DoD Statement Says Kirk Violated Active Duty Policy - NBC Chicago
Ward Room
Covering Chicago's nine political influencers

DoD Statement Says Kirk Violated Active Duty Policy



    The Department of Defense on Monday provided more information to back up its assertion that Republican Senate candidate Mark Kirk was improperly politicking while on active duty:

    In December 2008, Commander Kirk, while on active duty, participated in video discussions in the media about the unfolding situation involving then-Governor Blagojevich of Illinois. Members of the Armed Forces on active duty may not participate in television discussions as an advocate for or against a partisan political party, candidate, or cause.

    In July 2009, while on active duty in the Washington area, either Commander Kirk or a staff member posted a "twitter" to his Senate campaign web site that indicated he was on duty at the National Military Command Center. At the time, Commander Kirk was a candidate for the Senate. Candidates for political office may not participate in any campaign activities while on active duty. They may not update or revise their websites, and they must inform their campaign staff of the applicable restrictions.

    Department of Defense Directive 1344.10, Political Activities by Members of the Armed Forces, addresses these matters. 

     The statement, provided by the blog Nitpicker, clarifies the Pentagon's "Exception to Policy" memo that was uncovered last week

    Kirk’s campaign denied he violated any Defense Department policies and called the memorandum written by Deputy Under Secretary of Defense Gail H. McGinn "simply off the mark," the Chicago Tribune explained.

    Kirk campaign's response:

    These questions have been addressed by the campaign in the past and had there been any issues documented in Congressman Kirk’s military record, the Department of Defense would not have issued a second waiver for his deployment to Afghanistan. The campaign has made all of the Congressman’s military fitness reports available for review and no concerns were documented. The reality is that voters will have a clear contrast on Election Day between someone who served honorably as a legislator and service member and someone who lost millions of dollars of other people’s money due to his recklessness and incompetence. Putting all of the posturing aside, Alexi Giannoulias represents the very same brand of politics that led to corruption, waste, abuse, historic debt and 11-percent unemployment. Voters in Illinois want a change and will stand with Mark Kirk, a thoughtful, independent leader who has a track record of delivering for the state.