OpEd: Why Are Giannoulias, Treasurer Frerichs Hiding From Voters? (Springfield, IL) — Treasurer Mike Frerichs and candidate for Secretary of State Alexi Giannoulias are both hiding from their records and are hoping voters won’t notice.
Giannoulias’ past is well-known as he attempts his rebrand 12 years after last being rejected by Illinois voters on account of his abysmal record as Treasurer and allegations of his shady past. Under then-Treasurer Giannoulias, Illinois parents lost millions in college savings. According to NBC Chicago from January 6, 2010:
“Bright Start was supposed to be Alexi Giannoulias’ shining achievement. Instead, the beleaguered fund, which lost more than $150 million through risky Oppenheimer investments, is radiating trouble for the Illinois State Treasurer and his Senate campaign.”
Giannoulias’ family bank also gave loans to mob bankers when Giannoulias was Senior Loan Officer, “The family bank of Democratic Senate candidate Alexi Giannoulias loaned a pair of Chicago crime figures about $20 million during a 14-month period when Giannoulias was a senior loan officer,” according to the Chicago Tribune from April 1, 2010. Later, federal regulators seized the Giannoulias family bank.
Meanwhile, his eventual successor Mike Frerichs is attempting to hide his own abysmal record and troublesome policy statements. Under Frerichs, once again the Illinois College Savings Programs have lost millions. When questioned, Frerichs’ office passed the buck onto struggling families, “[I]ndividuals choose their 529 investments based on their own risk tolerance, goals and time horizon”.
Further, a second term of Frerichs could be costly for Illinois retirees. Frerichs has floated potential support for taxing retirement income. According to Crain’s Chicago Business, “Frerichs made a comment at a forum in 2020 in which he said a graduated income tax could allow for a broader conversation about taxing high levels of retirement income.” Additionally, Frerichs was one of the biggest proponents of Governor Pritzker’s failed 2020 tax referendum.
“Treasurer Frerichs and Alexi Giannoulias owe Illinois voters answers. Treasurer Frerichs must defend his record and past statements of potential support for taxing retirement income. Former Treasurer now SOS Candidate Giannoulias must fully explain how voters can trust him to lead Illinois’ largest state office, despite his past fiscal mismanagement of Bright Start and his family bank loans to Chicago crime figures and subsequent bank failure,” said Illinois Republican Party Chairman Don Tracy.
OpEd: Why Are Giannoulias, Treasurer Frerichs Hiding From Voters?