President Obama is returning to Chicago in early August to help Democratic Senate candidate Alexi Giannoulias raise some much-needed campaign cash.
Last week, the Giannoulis campaign announced its fundraising numbers for the period of April 1 to June 30. The Democrat running for Obama's former U.S. Senate seat took in $900,000, and ended the period with over $1 million in hand. These numbers pale in comparison to his opponent Mark Kirk's take, $2.3 million during the quarter--and $3.9 million in cash on hand.
Obama will be in Chicago for an August 5 fundraiser. Vice President Joe Biden and U.S. Education Secretary Arne Duncan have already campaigned with Giannoulias in Chicago and White House senior adviser David Axlerod will stump for Giannoulias on July 25, the Chicago Sun-Times reports.
"We're excited to welcome President Obama back to Illinois to campaign with Alexi in early August," Giannoulias campaign manager Michael Rendina told Politico in a statement. "The President's visit will reinforce the importance of the clear choice Illinois voters face between Alexi, who supports helping the president move America forward and career Congressman Mark Kirk, who wants to go back to the same failed Bush policies that got us into this mess."
The Giannoulias campaign said Kirk's rosy fundraising numbers are the result of questionable principles when it comes to campaign contributions. Giannoulias spokeswoman Kathleen Strand told the Washington Post that Giannoulias has taken a "self-imposed pledge to reject contributions from corporate political action committees and federal lobbyists."
"Alexi is running for Senate to stand up against powerful corporate special interests that contributed to our country's economic meltdown," Strand said.
Kirk, who has been under fire for a series of inaccurate statements he made regarding his military experience and other parts of his resume, raised more in June than Giannoulias raised in the entire quarter--despite the scandal.
"Illinois and the country face serious challenges," Kirk spokeswoman Kirsten Kukowski told the Sun-Times. "In November, voters will choose between Alexi Giannoulias -- a failed banker who wants to raise taxes -- and Mark Kirk, a thoughtful independent with a plan to create jobs and turn our economy around."