October, 28th 2009


– Liz Mair

I missed this yesterday.  Alexi Giannoulias, you know, the dude with the (alleged) mob ties who wants to replace prize buffoon Roland Burris in the US Senate, is apparently whining about something one of his primary opponents did that looks a tad dodgy.

Just hours after Democratic candidate David Hoffman challenged rivals Alexi Giannoulias and Cheryle Robinson Jackson to live up to the standards of transparency set by Barack Obama during his presidential campaign, the Giannoulias campaign is accusing Hoffman of doublespeak.

Giannoulias is calling on Hoffman to cancel a private fundraiser with federal prosecutors at the Berghoff Hotel and return any money he has accepted from current assistant U.S. Attorneys.

In an invitation sent out by the Hoffman campaign and obtained by the Chicago Tribune, Hoffman asks current assistant U.S. Attorneys for a suggested minimum donation of $150, an amount low enough that they would not have to disclose their name or employer under federal campaign contribution laws.

"The last thing the Illinois culture of corruption needs is political candidates soliciting the lead agency responsible for investigating corruption," Giannoulias campaign manager Tom Bowen said in a statement. "If we are going to be serious about reform, we have to act seriously. Hoffman should cancel the fundraiser, refuse money from current federal prosecutors and refuse to take contributions from employees of the U.S. Attorney's office."

Hey, Tom Bowen-- I've got a tip for you.  That stinky smell of corruption and lack of ethics?  It's coming from your campaign office door, dude.  I don't know enough about Hoffman to describe him as a good guy or a bad guy, but it's readily apparent that Giannoulias is pretty close to the bottom of the barrel when it comes to public officials concerned with ethics.  Sure, Blago is definitely right down there.  But if Illinois is serious about cleaning its act up, electing Giannoulias is not the way to do it. [intro]


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