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I’m not thrilled with Mark Kirk. I am a strong supporter of true conservatives–both fiscally and socially. Mark is closer to being a Rino (Republican in Name Only) having voted for cap and trade (an action he has said he regrets) among other liberal causes but since then has actually asked Sarah Palin to support him. Has he learned his lesson? I doubt it even though the Tea Party is certainly a conservative movement to be reckoned with. Still, this IS Illinois (a very blue state) and the chances of us going totally conservative overnight is a long shot. Mark Kirk is a centrist and in this state that is a means to an end with hopefully, in my lifetime, a chance for a conservative Illinois. In addition, the alternative to Kirk is frightening. Alexi Giannoulias’s ties to the mob (among other concerns) are well-documented.

From Red State: Giannoulias, the state treasurer, promised at the start of his Senate campaign a year ago that he wouldn’t take contributions from corporate lobbyists or political action committees. But that proscription applies only to federal lobbyists and PACs. He has taken money from state-registered lobbyists. …Except after taking money from a state lobbyist, the following occurs…an earmark is put in the appropriations bill that provides a federal subsidy for widget manufacturers in Illinois, a grant for researching widget technology by Illinois manufacturers, and/or the creation of a fund to raise public awareness of the need for Illinois widgets….The lobbyist group cuts Giannoulias a check for his re-election bid. This is how this man operates–smoke and mirrors–a true Obama Democrat if I ever saw one. In the most recent Giannoulias vs Kirk debate:

Mark Kirk and Alexi Giannoulias finished their national televised debate on Meet the Press and the differences were startling, and only one conclusion can be made: Mark Kirk is the only responsible choice for the United States Senate. Let’s recap:

The candidate were each asked to name two issues where they disagree with their own party’s platform. Mark Kirk, being an independent voice for citizens, rightfully named supporting stem cell research and SCHIP, the children’s healthcare program. Alexi Giannoulias was completely unable to name a single issue where he disagrees with the Democrat platform – instead incompetently naming TARP, which was a Republican program. If Alexi is so ignorant and uninformed of simple policy, he is not qualified to be a United States Senator.
And also from Illinois Review:
“Alexi Giannoulias actually used the line “I did not know the extent of their criminal activity” when attempting to explain why, as Chief Loan Officer at Broadway Bank, he repeatedly gave loans to convicted felons and known mobsters — basically acknowledging that he knew they were criminals, he just didn’t know the extent of your criminal activities. ”

And we have the concerns about Alexi’s mobster ties: He has fought allegations of mob connections throughout his campaign for the Senate seat once held by President Obama. Republican foe Mark Kirk has hammered Giannoulias for $20 million in loans his family’s bank made to convicted mobster Michael “Jaws” Giorango while the now candidate was the chief loan officer from 2004 to 2007. Broadway Bank, since shuttered by federal regulators for insufficient holdings, is also reported to have made several other loans to mob figures, but the Giannoulias campaign insists that all client relationships with mob figures were managed by the candidate’s brother and father.

In Kirk’s favor, he seems to understand (or at least to have caught on) that liberal causes (like big spending for example) can no longer be a hallmark of our country.

If the above is not enough to get you to NOT vote for Giannoulias, the fact that the SEIU endorsed him should be the icing on the political decision cake. Mark Kirk gets my vote.

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