Kirk supporters celebrate his victory
Kirk 47%, Giannoulias 35%
Kirk campaign releases new poll showing
double-digit lead over "deeply flawed" Democratic nominee in Illinois
Broadway Bank Woes, Bright Start Troubles Sink Alexi Giannoulias
Northbrook, IL - Just hours after winning the
Republican nomination in a landslide election, five-term Congressman and
Navy veteran Mark Kirk today released a new survey showing his campaign
out to an early double-digit lead over Democratic nominee Alexi
Giannoulias, 47% to 35%.
The survey of 885 Illinois voters, conducted by Magellan Data and Mapping Strategies between February 1-2, 2010 with a 3.3% margin of error, showed Kirk holding a net positive favorable/unfavorable rating of +5% while Giannoulias held a net negative favorable/unfavorable rating -15%.
"Alexi Giannoulias is a damaged candidate plagued by his mismanagement of family education savings, criminal ties and questions surrounding his family's failing Broadway Bank," Kirk spokesman Eric Elk said. "David Hoffman, an honorable corruption fighter, was right to question Alexi's character and it's clear that the voters of Illinois question it as well."
Before his election as State Treasurer, Giannoulias served as Vice President and Chief Loan Officer of his family's Broadway Bank. On July 27, 2009, the Chicago Tribune reported: "Before his election, Giannoulias faced scrutiny over his family bank's loans to convicted felons with alleged mob ties. Giannoulias oversaw the loans at the bank."
The Sun-Times reported that Giannoulias loaned $12 million to a convicted bookmaker and pimp and loaned another $15 million to a convicted mob money launderer. More recently, Chicago and national media reported that the FDIC ordered the Giannoulias family to raise millions in capital for the bank. According to news reports, the Giannoulias family had taken millions out of the bank just before real-estate backed investments collapsed.
Last week, David Hoffman told the Chicago Sun-Times: "Broadway Bank acted in a very different fashion than just about every other community bank in Illinois . It is simply not true that many other community banks were handing out loans in a high-risk way to Tony Rezko and convicted mobsters." Hoffman told the Associated Press: "The reason that this Broadway Bank story and revelation is of such significance now is because it goes to the heart of matters of job performance and character."
In November, Democratic pollster Geoff Garin wrote, "Alexi Giannoulias' own vulnerabilities are so significant, and far more damning than Kirk's among the electorate. ... His nomination would put Barack Obama's former Senate seat in extreme jeopardy for the Democrats."
A November 21st report in the New York Times cited White House concerns about a Giannoulias-Kirk matchup: "White House qualms about the Democratic frontrunner, Alexi Giannoulias, the Illinois treasurer, are self-evident, with worry that the Republican challenger, Representative Mark Kirk, will be needlessly formidable."
In his acceptance speech, Congressman Kirk spoke about the need to clean up Illinois and restore integrity to the Land of Lincoln .
"For true reform, we must choose leaders who do not become criminals - men and women unafraid to stand alone to fight corruption, back prosecutors and pass the toughest ethics laws in America ," Kirk said. "The election before us offers voters a clear choice: will we continue with leaders raised in the tradition of Rod Blagojevich - or will we elect a reformer who can make our state proud?"
In addition to Giannoulias' Broadway Bank woes, on December 22, 2009, the Chicago Tribune revealed Giannoulias lost $150 million in Illinois Bright Start family college savings - nearly twice what the State Treasurer had previously disclosed - due to his risky mortgage-backed investments. Despite promises to recover public funds, Giannoulias settled with Oppenheimer Funds for only half of the state's losses. Previously, on May 3, 2009, the Chicago Tribune reported that Giannoulias used the Bright Start fund to buy himself an SUV before the investment collapsed.