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The Mechanics
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Tue Dec 22 2009

Today In the Senate Race . . .

State Treasurer Alexi Giannoulias may be breathing a sigh of relief today. A settlement has been reached in a state college savings plan gone bad that he has taken much criticism for as he campaigns for Obama's former Senate seat.

Democratic contender and the city's Inspector General David Hoffman released a predictably derisive statement this morning chastising Giannoulias for failing in his "obligation to police a fund he marketed to families as a safe savings plan, and as one of the most conservative."

I think I like Hoffman, and he seems to be on firm ground as a progressive reform candidate. I just wish he would highlight his ideas more than the deficiencies of his opponent's. Giannoulias is the front-runner at the moment, with just a bit more support than Republican candidate Mark Kirk, so it might be an understandable strategy to try to build opposition to him. But that will only last so long.

And, as the folks at Progress Illinois point out, Giannoulias likely did not have reliable information regarding the investments, as the management team at Oppenheimer Funds where less than honest in disclosure statements. (This did not, however, assuage the concerns of commenters on the site.)

Hoffman trails in the democratic primaries behind Giannoulias and Cheryle Jackson, president of the Chicago Urban League and a former top Blago aide.

Here's a video of Hoffman and Giannoulias sparring in Lincoln Park last week.

Oh yeah, one more thing; Giannoulias has got game. He played D1 ball at Boston University and frequently posted up against Obama throughout the presidential campaign in what became a tradition throughout the primaries.

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Danny Fenster / December 22, 2009 4:01 PM

Oh boy, perhaps Giannoulias isn't breathing that easy just yet. This just in from the Trib--losses appear to be far more than originally reported, now about $150 million. The settlement with Oppenheimer is for $77 million.

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