The GOP's Giannoulias

From the diaries by Erick

You may recall Alexi Giannoulias–Illinois’ Democrat US Senate candidate, friend of Barack Obama and Tony Rezko, and banker to the mob. The NRSC was quick to put out an effective YouTube spot highlighting his shady connections, which hopefully cast some doubts in the electorate about his suitability to serve (not that shady dealings prevented other Illinois politicians from winning high office).

Meet Tom Marino, who will certainly be in the DCCC’s crosshairs if he wins the GOP primary in Pennsylvania’s 10th to go up against Rep. Chris Carney (proud member of the Stupak Sellout crowd instrumental in voting ObamaCare into law last week). Marino, a former US Attorney, has his own shady dealings which will make for good campaign fodder in the general.

During Marino’s tenure as US Attorney, local businessman Louis DeNaples was under investigation by the US Attorney’s Office for his ties to William D’Elia, head of the Bufalino crime family. It seems DeNaples lied about his relationship with D’Elia to the Pennsylvania Gaming Control Board when applying for a licence for the Mount Airy Casino. Listed as a personal reference on that same application was none other than US Attorney Tom Marino, the very man running the office investigating DeNaples’ organized crime ties.

The Department of Justice got wind of the conflict of interest and ordered Marino off the investigation, and shortly after the media broke the story he resigned his post… and went to work for Louis DeNaples. (The charges were eventually dropped when DeNaples agreed to place the casino project in the name of a family member.)

The reality is just as bad as–if not worse than–the optics of this scandal. Do we really want someone like Marino representing the GOP in what will be a battleground district this fall? Rep. Carney, the Pelosi-enabling, abortion-funding “Blue Dog” Democrat from a conservative district in northeastern Pennsylvania will have a hay day with Marino’s record. I’ve spoken with people in the district who feel uneasy about Marino and will likely just stay at home rather than having to choose between him and Carney.

One of the keys to a Republican resurgence is not only ensuring we have credibly conservative candidates running for office, but also candidates with a personal and professional record we can be proud of and defend. Tom Marino doesn’t fit the bill.