It took less than an hour and 20 minutes for the National Republican Senatorial Committee to pounce on Illinois Treasurer Alexi Giannoulias' (D) announcement that he is running for the Senate in 2010.

The NRSC put out what it called the first in a series of backgrounders on candidates in the race. The NRSC charges, in particular, the Giannoulias has ties to mobsters and that he is not "Blago-free," referring, of course, to former Gov. Rod Blagojevich (D).

Here's the header from the release:



MEET THE CANDIDATES:





ALEXI GIANNOULIAS


WASHINGTON