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Republicans launch yet another attack on Duckworth

Tuesday, Jun 30, 2015

* From an IL GOP press release…

Rep. Tammy Duckworth’s tumultuous record as Rod Blagojevich’s Director of Veterans’ Affairs and her upcoming trial on charges that she violated state ethics laws are the subject of a newly released Illinois Republican Party digital advertisement entitled “Just Like The Past.”

“Just like Rod Blagojevich, Rep. Duckworth is caught up in an ethics scandal and is headed to trial,” said Nick Klitzing, Executive Director of the Illinois Republican Party. “When Rep. Duckworth sought to fire a whistleblower instead of actually investigating the claims of poor care and abuse of veterans, it demonstrated that she was more concerned with protecting her power, her party and Gov. Blagojevich than doing her job.”

Earlier this month, the Union County Circuit Court set the trial schedule for Rep. Duckworth’s case with pre-trial and motion hearings in August and December and a bench trial in April 2016.

* The web video

* Script…

Here we go again…another member of the Blagojevich administration going to trial.

And this time it’s Senate candidate Tammy Duckworth.

Duckworth allegedly fired a whistleblower for reporting misconduct and abuse of veterans at the Anna Veteran’s Home.

It’s outrageous.

Firing a whistleblower….for reporting abuse of veterans?

But Court documents say Duckworth fired the employees “without legitimate cause or justification” in violation of the state ethics laws.

That’s bad.

But it gets worse…the whistleblower reports Duckworth “intentionally humiliated,” threatened and punished her for reporting the abuse.

Tammy Duckworth…yet another Chicago politician going to trial.

- Posted by Rich Miller        

30 Comments
  1. - walker - Tuesday, Jun 30, 15 @ 11:16 am:

    Might as well play the cards you’re dealt.

    Don’t think the Duckworth/Blago linkage will stick in the minds of voters for very long. (two minutes?)


  2. - MrJM - Tuesday, Jun 30, 15 @ 11:22 am:

    If nothing else, it’s confirmation of which candidate the GOP believes would be the strongest Democratic nominee.

    – MrJM


  3. - Robert the Bruce - Tuesday, Jun 30, 15 @ 11:28 am:

    Even if it is 100% true, I suspect voters will find it very hard to believe that Tammy Duckworth fired employees reporting abuse of veterans.

    I wonder if the whistleblower herself/himself will show up in an ad?


  4. - slow down - Tuesday, Jun 30, 15 @ 11:42 am:

    Of course they’re attacking her, Kirk is floundering and she’s a formidable candidate. What else can they do?


  5. - Federalist - Tuesday, Jun 30, 15 @ 11:48 am:

    And lost in all of this? Are the charges true?


  6. - A guy - Tuesday, Jun 30, 15 @ 11:50 am:

    It’s not out of bounds.

    I always cheer for Tammy personally, but mostly find myself opposing her politically.

    There is one underlying current in this race that’s almost refreshing. In the case of both Tammy and Mark, there’s a very high price for going ‘personal’ and nasty with rumor or innuendo. By default, we might get a race that only deals with issues and professional character. It if holds, it will be a pleasant change of pace.


  7. - Arizona Bob - Tuesday, Jun 30, 15 @ 11:50 am:

    I think the more people know about the REAL Tammy Duckworth, the less they’ll like. She’s political ambition personified, and there is little she’s not willing to do for political advancement.

    Making a “Pro-Kirk” campaign will be pretty tough; he’s not conservative enough for the right and not lefty enough for the left. The folks in the middle will have something they don’t like about his positions, and you can bet they’ll be brought out in the campaign.

    Ms Duckworth made great sacrifices for her country, and we owe her for that. What we don’t owe her is the opportunity to sell out the nation (and veterans) for her personal ambition.

    I really wish there was a better choice out there…


  8. - Anon - Tuesday, Jun 30, 15 @ 11:51 am:

    Smart. Knock her down far enough early enough, and it saves a LOT of money. Even if it doesn’t work, it’s worth a try for that reason alone. Using her quote must be coming in the next ad. Much better material that what’s in this one, but this could just be laying the groundwork.


