October, 16th 2009

Giannoulias targeted over lack of personal financial disclosure

– Liz Mair

From Crain's:

Democratic U.S. Senate hopeful David Hoffman late Thursday released copies of his federal income tax returns for the past five years and, with a sharp shot at competitor Alexi Giannoulias, challenged him to do the same.


Mr. Hoffman also repeated his pledge to place his assets in a blind trust if he's elected to the Senate, and challenged Mr. Giannoulias to match him.

"The personal finances of each candidate should be of interest to voters, especially given the serious concerns that have been raised about the shareholders of Broadway Bank -- 100% owned by the Giannoulias family-- who pulled $70 million in dividends out of the bank just as increased loan defaults put the family's bank on shaky financial ground, according to a recently published report" in Crain's Chicago Business, Mr. Hoffman said in a statement.

"It's a simple request -- full and complete transparency of personal tax returns," the statement added.

A simple request, maybe, but one to which it's doubtful Giannoulias will succumb, given that transparency, especially with regard to Broadway Bank-connected matters, would seem to run directly counter to Giannoulias' interests. 

Remember, this is someone who has been alleged to have mob ties, evidenced through his business dealings as an officer of Broadway Bank, and now, he and his family are apparently being accused of extracting a pretty phenomenal amount of cash from the bank as it found itself in supposed dire financial straits. 

Nonetheless, I don't expect Hoffman will shut up about this anytime soon; likewise, I would imagine that Mark Kirk will be making a lot of noise about this, should Giannoulias continue to find himself well-positioned to win the Democratic nomination to replace Roland Burris in the Senate seat that Rob Blagojevich allegedly tried to sell. [intro]



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