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U.S. Senate
Quick Hit
by Micah Maidenberg
11:15am
Wed Sep 8, 2010

In Giannoulias Ad, Obama Takes Center Stage

Alexi Giannoulias, the Democratic nominee for Illinois' U.S. Senate seat, released his latest ad for the fall campaign today. "The Choice - Ethics," as the ad is titled, is simple and to the point, featuring President Barack Obama extolling Giannoulias' commitment to ethical government. The video is below:

Obama has taken a hit in recent national polling numbers. But the president has been able to hang on to majority support among voters in Illinois, with 51 percent approving of his job performance according to a recent Tribune poll. The ad clearly seeks to remind voters that supporting Giannoulias means supporting Obama, Illinois' home state president. 

PI Original
by Adam Doster
1:09pm
Fri Sep 3, 2010

Kirk's Vapid Spending Reforms (VIDEO)

To brandish his reputation as a fiscal conservative, GOP Senate nominee Mark Kirk released a five-point platform to reduce federal spending. He should own up to his role in the growth of the nation's debt, instead.

Quick Hit
by Micah Maidenberg
3:28pm
Tue Aug 31, 2010

Durbin And Giannoulias On Debt, Stimulus, And Timing

Alexi Giannoulias, the Democratic candidate for Illinois' U.S. Senate seat, gave a speech in Chicago today focusing on fiscal policy and the federal budget. According to a write-up of the address by Crain's columnist Greg Hinz, Giannoulias said that cutting the national debt "should be our No. 1 fiscal priority when we arise out of the current recession."

Note the timing contained in that statement. As New York Times columnist Paul Krugman recently argued, it's not that government debt isn't a concern. Rather, Congress and the president should wait to prioritize the issue. A premature move toward fiscal austerity, before GDP rises and unemployment drops, could send the economy tumbling.

We heard similar notes from U.S. Sen. Dick Durbin last week when he told the City Club of Chicago the federal government must consider "careful" spending cuts (he singled out defense and agriculture as two potential areas for cuts) after further debt-financing of unemployment aid, infrastructure projects, and education. The timing issue is worth keeping in mind as debates about the national debt, the last Bush Administration's tax cuts, and stimulus programs continue to dominate headlines.

PI Original
by Micah Maidenberg
10:23am
Sat Aug 28, 2010

The PI Week In Review

The week that was in Illinois politics and government (August 21 - August 27, 2010).