  9. - JoanP - Tuesday, Jun 30, 15 @ 11:51 am:

    “Court documents say Duckworth fired the employees “without legitimate cause or justification” in violation of the state ethics laws.”

    The attempt to bolster an attack by the fact that something was said in “court documents” is offensive and annoying, I don’t care who does it. All they mean is that one of the parties put it in a pleading. It means nothing.


  10. - Anonymous - Tuesday, Jun 30, 15 @ 12:04 pm:

    Actually seems like a pretty clear and factual ad. While I admire Ms Duckworth’s service to our country that does not make her a good senate candidiate. Seems once again Illinois voters are faced with weak candidates. No wonder the State is in turmoil.


  11. - Under Further Review - Tuesday, Jun 30, 15 @ 12:07 pm:

    What is newsworthy, if unreported, is that the Illinois Auditor General issued a report critical of Duckworth’s tenure as the Illinois Director of Veteran Affairs. Why was this not a story? Why did it take so many years for the case to go to trial?

    My guess is that there had to be some factual basis for the judge not to dismiss the lawsuit before trial.


  12. - Under Further Review - Tuesday, Jun 30, 15 @ 12:14 pm:

    The Illinois Auditor General said in his 2008 report entitled, “Compliance Examination: State Of Illinois Department Of Veterans’ Affairs”:

    The Inspector general found in part that there were major instances In which the Illinois VA failed to properly comply with federal and state law as well as the VA’s own internal regulations.


  13. - Robert the Bruce - Tuesday, Jun 30, 15 @ 12:27 pm:

    ==She’s political ambition personified, and there is little she’s not willing to do for political advancement.==
    How is political ambition more true of Duckworth than of most anyone else making a serious bid for Senate?


  14. - Anon - Tuesday, Jun 30, 15 @ 12:28 pm:

    This is extremely disappointing to see.. A candidate already facing a scandal should not even be considered for senate.


  15. - Anonymous - Tuesday, Jun 30, 15 @ 12:31 pm:

    Duckworth’s behavior exposes her as an unsuitable candidate. Thankfully this is going to trial. She needs to learn that her actions have reprecussions!


  16. - Anonymous - Tuesday, Jun 30, 15 @ 12:33 pm:

    Deja vú to her 2012 congressional race… Yes I admire her service in the military, but politically she is a disaster. Our state needs transparency the most from our government, and with this trial, hopefully we will see Duckworth’s true motives.


  17. - Logic not emotion - Tuesday, Jun 30, 15 @ 12:46 pm:

    I don’t know much about her; but I do think the ad is very effective in tying her to Blago, planting doubts about her competency / ethics, and in defining her for the public.


  18. - slow down - Tuesday, Jun 30, 15 @ 12:47 pm:

    Looks like a bunch of Kirk staffers/supporters decided to join this thread. Duckworth is all of a sudden a “disaster” or “unsuitable” or “disappointing”. Umm, okay.

    Like I said above, what else can Kirk do other than try and tear down Duckworth? He’s got nothing to run on. He sure as heck can’t run on his letter writing campaign to the mullahs in Iran.


  19. - Arthur Andersen - Tuesday, Jun 30, 15 @ 12:48 pm:

    Man, the trolls just came out in force. Flooding under the bridge?

    UFR, I’m going to go read that report, but I find it highly unlikely that a Bill Holland report “criticized Duckworth’s tenure.” That’s more than a stretch. Making findings on deficiencies in internal controls and finances is an agency issue, not a Director issue. Nice try, though.


  20. - Anon III - Tuesday, Jun 30, 15 @ 12:50 pm:

    This ad makes it seem as if TD were being prosecuted for a violation of the State Ethics code. But there are no penalties attached to violations of the State Ethics code.

    Without digging into the suit papers, it seems likely to me that the complaint is against the State of Illinois for Wrongful Discharge of a state employee, a pretty common claim, sometimes proven.


  21. - VanillaMan - Tuesday, Jun 30, 15 @ 12:52 pm:

    This is going to be a line of attack right up and beyond May. Between the political ads and the news, it will definitely impact her candidacy.


