Giannoulias campaign: Rove Front Group pulls a Kirk on Illinois voters

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Describes it as “The sleaziest in GOP politics” and “ bombards Illinois with commercial full of lies”

Chicago, IL – As payback for Congressman Mark Kirk‘s repeated votes in favor of the disastrous Bush budgets, Karl Rove unleashed a false, negative attack ad to distract voters, according to “Alexi For Illinois” campaign.

U.S. Senate nominee Alexi Giannoulias, who refuses all corporate PAC and federal lobbyist money, called on Kirk to denounce Rove’s history of lies and disclose where the money came from to produce this misleading ad.

“It’s not surprising that Karl Rove – the architect of the Bush-Kirk economic policies that drove our economy to the brink of collapse – is now bringing his bags of Washington-insider money to bailout Congressman Kirk,” Giannoulias said. “Illinois voters are sick of Karl Rove and Mark Kirk politics.  Both are funded with millions of corporate special interest money, and both aren’t afraid to lie when it suits their political ambitions,” Giannoulias said.


Rove lie: Alexi is quite a driver … Drove his family bank right into a ditch.

The truth: The disastrous Bush-Kirk economic policies  of the last decade brought the American economy to the brink of collapse.  More than 200 community banks have been shuttered in the last year as the Wall Street banks were bailed out and small businesses were left to fight on their own.  While Alexi has taken his share of the responsibility, only 9 percent of Broadway Bank’s non-performing assets were made during his time there. Nearly all of the loans that caused the problems were made in 2007 and 2008, just as the Bush-Kirk economic policies began wreaking havoc on the national real estate market.

Rove lie: As treasurer and head of the Bright Start fund, he fell asleep at the wheel, losing 150 million dollars college savings money.

The truth:
Under Alexi’s stewardship, the Bright Start program went from one of the worst in the country to one of the top five. Several independent analyses such as Money Magazine and Consumer Reports ranked Bright Start as a top college savings program in 2009.  [Money Magazine, 4/17/09; Consumer Reports, 4/09].  In June 2010, Bright Start was ranked by Kiplinger’s as one of the top 529 school savings programs for the second straight year.  [Kiplingers, 6/10]

Even Congressman Kirk has admitted that the problems experienced in one of Bright Start’s 21 funds was the fault of Oppenheimer, not the Treasurer’s office. As reported by the Chicago Tribune, “Kirk addressed a controversy involving Giannoulias’ stewardship as state treasurer of the Bright Start college savings program-and appeared to take Giannoulias’ side… Kirk went after “a state bureaucrat that has a bad record.” Asked by a reporter who that bureaucrat was, Kirk replied it was the person who ran the Oppenheimer “core plus” fund-who is not a state employee.” [Chicago Tribune, 10/12/09]

Rove lie: Alexi also purchased a $26,000 SUV using Bright Start funds.

The truth: Bright Start, like all 529 plans, is set up as a self-sustaining, fee-based program. Fees are used to pay for program operations. Administration guidelines permit the purchase of vehicles. No investment money was used to purchase the vehicle.

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