Mark Kirk pulls out list of mobsters Giannoulias made loans to during debate

Pat McMahon Contributor
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Illinois senate candidates Alexi Giannoulias and Rep. Mark Kirk met on “Meet the Press” Sunday where they sparred over ethics charges.

David Gregory asked Giannoulias repeatedly if he was aware of the criminal activities of those his family’s Broadway Bank lent money to. Giannoulias’ family’s bank made several loans to known felons, such as Michael “Jaws” Giorango, who was convicted of running a prostitution ring.

“If I knew then what I know now, that’s not the kind of people we do business with,” Giannoulias told David Gregory, saying all he inspected was the credit-worthiness of his clients.

“So, you’re saying you didn’t know,” Gregory asked again. “That’s the easy question. Did you know that they were crime figures your bank was loaning money to?”

“As I’ve said, we didn’t know the extent of that activity,” Giannoulias said.

Mark Kirk came prepared with a prop for this debate, holding up a sheet of paper with many columns marked in highlighter yellow:

“This is a list of all the bank loans to convicted mobsters and felons. The ones in yellow are the ones where he was the senior loan officer,” Kirk said. “These are all infamous mob figures, who have a very long and storied record. And, you don’t have to pull their rap sheets. It was in the Chicago Tribune.”