  22. - Robert the Bruce - Tuesday, Jun 30, 15 @ 1:28 pm:

    ==But there are no penalties attached to violations of the State Ethics code.==
    Let’s hope Team Duckworth doesn’t go with this line as their defense.


  23. - Chicago Cynic - Tuesday, Jun 30, 15 @ 2:34 pm:

    Wow - pretty clear who the GOP is worried about. Mark Kirk himself said he hopes to run against Andy Zopp. And as some others have said, it’s awesome how the GOP trolls all flooded this thread mostly with anon or names we’ve never seen before (other than our old GOP friends A Guy and Arizona Bob) with strikingly similar talking points.

    Oh, and show me a major department that didn’t have negative findings by the Auditor General. I got a news flash - they all do. Pretty thin gruel.

    Good luck with this line of attack fellas - essentially saying that Duckworth doesn’t really care about veterans. Yup - that will sell. I think you’re going to find she has a pretty strong suit of armor against some this marginal stuff.


  24. - Arizona Bob - Tuesday, Jun 30, 15 @ 3:18 pm:

    Cynic, they don’t have to say that she didn’t “care” about veterans. What they need to show is that served them poorly when in a position of authority to help them, obstructed reform through punishing “whistleblowers” , and is willing to sell them out when partisan politics interests conflicts with theirs.

    Innocent until proven guilty, sure, but I have a feeling that opponents will be able to show that she has not served veterans well, and will not serve the state and nation well, if elected.

    I just hope they stay away from hysterical and really nasty, personal stuff. That she will sell out the people and veterans if elected should be enough.


  25. - walker - Tuesday, Jun 30, 15 @ 4:41 pm:

    Arizona Bob: you seem to be all knowing, on every subject. Since I do know Duckworth personally, and I’m guessing you don’t, your detailed attacks on her personal character are without merit.


  26. - Under Further Review - Tuesday, Jun 30, 15 @ 5:39 pm:

    “Pretty thin gruel.”

    If it were only the negative report, perhaps it would be. Combined with the lawsuit, which Duckworth dismissed during her first successful campaign for Congressional, it may be something more substantial.

    I am premising my opinion upon the fact that the Circuit Court declined to dismiss the complaint after years of pretrial proceedings. If were a slap suit, it would have been settled or kicked out by now. The burden of proof is still on the plaintiffs, but the fact that this is going to trial suggests that there was a prima facie case of something wrong.


  27. - Wordslinger - Tuesday, Jun 30, 15 @ 6:47 pm:

    Yeah, go with that.

    The blue collar female minority vet who got blown out of the sky and lost limbs in real combat over Iraq vs. tne DC/North Shore weekend warrior Sen. Brian Williams, the bro who talks hos, South Side.

    You can’t make that mess up.

    The GOP is playing defense in presidential year 2016 on Senate seats like the Dems did in off-year 2014.

    Kirk doesn’t have a chance.


  28. - Under Further Review - Tuesday, Jun 30, 15 @ 7:23 pm:

    I think that Kirk is in for a difficult race and Duckworth is the favorite (assuming her nomination over Zopp), but when does she start campaigning on the basis of her legislative accomplishments in Congress? Oh, there is not much to report on that subject, so her campaign is still leading with her war related injuries after almost decade.

    Kirk is exceptionally vulnerable in 2016, but Duckworth is not the most formidable opponent that the Democrats could have fielded. Lisa Madigan would have been better, but she opted out.


  29. - Wordslinger - Tuesday, Jun 30, 15 @ 8:05 pm:

    UFR, who is on your Top Ten list for accomplishments in Congress these days?

    Take your time.


  30. - Freedom - Wednesday, Jul 1, 15 @ 12:42 pm:

    Let’s recognize the facts, Duckworth was handpicked because of her identity by Durbin, Axelrod and Emanuel and she has been propped up ever since. Although she claims to support veterans, not one veteran organization endorsed her over Kaifesh in 14, who deployed five times to Iraq and Afghanistan as a Marine Infantry Officer. The fundamental transformation of America, which Duckworth supports has proven to grow taxes, add regulations, destroy the economy and force many into dependance on the government. This is all bad and we need the opposite of everything Duckworth stands for.


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