Giannoulias Outraised by Republican Opponent in Illinois U.S. Senate Race

Alexi Giannoulias, the Democrat seeking the U.S. Senate seat once held by President Barack Obama, raised less than half as much as his opponent in the year’s second quarter even after fundraising help from Vice President Joe Biden and other administration officials.

Giannoulias, the Illinois treasurer, collected slightly more than $900,000 during the quarter that ended June 30, with the bulk of the money donated in June, said Kathleen Strand, a campaign spokeswoman.

The campaign for Representative Mark Kirk, the Republican Senate candidate, said July 1 that he raised $2.3 million during the second quarter. Kirk had about $3.9 million in the bank for his Senate race at the end of the quarter, according to his campaign.

Giannoulias, 34, had about $1 million in the bank at the end of the quarter, Strand said.

Strand said Giannoulias lagged behind in fundraising because of a self-imposed pledge to reject contributions from corporate political action committees and federal lobbyists.

“Alexi is running for Senate to stand up against powerful corporate special interests that contributed to our country’s economic meltdown,” she said.

She said Giannoulias supports the financial-regulation bill headed toward passage in Congress later this week while Kirk, 50, voted against the measure in the House.

Other Visitors

Besides Biden, others traveling to Chicago to spur contributions to help Giannoulias in the second quarter included U.S. Education Secretary Arne Duncan, White House Deputy Chief of Staff Jim Messina and David Plouffe, who was Obama’s presidential campaign manager. David Axelrod, a senior adviser to the president, is scheduled to help Giannoulias raise money on July 25.

Giannoulias planned to hold an event in Chicago today to criticize Kirk for taking money from Wall Street, a criticism he also leveled in April when campaign contributions from Goldman Sachs Group Inc. employees started to come under scrutiny after the Securities and Exchange Commission filed a fraud lawsuit against the company.

“We are confident we are going to have the resources we need to compete,” Strand said.

Kirk has taken $1.5 million from the securities and investment industry and its employees during his political career, according to data from the Center for Responsive Politics.

June Figure

Kirk’s campaign said it raised $1 million in June -- its largest fundraising month -- during the time when he was dealing with questions about his service as a Navy reservist. At a June 29 news conference, Kirk apologized for exaggerations and said he had been “careless.”

Giannoulias also faced challenges during the second quarter. Since April 23, he has dealt with the political fallout from closure by regulators of the Chicago bank that his family owned.

Broadway Bank had been operating since January under terms of a consent order with the Federal Deposit Insurance Corp. because of commercial real estate loan losses.

Losses associated with the bank meant Giannoulias paid no income taxes in 2009, according to a copy of his return that he released on July 2. His campaign said he would donate his $25,859 refund to charity.

On July 2, Giannoulias reported assets of between $7 million and $29 million on a disclosure form he released. Strand declined to say whether he planned to use any of his own money for the campaign.

Giannoulias raised $1.2 million during the first quarter of 2010. Kirk, a five-term House member from Chicago’s northern suburbs, raised $2.2 million during that quarter.

The Senate seat is held by Democrat Roland Burris, who isn’t seeking a full term. Republicans are trying to take advantage of ethical problems experienced by Illinois Democrats, including a public corruption trial of former Governor Rod Blagojevich, who appointed Burris to complete Obama’s term after the 2008 presidential election.

To contact the reporter on this story: John McCormick in Washington at jmccormick16@bloomberg.net

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