Kirk Campaign: Giannoulias wrong on Broadway Bank, Taxes, Spending and Health Care

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Kirk Campaign Issues Fact Check    


GIANNOULIAS CLAIM:  He didn’t know the extent of his criminal borrowers’ pasts.


Fact:  As the Chicago Tribune reported on April 1, 2010, the Giannoulias family was made aware of Giorango’s past when they read about in the Chicago Tribune in 2004.


“Demetris Giannoulias said the bank learned of Giorango’s bookmaking and prostitution promotion convictions from a spring 2004 Tribune report detailing those cases.


The Tribune report that Demetris Giannoulias refers to states:


“In 1989, Giorango pleaded guilty to helping direct a south suburban bookmaking ring that used threats of bombings, beatings and robbery to collect unpaid debts. Nicknamed “Jaws,” Giorango managed bookie parlors that moved periodically, as well as monthly floating “smokers,” or casino gambling nights.

In 1991, while Giorango was in federal prison for the bookmaking case, he was convicted of additional gambling and tax violations stemming from his role in a separate bookmaking operation overseen by Chicago Heights gambling boss Dominic Barbaro. At Barbaro’s several wire rooms, Giorango accepted wagers totaling more than $40,000 a week and settled up with customers, prosecutors said.”


On April 27, 2006, the Chicago Tribune reported that Giannoulias had travelled to Miami to meet with convicted mobster Michael Giorango and inspect a hotel that Broadway Bank had loaned him money to purchase: 


“But on Wednesday, Giannoulias said he traveled to Miami “about a year or two ago” to inspect property the bank had financed for Giorango and met with him there. Giannoulias declined to provide details of that meeting.”


At the time of Giannoulias’ trip, the Giannoulias family was well-aware of Michael Giorango’s mob connections and criminal past. 


GIANNOULIAS CLAIM:  There are no inconsistencies.


Fact:  Alexi Giannoulias told the State Journal-Register on December 20, 2005 that he “currently serves as vice president and senior loan officer at the four-branch Broadway Bank in Chicago .” (Senator announces run for treasurer, State Journal-Register, December 20, 2005)


Fact:  Alexi Giannoulias told the Windy City Times in March of 2006 that “I’m senior loan officer and vice president, so I oversee a $600 million loan department. I’m also chief investment officer and invest about $150 million.”


Fact:  After Broadway Bank was taken over by the FDIC, Giannoulias posted on his campaign blog that “It was because my father instilled in his sons the importance of helping others that I decided to leave the bank in 2005 to pursue public service.”


Fact:  When the Chicago Sun Times broke a story about a Broadway Bank loan to Tony Rezko that was granted on February 14, 2006, Giannoulias’ spokesperson said “Alexi left daily operations of the bank in September of 2005, months before this loan was made.”


Fact:  When the Chicago Tribune broke a story that if Giannoulias had left the bank in 2005 he would not qualify for a $2.7 million tax write-off that he claimed in 2009, Giannoulias said “Giannoulias said he has been clear that he left the “day-to-day” operations of the bank in September 2005 to prepare his first run for public office, but was on paid leave until May 2006 when he left completely to campaign full time for treasurer.”


Fact:  A week after the Chicago Tribune story, Giannoulias told the State Journal-Register that “I left day-to-day operations in 2005, and I fully left the bank about April 2006”









The Health Care Bill Increases Revenues By $525 Billion Over The Next 10 Years. “The legislation will increase the size of the federal budget by increasing outlays by $411 billion and revenues by $525 billion over the next 10 years . . . .” (Congressional Budget Office, Director’s Blog, “The Effects of Health Reform on the Federal Budget,” 4/12/10)


“The New Health Care Law Will Impose New Compliance Regulations, Employer Mandate Taxes, Taxes On Business ‘Flow-Through’ And Investment Income, And Numerous Indirect Costs On Small- And Medium-Size Companies. Altogether, these constraints will dramatically affect companies’ per employee costs, firm-level allocation of labor, desire to take on health coverage, and motivation to grow both in terms of income and employment.” (John L. Ligon, “Obamacare: Impact on Businesses,” Heritage Foundation Web Memo No. 2883, 4/27/10)


“Employees Will Likely Bear Most Of The Burden Since These Costs Will Likely Be Passed On To Them In The Form Of Reduced Wages, Discontinued Hiring, Or Loss Of Employment. Instead of adding more regular full-time employees, some businesses will simply increase hours for current employees, hire low-skilled and low-income labor, or opt for more temporary or seasonal workers.” (John L. Ligon, “Obamacare: Impact on Businesses,” Heritage Foundation Web Memo No. 2883, 4/27/10)


The National Federation Of Independent Business (NFIB) Called The Health Care Bill “Job Killing” And “Devastating” For Small Business. “The National Federation of Independent Business, which characterized the health care bill as ‘devastating’ for small business owners, said its members are outraged that members of Congress didn’t vote against what it is calling a ‘job-killing’ bill.” (Joshua Rhett Miller, “Health Care Reform Will Hurt Small Businesses, Some Entrepreneurs Say,” Fox News, 3/23/10)


·  “‘This isn’t a health care bill, this is a tax bill wrapped up in health care paper,’ Susan Eckerly, NFIB’s senior vice president, said in a statement. . . . [T]he only thing this bill does is drive costs even higher. It will raise, not lower, insurance costs and it will increase both taxes and the cost of doing business for the very people they said they wanted to help – small business.’” (Joshua Rhett Miller, “Health Care Reform Will Hurt Small Businesses, Some Entrepreneurs Say,” Fox News, 3/23/10)








