March 14, 2006

Party guns come out blazing in State Treasurer's race

Back when Knox County States Attorney Paul Mangieri was annointing as the Democratic party choice for Treasurer, the pick was met with some consternation and grumbles. Party players didn't think he was enough of a heavy-weight, had some weaknesses, and in general the conventional wisdom was that the party could have done better.

There was even some conjecture that Mangieri would be essentially left hung out to dry, without much party backing in his race against his primary challenger, the golden Greek, Alexi Giannoulias.

That suspicion was blown away in a big way with the arrival in yesterday's mail of not one, but two large mail pieces in which the party big-feet came out swinging for the fences and taking Giannoulias apart in no uncertain terms.

Keep in mind that this is a primary and these two are in the same party.

First we have this amazing blast comparing Mangieri's aging Victorian fixer-upper to some Gold Coast lakefront condo complex in Chicago. (as if Giannulias occupies the entire building) But they're just getting started.

-Click on any of these shots to view larger versions-

On the reverse, there's a comparison that... well go ahead and take a look.

The comparisons read for Mangieri vs. Giannoulias:
M: 46
G: 29
M: Prosecutor
G: Vice-President of father's bank
M: U.S. Navy veteran, joined military to pay for school. Has put corrupt officials, violent criminals and financial scammers behind bars as Knox County Attorney. Successfully recovered taxpayer dollars from a corporation that abandoned his community and moved abroad.
G: Played basketball in Europe for one year. 3 years of working for father's bank. Family has given thousands of dollars to politicians supporting him.
Marital Status:
M: Married for 15 years, raising family (Though the mailing doesn't mention it, Mangieri has TWELVE kids!!)
G: Young, single and rich (My favorite! ha! Why are people always picking on us young, single, rich people??)
M: Responsible Investment and Taxpayer Education (RITE) Mangieri will fight predatory lending, identity theft and fraud. To receive state deposits banks will have to prove that they invest in their communities and meet strict ethical standards.
G: Giannoulias's millionaire father and shady business associates are funding his campaign Giannoulias took money from questionable sources before being forced to give it back after media reports exposed it. Illinois can't afford another politician like Alexi Giannoulias.


And then the other mailing loudly proclaiming the backing of Sec. of State Jesse White, A.G. Lisa Madigan, Comptroller Dan Hynes, Party Chair Madigan and Emil Jones, president of the Senate, and listing the endorsements of the state AFL-CIO, IL Federation of Teachers, and the Dem County Chairman's Association

The reverse is an endorsemnt blurb customized to include Lane Evans' signature in addition to those of White, Lisa Madigan, and Hynes.

Hmmm. I wonder who the party supports in this?


At 3/14/2006 7:26 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Kinda wierd that Durbin endorsed Mangeri and Obama endorsed Giannulais.

At 3/14/2006 8:17 AM, Anonymous Maverick said...

Makes one wonder what Mike Madigan wants PAul Mangeri to do for him once he successfully installs him as Democratic Party State Treasuer?

At 3/14/2006 8:59 AM, Blogger Dissenter said...

Do you trust Barack Obama? Does it mean anything that Senator Obama knows Giannoulias well, and of him stated that he is "one of the most outstanding young men I could ever hope to meet?"

Mangieri attempts to make light of Giannoulias' relevant experience for the job of State Treasurer. Let's think this through. Mangieri is a prosecutor in Knox County. He prosecutes everything from felonies to speeding tickets. Good for him. In this State, neither felonies nor unreasonably fast drivers should be condoned. But how in the world does that experience pertain to the job of State Treasurer? How many criminal cases does the State Treasurer prosecute in any given year? Answer: none.

Giannoulias is a young but educated and experienced BANKER. If the Treasurer's responsibilities are ever changed, such that the Treasurer no longer deals with the Treasury but instead handles criminal cases, then I suppose that Mangieri would have relevant experience. If that does not happen, then Giannoulias beats Mangieri in the department of experience, hands down, and Mangieri's proclamations to the contrary are a mere sham. So why, then, do certain party leaders support a criminal prosecutor over a financial expert for the State Treasurer. Because the prosecutor is the crony. How great that Barack Obama has declined to buy into the sad political doctrine that cronyism trumps qualification and experience.

