Ward Room
Covering Chicago's nine political influencers

How Mark Kirk Tried to Turn a Women's Issue into a Financial One

View Comments (
)
|
Email
|
Print
How Mark Kirk Tried to Turn a Women's Issue into a Financial One
Photos and Videos
More Photos and Videos

A day after a TV producer told Mark Kirk to shut his trap about Broadway Bank, Kirk sent a message that this U.S. Senate campaign is going to be about Alexi Giannoulias’s financial recklessness and nothing but.

Even if he and his allies have to spread misinformation to change the subject.

Giannoulias held a Mother’s Day event at a store called Granite Innovations to tout his support for extending paid family leave. Instead of debating the topic, the Illinois Republican Party responded with this e-mail: “Perhaps the State Treasurer could ask his hosts to pay the $26,446 they owe the State of Illinois in back taxes.”

As it turned out, the business’s owner, Sandya Dandamudi, has paid those taxes. Which inspired this counter-blast from the Giannoulias campaign:

“Mark Kirk and his Republican allies hit a new low today, spreading an irresponsible, malicious lie in order to smear an Illinois small business owner in the furtherance of a political agenda,” Giannoulias spokesman Matt McGrath wrote. “Today’s event, hosted by Ms. Dandamudi, was intended to foster a discussion of the issues facing women and families, and was successful -- notwithstanding the Illinois Republican Party’s false claims apparently intended to drown out the discussion of important issues.”

Giannoulias was trying to zing Kirk on women’s issues -- particularly his vote against the Lilly Ledbetter Fair Pay Act -- but Kirk tried to make it yet another story about Giannoulias hanging around with a bunch of shady immigrant types with funny names.

Maybe Kirk didn’t want to talk about women’s issues because his record there is out of step with the moderate image he’s trying to project to suburban women. Besides his vote against the Fair Pay Act, he also voted against the 2008 Paycheck Fairness Act, which would have made it easier for women to sue for wage discrimination. And, Kirk voted for the anti-abortion Stupak Amendment, which cost him longtime support of Planned Parenthood.

In the words of suburban woman Ellen Beth Gill, a Kirk constituent who maintains Ellen’s Tenth Congressional District Blog, “Kirk never cared about women or their children, having voted against equal pay for women, twice, and having voted against feeding poor children, referring to the food stamp program as ‘pork.’ Kirk’s stand against health care reform includes a stand against choice, pregnancy and healthy birth and other women’s health issues because he would deny all but wealthy women access to health care.”

Wait, I got off the topic, didn’t I? I’m supposed to writing about how Alexi Giannoulias and his friends can’t handle money. Sorry. I’ll get back to the real issue in this campaign next time I get an e-mail from Mark Kirk.

Get Breaking SMS Alerts: News happens at inopportune times, like during the Super Bowl (thanks, Scott Lee Cohen). But you can still be the first to know when political news breaks:
Text WARDROOM to 622669

Leave Comments