Obama protégé has a mob connection?

Very easy here to make two plus two add up to a zillion, what with all the tabloid elements available.

I'd certainly caution strongly against doing any such thing.

But...

Brer Obama has, it seems, been supporting Alexi Giannoulias, a candidate for IL State Treasurer who recently won his primary.

Giannoulias is apparentlyvice president and senior loan officer of an outfit called the Broadway Bank, which describes itself as

a locally owned and operated community bank, dedicated to serving the Chicago area, and celebrating our community's diversity.

It is, I believe, closely held by Giannoulias's family; there is no sign of SEC filings, according to EDGAR, certainly.

The guy alleged to be at the other end of this is

Michael Giorango, a convicted bookmaker and prostitution ring promoter.

Earlier on,
When the Tribune first interviewed Giannoulias in March, it was about loans made by the bank before 2002. In that March conversation Giannoulias called Giorango "a very nice person" but noted the loans were approved before he graduated from law school and joined Broadway full time.

However, it seems that

newly discovered public records show Broadway Bank made nearly $12 million in additional mortgage loans to Giorango just last year--when Giannoulias was overseeing the bank's loans.

Giannoulias's response to the new discovery?
Those 2005 loans were negotiated by his brother, Demetris, the bank's chief financial officer.

Uh oh.

Moreover,

In March, Giannoulias said Broadway Bank "never financed any casinos. We never did anything like that." But newly obtained records show that the recent loans went partly toward a mortgage that Giorango and another convicted felon used to acquire a casino boat marina in Myrtle Beach, S.C.

Giannoulias, at 30, is seeking his first elected office, so far as I can tell. How big his family is in IL politics, or banking, or life in general, I know not.

Certainly, without the Obama connection, for the Dems nationally, he'd be a bug - his story easily crushed as just another IL political farce.

Apparently, though, there were TV spots carrying Obama's endorsement of this guy.

My guess is that, despite the Obama connection, this will be a nine days wonder as far as out-of-staters are concerned.

But we know that swifties don't need much in the way of facts - don't need any, in fact - to get going.

And if there was ever any serious talk of Obama on a presidential ticket...

Tags: Alexi Giannoulias, Illinois, Michael Giorango, obama, Organized Crime, State Treasurer (all tags)

Comments

1 Comment

Re: Obama protg has a mob connection?

This was obvious from the moment he accounced his candidacy.  And this may explain why I voted for the other Democrat running for office.  Endorsing problematic candidates, whether they be connected to organized crime, to DC lobbyists or to political machines in DC and Chicago is something for which Obama seemingly has an uncontrollable predilection.

by illinois062006 2006-04-13 10:32AM | 0 recs

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