Ward Room
Covering Chicago's nine political influencers

Midterm Elections: Oberweis Attacks Durbin in 'Dick Nixon' Radio Spot

Durbin's GOP rival compares the U.S. Senator to the Watergate-era president

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    NEWSLETTERS

    Jim Oberweis has launched his most negative attack yet on U.S. Sen. Dick Durbin, releasing a radio ad that compares the Illinois Democrat to Richard Nixon.

    Earlier this week, the Illinois state senator and dairy magnate accused Durbin of bullying Walgreens CEO Greg Wasson into keeping company headquarters in Illinois instead of relocating overseas to save money on taxes. But on Friday, Oberweis went a step further in his anti-Durbin campaign game, comparing the Senate's second-ranking Democrat to one of the famously paranoid Republican president whose abuses of power begat the Watergate scandal which begat Tricky Dick's resignation in 1974.

    "Did you know Article 2, Section 1 of the impeachment against Dick Nixon was for using the IRS against his political enemies? Did you know Dick Durbin asked the IRS to investigate a political opponent about the same time the IRS began illegally targeting American families?" says the ad's narrator, referencing Durbin's 2010 letter urging the Internal Revenue Service to investigate a conservative political group. (The IRS controversy over the bureau's discriminatory reviews of tea party outfits requesting tax breaks continues to escalate in Washington, with Republicans voicing outrage over the missing Lois Lerner emails.)

    Continues the voice: "Did you know Dick Durbin refuses to reveal any other correspondence he may have had with the IRS? During the midst of the scandal, did you know Dick Durbin took thousands of dollars in campaign contributions from the IRS union and refuses to return the money? Do you know that Dick Durbin refuses to answer whether he supports a special prosecutor to get to the bottom of the IRS mess even though most Americans want one?"

    Then Oberweis chimes in, closing out the ad with a vow to "make sure we get those answers and that the IRS will never again be used as a weapon against American families. It was wrong when Dick Nixon did it and it's wrong when Dick Durbin does it."

    Responding to his senate seat opponent's radio take-down Friday afternoon, Durbin's spokesman told Ward Room: "Did you know that people who listen to this ad won't get their 60 seconds back? Once again tea party extremist Jim Oberweis in the minority. Earlier this week he was one of the few pouting that Walgreens is keeping its headquarters in America and now he's one of the few that find this ad remotely believable."

    The full audio, below: