Giannoulias Gets Emotional Over Talk of Father's Legacy

Senate candidate says accusations of risky lending at family bank are untrue, unfair

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    NEWSLETTERS

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    Democratic Senate Candidate Alexi Giannoulias fought back tears during an interview on WTTW's "Chicago Tonight" as he spoke about the stark reality that his family's bank may collapse before the November elections.

    Giannoulias' appearance on the program was his eighth and final interview of the day, part of a media blitz to take control of the issue and put the most problematic part of the campaign behind him.

    His opponent in the race, Mark Kirk, said Giannoulias made some of the risky loans that put the bank in jeopardy when he served as Broadway Bank's chief loan officer.

    But Giannoulias told "Chicago Tonight" host Carol Marin that those accusations are untrue and unfair to his late father, who founded the bank.

    "He really believed in this business," Giannoulias said, choking back tears. "You try to make him proud by running for office, and my brothers are working hard to keep the bank going, but this was his whole life. And to hear people say, 'There's wreckless lending,' or 'This is a mob bank,' especially when it's so horribly inaccurate, it's tough."

    He said no one could have foreseen the bottom dropping out of the real estate market so precipitously.

    "I want to make sure people understand what that bank really did for a lot of people," he said.

    Watch the entire interview below (Remarks about Giannoulias' late father begin at 21:35):