Republicans Call Duckworth "Hypocrite" on Super PAC Offer - NBC Chicago
2012 Elections: News, Analysis, Videos, and Breaking on the Presidential Election, Local Elections, and More

2012 Elections: News, Analysis, Videos, and Breaking on the Presidential Election, Local Elections, and More

Complete coverage of the 2012 election

Republicans Call Duckworth "Hypocrite" on Super PAC Offer



    Rep. Joe Walsh and his supporters are charging his Democratic opponent, Tammy Duckworth, with “hypocrisy” for what they say is her waffling on an offer to eliminate the influence of Super PACs in their campaign.

    During the primary, Duckworth offered opponent Raja Krishnamoorthi to sign a pledge agreeing to donate 50 percent of the cost of a negative ad produced by a Super PAC to a charity of the opponent’s choice. It was based on a compact between Massachusetts Sen. Scott Brown and his opponent, Elizabeth Warren. (Krishnamoorthi never took her up on it.) Duckworth promised -- on her website -- to extend the same offer to Walsh, but on Sunday told the Daily Herald, “We’re going to take a look at that and see. We haven’t made up our minds yet. Part of this is looking at how the Super PAC challenge is going in Massachusetts, as well.

    The National Republican Congressional Committee pounced, issuing this statement:

    Duckworth’s Super PAC hypocrisy proves she is the worst kind of Washington hypocrite, willing to adjust the rules when they might get in her way. If Duckworth is already changing her mind on this, what else do Illinois voters have to worry she will do a 180 on?

    Justin Roth, Walsh’s chief of staff, suspects Duckworth may be reluctant to offer Walsh the same deal because she will benefit from money spent by Credo, a telephone company-funded Super PAC that has targeted Walsh for defeat.

    “She did, in the primary, say, ‘I would extend the same to Joe Walsh,’” Roth said. “Now that the primary’s ended, she’s saying ‘We’ll have to look at it.’”

    Roth could not say whether Walsh would accept the offer if Duckworth extended it.

    Reached Tuesday afternoon, Kaitlin Fahey, a spokesperson for Duckworth, says the campaign is extending the offer to Walsh.

    "Joe Walsh is aware of the pledge," Fahey said. "If he's willing to agree to it, then we'll be thrilled, but there can't be any caveats."

    Buy this book! Ward Room blogger Edward McClelland's book, Young Mr. Obama: Chicago and the Making of a Black President , is available Amazon. Young Mr. Obama includes reporting on President Obama's earliest days in the Windy City, covering how a presumptuous young man transformed himself into presidential material. Buy it now!