A Senate Race, Chicago Style (updated)
Illinois Democratic Senate candidate Alexi Giannoulias may have a bit of explaining to do on more than just his history with the failing Broadway Bank, owned by his family, the source of his personal wealth, and where he served for several years as chief loan officer. Now it appears that his brother Demetrus, the bank's Chief Financial Officer, served on the Board of Directors of the Crossroads Fund: a foundation that provides grants to left-wing community organizing groups in the Chicago area. Community organizing Chicago style means ACORN, the group being investigated for voter registration fraud and exposed in the national scandal involving underage prostitution and human smuggling. Sure enough ACORN is a recipient of the Giannoulias fund grants. Not surprisingly, Bill Ayers and Bernardine Dhorn are active fundraisers for Crossroads.
Even more embarrassing for Giannoulias, who will oppose Republican Congressman Mark Kirk in November, is that his brother's Foundation funded some of the most radical pro-Palestinian groups in the country. Kirk has one of the best records in Congress defending a strong U.S. Israel relationship. Alexi Giannoulias has tried to mouth the right words to suggest he too is pro-Israel. His brother's involvement with Crossroads will not help Alexi's lame attempt to persuade the pro-Israel community that he is as strong as Kirk on these issues.
A second group funded by Giannoulias' foundation is the Electronic Intifada led by notorious anti-Israel organizer Ali Abunimah. Abunimah is also listed as a major donor of Crossroads. With the help of Giannoulias' foundation, Electronic Intifada helped publicize: Letter campaign: Israeli apartheid deserves no amnesty and Organize for boycott Israel day of action. The Electronic Intifada also sent out anAction alert: Kick Dayton and his mercenaries out of Palestine to oppose U.S. training of Palestinian security forces so that terrorists will find no impediment to their plans for attacks on Israeli and Palestinian civilians. In return for its good deeds, the Giannoulias' foundation honored Electronic Intifada at its 2009 annual benefit.
Did Alexi Giannoulias attend the Crossroads Fund benefit dinner? How close was he to some of the Crossroads fundraisers, and to groups that received Crossroads Funds? Recall that this is a contest for Barack Obama's former Senate seat. Maybe it should not be so surprising that the current Democratic nominee has family connections to the same troubling cast of characters that Barack Obama tried to run from when he ran for President.
It seems that Demetris, Chief Financial Officer of the Broadway Bank, went on board for Crossroads when Alexi, then Broadway Bank VP, decided to run for the treasurer's office. Seeking to curry favor with Chicago's far-left, who had catapulted Obama into office, Demetris and the Broadway Bank became major donors to Crossroads. Broadway Bank contributions to the Crossroads Fund are reported in the organization's annual reports in 2006 page 17, 2007 page 17, and 2008 page 6. As much as he may want to avoid the embarrassment of explaining his connections to ACORN, Bill Ayers, Bernadine Dhorn, and the Electronic Intifada, Alexi can't distance himself from his brother or other family members. (By the way, his family contributed over half of the $5.5 million Alexi collected for his campaign to be Illinois State treasurer