Alexi Giannoulias Stumbles On Broadway Bank As Hoffman, Jackson Attack
Alexi Giannoulias is struggling to get past the increasingly ugly picture being painted of his family's Broadway Bank.
The candidate for the Democratic nomination for U.S. Senate is also the Illinois state treasurer. Before that, he served as a senior loan officer for Broadway Bank, owned by the Giannoulias family.
On Jan. 26, the bank entered into a consent order with the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation requiring it to raise tens of millions of dollars, stop payouts to members of the Giannoulias family, and bring in outsiders to evaluate the company's management.
The order was filed because the bank is on the brink of collapse. According to David Hoffman, one of Giannoulias's rivals in the Democratic primary, Broadway's troubles are linked to its overly risky behavior during the boom times of 2007 and 2008. And as one of the leading officials of the bank, Hoffman says, Alexi is responsible.
"Broadway Bank has not been acting like a community bank for years," Hoffman told the media on Thursday.
In addition to making many aggressive investments in the bull markets, the bank made $70 million in payouts directly to Giannoulias family members, including $2.5 million to Alexi himself. He has declined to comment on whether or not he will be putting money back into the bank.
The treasurer has already suffered politically because of his associations with Broadway Bank: while he was loan officer, the bank issued over $1 million to convicted felon and Blagojevich crony Tony Rezko.
Meanwhile, Giannoulias's opponents appear to have smelled blood in the water. Hoffman is continuing his relentless hounding of Giannoulias for what he calls "matters of job performance and character." And Cheryle Jackson, another candidate in the race, has called for Giannoulias to drop out.
Giannoulias still holds a fairly wide lead in the polls. But at least one survey shows it narrowing considerably: the Rasmussen survey released Tuesday shows Giannoulias at 31%, with Jackson and Hoffman both at 23% and a six-point margin of error.
While this poll seems to be an outlier, this bevy of bad news comes at the worst time for Alexi Giannoulias--voters go to the polls next Tuesday, February 2nd.