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Illinois Senate primary: Lame and Lamer

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By Michelle Malkin  •  February 2, 2010 11:12 PM

GOP cap-and-tax 8′er Mark Kirk won the GOP primary in Illinois for the Senate seat formerly occupied by Barack Obama.

After pandering to enviro-nitwits and casting his vote in favor of the largest energy tax increase in American history based on shoddy science and Al Gore-led fear-morning, Rep. Kirk promised Illinois voters he wouldn’t pander the same way if held higher office. He’s also a squish on the Second Amendment and life issues, a supporter of the massive tobacco tax increases to pay for Obama’s SCHIP expansion/Demcare Trojan Horse, and an expedient new critic of earmarks. John McCormack searches for something good to say about Kirk — it’s thin gruel, but here it is.

So: Kirk is Lame.

His Democrat opponent Alexi Giannoulias is Lamer.

The Illinois treasurer and Obama crony declared victory tonight after his primary challenger David Hoffman conceded:

Illinois Treasurer Alexi Giannoulias declared victory tonight in the Democratic primary for President Barack Obama’s former U.S. Senate seat….

…While Giannoulias tried to stress his stances on the economy and what he would do to bring more jobs to Illinois, Hoffman tried to run as a reformer and routinely raised questions about Giannoulias’ experience and decision-making as senior loan officer at his family-owned Broadway Bank, as well as his handling as state treasurer of $150 million in losses with the Bright Start college savings program.

Hoffman reiterated questions about loans Broadway awarded to a convicted bookmaker and prostitution ring promoter, but the issue came to a head last week when the now-struggling bank, which is still run by one of Giannoulias’ brothers, agreed to greater government oversight and was told it had to raise tens of millions of dollars.

Hoffman said Giannoulias had to better explain to voters what role he had in the bank’s troubles. Jackson said Giannoulias should drop out of the race. Giannoulias said that only a small percentage of the bank’s nonperforming loans were made while he was senior loan officer. On Bright Start, he argued his office noticed the losses, ordered corrections and reached a settlement that allowed investors to get back more than half the money they lost.

Giannoulias rose to statewide prominence in 2006 when he got Obama’s endorsement for treasurer. The two have known each other for years and played basketball when Obama was a state senator. But Obama did not endorse Giannoulias in the primary. Indeed, Giannoulias even had to answer questions about why the White House spent last summer trying to get Illinois Attorney General Lisa Madigan to run. She declined.

The culture of ideological and political corruption runs deep in the veins of both parties in Illinois. We head to the general election with no illusions about the mediocre, uninspiring caliber of these two hack candidates. The measly voter turnout (contrast with the Massachusetts Miracle) tells all.

It’s another hold-your-nose-and-vote race.

Blech.

***

And the Chicago corruption beat goes on:

A top ethics aide to Mayor Richard Daley has resigned in the face of allegations that he and his boss used poor judgment in the handling of a student intern’s sexual harassment complaint.

Mark E. Meaney resigned his $146,940-a-year position as first deputy in the mayor’s Office of Compliance. He had joined Anthony Boswell to run the compliance office in 2007, which Daley created to promote a culture of good conduct among city workers.

“It was a privilege to have been part of something that had never been tried before, corporate-style compliance in municipal government,” Meaney wrote Tuesday in an email to the Tribune. “Mayor Daley should be applauded in his efforts at true reform. Unfortunately, fear and blame seem to be winning over culture change.”

Meaney’s comments seemed to be aimed at the Inspector General’s Office, which has been criticized in court filings for allegedly creating a “culture of fear” where workers are reluctant to report honest mistakes for fear they will be punished.

Meaney said he was returning to the private sector and had no regrets. His resignation was effective last Friday, said Jennifer Hoyle, spokeswoman for the city’s Law Department.

Inspector General Joseph Ferguson last month found that Boswell and Meaney mishandled a 2008 sexual harassment complaint from an intern at the 911 Center. Ferguson’s report concluded that the two men repeatedly disregarded city policies and showed favoritism toward the 911 supervisor by trying to find him another city job and a new intern.

Ferguson recommended to Daley that the mayor suspend the men for at least 30 days without pay. He declined to comment about Meaney’s resignation.

***

Rolling my eyes…

RNC CHAIRMAN MICHAEL STEELE STATEMENT ON ILLINOIS REPUBLICAN PRIMARY VICTORIES

WASHINGTON – Republican National Committee (RNC) Chairman Michael Steele released the following statement today:

“After tremendous primary victories, I extend my sincere congratulations to all GOP primary winners tonight. Congressman Mark Kirk is poised to help lead the strongest Republican ticket that Illinois has seen in a generation. The Republican Party is in an excellent position to compete on the issues most important to the people of Illinois. Whether it’s the senate seat once held by President Obama, or the governorship, or other seats across the state, voters are clearly tired of the arrogance and corruption in government and are ready to make the change they want. With its unemployment rate among the worst in the nation, Illinois can no longer afford the binge spending and failed leadership of entrenched Democrats. There is no doubt in my mind that many Republican candidates will prevail over their Democrat opponents this fall and provide the representation and leadership Illinoisans have asked for and deserve.

“Over the past year, independent voters in Virginia, New Jersey, and Massachusetts have made their voices heard by sending a clear message that they’ve had enough of the binge spending and government-growing agenda coming from Washington and it looks like Illinois is eager to follow their lead.”

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