The Lesser of the Two: Kirk vs Giannoulias
In one corner we have Congressman Mark Kirk, a man that was so desperate to win favor among the conservative Tea Party crowd that he at one time actively sought the endorsement of former Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin for the Senate candidacy. He did however balk at the idea of receiving an endorsement from Glenn Beck.
When Sarah Palin appeared in Chicago late last year for the “Oprah Show” it was then that Mark Kirk wrote in an memo that “he is hoping for something “quick and decisive” from Palin about the race, perhaps to the effect of: “Voters in Illinois have a key opportunity to take Barack Obama’s Senate seat. Congressman Kirk is the lead candidate to do that.”
The authenticity of the memo was confirmed by Kirk and the Republican insider he reached out to who has strong ties to Palin. The existence of the memo displays the power of a Sarah Palin endorsement in a campaign race and Kirk, a strong moderate Republican, knew all too well that a backlash against moderate Republicans had begun in the wake of the Tea Party’s rise to fame. What makes Kirk’s request even more absurd is the fact that in a Tribune editorial back in October 2008 Kirk surmised that he didn’t know if she [Sarah Palin] was qualified to be president and that he “would have picked someone different.”
The memo would later reveal that Kirk, North Shore congressman from the 10th Congressional District, had also canceled a press conference he’d scheduled earlier in the day regarding health care reform. He was concerned about additional backlash that would likely come as a result of the ultra right wing push back against the health care bill and any Republican politicians not coming out against it.
“I canceled the health care press due to the damage to the moderate label,” the e-mail begins.
We can work FAST withJason to communicate with conservative elites that we are the only candidate that can take the president’s Senate seat, leading to a tough go in the next two months but smart conservatives want the humiliation of the White House when and where it counts — November 2010 in Obama’s home state of Illinois,” he continued.
Although Kirk is a self identified moderate with a flip-flopping voting record to match, he was more concerned about the positive impact Sarah Palin’s endorsement would have meant for his former Republican primary opponent, Andy Martin.
While Kirk did not receive an endorsement from Sarah Palin, who saw right through his facade, he did receive one from her former running mate, Senator John McCain.
Mark Kirks popularity in the 10th congressional district has a lot to do with his political posturing (He’s a liberal Republican… no wait, he’s a moderate Republican… no… I think he’ll go with the centrist title) in a state best known for being bluer than Lake Michigan i.e., a Democrat stronghold. He’s a big fish in a big pond and his only source of real competition comes from Democrats, not fellow Republicans, who “lovingly” refer to him as a RINO, Republican In Name Only.
The last time Kirk broke with the GOP in the House, he voted for the Clean Energy bill, then turned around and vowed to oppose the same bill in the Senate. Previously, he vowed to vote for the jobs bill which would funnel money to seriously cash strapped states and save thousands of teacher jobs. The very next day, Kirk voted against that same bill he’d promised to vote for just a day before. The reasoning has been debated and agreed that he voted no due to party pressure since the bill would have removed tax breaks for corporations shipping jobs overseas. Something near and dear to conservative Republicans.
As an Illinois resident and a person born and raised in the 10thCongressional District where most of my family still resides, I admit that I’ll be placing my vote for Alexi Giannoulias on November 2nd. My reasons are simple.
Mark Kirk is neither clear nor concise and despite what he wants to make us believe, he has far less integrity than his opponent, Alexi Giannoulias. Mark Kirk has been caught in more lies than I can count since initially announcing his bid to run for US Senate. He not only embellished his record of service, awards andaccomplishments with the US Military, he also lied about his experience as a middle-school teacher, which turned out to be “a year in London at a private school and part-time in a nursery school as part of a work-study program while he was a student at Cornell University.”
His sexuality has been called into question more than once. First by Republican primary opponent Andy Martin, and then by Mark Rogers, the same guy that outed former Senator Larry Craig and creepy Congressional Representative Mark Foley. His record on gay rights has been surmised as follows:
“Until now, Mark Kirk elected not to play the typical Washington game. Instead of supporting his party’s dismal record on gay rights, Kirk received Human Rights Campaign ratings of 67% in 2002, 88% in 2004, 76% in 2006 and 85% in 2008. That’s more impressive than a lot of Democrats. I even let Kirk slide by when he didn’t co-sponsor earlier legislation relating to the repeal of Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell. My thoughts then were that he wasn’t THAT bad on gay stuff and that the bill was going nowhere anyway.” – Andy Martin
I care less about his sexual preference and more about Kirk’s complete and utter disregard for honesty . There are already far too many liars in the Senate.
In the other corner we have the fresh-faced Democrat Alexi Giannoulias who must not forget that Chicago politics differs from Illinois politics. There exist tiny pockets of liberals, progressives and conservatives nestled all throughout Chicago even though it’s a known Democratic machine, born and bred. However, suburban and collegiate conclaves are notoriously conservative in some parts, especially Kirks neck of the wealthy North shore woods, and particularly downstate Illinois.
In any case, Giannoulias has been accused of approving bank loans to Mobsters while employed at his family’s Broadway Bank, which entered into foreclosure earlier this year. In April, first the Feds and then MB Financial took control of the fledgling financial institution. It is of note that when Giannoulias stopped working for the family business in 2006, it was one of the most profitable banks in Illinois.
According to factcheck.org, “There’s no proof that he “made” the loans to Giorango, the only one of the three men pictured who had been convicted at the time he borrowed money from Broadway. Another of the men didn’t get a loan from Broadway at all. And the third man wasn’t charged with a crime until after Giannoulias had signed off on loans to him. To be accurate, Kirk should have said only that his opponent worked at a family bank that made loans to criminals and their business ventures, and that he had a role in servicing some of the loans.” Giannoulias has also been accused of losing millions of investor dollars through the prior failings of the College BrightStartprogram. Oppenheimer Funds Inc., was the firm discovered to be mismanaging the funds for not only Illinois, but several other states as well and Alexi credits his department for taking action, removing the firm, and recovering some of the lost funds to the tune of $77 million dollars for some 65,000 investors.
At 33, Alexi Giannouliasis a young prospect with few skeletons milling about his closet at the present time. His family’s wealth, the fact that the family bank made LEGAL loans to known mobster(s) (one, to be exact, who had not yet been convicted), he’s known as a spoiled rich kid in some circles and he’s been falsely accused of losing Illinoisans millions of dollars through the College Bright Start program. Neither candidate has a stellar track record nor have either served their state in a capacity that speaks singularly and idealy to the people of Illinois or in a way that makes either stand out considerably.
Regardless of who wins the Senate race in Illinois, just please make sure your voice heard. Join me in casting your vote on November 2nd.