Georgia, and I defer to your expertise.

Joel Farnham said...


Chicago could be a good city if it's inhabitants could see beyond their chains. Almost any successful politician coming out of Chicago is covered in slime. Obama must have one of those suits from Men in Black.

Still, if things go the way I think they will go, the FBI will be spending an awful lot of time there in the next ten years.

Why? Too many people are fed up. Too many unanswered questions. Change again is in the air. Corrupt politicians would be
wise to clean up their act or get out while the getting is good.

Anonymous said...

Joel: As long as the local politicians aren't involved, Chicago is one of the most wonderful cosmopolitan centers in the world (the South Side excluded). Ethnic groups have managed to preserve much of their ethnic flavor while long ago abandoning their hostility to each other. The cultural life of the city rivals New York, London and Paris. The public spaces are gorgeous (I spent much of my early childhood at Buckingham Fountain and the Museum of Science and Industry). It's the true home of the modern skyscraper. Its major boulevards are broad and grand. It has the best cops money can buy (OK, I had to throw that one in).

Unfortunately (or fortunately, depending on your point of view), the FBI will have a minor presence in future corruption investigations. Most of the crimes being committed are violations of State law rather than federal law. The Gionnoulias scandal would be appropriate for FBI investigation since it involves interstate activities of racketeering influenced corrupt organizations (RICO) and federally-regulated banks. I'd like to see the entire crooked Democratic machine put in prison, but it's just not going to happen.

Joel Farnham said...


I was thinking along the lines of Bill Ayers and company. See, he helped with that bogus thing in Gaza. Feds would be interested in that, wouldn't they? And when you pull one thread, other threads come undone.......

Anonymous said...

Joel: Indeed, an Ayers involving himself in plots and/or actions in the Middle East would be the province of the feds.

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