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05/10/2010

Bye, Bye Broadway!

  Will somebody please tell me how to get to the Broadway Bank?

  Its stunning how quickly the "signature issue" in the Illinois U.S. Senate campaign disappeared after federal regulators took over the bank owned by the family of democratic hopeful Alexi Giannoulias.  Both Giannoulias and his republican opponent Mark Kirk held news conferences today during which neither candidate mentioned the bank.

  That's especially interesting in the case of Kirk who before his meeting with reporters delivered a 30 minutes-plus "powerpoint" speech to the Chicago City Club without using a "noun-verb-Broadway Bank" sentence.  The Northshore Congressman actually talked about jobs, restoring faith in government and national security!

  And how about those fickle political reporters?  During Giannoulias' three most recent "availabilities", the journalists that dogged him for months about Broadway's impending bust asked nary a question about the family business from which the Illinois Treasurer resigned four years ago. 

   Been there, done that?

   After some editorial criticism, even Kirk's campaign spokesman Eric Elk appears to have called off the Broadway dogs.  For weeks between the February primary and the end of April, Elk's persistent e-mails and others several times a day from the Illinois Republican Party made it seem as though the global economic slowdown was caused by bad loans made by a community bank on Chicago's north side. 

  This reporter fully expects the Broadway Bank story eventually to re-surface in the campaign.   After Labor Day, the Kirk strategists are likely to resurrect and re-tell the story of the bank's dealings with shady characters, its demise and the purported role of its former chief loan officer in classic, black and white negative television commercials. 

  In the meantime, we'll actually get a chance to hear what the candidates think about the real issues facing the people of Illinois.

   

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