Senate race not a ‘choice between the lesser of two evils’

State Treasurer Alexi Giannoulias has been lambasted for the failure of his family’s bank and the major losses incurred by some families who invested in the Bright Start program he oversaw. Representative Mark Kirk puffed up his list of accomplishments past bragging and into outright falsehood.

Despite all of this, we don’t view this race as a choice between the lesser of two evils.

Giannoulias has risen through politics with impressive speed. He has managed to rack up connections in Washington, including President Barack Obama, which he will be able to use as valuable resources in advancing the interests of Illinois.

While one key fund resulted in truly regrettable losses, Bright Start flourished under Giannoulias’ leadership.

In addition to a record of fiscal stewardship, Giannoulias has proved himself to be an ethics reformer.

In his own office, Giannoulias banned campaign contributions from banks, contractors and treasurer employees. He also extended benefits that many straight couples enjoy, such as leave of absence to care for a sick loved ones and leave to care for newborns, to same sex couples.

In fact, as a former banker, Giannoulias has stood up to powerful bank interests, saving American jobs in the process. This is what we are looking for in a U.S. Senate candidate — someone we can trust.

Mark Kirk, while having a record as a social moderate and fiscal conservative, is almost unrecognizable in this campaign. We strongly believe that if elected to office, Kirk will vote straight down conservative party lines. Although he has identified as siding with the left on a few key issues, we are not convinced he will not flip-flop when voting on legislation and approving new supreme court justices.

And on the issue of trust, if we had any in Rep. Kirk, it was grossly misplaced. His lies and “misrememberings” of his military record are enough on their own to determine our vote.

By looking at the economic problems the State faces, and the ethics reforms we as an editorial board believe the state and national government needs, Alexi Giannoulias is the U.S. senator we choose to endorse.

He has done surprising and innovative things with the trust he’s been given so far. We believe he will continue to delightfully surprise us if elected.