Monday, March 2, 2009

March 2, 2009

Giannoulias launches exploratory committee for U.S. Senate bid
State Treasurer names economy as top priority

With less than a year before the 2010 primary election, Illinois State Treasurer Alexi Giannoulias today will form an exploratory committee for election to the U.S. Senate. Giannoulias is filing the necessary paperwork with the Federal Election Commission (FEC) to form the committee, which will allow him to raise money for a possible Senate run in Illinois. The Senate seat was held previously by Giannoulias' political mentor, Barack Obama, who stepped down after winning the U.S. Presidency last November. "More than ever, we need a Senator who can deliver on the change that President Obama has promised our nation," said Giannoulias, noting that he has received a tremendous response from Illinois residents encouraging him to pursue the Senate seat. Giannoulias, the state's chief investment officer, says restoring the public's trust and confidence in government, reviving the economy and getting Illinoisans back to work would serve as his top priorities. "Working families in Illinois and throughout the nation are facing serious financial challenges during this economic downturn," Giannoulias said. "They are hungry for new leadership and solutions." Giannoulias was elected Illinois State Treasurer in 2006 as an independent Democrat. He has been committed to wisely investing the state's money and to promoting a progressive, reform-based agenda that focuses on innovative initiatives and policies. Coming from the private sector, Giannoulias sought to implement new safeguards to make government more accountable, curb ethical abuses and eliminate even the perception of any wrongdoing. His accomplishments include:
* Ending pay-to-play politics in the Treasurer's office by prohibiting his campaign fund from taking contributions from contractors, banks and office employees.
* Making the state's financial records more transparent by successfully pushing legislation requiring current and future administrations to post online reports detailing where state money is invested and how it performs compared to standard benchmarks.
* Weathering the 2008 market meltdown as a result of a conservative and diversified investment strategy.
* Introducing innovative investment strategies that brought new revenue to the state, including securities lending, which earned more than $2 million during its first year.
* Addressing the nation's worst unfunded pension liability by successfully drafting legislation that will accelerate paying down Illinois' pension debt and potentially save $16 billion dollars.
* Helping to thaw the credit markets for consumers and increasing the state's rate of return through depositing money in healthy Illinois financial institutions that did not receive federal bailout money.
* Supporting the retention and creation of hundreds of jobs through low-interest business loans and venture capital investments.
* Overhauling Illinois' much criticized Bright Start plan, leading Morningstar to rank it one of the top five college savings plans in the nation and calling it a "Cinderella Story" with lower fees, more investment options and fewer tax penalties.
* Negotiating $3.5 million in privately financed scholarship money that will help thousands of need- and merit-based students attend college. In addition, he established the Fallen Heroes Scholarship Fund, which provides scholarship accounts for the children of fallen military and National Guard personnel.
* Combating record foreclosure rates in Illinois by creating the Finally Home program, which helps homeowners refinance unaffordable, variable rate mortgages or obtain conventional financing to purchase homes.
* Advocating for green jobs and lifestyles by establishing the nation's largest hybrid vehicle rebate program and creating a low-interest loan program to help businesses, governments and non-profit organizations build or go green.
* Harnessing the power of eBay, generating more revenue for the state and cutting office costs by selling unclaimed property online.
* Ending one of the biggest scandals that tarnished Illinois government for 25 years by taking ownership of two hotels from deadbeat political insiders who owed state taxpayers $60 million in loan and interest payments.

Democrat Elected Officials

  • Effingham County Board Distric G-Doug McCain
  • Effingham County Treasurer - Steve Dasenbrock
  • Effingham County Board District C - Karen Luchtefeld

Effingham County Democrats Officers

  • Chairman - Audrey Griffith
  • First Vice Chairman - Dan Niebrugge
  • Second Vice Chairman - Allen Wente
  • Secretary - James Hammer
  • Treasurer - Shirley McEvers