WASHINGTON--Democrats are stepping up their attacks on Senate hopeful Rep. Mark Kirk, the front-running Republican, with Rep. Jan Schakowsky, a Democrat from a neighboring Illinois district on Monday planning to lambast Kirk for his flip flop on earmarks.
As part of the coordinated strategy, the Demoratic Senatorial Campaign Committee is also launching a web site, "Two Faced Kirk" http://dscc.org/twofaced highlighting Kirk's votes for earmarked projects before calling for a moratorium on earmarking last year.
Triggering the Democratic action was a press conference Kirk held last week in Washington highlighting the "Top 11 Worst Spending Projects of the 111th Congress."
The Democratic national strategy has been to try to soften up Kirk for the November general election--he is a runaway favorite to win the February Illinois primary--while Democrats slog it out in their own primary contest. The Democrats are trying to portray Kirk as a Republican who is not particularly moderate--a label often attached to Kirk.
Kirk's change of heart on earmarks came, he said in a Daily Herald story from 2008, because of waste--such as the famous Alaskan "bridge to nowhere" that was never built.
Schakowsky--who represents Kirk's neighboring 9th congressional district--is expected to criticize Kirk in a conference call Monday morning-- for going after earmark spending--after sponsoring millions of dollars in earmarks for his own district-- before deciding last year the system was no good.