Even greater problems were alleged in the civil-service case involving former Anna home administrator Patricia Simms (who also is a defendant in Butler and Goins’ ongoing lawsuit).
Although Duckworth signed employee reviews for Simms judging her work as “acceptable,” Simms was fired after Duckworth’s departure for a federal post in 2009.
In Simms’ civil-service case challenging her firing in 2010, officials said Simms was canned for failing to “properly maintain the list of veterans who are seeking admission to the veterans’ home in Anna.”
The attorney general’s office described several cases in which veterans sought to move into the Anna home but never appeared on any waiting list or were erroneously kept waiting too long. The problems prevented them from being admitted before they died.
Simms eventually resigned, promising to never again seek work with the department.
The alleged wait-list problems occurred while Duckworth headed the department.
Several dead people. Yeah, I expect that’ll be in a TV ad pretty soon.
I remain fascinated by the Kirk strategy of calling Duckworth a “war hero” who, yet, somehow was a sinister force in veterans’ care.
The war hero who was blown out of the sky, lost her legs and was put back together in a VA hospital, was somehow indifferent to the plight of veterans seeking medical care.
You can sell that? To whom, that is persuadable?
Here comes the next round of spots with male combat veterans pounding the stuff out of Kirk’s service embellishments and saying Duckworth “fought like hell for us.”
Does Kirk think that he is running for commander of his local American Legion post? He’d lose that race, by the way.
For a Senate run in Illinois, he has a great spot geared toward suburban women, who he desperately needs (reminder to the Kirk campaign: you are running against a suburban mother). He has another geared toward Hispanics.
Why is he wasting his limited resources on this impossible strategy?
While the Kirk camp is right that being a war hero doesn’t prevent you from being a bad public official (see Grant, U.S.), and Duckworth hasn’t exactly been great in her various roles, I think it is a hard sell to get the average voter to separate the two.
I don’t think that either side of this military coin–Tammy as the brave helicopter pilot who lost her legs in combat —or Tammy as the inept, politically appointed administrator of veterans services– is the road to winning the votes of still undecided suburban women. Yet both campaigns inexplicably keep harping.
Mark Kirk has spent virtually his entire adult life working on capitol hill and his only hope for reelection is smearing a war hero who lost her legs in combat as anti-veteran. Think about how pathetic that is.
- FAIRNESS AND FAIRNESS ONLY - Wednesday, Sep 28, 16 @ 12:08 pm:
I am a suburban mom. If the choice were solely based on the attack ads regarding military support then, hands down, “war hero” wins. Kirk is wasting time and money with this battle.
I don’t think the premise of this attack is that she actively sought to make the VA a mess. I think the premise is rather her ineptitude exacerbated the mess. If you accept that premise and also believe that government is a mess, then why would you think she could be a good senator?
Of course that argument is dinged every time Kirk opens his mouth to prove that he too is inept.
Being a war hero does not necessarily translate into being a good agency administrator or a good elected official. Duckworth is not entitled to become a US Senator solely on the basis of her military service or her Purple Heart Medal. She needs to make a case as to why her election would help the people of the State of Illinois.
Disagree with Anonymous. In a Presidential election year in the blue state of Illinois, the Democratic nominee doesn’t have to make a case to win. Unless Kirk can (1) provide voters a meaningful rationale for his reelection, or (2) somehow make Duckworth unelectable, he loses.
On the first point, Kirk has provided nothing to convince voters he deserves to stay in DC. Every time he opens his mouth he digs himself a deeper hole. On the second point, Kirk’s arguing that a war hero is anti-veteran. It simply doesn’t resonate.