Giannoulias Said That Income Tax Increases Were Necessary In Order To Fix The Budget Crisis In Illinois. “Treasurer Alexi Giannoulias hasn’t played a leadership role in the tax debate, but he does answer the tax question clearly, arguing an income tax increase must be part of the solution with state government drowning in red ink. . . . Giannoulias, the newest of the statewide officials and a likely candidate for U.S. Senate next year, believes state government must cut waste and trim costs where it can, said spokesman Scott Burnham, but it’s simply impossible to cut enough to balance the budget. That makes a tax increase a vital part of any solution.  ‘If we don’t address these issues now, the state’s financial health will only get worse,’ Burnham said. ‘We need to address our long-standing budget deficit rather than using accounting tricks, gimmicks and Band-Aids.’” (Christopher Wills, “ Ill. Officials Stay On Sideline For Tax Debate,” The Associated Press, 6/9/09)


·  Watch Giannoulias Say, “While Politically It Is Not The Smartest Thing To Say, We Need An Income Tax Increase.” (


Giannoulias: “I Don’t See Any Other Way Than New Revenues.” “Giannoulias also predicts lawmakers and Gov. Pat Quinn will have to support a tax increase or another way of bringing in new money to deal with a state government budget deficit pinned at more than $10 billion by some, with cuts alone not nearly enough to fix the problem. ‘I don’t see any other way than new revenues. You’re irresponsible if you say that,’ Giannoulias said.” (Ryan Keith, “Giannoulias Not Always In Lockstep With Obama’s Policies,” The State Journal-Register, 12/14/09)


·         Gov. Quinn’s Budget Director Says The Income Tax Rate Will Rise To 5% In January 2011. “Lawmakers probably will increase the individual and corporate income-tax rates by 2 percentage points, generating $6 billion of new revenue, the budget director, David Vaught, said in an interview. The Legislature failed to address the deficit this year because of the November election, he said. ‘We’re going to pass a tax increase in January,’ Vaught said. ‘We expect it is going to be substantial.’”(Darrell Preston, “ Illinois Will Probably Raise Income-Tax Rate To 5%, Budget Director Says,”Bloomberg,, 7/28/10)




Giannoulias Would Allow The Current Tax Cuts To Expire. “The Bush tax cuts for the wealthiest Americans generated some of the largest deficits in U.S. history and contributed nearly $2 trillion to our deficits.  Those tax cuts were unnecessary and irresponsible, and Alexi would allow them to expire.  Any new tax cuts should be geared toward middle-class Americans and small businesses.  This would put more money in the pockets of those most likely to spend it, and would support the businesses that are responsible for most new job growth in America .” (Alexi Giannoulias Website,, Accessed 10/5/10)


A September, 2010 Study Found That Illinois Could Lose, On Average, 30,083 Jobs A Year Between 2011 And 2020 If The Tax Cuts Are Not Fully Extended. (The Heritage Foundation, “Obama Tax Hikes: The Economic and Fiscal Effects,”, 9/20/10)


·         The State Of Illinois Could Lose $13,097 In Total Disposable Personal Income Per Household. (The Heritage Foundation, “Obama Tax Hikes: The Economic and Fiscal Effects,”, 9/20/10)


·         The State Of Illinois Could See Total Individual Income Taxes Increase By $25.4 Billion.(The Heritage Foundation, “Obama Tax Hikes: The Economic and Fiscal Effects,”, 9/20/10)


“Small-Business Owners Say Unease About Tax Policy, Along With The Economy, Has Led Them To Hold Off On Hiring And Investment. And many advisers are encouraging well-to-do clients to sell appreciated assets to avoid higher capital-gains taxes.” (John D. McKinnon, Ben Levisohn, and Justin Lahart, “Worries Over Tax Hikes Coloring Business Decisions,” The Wall Street Journal, 9/13/10)




“Giannoulias Told Illinois Agriculture Leaders Wednesday That He Supports Keeping The Estate Tax — Or ‘Death Tax,’ As Critics Call It.” (“Giannoulias: Shield Family Farms From Estate Tax,” The Associated Press, 8/25/10)


Although, Giannoulias Said He Would Exempt Family Farms Worth Less Than $10 Million From The Death Tax, Inexplicably Exempting Some Businesses But Not Others.“But Giannoulias says he would exempt family farms worth less than $10 million from the tax. The Chicago Democrat says people should not be forced to pay a tax bill by selling property that has been in their family for generations.” (“Giannoulias: Shield Family Farms From Estate Tax,” The Associated Press, 8/25/10)


·          Giannoulias Didn’t Explain Why Family Farms Deserve That Break And Other Family Businesses Don’t. (“Giannoulias: Shield Family Farms From Estate Tax,” The Associated Press, 8/25/10)


A July, 2010 Study Argued That Extending The Estate Tax Would Be Economically Harmful. “The death tax slows economic growth, destroys jobs, and suppresses wages because it is a tax on capital and on entrepreneurship.” (The Heritage Foundation, “The Economic Case Against The Death Tax,”, 10/4/10)  


A February, 2009 Study Found That A Full Repeal Of The Estate Tax Could Create Roughly 1.5 Million New Small Business Jobs, While Hiking The Estate Tax Could Result In The Loss Of 500,000 Jobs. “Eliminating the estate tax would raise the probability of hiring by 8.6 percent, increase payrolls by 2.6 percent and expand investment by 3 percent. . . . If small business payrolls were to rise by as much as 2.6 percent strictly through additional hiring, this translates to roughly 1.5 million additional small business jobs. Alternatively, a higher estate tax that lowers payrolls by 0.9 percent would translate into a reduction of over 500,000 jobs.” (Douglas Holtz-Eakin and Cameron T. Smith, “Changing Views Of The Estate Tax: Implications For Legislative Options,” The American Family Business Foundation, February 2009)

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