State Treasurer Alexi Giannoulias is wasting no time maneuvering for front-runner status in the race to replace Roland Burris in the U.S. Senate in 2010.
On Monday, just five days after presumed front-runner Lisa Madigan announced she would seek a third term as Illinois Attorney General, Giannoulias released a list of endorsements from more than 60 elected officials who have pledged to support his campaign.
The list of announced backers includes Congressmen Bill Foster and Phil Hare, 32 state lawmakers, 10 Chicago aldermen and a handful of Cook County officials, including Assessor James Houlihan and Commissioners Forrest Claypool and Larry Suffredin. (Scroll down to the read the entire list.)
It wasn't all good news for Giannoulias on Monday, however. In a Crain's Chicago Business article, Thomas A. Corfman reported on a series of foreclosure lawsuits filed by the Giannoulias family's Broadway Bank that could put a cramp in his Senate run.
Broadway Bank is trying to recoup $12.9 million from two Chicago crime figures, rekindling a controversy as the bank's former chief loan officer, state Treasurer Alexi Giannoulias, gears up to run for the U.S. Senate.
In recently filed foreclosure suits, the Giannoulias family-owned North Side bank alleges loan defaults by four companies whose owners include two convicted Chicago bookmakers -- one also convicted of promoting a nationwide prostitution ring. The loans are on a hodgepodge of properties, including a South Beach hotel and a South Side shopping center that has lost its grocery anchor. The defendants include 1201 South Western LLC, a Berwyn-based company whose activities include making short-term real estate loans at interest rates of 1% a week, property records show.
Questions about Mr. Giannoulias' role in the loans surfaced in 2006, when he overcame concerns about his youth and inexperience to be elected treasurer. He defended the loans as sound business decisions, a claim undermined by the foreclosures.
Read the complete list of Giannoulias' endorsements: