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Duckworth fights back - Updated x1

Tuesday, Sep 5, 2006

The Republican National Campaign Committee has sent out at least two mailers recently claiming that 6th District Democratic candidate Tammy Duckworth supports “amnesty” for illegal aliens. Click on the images for larger pics.

But Duckworth is responding with a very good-looking piece of mail. Again, click the pics for larger versions.

If you were wondering how the Democrats would use Duckworth’s military experience to their advantage, this will certainly give you an idea.

[Hat tips (and images stolen from) all over the place: Bridget in the 6th, Moline Democratic Maverick, Austin Mayor.]

Meanwhile, the New York Times claims that Karl Rove and Ken Mehlman have settled on a national strategy for November.

They have determined that control of Congress is likely to be settled in as few as six states and have decided to focus most of the party’s resources there, said Republican officials who did not want to be identified discussing internal deliberations. Those states will likely include Connecticut, Indiana, Missouri, Ohio, Pennsylvania and Washington, though officials said the battle lines could shift in coming weeks.

The White House is largely turning away from the 36 governors’ races, although Mr. Rove and Mr. Bush will continue to help Republican candidates for governor raise money, party officials said. The decision has broad significance because building a foundation of Republican governors had been a main part of Mr. Rove’s goal of creating a long-lasting Republican majority.

The Republican National Committee expects to spend over $60 million, which would be a record, for the midterm elections. Officials say half of that would pay for get-out-the-vote operations in the targeted states.

And then there’s this.

Republicans in House races copied their party’s talking points and included parts of the answers as their own for an AARP survey. The answers related to Medicare, Social Security, insurance plans and retirement. […]

Among the candidates who used the borrowed language were Andrea Zinga and Peter Roskam, both running in Illinois, Jeff Lamberti in Iowa, Chuck Blasdel in Ohio and Max Burns in Georgia.

And this.

Republican 6th Congressional District contender Peter Roskam is stepping up his campaign efforts by reserving $2 million in TV ad time for the stretch run.

The ads, which are slated to start airing Sept. 26, are designed to better position Wheaton’s Roskam for the final six weeks of his nationally-significant race against Democrat Tammy Duckworth of Hoffman Estates. […]

A Duckworth spokeswoman said the campaign, which had $900,000 left as of June 30, has not reserved any ad time.

Still, voters can expect their TVs to blare negative ads in October. The Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee already has reserved $2.3 million in TV time for the race, with the National Republican Campaign Committee matching that reservation.

And this.

With the Iraq war, economy and gas prices dominating the political landscape, the traditional hot-button issues of abortion, gay rights and gun control haven’t surfaced much in the 6th Congressional District race.

But that trio of thorny topics is a way for voters to quickly differentiate between Republican Peter Roskam and Democrat Tammy Duckworth.

UPDATE: Here is Duckworth’s explanation for her immigration stand, which is posted on her website.

…I oppose amnesty for illegal immigrants. The immigration reform proposal that I support does not provide amnesty. Its lead sponsor, Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.), has been adamant on that point. Instead, it requires fines, criminal background checks, and that all back taxes must be paid. Immigrants would be compelled to learn English and take courses in American culture and civics. If — and only if — an immigrant meets all of those requirements while continuing to be gainfully employed, he or she would be allowed to pursue legal status. Even then, these applicants would have to go to the back of the immigration line.

- Posted by Rich Miller        

  1. - wndycty - Tuesday, Sep 5, 06 @ 7:18 am:

    A progressive veteran (Duckworth) vs. a conservative chickenhawk (Roskam), the choice is clear, Duckworth. Roskam and the GOP’s race baiting with this immigration piece is shameful, but something I have come to expect from today’s GOP. There were a number of national reports on yesterday about this race and the GOP has to be scared by the number of typical Republican voters who are not backing Roskam. Its time for a change in this country and Tammy is just one of many who will bring about change. Go Tammy!

  2. - Bill Baar - Tuesday, Sep 5, 06 @ 7:38 am:

    The immigration ads were awful. She looks like she just needs to make room for Jim Oberweis to begin air lifting illegals to soldier field.

  3. - So-Called "Austin Mayor" - Tuesday, Sep 5, 06 @ 7:51 am:


    She looks like a soldier.
    That is because she is a soldier.

    As a guy who talks so much about when and where to send our soldiers to fight and die, I thought you might recognize a soldier when you saw one.

    – SCAM

  4. - Truthful James - Tuesday, Sep 5, 06 @ 8:06 am:


    The big pic of the Major was not taken while on active duty. That is the SCAM.

    Worse news for the Republicans, is that now they have come in and scooped up the money, the Chairman appears to be dropping it in other states and giving Illinois the overfly with blue ice tratment.

  5. - Pat Collins - Tuesday, Sep 5, 06 @ 8:21 am:

    Yes, but do we notice that Immigration IS an issue and that the consensus is that illegal immigration must be stopped.

    The fine print in her website is the fact that her plan IS an amnesty :)

  6. - Bill Baar - Tuesday, Sep 5, 06 @ 8:48 am:

    She looks like a soldier and she is a soldier and it looks like she’s recommending a military solution for immigration. I have a real problem with that.

    She served in war with sons and daughters of illegals. I’d rather she talked about that.

    Check the dialog we’ve been having over at Soap Blox Chicago on it.

    I’m not a big fan of fences on the borders or using the military to police the fence.

    I favor the open movement of goods, services, and labor. I want an American version of the European Union for all of North and South America.

  7. - Bill Baar - Tuesday, Sep 5, 06 @ 8:53 am:

    Pat, I’m not sure Duckworth’s stated position on immigration is much different than Bush’s with Roskam to the right of both of them….

    …I just have a hard time with painting a military image on the solution…

    Hispanics a big part of the force now, and I think the next generation of hispanic political leaders are going to be men and women who served in this conflict. If I were Duckworth, I’d want to call attention to the fact I served with some patriotic people who besides chosing to serve; chose America.

    I’m flumoxxed Duckworth’s people didn’t chose that tack.

    All I can imagine is they have polls that show’s looking tough on immigration sells.

  8. - Pat collins - Tuesday, Sep 5, 06 @ 9:23 am:

    Duckworth’s stated position on immigration is much different than Bush’s with Roskam to the right of both of them…

    Well, Bush wants an amnesty also. Basically the choice is this:

    1) You can do what Bush/Duckworth want. This lets illegal aliens stay and become legal. The fine may be paid, I am quite certain the “learning English” won’t happen. I don’t see how you say “I lessen the penalty, but not to zero, so it’s not amnesty”. That is word play, and people are no longer buying it.

    2) Or, you can do what Bean voted for in the 8th. :) Tough workplace enforcement, with a strong border protection. Current illegals lose their job, and eventually go home. They wont’ have much of a choice.

    After two years of that, then we can see.

    I favor the open movement of goods, services, and labor.

    Then please don’t complain when blue collar wages head south, instead of stangnating like they’ve been doing a while. And dont’ be surprised when white collar wages join that trend.

  9. - So-Called "Austin Mayor" - Tuesday, Sep 5, 06 @ 9:39 am:

    Truthful James,

    You are right of course — Maj. Duckworth was removed from ACTIVE duty when her legs were blown off in Iraq. Nevertheless, she remains a commissioned officer in the United States Army.

    If you ever meet a soldier, TJ, ask him or her whether a wounded combat vet has a right to wear her uniform when testifying before Congress.

    But don’t let the answer stop you from attacking the bona fides of a soldier who was blownup while serving her country.

    – SCAM

  10. - Truthful James - Tuesday, Sep 5, 06 @ 9:53 am:


    I am retired from 20 years active duty - Navy, if it makes any difference.

    I do watch very closely retired persons running for political office. I respect Major Duckworth’s service as a helicopter pilot on active duty in Iraq.

    I have, however, never seen the reliance on the uniform such as we see in her campaign.

    Get off it, SCAM

  11. - Bill Baar - Tuesday, Sep 5, 06 @ 9:53 am:

    Austin, were you as fervent a supporter of Veterans as Candidates when Dole ran against Clinton?

    Or when Ollie North put on his uniform to testify during Iran Contra?

    I worked in the same building as the four star Marine General for Logistics then in Virginia during those hearings… they hated North for wearing his uniform at them.. they didn’t talk politics much but if you prodded some of them they’d rally pop off about the guy…

    You have to be careful with uniforms.

    McGovern was a decorated combat pilot by the way and no one ever knew if for the most part in 72…the guy never said a word about it.

    I’ve always been a fan of Duckworths and respect and admire her service…

    …but I’ve worked too many years with the military to know that its a not a political blank check. Most Military don’t by that… I don’t think Duckworth does either… and I think some one gave her some bad advice with these ads.

  12. - Old Quack - Tuesday, Sep 5, 06 @ 10:06 am:

    To me, this is an issue of a lying mail piece and a truth-telling mail piece.

    Roskam and the NRCC’s mail is lying. Tammy’s is correcting their lie.

  13. - Anon - Tuesday, Sep 5, 06 @ 10:16 am:

    I would just like to state that it’s very clear that John McCain’s bill is not amnesty for illegal immigrants. There are many requirements for current illegal immigrants to meet, none of which are simple or easy.

    This proposal is a very well thought out proposal, and I’m glad to see that Duckworth supports it.

    Additionally, I’ve seen Mayor Bloomberg in NYC on FoxNews saying that if you went with the House plan to felonize and arrest the illegals in New York, the city itself would shut down. McCain’s plan that Duckworth supports is the most realistic way of dealing with the situation that all cities, towns, and Americans face with regard to illegal immigration. Most importantly, it’s fair to Americans whose tax dollars support those living in this country illegally, since it has a plan to collect back taxes.

  14. - Anonymous - Tuesday, Sep 5, 06 @ 10:35 am:

    Boy, Roskam’s really a tough guy now going after an injured war hero.

    Just another Chickenhawk who chose to get rich by suing people instead of serving himself.

  15. - So-Called "Austin Mayor" - Tuesday, Sep 5, 06 @ 10:37 am:


    Maj. Duckworth is not a former member of the military. She is a current member of the military.

    “I have, however, never seen the reliance on the uniform such as we see in her campaign.”

    I guess you’ve forgotten about Commander Codpiece’s “Mission Accomplished” photo op.

    – SCAM

  16. - So-Called "Austin Mayor" - Tuesday, Sep 5, 06 @ 10:42 am:

    How about we agree to this:

    If the GOPers don’t cry about Democratic references to Maj. Duckworth’s service in uniform, Democrats won’t cry about any Republican references to Pete’s service as a career politician and personal injury attorney.

  17. - Bill Baar - Tuesday, Sep 5, 06 @ 10:51 am:

    Why Austin?

    It all seems fair to me…. not exactly the key issues… but it’s all fair….

  18. - Anon. - Tuesday, Sep 5, 06 @ 10:54 am:

    Agreed, the ad is inflammatory and sensationalistic, but is it any worse than the “mainstream” media’s constant and blatant mischaracterization of illegal aliens as “undocumented immigrants” and cloaking another mass amnesty for illegals as “comprehensive ‘immigration’ reform?”

    C’mon! I think there are very, very few Americans who are “anti-immigrant”, but a vast majority are anti-illegal. A controlled number of immigrants allows us to bring in people who contribute to our society without flooding our nation with the third world’s poverty. However, the 75% + of Americans who rightly oppose the unlawful invasion of our country are afraid to voice that opposition, because they are then unfairly painted as “racists”, “haters”, etc.

    Our manufacturing jobs fled to Mexico after NAFTA, and now illegals continue to flow northward to drive down the wages of the remaining service jobs. We are the first generation of Americans whose standard of living is lower than our parents’, and I shudder to think of the 3rd world squalor most of our grandchildren will be living in.

  19. - Bridget Dooley - Tuesday, Sep 5, 06 @ 10:58 am:

    Rich, there were actually three mailers sent out by the NRCC. I think SCAM has the third. I have the actual mailer laying around somewhere.

    I think what is being missed in much of this arguing over amnesty is the difference of opinion over what is actually “amnesty”. Supporters of McCain/Kennedy do not think it is amnesty while supporters of the Sensenbrenner bill do.

    Personally, I like Tammy’s “fight back” ad and I am much farther to the left of McCain/Kennedy on immigration. I try to look at these things from a political neophyte level as that is the target. On that level, this is very effective, especially from the point of view of an average IL-06 voter.

  20. - So-Called "Austin Mayor" - Tuesday, Sep 5, 06 @ 11:05 am:


    Don’t get me wrong. I was just mocking. Of course Democrats should complain about any Roskam literature that features photos of him wearing the same suits that he wears as a dog-bite litigator. They should drag out retired personal injury attorneys to claim that pictures of Pete in a suit are an obvious attempt by him to capitalize on the honorable history of this nation’s dog-bite lawyers.

    And I highly encourage Roskam, the NRCC and you to Swiftboat each and every aspect of Maj. Duckworth’s military service. I’m sure that her team would love for this campaign to be about her military service.

    – SCAM

  21. - Yellow Dog Democrat - Tuesday, Sep 5, 06 @ 11:07 am:

    You’ve got to love the Duckworth piece. She just comes out and calls Roskam a liar.

    All things being equal, I’d rather be Duckworth in this debate. Sneaky Pete’s going to have a tough time convincing voters that he’s better qualified to defend our borders than a decorated war veteran.

    On another note, how about the news that the national GOP is staying out of the Governor’s race?

    Dear Judy,

    The check is in the mail.

    Good Luck,

    Karl Rove

  22. - grand old partisan - Tuesday, Sep 5, 06 @ 11:10 am:

    Wow, lots of interesting stuff going on here. Not sure where to start…

    I find it VERY ironic that Duckworth is using her National Guard uniform in this piece, to show how “tough” she is on border security, considering that one of the things that she is against is using the Guard to help secure the borders until we can train those 12,000 new agents she supports. That being said, I find nothing categorically innappropriate about it.

