Local Editorials

U.S. Senate: Mark Kirk

Illinois voters have waited two years to fill the U.S. Senate seat vacated by President Obama.

After Obama won the presidency in 2008, then-Illinois Gov. Rod Blagojevich appointed Roland Burris to the seat. Burris decided not to seek re-election.

Democrat Alexi Giannoulias, Republican Mark Kirk and Green Party candidate LeAlan Jones are on the November ballot for U.S. senator. All three also will be on the ballot to finish out the final two months of Burris’ term as part of a special election.

Neither major party candidate in this race has been completely forthcoming about his past. Kirk exaggerated his military record. Giannoulias misled the public about when he left his failing family business, Broadway Bank.

The lack of candor is disappointing, to say the least.

On the issues, Kirk surpasses both Giannoulias and Jones.

What this country needs is more affordable health care, greater fiscal responsibility, more jobs and lower taxes. As a congressman in Illinois’ 10th District, Kirk voted against President Obama’s stimulus bill. He also voted against the health care reform bill that has done nothing to lower Americans’ health insurance premiums. He has voted against raising taxes too many times to count.

Kirk is a fiscal conservative, and his leadership would serve Illinois well, offering a balance to Illinois’ senior senator – Democrat Dick Durbin.

Giannoulias offers more of the same. More Chicago-style politics, where style outweighs substance.

Giannoulias’ time at Broadway Bank does not speak well of him. He was a senior loan officer at his family’s bank, and many questions surround his role in the bank’s lending practices.

Broadway Bank was shut down in April. Before that, however, it was revealed that the bank had made several questionable loans.

The bank lent $20 million to convicted felons Michael Giorango and Demitri Stavropoulos when the men were preparing to serve federal prison terms. The bank also lent money to Tony Rezko, who was convicted in the federal corruption probe of Blagojevich’s administration.

Giannoulias’ handling as state treasurer of the Bright Start student loan program, which lost more than $100 million through bad investments on his watch, is another example of his questionable leadership abilities.

In the end, Kirk’s the best candidate in this race.

We endorse Kirk.

– Shaw Suburban Media

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