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  Giannoulias raises $1.1 million for Senate bid
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Last EditedRP  Apr 07, 2009 03:09pm
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MediaNewspaper - Chicago Sun-Times
News DateTuesday, April 7, 2009 09:00:00 PM UTC0:0
DescriptionHe's still just at the "exploratory committee" stage, but Illinois Treasurer Alexi Giannoulias has already raised $1.1 million in the 28 days since he announced he was "exploring" a run for U.S. Senate.

He is eyeing the seat formerly held by his friend and basketball court partner, President Obama.

"It's actually unbelievable on two counts: The sum of $1.1 million, in and of itself, is unbelievable, but the fact that it's in the worst political fund-raising environment that, I think, any of us have ever seen, makes it all the more extraordinary and impressive," said political activist and fund-raiser Michael Bauer.

The Washington Post reported a week ago that political donations are down 26 percent across the board from two years ago, presumably because of the economic downturn. Giannoulias supporters said this big a haul -- with no Giannoulias personal or family loans, PAC or corporate money -- in the 28 days before the March 31 quarterly reporting deadline appears to be a record.

Giannoulias had hoped to raise half a million dollars after announcing his exploratory bid March 3 to make him appear the prohibitive favorite in next year's Democratic primary for the seat. The amount of contributions surpassed his expectations, he said.
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