    Now, to “Old Quack’s” attempt to frame the debate here as “lying” versus “truth-telling”…

    I think it’s important to note that Duckworth’s mailer does not refute any of the specific policy positions attributed to her in Roskam’s mailers. There’s a few possible explanations for that: (1) those positions cited by Roskam are correct; or (2) those positions cited by Roskam are lies, but either (a) there wasn’t enough room for three large photos of her in uniform AND a retort on specifics, and/or (b) she doesn’t think the specifics of public policy are worth discussing in mass mailers. I’ll give her the benefit of the doubt and say that it’s (1).

    So, Roskam got the details of her position right. What, then, is he “lying” about? Well, the only thing from Roskam’s piece that is actually refuted in Duckworth’s is the definition of “amnesty.” Webster’s defines it as “the deliberate overlooking, as of an offense.” Now, let’s see if that applies here…

    Currently, when a person is identified as being an illegal immigration, there is a proscribed penalty: deportation. Under the plan Duckworth supports, that penalty is replaced with a government guided program to become a legal immigrant.

    Is that “amnesty?” Well, that’s open to debate, I suppose. But it is certainly not a “lie” to advocate your opinion in that debate. And in Roskam’s opinion, Duckworth’s plan is “amnesty.” No lie.

  23. - Pat Collins - Tuesday, Sep 5, 06 @ 11:26 am:

    You’ve got to love the Duckworth piece. She just comes out and calls Roskam a liar.

    Yes, I do admire that a lot. One could wish R candidates had as much testicular whatever.

    Supporters of McCain/Kennedy do not think it is amnesty while supporters of the Sensenbrenner bill do.

    Exactly. The key question which Duckworth ought to be made to answer is this: “how will you plan differ from 1986? What in it prevents another 10 million illegals some 10~15 years from now”?

    Not that Roskam will do so. He SHOULD, but I don’t have much hope.

  24. - Bill Baar - Tuesday, Sep 5, 06 @ 11:41 am:

    All things being equal, I’d rather be Duckworth in this debate.

    Which raises the question why she dodges the debates…. you’d think she would devaste him.

  25. - Skeeter - Tuesday, Sep 5, 06 @ 9:54 pm:

    The Duckworth piece was one of the best I’ve seen ever.

    It is incredible how it mixes personal injury lawyers and playing fast and loose with the truth.

    Certain points hit home. Anyone who sees that ad is going to think of Roskam as a personal injury lawyer and they are going to wonder if he is lying.

    By the way, SCAM’s last note was misleading.

    Roskam is NOT just a dog bite lawyer.
    He also handles slip and falls.
    And auto accidents.

    He is WAY more than just a dog bite personal injury lawyer.

    By the way, my neck hurts from reading all these comments. I’m calling Roskam! Time to sue some folks!

    And by the way Baar: Never compare Maj. Duckworth to Ollie North. North was a convicted felon who got off on a technicality. He disgraced that uniform. Maj. Duckworth wears it honorably.

  26. Pingback Duckworth « Medill’s Election Night 2006 - Tuesday, Nov 7, 06 @ 10:18 pm:

    […] Roskam still ahead in the 6th, though still fewer than half of districts reporting, according to the Trib.  I am unabashedly rooting for Duckworth in this race.  If Roskam ends up on top, it will be because of his blatantly xenophobic mailers and TV commercials.  That sucks.  So I am still hoping that later-reporting districts will flip this one. […]

  27. - Orion - Thursday, Apr 26, 07 @ 8:20 am:

    Immigration,, like another bolt coming lose that holds the our country together, has become a real issue for us today like many other things since November, 2000. Due mostly to the current state of our economy we can no longer afford the spirit of Emma Lazarus that is written on the tablet of the Statue of Liberty.

    To be Americans, we must strive to be able to do this again once more. For if not, then what do we stand for, and what does Liberty Stand for, if we are to ignore the history of the American Way in light of the ‘no mans’ land in principles that we have been led into since November 2000.

  28. - Truthful James - Thursday, Apr 26, 07 @ 5:50 pm:

    Orion –

    Yes we must regrow the country, but let’s start with motivating our own underclass. We have short changed their education for two and one half generations. There are exceptions but most do not beleive that education is either an economic or a social good. They put up with the status quo and get by on a combination of welfare and the gray market (unreported cash payments for goods and services.)

    We need education reform to increase its quality — and throwing money does not do it. We need welfare reform to get people off the permanent cycle. We need political reform as well in oder that the government serves the people and does not use them.

    Without the illegal aliens distorting the economy, jobs will flow at market clearing wages to our underclass.

Sorry, comments for this post are now closed.

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