* Kerry Lester…
The day before congresswoman Tammy Duckworth is scheduled to deliver a major speech on the main stage at the Democratic National Convention, two women who filed a workplace retaliation suit against her have announced they’re refusing to accept a settlement offer that seemed a done deal just weeks ago.
Now, a trial set to begin Aug. 15 in downstate Jonesboro could serve as an obstacle at an inopportune time for Duckworth as she enters the home stretch of her campaign to unseat Republican U.S. Sen. Mark Kirk in a nationally-watched race.
Plaintiffs Denise Goins and Christine Butler told the Daily Herald Wednesday that they were insulted by the Duckworth campaign’s June 24 response to the settlement, with deputy campaign manager Matt McGrath releasing a statement describing the suit as “a frivolous workplace case” that dragged on for more than eight years.
“Within an hour of leaving the courthouse, her campaign decided to swing us through the mud again,” Butler said. “So we emailed our attorney to let him know we want to proceed to trial.”
The women say they received no pressure from the Kirk campaign to reject the settlement offer.
“We are both nonpolitical people. When we initiated the very first formal complaint, we had no idea she had political aspirations,” Butler said. “We would have been happy to be done with it years ago.”
The Duckworth campaign shoulda just kept their mouths closed. They were handed a gift. Oh, well.