Wednesday, September 27, 2006

State Treasurer Candidate Asked to Explain Mob Allegations

Mike Madigan doesn't get mad. He gets even. And boy, does he get even.

Lobbing another political hand grenade, the state Democratic Party chairman and Illinois House speaker said Tuesday he is withholding his support for Democratic treasurer nominee Alexi Giannoulias until he answers "those allegations of connections to the mob."

"I want some answers," Madigan said. "The allegations are there." The powerful Southwest Side Democrat made the remarks at his annual fund-raiser when I asked him why Giannoulias' photo was still not on the party's Web site.

A North Side banker and political novice, Giannoulias, you will remember, beat Madigan's choice for state treasurer in the primary, Downstater Paul Mangieri. That gave Giannoulias the chance to square off against Republican nominee Christine Radogno in November. But Giannoulias, 30, became engulfed in controversy. The Chicago Tribune published articles about millions of dollars his family-owned bank loaned to two convicted felons and an alleged money-launderer.

Broadway Bank is not accused of anything illegal, but it has been a political embarrassment for Giannoulias, who first called one of the men a "very nice person," then later said he had been too "cavalier."

The bombshell from Madigan recalls his cryptic comments in 2002 about never-explained "indiscretions" of then-Democratic gubernatorial nominee Rod Blagojevich. This time, Madigan is being more pointed. "I mean my history in politics, if you were alleged to be connected to the mob, you were done, but life seems to go on," he said.

Giannoulias told me he feels he has satisfactorily answered reporters' questions about the loans. "I would love to sit down with the speaker at some point," he said. "I've put calls in to his office and see if we could sit down and talk about how we could uh, you know, work together." But Giannoulias conceded he's stumped about what he can do to bring Madigan on board. "You know, I don't know," he said. "I'm a political outsider to some of this, you know, silliness."

Thanks to Carol Marin

No comments:

Post a Comment

Mafia Library


Crime Family Index