The Mangieri camp also attempts to tarnish the reputation of the young financial expert by claiming that his bank has engaged in shady business practices. Read the allegations carefully. In one instance, Broadway Bank is alleged to have issued a mortgage loan to a man who bought property and allegedly thereafter used it as a brothel. I don't know whether that is true or not. But for the fun of it, let's assume that every word of the allegation is true. SO WHAT?! If First Bank issues a mortgage loan to a man who with that money builds a house from which he sells crack cocaine, do we ever angrily proclaim, "First Bank supports crack houses!!" No. Why? Because we know better. I suppose that if this man submitted a mortgage loan application to Broadway Bank and stated on the application that the purpose of the loan was "to run a house of prostitution," and if Alexi Giannoulias personally reviewed the application and approved the loan, then Mangieri would have a point. If that is not the case, then his people really should shut the hell up. This kind of dirty politics hurts the party and insults the electorate.

What about the campaign contribution of $5,000.00? Apparently, some guy who had a relationship to some other guy who had ties to a group that included someone involved in a mob-style hit gave $5,000 to Giannoulias. Giannoulias returned the money. For the life of me, I have attempted to discern the impropriety of that situation, and I don't see it. But I do see something else, underneath the surface of the sham allegation: There is a sinister underpinning to this approach by the Mangieri camp. It has the not-so-faint whiff of bigotry. The unspoken suggestion that Greeks have mob ties and Giannoulias is certainly Greek so..... Shame on them. Shame on them all.

And thank God for Barack Obama and his ability to see through it.

At 3/14/2006 10:02 AM, Blogger tiz said...

As I tell folks here in Iowa, my lovely home state of Illinois is the only place I've seen were Democrats can get away with beating the hell out of each other.

At 3/14/2006 2:31 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Check out the story in Crain's it lays a few more of those casual, accidential, unintended loans that appear to have happened over and over.
It appears Sen. Obama and Cong. Jackson failed to do any fact checking beore they dove in.
Hopefully Demos solve the problem next week and we don't have to watch this guy get pummeled by the GOPs

At 3/14/2006 2:33 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

The Giannoulias family's actions at their Hubbard Woods' (Winnetka/Glencoe) shopping center is giving many North Shore liberals second thoughts about supporting Alexi for Treasurer. For months, it was all people up there would talk about.

At 3/14/2006 4:51 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

The CRAIN's article is devastating.
Giannuoulius will be toast in the fall against the GOP Hopefully, voters will get a quick education and thanks to the Democratic Party of Illinois for helping us understand the issues better.

Besides, I'm sick of twenty-somethings who have done ZIP to elect Democrats suddenly get handed plum jobs. It's amazing and kills morale in our party.

At 3/14/2006 8:11 PM, Anonymous You Sarso said...

You're right we should hold back opportunities for up and comers and instead run people who run for everything until they win something. Great idea. Good bye Dan Hynes, Good bye Lisa Madigan, Hello Paul Mangieri hopefully you'll win an office you like sometime and stick with it.

At 3/15/2006 10:56 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I think the negative ads will backfire. They are truly disgusting from a candidate who apparently has nothing to offer but ambition without talent. The Sangamon County Democratic Party endorsed four candidates in the primary, including Mangieri, and I'm voting against all of them. I'm tired of conservative party leaders who don't have the people's best interests in mind.

At 3/15/2006 11:13 AM, Blogger Carl Nyberg said...

My understanding is that Mangieri was a JAG Corps officer.

When I was in recruiting there were no Navy programs to pay for law school except for the Law Education Program (LEP) for active duty personnel.

Since Mangieri doesn't mention a Navy career prior to being a JAG, I doubt he went to law school on the LEP.

Lots of lawyers want to join the military, so it's not like the military has to recruit (or give money) for these programs.

This is the irony about the debate on access to law schools by military recruiters. The recruiters could care less about access to law schools b/c law students come to the recruiters.

I doubt Mangieri is "lying" about his background, but it seems like a media person might have overstated a minor detail.

At 3/15/2006 10:29 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hey Sarso-
I said I'm sick and tired of rewarding people in their twenties who have done ZIP to help Democrats around the state. Dan Hynes and his family spent decades doing that. Ditto for Lisa Madigan.

Alexi comes out of nowhere. The only thing on his resume is that he gave Barack Obama $80,000. Obama, Mr. ethics, has a lot of explaining to do with this endorsement. Alexi is toast in the fall because the GOP will make mince meat of his checkered past, ties to banking irregulatities, etc. Obama screwed up big time on this one.


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