-By Warner Todd Huston
It’s almost like a bad Riddler quip from TVs Adam West Batman show: When is a banker not a banker? Well, apparently the Illinois Democrat candidate for Senate, Alexi “the Mob Banker” Giannoulias, is trying his hand at the riddle. He’s constantly told the voters that he was not employed by his family bank during the year that it met so much trouble, yet on his tax returns Alexi took deductions for his bank work during that same year.
So when IS a banker not a banker? Apparently when he’s trying to run for Senate and get out from under the mess his bank ended up in.
Giannoulias has claimed that he had left his family bank in 2005. But as the Chicago Tribune reports, “Giannoulias was able to take a $2.7 million tax deduction last year because he reported working hundreds of hours at Broadway Bank in 2006.” Giannoulias is now admitting that he worked for the bank in 2006 despite the impression he left with voters before this revelation. But that it shouldn’t matter, Alexi says, because he wasn’t “taking new loans” at the time. Ginnoulias says that he was only “closing out” his former business at the bank and wrapping up his career there while he ran for office.
“I think the biggest difference is I wasn’t taking on new customers. I was just finishing up what I needed to do, so I don’t know how the hours worked out, but it wasn’t a full-time job.
“I was campaigning,” he said. “I’m a hard worker. … (The campaign office) was right next door. Most campaign events are at night anyway. … You go to events and you spend your weekends traveling downstate.”
Seems like weasely backtracking to me. It’s that old, “I didn’t say exactly what I meant before, but THIS time I am telling the truth,” line of reasoning we see in all too many politicians.
So when is a banker not a banker? Let’s ask Alexi “The Mob Banker” Giannoulias, shall we?