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In 2008, then-Governor Rod Blagojevich was caught on tape discussing plans to essentially auction off the U.S. Senate seat once held by President Barack Obama, calling it "f*****g golden."  Two years later, a confluence of Republican front groups think that Senate seat is still for sale. The $9 million they've poured into this race has funded a litany of debunked attack ads.  The choice voters face this election isn't just about whether we move forward or let Republicans drag us back to failed Bush policies. Voters also face another choice: do we stand up as citizens to reclaim ownership of our democracy or do we allow a cabal of plutocrats to purchase that democracy, one seat at a time?

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Sun Oct 17, 2010 at 08:05 AM PDT

Where's The Note?

by Alexi Giannoulias

You have a chance to keep a family in their home right now.

We've all heard the disturbing stories about big banks foreclosing on homes without notice, or without any justification.  The entire foreclosure system is an absolute mess, with several big banks like Bank of America halting foreclosure proceedings across the country.

Before this became a hot topic, I was here on Daily Kos back in 2009 talking about the urgent need for cramdown legislation. "Cramdown" (or judicial loan modification) is a type of procedure that empowers families and lets them restructure their mortgage so they can stay in their homes. In short, cramdown gives neutral judges the ability to step in and force big banks to negotiate with families who can make payments and stay in their homes.

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Hans von Spakovsky is not a household name. Few Republican operatives who work behind the scenes to suppress the vote are. But many of you may have heard of him when President Bush tried to appoint him to the FEC.

Well, Hans von Spakovsky is back. And here's back right here in Illinois, in the most competitive race in the nation.

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Wed Sep 22, 2010 at 11:49 AM PDT

700 Billion Reasons

by Alexi Giannoulias

Republicans (and some Democrats) are holding middle class tax cuts hostage unless the top 2% of Americans get a massive new tax break.  I strongly oppose any efforts to deprive the middle class of much-needed tax relief, which is why I hope you'll help me lobby Congress today.

I'm launching a new advocacy site today, 700BillionReasons.com, to help voters across the country share their reasons about why we shouldn't dole out a $700 billion tax cut to a sliver of the wealthiest Americans when we could use that revenue to invest instead in the middle class or pay down our debt.

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Sat Aug 28, 2010 at 07:47 AM PDT

Moving Forward [w/ video]

by Alexi Giannoulias

On the anniversary of Martin Luther King Jr.'s historic speech at the Lincoln Memorial, conservative TV personality Glenn Beck is holding a "Restoring Honor" rally aimed at adding fuel to the movement of hate, divisiveness and fear-mongering he has championed for years.

The rallying cry of Glenn Beck, Sarah Palin and others who are now the predominant voices of the Republican Party is that we need to "take our country back."  When the President was in town this month, I spoke about how irrational and wrong this philosophy is for our country. Watch the video below [transcript]:

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Allow me to state the obvious:  despite the fact that Democrats control the House and Senate, conservatives control what gets sent to the President’s desk.

Legislation that starts off strong is watered down by conservative Democrats in the House and Senate. It’s then whittled down to ineffectiveness in order to try and get a handful of Republican votes on board.

My solution: I’m going to create a robust Senate Progressive Caucus that will hold the line and fight for progressive policies that help all Americans.

Poll

I support the idea of a Senate Progressive Caucus

96%892 votes
2%23 votes
1%11 votes

| 926 votes | Vote | Results

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Wed Aug 04, 2010 at 03:59 PM PDT

Prop 8

by Alexi Giannoulias

Today's decision by Judge Walker finding Prop 8 unconstitutional is a big step forward in the march towards marriage equality. We have a lot to celebrate as progressives and more importantly, as Americans.

But we know that this decision doesn't mean the fight for equality is over.

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Wed Jul 28, 2010 at 11:21 AM PDT

Insanity

by Alexi Giannoulias

"We are going to do what it takes to make this right."

Who said that?

If you guessed the CEO of BP, you're half right.  That's what the CEO of energy company Enbridge Inc. said about over 800,000 gallons of oil spilled into Michigan's waters this week.

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As a candidate for Senate, I think it's important to be blunt.  Some candidates like to hide behind poll-tested phrases. Others jump on board a cause only when it's safe to do so.

I have a different philosophy.

It's why on marriage equality I haven't minced words, and why I supported a public option long before most Democrats dared to say the words. And it's why I'm here today, to talk about the urgent need for filibuster reform.

I had the honor of attending Netroots Nation this year and I met so many of you. I heard a lot about filibuster reform and had a few people ask where I stand.

Let me be crystal clear: should I be so fortunate as to be elected, on day one in the Senate, I will join the fight to amend the Senate rules and fix our broken filibuster system.  I will vote in favor of Senator Udall's proposed motion to consider the rules of the Senate, I will vote in favor of common-sense and fair filibuster reform, and I will work day and night to bring as many of my colleagues on board as possible.

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Thu Jul 22, 2010 at 10:24 AM PDT

Money

by Alexi Giannoulias

Yesterday, we had a great discussion here on my government reform plan.  It's a plan the media and others have dubbed "dead on arrival" because apparently some people think I'm asking for too much, too fast.  

But I'm just asking for some common sense. And that's what I'll fight for in the Senate.

I'll be at Netroots Nation tomorrow, so hopefully I'll get to chat about my plan with you in person. I'll be at the Netroots Candidates event and I hope to see you there.

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Wed Jul 21, 2010 at 08:53 AM PDT

"Dead on Arrival"

by Alexi Giannoulias

Yesterday, I announced my plan for how I think government should work.

I think corporations have way too much influence in our political process, lobbyists have way too much access, and politicians have way too many perks.

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Tue May 25, 2010 at 10:12 AM PDT

ACTION: DADT & You

by Alexi Giannoulias

Late yesterday, we learned that the White House has reportedly reached a deal with Congressional leaders to include a repeal of DADT in the upcoming Defense Authorization bill.  It’s a promising sign that equality can’t wait.

Just today, however, we learned that Senator Scott Brown (R-MA) has said he will vote against including a repeal of DADT in the bill:

Brown's opposition makes it likely that a vote in committee for repeal will be along party lines, thus making full Senate passage less certain.
A separate vote on repeal before the full House of Representatives is also scheduled for Thursday.

We are closer than ever to repealing this immoral, ineffective, discriminatory policy.

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