Barack Obama is going to be on with Brian Williams tonight, so I thought I’d start up the first of a periodic series here on The Corner where I suggest questions that the media might consider asking Obama:
Question: On your website you have listed Illinois State Treasurer Alexi Giannoulias as a “bundler”, having committed to raising between $100-200k for your campaign. He’s also held fund raisers for your presidential campaign and he and his family have donated a considerable sum directly to your various campaigns and you endorsed his candidacy for state treasurer.
In 2006, while running for office Giannoulias admitted he personally oversaw the approval of $11.8 million in mortgage loans at his family bank to Michael Giorango, a convicted bookmaker and prostitution promoter, and $3.6 million of those loans were used by Giorango and another convicted felon to acquire a casino boat marina in Myrtle Beach, South Carolina. Giannoulias’ family bank made other loans to Giorango going back to 1992, and his involvement in those loans has also been questioned.
What’s more, while running for state treasurer in 2006, Giannoulias received a $5,000 campaign contribution from a Florida casino owner who owed $4.8 million to a bank Giannoulias has a stake in, and the Casino owner’s uncle had ties to disgraced lobbyist Jack Abramoff and was gunned down in what appears to be a mob hit.
Are you confident Giannoulias doesn’t have ties to organized crime, and should he be raising money for your campaign?