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Kirk not getting Senate super PAC money, won’t do some Chicago debates, called “disgraceful” in new TV ad

Friday, Sep 30, 2016

* Notice who isn’t on this list

The Republicans’ central Senate super PAC is plowing $21 million more into six key races in the coming weeks as the fight for control of the chamber moves to states more hospitable to GOP candidates.

The Senate Leadership Fund, a super PAC that is part of the American Crossroads suite of GOP big-money groups, is expanding its television buys in New Hampshire, North Carolina, Indiana, Missouri, Nevada and Pennsylvania, officials told The Washington Post. At the same time, the group is cutting back most of its planned spending in Ohio, where incumbent Republican Sen. Rob Portman has widened his lead over former governor Ted Strickland. […]

Altogether, the Senate Leadership Fund plans to spend $76 million in September and October — and the total could swell larger by Election Day, thanks to mega-donors such as Miriam and Sheldon Adelson, who gave the super PAC $20 million in August.

* Meanwhile

With less than 40 days until the election, Senator Mark Kirk is changing the traditional plans for debates in Chicago.

While Congresswoman Tammy Duckworth agreed to five debates, the incumbent does not agree. Kirk has turned down the SunTimes editorial board, ABC7 League of Women Voters and Univision debate and WTTW Public television debates. Those venues have been on candidates schedules for years, according to both campaigns.

Kirk will only do three debates. Kirk has agreed to the Chicago Tribune editorial board on Monday October 3 and a downstate debate in Springfield October 27, and a new Latino forum to be broadcast on WGN. The Duckworth campaign has not yet agreed to the Latino forum.

Kirk wants to speak Spanish during the WGN forum, even though it’s not actually supposed to be a Spanish language debate. Duckworth doesn’t speak Spanish.

* Press release…

Tammy Duckworth’s campaign for U.S. Senate released a new ad today, entitled “Disgraceful.” The 30-second spot features former U.S. Army Captain Emily Miller, who served two combat deployments in Afghanistan. Miller describes earning the Army’s Combat Action Badge during her two deployments, saying it’s not something one necessarily wants to receive, since it is awarded to Soldiers who come under enemy fire.

Meanwhile, media outlets have caught Duckworth’s opponent, Senator Mark Kirk, lying repeatedly about his military record, including falsely claiming to come under fire in Afghanistan despite never deploying there. Nevertheless, Kirk is often seen being driven in a car that includes an “I served in Afghanistan” bumper sticker.

“Republican Mark Kirk has lied repeatedly about his military record. He lied about being shot at. He lied about serving in combat in Afghanistan and in Kosovo. He lied about serving in both Iraq wars. He lied about an award he never earned and claimed a position he never held. Now in desperate political straits, he’s banking his re-election campaign on lying about Tammy Duckworth’s record and commitment to her fellow Veterans. As Captain Miller said, it’s disgraceful.” said campaign spokesman Matt McGrath.

* The ad

* Script…

CPT Emily Miller: I did two deployments to ‪Afghanistan going on night raids with Special Operations. We were going after high-value ‪terrorist targets; that’s how I earned the Combat Action Badge. It’s a badge that you don’t really want to get, and it’s certainly not something to lie about.

VO: Mark Kirk lied repeatedly about facing ‪enemy fire and serving in combat.

CPT Miller: For Mark Kirk to attack another ‪veteran, especially somebody like Tammy who’s done so much for veterans, it’s really just disgraceful.

For his sake, let’s hope the guy can generate some positive news today. I’ll post it on the blog if I see it.

- Posted by Rich Miller        


20 Comments
  1. - Oswego Willy - Friday, Sep 30, 16 @ 9:27 am:

    The only thing “missing” for Kirk is someone tweeting a Vine of tumbleweed rolling outside “Kirk HQ”…


  2. - Anon - Friday, Sep 30, 16 @ 9:28 am:

    R super PAC on big time defense! Only on offense in Nevada. The internals must be real bad for Kirk if the group totally abandoned him.


  3. - Anon - Friday, Sep 30, 16 @ 9:29 am:

    Also, how does Kirk cancel on the ABC League of Women voters debate? He needs to do well with moderates. This is just stupid!


  4. - Team Sleep - Friday, Sep 30, 16 @ 9:32 am:

    Mitch McConnell is the worst. I try my best to never use the word “hate” so I will just state that I strongly, strongly dislike him. I think the GOP will hold onto the House and Senate but they will be much closer margins. I could easily see a 51-49 split in favor of the GOP in the Senate and a 10-15 vote majority for the GOP in the House. But if HRC wins then 2018 is going to severely tilt those numbers in the GOP’s favor.


  5. - AlfondoGonz - Friday, Sep 30, 16 @ 9:45 am:

    Mark Kirk, Hillary Clinton, and Brian Williams walk into a bar under enemy fire…


  6. - VanillaMan - Friday, Sep 30, 16 @ 9:51 am:

    I don’t like either candidate.

    It is going to be a struggle to vote for anyone next month.


  7. - Anonymous - Friday, Sep 30, 16 @ 9:55 am:

    More weak stuff in the worst US Senate campaign in modern memory. More of Tammy’s “I am a decorated Purple Heart veteran, so I am exempt from all criticism.”

    Since Tammy did so much for veterans, why is the VA constantly being criticized throughout this campaign year, including Democrats, for not being up to snuff?

    Has Tammy or her campaign walked back her claims to have been on military assignment at Chicago-Midway Airport on 9/11/2001 (while she was vacationing in Scotland) or that her lawsuit with Illinois VA employees was settled?


  8. - Last Bull Moose - Friday, Sep 30, 16 @ 10:08 am:

    The party system in Illinois is failing our citizens. When these are the best candidates on offer, we need a new approach.

    I would like to see us go to an open primary system for federal offices where the top three vote winners are on the ballot, subject to the third candidate receiving at least 5% of the primary vote.


  9. - hisgirlfriday - Friday, Sep 30, 16 @ 10:18 am:

    @Team Sleep -

    Why do you “hate” Mitch McConnell? I hate him because of his conduct unheard of in American history of denying even a hearing for a person nominated to the Supreme Court. Before that I hated him for his decade-plus of work toward dismantling campaign finance reform as a bipartisan issue and then using crackpot 1st amendment theories to undermine campaign finance reform law he couldn’t crush legislatively?

    This is why I couldn’t vote for Kirk even if I believed he was a truly moderate and honest Republican alternative to the admittedly flawed Duckworth.


  10. - Team Sleep - Friday, Sep 30, 16 @ 10:28 am:

    Friday - he is a terrible caucus leader and a wimp.


  11. - Conservative Veteran - Friday, Sep 30, 16 @ 10:42 am:

    Vanilla Man, when you said that you don’t like either candidate, that implies that the U.S. Senate race has two candidates. Including write-in candidates, that race has nine candidates.

    Last Bull Moose, you said that Illinois should have an open primary system, but we already have that. I have a B.A. in political science, from the University of Arkansas. While I was there, I learned that our country has three basic types of primaries, closed, open, and wide-open.

    If a state has closed primaries, each voter must choose a party, when he or she registers to vote. During the primary, each voter may only receive a ballot of that party.

    If a state has open primaries, voters don’t choose a party, when they register. During primaries, each voter may receive a republican ballot or a democrat ballot, whichever that voter chooses, for that primary.

    If a state has wide-open primaries, each voter receives a primary ballot that includes candidates of all parties.

    According to these defintions, Illinois already has open primaries. Maybe, you meant that Illinois should have wide-open primaries.


  12. - Last Bull Moose - Friday, Sep 30, 16 @ 10:48 am:

    Conservative Veteran-Thanks for the improvement in language. We should have a wide open primary with the top three on the ballot subject to a 5% minimum for the 3rd spot.


  13. - VanillaMan - Friday, Sep 30, 16 @ 11:14 am:

    I wrote “either”, you implied everything else.
    I will not cast my vote for any of the other candidates EITHER.

    Interpret that as you seem to enjoy interpreting.


  14. - @MisterJayEm - Friday, Sep 30, 16 @ 11:26 am:

    Three debates should be more than enough for Kirk to shoot himself in both feet.

    – MrJM


  15. - Ron Burgundy - Friday, Sep 30, 16 @ 11:50 am:

    I don’t agree with either side’s position on which debates to do here, but I really don’t need to see these two 5 times in 40 days.


  16. - slow down - Friday, Sep 30, 16 @ 11:53 am:

    Duckworth is doing the absolutely right thing in hitting back at Kirk for suggesting she’s anti-veterans. It’s a ridiculous charge that is easily rebutted.

    It would be great if this election were about substantive issues but Kirk’s entire campaign at this point is about trying to exploit a $26,000 lawsuit. But when you have no meaningful record to run on, I guess Kirk has no other choice.


  17. - wordslinger - Friday, Sep 30, 16 @ 12:17 pm:

    For crying out loud, McConnell can’t throw Kirk a bone, at least? Kirk was always there for him when his vote was needed.

    It’s not the money, but the message it sends to potential Kirk donors — forget him, he’s done.

    Like Truman said, if you want a friend in Washington, get a dog.

    Are Rauner and Griff going to step up? It’s not like Duckworth is a runaway train, from public polling.


  18. - walker - Friday, Sep 30, 16 @ 12:54 pm:

    Rauner and Kirk are/were tight. No Bruce and Grif money left to share?


  19. - DuPage Dave - Friday, Sep 30, 16 @ 1:24 pm:

    Why does anyone care if Kirk can “generate some positive news”? I don’t understand.


  20. - Ron Burgundy - Friday, Sep 30, 16 @ 3:28 pm:

    Suggestion - Have one debate about veterans issues and military service. If anyone brings up either topic in a debate other than that debate, hit ‘em with a cattle prod. /s (kinda)


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