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|Giannoulias Talks Pay to Play
|When Alexi Giannoulias launched his bid for U.S. Senate, he boasted that he had cleaned up pay-to-play politics in the treasurer's office, the office he currently holds. How much pay-to-play was there to clean up?
The immediate predecessor in the office was Judy Baar Topinka, who's now running for comptroller. Topinka, a Republican, served as treasurer for three terms, from 1995-2007. She acknowledges that she did take campaign contributions from banks that held state deposits, but she insists there was no pay-to-play connection. "You never saw a cause and effect between any bank and the office of the treasurer," she said. "There was never any correlation. We had money and contracts from banks that never gave us anything, [and] they had contracts."
The previous treasurer was Gov. Pat Quinn, a Democrat who served one term from 1991-95. He claims to be the first not to accept contributions from banks, doing so by personal choice because "I thought it was the right thing to do," he said.
Giannoulias, by executive order, barred campaign contributions from contractors and employees of the treasurer's office, and from banks, and required bidders of contracts of $10,000 or more awarded by the treasurer's office to disclose all contributions to Giannoulias' campaign fund.
Giannoulias has nevertheless taken contributions from people in the banking industry. His family owns a bank, and family members and many of the family's acquaintances in community banking have given to his campaigns.
(Illinois Radio Network)
|11 01 09 by Newsroom
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