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Kirk campaign admits contact with “whistleblowers” after Duckworth settlement

Thursday, Jul 28, 2016

* From the National Review

Two women suing Representative Tammy Duckworth, the Democratic nominee for Senate in Illinois, rejected an agreed upon settlement offer on Wednesday, forcing the case to go to trial next month, according to the Daily Herald.

The timing is unfortunate for Duckworth, who is running to unseat Senator Mark Kirk, one of the most vulnerable Republicans up for reelection this year. The formal rejection of the settlement comes the day before Duckworth is set to take the stage at the Democratic National Convention. And per the Herald, the trial will take place on August 15, in the heat of campaign season. […]

Some Democrats suggested the timing of the two women rejecting the lawsuit was suspect, coming the day before Duckworth’s address in Philadelphia.

[Mark Kirk campaign manager Kevin Artl] says the campaign had no discussions with the two plaintiffs about their decision, and says they were under the impression that the whole case had been settled, noting that they had already begun running an ad attacking her for settling. Artl adds that he spoke with the two women by phone in their capacity as whistleblowers, saying they reached out to the campaign after the settlement was announced to tell their story.


* I followed up with Artl…

They reached out to us the week following the announcement of the settlement. They wanted to tell their story. We have talked to many whistleblowers who have felt bullied and ignored by Duckworth.

* Related…

* Kirk Campaign Utilizing Snapchat To Tie Duckworth To Blago

- Posted by Rich Miller        

  1. - Norseman - Thursday, Jul 28, 16 @ 9:44 am:

    How convenient!

  2. - @MisterJayEm - Thursday, Jul 28, 16 @ 9:46 am:

    [Googles ‘Third Party candidates’ & ‘Illinois’ & ’senate’]

    – MrJM

  3. - Randolph - Thursday, Jul 28, 16 @ 9:49 am:

    Artl should have been fired if he didn’t try to talk to them.

  4. - Anonymous - Thursday, Jul 28, 16 @ 9:58 am:

    I wonder if they will help with the extra legal fees?

  5. - hisgirlfriday - Thursday, Jul 28, 16 @ 10:01 am:

    So this is really all Kirk’s got?

    I can’t wait til he has to pick his third fake write-in for prez candidate after Colin Powell endorses Hillary.

  6. - Ghost - Thursday, Jul 28, 16 @ 10:14 am:

    yeah because disgruntled bad employees never try to blame everyone else and reach out to others willing to persecute their crazy.

  7. - Louis G. Atsaves - Thursday, Jul 28, 16 @ 10:19 am:

    Why would Kirk run all those ads attacking Duckworth over the “settlement” when there is no settlement? Take off the tin foil hats. Take the quotations off “whistleblowers” and put it on “contact.” The infamous Duckworth routinely loud, over the top and ugly campaign statements have taken their toll on this issue and with the campaign as a whole.

  8. - Responsa - Thursday, Jul 28, 16 @ 10:29 am:

    ==- Ghost - @ 10:14 am:==

    That is one strange comment.

  9. - AlfondoGonz - Thursday, Jul 28, 16 @ 10:30 am:

    I am shocked, SHOCKED, to find out meddling occurred here!

  10. - Belle - Thursday, Jul 28, 16 @ 10:35 am:

    It seemed to be a rather meager settlement but I don’t know what kind of evidence they had.
    They were already angry (no one sues a person because they’re pleased) and Artl contacting them probably got them riled up again.
    But, the Duckworth campaign should have kept their mouths shut.
    She leaned on her employees too intensely–plenty of people are going to understand how that happens.
    We have to assume Duckworth is a tough cookie. She was a pilot during war time and remains tough through dealing with severe injuries.

  11. - Rich Miller - Thursday, Jul 28, 16 @ 10:35 am:

    ===Take the quotations off “whistleblowers” and put it on “contact.”===

    Get your own blog.

  12. - pundent - Thursday, Jul 28, 16 @ 10:42 am:

    The fact that this case appeared to settle for legal fees incurred tells me all I need to know about the underlying allegations. I can understand the whistleblowers being unhappy with the outcome but their attorneys negotiated a settlement which put no money in their pockets. If your own legal counsel is telling you that’s a “good deal” it says something about the merits of your case. I’m sure all of the tinfoil hats will now come out and claim that Duckworth got to the judge or the opposing attorneys. But there seems to be little evidence that there’s anything here. I’m by no means a Duckworth supporter I just don’t think this is the issue that Kirk rides to victory with.

  13. - Jocko - Thursday, Jul 28, 16 @ 10:51 am:

    The only winner that will come out of this thing is Artl, although I think he tripped up saying “We have talked to many whistleblowers…”

    Such as?

  14. - Juvenal - Thursday, Jul 28, 16 @ 11:03 am:


    The cases were twice dismissed outright.

    Perhaps the AG shouldn’t have described the suits as “frivolous.” Perhaps McGrath should not have repeated the term.

    Call them “nuisance” suits if you like.

    But “whistleblower” seems like a stretch for charges that have been dismissed twice and were being settled for zero damages.

  15. - pundent - Thursday, Jul 28, 16 @ 11:30 am:

    Junvenal - Spot on.

  16. - Anonymous - Thursday, Jul 28, 16 @ 11:31 am:


    The case was not dismissed with prejudice, so the case was not terminated.

    If a complaint filed by a plaintiff is dismissed, but leave is granted to refile a new complaint, the case is not necessarily over. Such a ruling relates to a deficiency in the original pleadings which could possibly be corrected by filing a new complaint.

  17. - Aroldis For Prez - Thursday, Jul 28, 16 @ 11:32 am:

    The allegations against Congresswoman Duckworth are nothing to sneeze at, and Mr. McGrath wasted no time insulting the whistleblowers after the original settlement was announced. Her team has no one to blame but themselves for this issue coming back to the surface.

  18. - Mr. Glass - Thursday, Jul 28, 16 @ 11:32 am:

    To be fair they were in fact whistleblowers who experienced workplace retaliation. I don’t fault them for reaching out. Especially after their complaints were originally unheard of.

  19. - Walmart Manager - Thursday, Jul 28, 16 @ 11:38 am:

    Rides to victory, probably not, but the issue is just looks bad for the Duckworth camp.

  20. - Anonymous - Thursday, Jul 28, 16 @ 12:52 pm:

    For the record, it’s “National Review”, not “The National Review”. The writers there hate that mix up

  21. - Anonymous - Thursday, Jul 28, 16 @ 1:00 pm:

    Like Eurythmics lol.

  22. - A guy - Thursday, Jul 28, 16 @ 1:37 pm:

    ===Kevin Artl says the campaign had no discussions with the two plaintiffs==

    ==They reached out to us the week following the announcement of the settlement.===

    These statements appear to be completely contradictory to me.

  23. - Ted - Thursday, Jul 28, 16 @ 6:34 pm:

    The reality is: Duckworth’s campaign handled the situation terribly and intentionally downplayed the legitimacy and seriousness of the claims made by the two women.

Sorry, comments for this post are now closed.

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