Sen. Mark Kirk's campaign has launched an unusual public attack on a Chicago Tribune reporter.
Campaign manager Kevin Artl says the reporter has been "bullying" former and current staffers with questions about allegations that the Illinois Republican has been physically and verbally abusive toward employees. The campaign denies Kirk has been abusive toward staff.
The criticism is especially unusual because it preceded the publication of any story.
The Tribune refused to confirm Saturday whether it even plans to go forward with a story, saying it does not comment on unpublished reporting. But it did put out a statement defending the conduct of reporter Todd Lighty, saying "good reporters ask tough questions."
In a letter to Tribune editors that Artl made public this week, he says Lighty has harassed and intimidated 15 people connected to Kirk, including Kirk's mother.