Rhodes: Alexi's Holiday Hang-Up

Tries to bury bad news

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    NEWSLETTERS

    NBCChicago.com

    State Treasurer and U.S. Senate candidate Alexi Giannoulias doesn't want too much attention paid to his tax returns.

    So, in a time-honored strategy designed to bury bad news, he finally released them the day before Thanksgiving.

    So let's give those returns some extra attention. Just what is it you don't want us to see, Alexi?

    We already know he is rich.

    We already know he is rich because he is a banking heir.

    We already know he is rich because his family bank had no problem doing business with a variety of shady characters including a convicted mobster.

    So what's the problem?

    Perhaps Giannoulias is sensitive to complaints by opponent David Hoffman that his family has taken an exceedingly high amount of money out of the bank and put it in their own pockets. The bank has made payouts to the family of $70 million in the last two years, ostensibly triggered by the death of Giannoulias's father.

    Giannoulias is just 33; without the money from his family business he likely would not be the state treasurer right now nor in the race for U.S. Senate. His family's bank has propelled his career; it may also derail it.

    The controversial bank may account for why the White House has been so leery about his campaign, even though Giannoulias is an Obama guy whose association with the now-president helped him get elected.

    So it's all there, and it's going to continue to be a topic of conversation during the campaign. Thanksgiving only happens once a year, and there are only so many other holidays to use to bury bad news.

    Being candid might work better.

    Steve Rhodes is the proprietor of The Beachwood Reporter, a Chicago-centric news and culture review.