With events in both downtown Chicago and Springfield yesterday, State Treasurer Alexi Giannoulias officially launched his Democratic campaign for U.S. Senate. Here's an excerpt from his speech in Springfield, where he was introduced by Sangamon County Democratic Party ...
With events in both downtown Chicago and Springfield yesterday, State Treasurer Alexi Giannoulias officially launched his Democratic campaign for U.S. Senate. Here's an excerpt from his speech in Springfield, where he was introduced by Sangamon County Democratic Party chairman Jim Moody:
At a morning rally in the Chicago Hilton, Giannoulias was joined on stage by half a dozen workers from the Hartmarx factory in Des Plaines, IL. As we reported on extensively, those laborers, their union leaders, and public officials like Giannoulias successfully fought efforts by creditor Wells Fargo to shut the company down. Get the full backstory here. And read Giannoulias' remarks on the matter below:
Hartmarx is a bedrock American company, the last remaining maker of men's fine clothing left in this country. When the company was faced with failure, these workers, some of whom have worked for Hartmarx for 30 years, could have simply said that this was the end of the line.
But these quiet heroes refused to have the "promise" of America taken from them. So when Wells Fargo, a bank which was bailed out by the taxpayers to the tune of $25 billion, threatened to liquidate 1,000 good paying jobs here in Illinois alone, we made it clear: They have a responsibility to invest in American jobs and American workers, not destroy American companies.
The American taxpayer is not an ATM for corporate America.
I told the bank that if they pulled the plug on these jobs, they could not forget about managing $8 billion in state money. They relented, did the right thing, and sold Hartmarx to a buyer that will save these jobs. And while there is still some ways to go, these Hartmarx heroes have put the company back on the track to prosperity.
Giannoulias was introduced by Hartmark worker and union leader Ruby Sims. Rep. Bill Foster also appeared on stage beforehand to announce his endorsement, joining Reps. Mike Quigley and Phil Hare in supporting the treasurer.
At one point in his speech, Giannoulias took a dig at GOP Rep. Mark Kirk, who is running for the Republican nomination:
Just this week, we heard a Republican candidate for this very office pledge reform with one hand, while the other hand takes millions from corporate special interests, and votes for the very policies that got us into this mess in the first place. That's not "independence," that's the same old Washington way. That's the same tired "politics" that voters rejected in 2008. And that's the same tired "politics" we will defeat in 2010.
Kirk was asked about Giannoulias on yesterday's edition of Fox Chicago Sunday. His response:
KIRK: You know, he's criticized me quite a bit lately. But I would just say: Hold on to your horses, here. You haven't won your primary yet. For me, I've got to win the support of my fellow Republicans first. And then we can square off in the general.
With the White House spending so much time trying to find another candidate besides Treasurer Giannoulias, I think he's got to worry about his Democratic allies first.
That last line refers to the White House's reported courting of Attorney General Lisa Madigan as the Democratic candidate in the race.
Giannoulias is holding events today in Carbondale and the Metro East area. Tomorrow, he will visit Rockford, the Quad Cities, and Peoria. See pictures from the Chicago event below: