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Kirk “undecided” on DREAM Act, and other US Senate campaign news

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* The Daily Herald tried and failed to get Mark Kirk to talk about a possible upcoming vote on the “DREAM Act”

In the days before a major immigration vote, the Democrat running for U.S. Senate is touting his support for the proposed law, while his Republican opponent has not yet made a decision.

While Democrat Alexi Giannoulias says he supports the DREAM Act, Congressman Mark Kirk is undecided.

The proposal - aimed at helping children who are in the United States illegally become citizens - is one of the flash points in the contentious debate over illegal immigration. While Democrats have generally pushed for ways to increase paths to citizenship for undocumented immigrants, Republicans and other conservative groups have pushed for tighter controls on who comes into the country and a crackdown on those who come here illegally.

It’s a line that puts Kirk, a Highland Park Republican who bills himself as a moderate, in a bind.

That’s putting it mildly. A brief message from the Giannoulias campaign…

Kirk panders to Hispanics last week [with a Spanish language TV ad] touting Abuelita program and then “can’t decide” on the DREAM Act?

He’ll probably have to “decide” soon enough if he’s faced with a floor vote. Should be interesting.

* Nobody has even seen the “Karl Rove TV ad” yet, but the Giannoulias campaign is already trying to get its spin out there

The Illinois Senate race is about to get nasty, and one candidate says Karl Rove is behind new attack ads that are scheduled to air this week.

Democratic Senate Candidate Alexi Giannoulias tried to strike pre-emptively by saying Illinois voters should know that a third party has produced television ads to support his opponent, Congressman Mark Kirk. […]

American Crossroads is affiliated with Karl Rove, the former strategist and chief of staff to President George W. Bush.

“I’m not surprised that Karl Rove, the architect of the same policies that drove our economy to the brink of collapse, is now bringing special interest money to bail out Mark Kirk,” Giannoulias said.

I really can’t wait to see that new ad. My expectations are now sky-high. Hold tight.

…Adding… Check out AC’s recent TV ads on their YouTube site.

* The Green Party’s US Senate nominee LeAlan Jones scored 9 percent in recent Rasmussen and PPP polls and 6 percent in the Chicago Tribune’s poll, but that hasn’t translated into an invitation from NBC’s Meet the Press program to an upcoming debate between Republican Mark Kirk and Democrat Alexi Giannoulias.

Jones says he has tried to reach NBC without success. So, he sent the network’s news president Steve Capus a letter and made it public

Dear Mr Capus,

I am writing you in regards to your October 10th debate between Illinois U.S. Senate candidates Mark Kirk and Alexi Giannoulias on your program “Meet The Press.” Despite repeated attempts by my campaign staff to contact someone from the program, we have been ignored. […]

Most importantly, NBC must fulfill its public obligation to include voices beyond the corporate mainstream. The public own the airwaves and we can take them back. I encourage you to include me in the October 10th debate in the name of real democracy and freedom.

Jones is black, and that means the Democrat Giannoulias probably wouldn’t want to appear with him on a national TV program. Giannoulias’ spokesperson said today that Meet the Press “sets the rules.” I’ve asked the Kirk campaign for comment and I’ll let you know what they say if they ever respond.

* This AP hed ain’t great for Mark Kirk: Kirk calls for halting financial bailout he backed

Senate candidate Mark Kirk wants to halt the financial bailout, which he originally supported.

The Republican is scheduled to deliver a speech on government spending Monday in Springfield. Aides say he’ll propose canceling any unspent money from the $700 billion fund known as the Troubled Asset Relief Program.

That story plays right into the Giannoulias theme that Kirk’s word can’t be trusted. He’d better deliver a very strong speech today. The Giannoulias campaign responds…

Kirk comes out for stopping TARP spending when it is set to expire in 3 weeks. Real brave, Mark.

I’ll let you know how this goes today.

* Related…

* Giannoulias: TV ads a ’smear campaign’

* Kirk talks trade, immigration in Woodstock visit: Kirk recommended that people have the opportunity to upgrade their Social Security cards with photos and bar codes, similar to military IDs. People would have the option to upgrade their card for $10. The cards would be hard to counterfeit. “We would see a tremendous drop in the ability of the immigration fraud ID criminal organizations, many who operate in the Chicago area,” Kirk said.

* In B-N, Kirk says 60-day Senate term vital

* Immigrant groups push lawmakers to vote for Dream Act
Legislation would let students who came to U.S. illegally go to college or join the military

* Gloria Steinem, Biden headline fund-raisers for Giannoulias

* Is Illinois turning purple?

* Governor, voters respond to Burris election case

* Burris talks about what’s he’s accomplished, life after the Senate

posted by Rich Miller
Monday, Sep 20, 10 @ 12:35 pm


  1. It really is inappropriate for Meet the Press to exclude Jones. While I know he is not going to win, nine percent is a respectable enough figure to demonstrate some credibility/viability. The media does a true disservice to the public when they act as if there can only be two parties and present no other idealogies.

    Comment by Just Observing Monday, Sep 20, 10 @ 12:44 pm

  2. Kirk: The right answer is No. Thank goodness he’s not in the Senate yet.

    Comment by Peggy SO-IL Monday, Sep 20, 10 @ 1:19 pm

  3. Wow, ten years in Congress and Kirk is still undecided on the DREAM Act? A lot of kids in Waukegan and Highwood are counting on you Congressman.

    Comment by 47th Ward Monday, Sep 20, 10 @ 1:21 pm

  4. this is basically what will happen if kirk gets elected. Each vote is up in the air until the last minute and then becomes a race after the fact to frame and define the vote and him.

    Comment by shore Monday, Sep 20, 10 @ 1:22 pm

  5. Shore: “Each [Kirk] vote is up in the air until the last minute and then becomes a race after the fact to frame and define the vote and him.”

    Well said.

    – MrJM

    Comment by MrJM Monday, Sep 20, 10 @ 1:32 pm

  6. If this is such an urgent matter than presumably Kirk can explain why he voted against reducing TARP’s funding when he had the chance (

    That vote being the financial regulation overhaul vote, which reduced TARP’s authorization by $225 billion. (

    Comment by Dirt Digger Monday, Sep 20, 10 @ 1:40 pm

  7. The DREAM act is another horrific bill pushed by Harry Reid. In it, all an ILLEGAL immigrant needs to do to become a legal resident is SAY he is going to attend a college or SAY that he is going to join the military. The applicant need neither attend college, or join the military. Add this to the fact that Reid is trying to back door this bill on the military funding bill (if a Republican votes against it they will be tarred with not supporting the troops) show this bill to be nothing other than a political farce.

    Kirk should vote against this bill. Period.

    Comment by Cincinnatus Monday, Sep 20, 10 @ 1:45 pm

  8. If Kirk votes for Dream Act, Alexi wins as Kirk’s shaky, but grudgingly growing GOP supporters downstate bail.

    Comment by DIA Monday, Sep 20, 10 @ 3:01 pm

  9. Yeesh, do we really have to inflict the great Kirk/Alexi debate on the rest of the country? On the other hand, given the life-wasting nature of most political TV, it might be the Lincoln/Douglas debates of its time.

    Comment by wordslinger Monday, Sep 20, 10 @ 3:24 pm

  10. It’s wrong to leave out the third party candidate from the debates.

    It’s also wrong NOT to stop the hemorrhaging of Mexican poor in the U.S. Mexico really needs to take a good hard look at her society. . . and fix it so the people better share in the national wealth. It’s a matter of justice. The current situation is bad for both Mexico and the U.S.

    Comment by Henry Monday, Sep 20, 10 @ 3:51 pm

  11. Kirk is quite right on the TARP issue, because the program has already succeeded better than anyone anticipated. Most of the “bailed out” banks have repaid the money extended by the government. Taxpayer losses estimates, once at $350 billion, are now well under $100 billion and dropping, and may even get near zero. AIG is selling units to chip away at its large unpaid amount, but AIG was the biggest problem, by far.

    At the time TARP was implemented, however, it was absolutely vital. Systemic risk of the entire finance system crashing was averted. Today people are running around complaining about “Wall St. bail-outs”, but they might now be running around looking for spare food if the entire U.S. finance system had collapsed in 2008-9. It almost did.

    So the very idea of tossing around more taxpayer money in the waning days of the program is ridiculous. Kirk is rightfully suspicious that the Obama Administration will find “new uses” for the remaining or paid back money. They have done it before.

    Comment by Bubs Monday, Sep 20, 10 @ 3:53 pm

  12. Since Kirk has spun so many fantasies, perhaps he’s just scared of anything DREAM-like.

    Comment by D.P. Gumby Monday, Sep 20, 10 @ 4:36 pm

  13. Kirk’s most recent FB post: “Unveiling the Bloomington-Normal Agenda at Evergreen FS.”

    Kirk keeps making a big deal out of these regional policy statements that have little or nothing to do with federal government. Is he running for senate or governor?

    Comment by Dr Kilovolt Monday, Sep 20, 10 @ 4:39 pm

  14. ===In it, all an ILLEGAL immigrant needs to do to become a legal resident is SAY he is going to attend a college or SAY that he is going to join the military. The applicant need neither attend college, or join the military.===

    Cinci, it would help if you, you know, actually read what the bill does before spouting off.

    But never let facts get in the way of a good rant I guess.

    Comment by 47th Ward Monday, Sep 20, 10 @ 4:40 pm

  15. Meet the Press’s refusal to include Jones in the debate is an example of why we need free airtime for qualified candidates. Jones is correct–the people own the airwaves–NBC just has a licence to use them, so long as they do so in the public interest. They’re not serving the public interest by acting in a biPARTISAN manner.

    Comment by Squideshi Monday, Sep 20, 10 @ 5:06 pm

  16. Kirk’s continued backsliding and hypocrisy should give even the Republicans pause.

    Comment by Wensicia Monday, Sep 20, 10 @ 5:19 pm

  17. Cincinnatus,

    Ditto 47th ward. Please (I know this is a common refrain amongst conservatives about health care) - read the bill !

    Comment by ZC Monday, Sep 20, 10 @ 5:21 pm

  18. DREAM is a last minute sucker play. Kirk goes for it, he loses.

    Comment by Park Monday, Sep 20, 10 @ 7:27 pm

  19. We are asking anyone - Green, Democrat, Republican, independent - call NBC and tell them to let LeAlan debate! 202-885-4598

    Comment by LeAlan Jones campaign Monday, Sep 20, 10 @ 7:54 pm

  20. 47th Ward:

    You qualify and register for and are granted conditional residency BEFORE attending college. All the applicant does is submit an application SAYING he attended high school before attending college or entering the military. No proof is required. DHS then, if they have the time, agents and inclination checks the references provided by the applicant.

    I think you people need to carefully read the bill, you are not interpreting it correctly.

    Comment by Cincinnatus Tuesday, Sep 21, 10 @ 7:13 am

  21. Thanks Cinci,

    So if you don’t believe the process for verifying provisions of the DREAM Act will be done under the standard federal rule making process, if the legislation was amended to specify verification, then can I assume you’d support the bill?

    Comment by 47th Ward Tuesday, Sep 21, 10 @ 10:25 am

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