As you all know, I formed my exploratory committee for U.S. Senate on March 3, leaving only 28 days to raise money before the March 31 deadline -- the end of the first-quarter filing period. We had hoped to file with a strong fundraising number -- a number that would show that Illinoisans were ready to leave the politics of the past behind and move toward a new kind of leadership in Washington.But we never could have expected this. As a direct result of your support, we raised more than $1.1 million in 28 days!This number represents your choice. Your choice to stand with a candidate who says NO to corporate PACs and Washington lobbyists. Your choice to move Illinois politics in a new direction. Your choice to start restoring trust in how government operates.An article about out efforts appeared in today's Chicago Sun-Times (see below).This is just the beginning. There is more work to be done. But thanks to you, we're off to an outstanding start.
Thank you again.
Giannoulias raises 1.1 million for Senate bid
April 7, 2009By Abdon M. Pallasch, Chicago Sun-Times
He's still just at the "exploratory committee" stage, but Illinois Treasurer Alexi Giannoulias has already raised $1.1 million in the 28 days since he announced he was "exploring" a run for U.S. Senate.He is eyeing the seat formerly held by his friend and basketball court partner, President Obama."It's actually unbelievable on two counts: The sum of $1.1 million, in and of itself, is unbelievable, but the fact that it's in the worst political fund-raising environment that, I think, any of us have ever seen, makes it all the more extraordinary and impressive," said political activist and fund-raiser Michael Bauer.The Washington Post reported a week ago that political donations are down 26 percent across the board from two years ago, presumably because of the economic downturn. Giannoulias supporters said this big a haul -- with no Giannoulias personal or family loans, PAC or corporate money -- in the 28 days before the March 31 quarterly reporting deadline appears to be a record.Giannoulias had hoped to raise half a million dollars after announcing his exploratory bid March 3 to make him appear the prohibitive favorite in next year's Democratic primary for the seat. The amount of contributions surpassed his expectations, he said."We were thrilled and flattered by the outpouring of support that we've received over the last 3 1/2 weeks, and I think it's evidence that people are hungry for fresh leadership and new ideas in Washington, D.C.," Gannoulias said.Giannoulias got to know Obama on the University of Chicago basketball court while Obama was teaching law and Giannoulias, part of the family that owns Chicago's Broadway Bank, was studying for his MBA. Obama tried to shoot hoops with Giannoulias and other friends on primary election days for luck.The Senate seat is currently held by former Illinois Attorney General Roland Burris, controversial because he accepted the appointment from then-criminally charged, now-indicted former Gov. Rod Blagojevich. Burris at first said he had not lobbied Blagojevich aides for the seat but then said he had. Its unclear whether Burris will run in the primary. His spokeswoman, Delmarie Cobb, said Monday that Burris had not begun fund-raising yet.Mayoral brother William Daley and U.S. Rep. Jan Schakowsky have floated their names for the seat but have not mounted campaigns yet.On the Republican side, U.S. Rep. Mark Kirk is considered a potential candidate.
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