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Alexi's Media Blitz

By Marcus Gilmer in News on Mar 4, 2010 5:00PM

Alexi Giannoulias, the Democratic candidate for U.S. Senate, went on a media blitz to defend himself, his family, and his candidacy in the wake of the reported troubles of his family's Broadway Bank. Included in his tour were sit-downs with the Tribune, the Sun-Times, Crain's, and an appearance on WTTW's Chicago Tonight.

Giannoulias admitted that it was "unlikely" the bank would be able to raise the $85 million it would need to keep federal authorities from taking control of the bank. But he defended the bank, blaming its trouble on the failing real estate market. He told the Sun-Times:

“I would vehemently disagree that these are reckless or risky loans,” he said.

The only reason Broadway Bank appears ready to collapse is because the bottom fell out of the real estate market, he said.

“The bank has always been well-capitalized and has always been prepared for a 10- to 15-percent, even 20-percent, decline in real estate values, which, that would be almost unprecedented. But I don’t think anyone, very few people, could have foreseen a 40 percent drop in real estate values, and that’s why we’re in the position we’re in,” Giannoulias said.

Giannoulias' campaign also went on the defensive against attacks from the state GOP, launching a new website called The Truth About Alexi in an effort to battle what his campaign is calling "smears," including stories about the bank and his involvement in the Bright Start program.