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DSCC's first ad in Illinois Senate race slams Kirk; Kirk issues quick rebuttal

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WASHINGTON--The Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee made its first Illinois ad Tuesday buy to bolster Democratic Senate nominee Alexi Giannoulias, in a deadlock contest with GOP contender Mark Kirk.

The DSCC is only buying ads so far in five states: Illinois, Colorado, Missouri, Pennsylvania and, starting Sunday, in Delaware, where surprise Republican nominee Christine O'Donnell is getting plenty of free media exposure of her nutty views on witchcraft and masturbation.

The DSCC wants to define Kirk, and is up early with a spot hitting Kirk on his record to try to do so.

The Kirk campaign issued a swift rebuttal. DSCC, Kirk campaign statements at the click below.

below, from DSCC........Kirk rebuttal follows......




DSCC AIRS CONGRESSMAN MARK KIRK'S "PROBLEMS" IN FIRST TV AD

Illinoisans Know About Kirk's Problems Telling The Truth, But Kirk Is Out Of Touch With Problems Facing Middle Class Illinois Families

Kirk Says Unemployment Not A Big Deal In His District, Voted Against Extending Unemployment Benefits And Raising Minimum Wage, Yet Voted To Raise His Own Pay Six Times

See Why Mark Kirk Is The Problem In Washington At http://www.dscc.org/problems


By now most Illinoisans are aware of Congressman Mark Kirk's bad habit of not telling the truth when it comes to his own resume, but in a new television ad "Problems," released today in Illinois, the Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee is showing middle class Illinois families why Congressman Kirk is seriously out of touch with the problems they face. Congressman Kirk's Washington record includes voting against extending unemployment benefits at least six times for laid-off workers, voting five times to block increasing the minimum wage, yet voting six times to raise his own salary. Kirk even said unemployment wasn't a big issue in his district by saying "I've heard very little [on unemployment]...I have a very high-income district."

"Congressman Mark Kirk has his own problems when it comes to telling the truth, but even worse, he just doesn't seem to understand the economic problems facing middle class Illinois families," DSCC National Press Secretary Deirdre Murphy said. "While in Washington, Congressman Kirk has repeatedly voted against extending unemployment benefits and raising the minimum wage while voting to give himself a pay raise. By ignoring middle class Illinois families time after time, Congressman Kirk proves why he is the problem in Washington."

Congressman Kirk has consistently opposed measures designed to help Main Street Illinois. Kirk voted against pro-consumer financial regulatory reform, a commonsense jobs package which will provide thousands of good paying jobs for Illinois, opposed President Obama's stimulus package, which has already created and saved numerous jobs in Illinois, and continues to vote against extending unemployment benefits to out of work Illinoisans, while continuing to support the Bush tax cuts for the wealthiest of wage earners.


DSCC IE "Problems"
Copy/Visual
Documentation

Narrator: We've heard a lot about Mark Kirk's problems lately...

Visual: Headline: Kirk apologizes again for embellishing record [Chicago Tribune, 6/30/10]

Headline: Kirk: 'I simply misremembered it wrong' [Chicago Sun-Times, 6/4/10]


Headline: Kirk apologizes again for embellishing record. [Chicago Tribune, 6/30/10]

Headline: Kirk: 'I simply misremembered it wrong.' [Chicago Sun-Times, 6/4/10]

Narrator: But Kirk doesn't know much about ours.

Visual:
Headline: Unemployment hits 4-year high. [Chicago Tribune, 8/2/08]

Headline: Illinois jobs vanish [Chicago Sun-Times, 1/24/09]


Headline: Unemployment hits 4-year high. [Chicago Tribune, 8/2/08]

Headline: Illinois jobs vanish; Unemployment in Land of Lincoln hit 7.6% in December -- highest level in 16 years. [Chicago Sun-Times, 1/24/09]

Headline: Economy: From bad to worse. [Chicago Tribune, 6/28/08]

Narrator: On unemployment, Kirk said, "I've heard very little...I have a very high-income district."

Visual: Cut-out of Kirk in front of close-up of Roll Call article with the quote.

Source: Roll Call, 6/16/08


Kirk on Unemployment: I've Heard Very Little...I Have a Very High-Income District. "Kirk said the issue just isn't that big a deal in his district, where he said the unemployment rate is about 5.5 percent - the same as the national rate. 'I know that others think this is a big issue, but I've heard very little,' he said. 'I have a very high-income district.'" [Roll Call, 6/16/08]

Narrator: And voted six times against extending benefits for laid-off workers...

Visual: B-roll of closed factory.

Source: Votes 423, 7/1/10; 463, 7/22/10; 412, 6/12/08; 408, 6/12/08; 403, 6/11/08; 660, 9/26/08


Kirk Has Opposed Extending Unemployment Benefits At Least Six Times:

Kirk Opposed Unemployment Benefit Extension. In July 2010, Kirk voted against final passage of the Restoration of Emergency Unemployment Compensation Act (H.R. 5618), legislation that would extend through Nov. 30, 2010, and make retroactive to June 2, eligibility for unemployment insurance for laid-off workers. The bill passed 270-153. [CQ Floor Votes, Vote 423, 7/1/10; Vote 423, 7/1/10]

Kirk Opposed Unemployment Benefit Extension. In July 2010, Kirk voted against a motion to concur in the Senate amendment to the House amendment to the Senate amendment to the bill that would extend eligibility for extended federal unemployment insurance until Nov. 30, 2010, applied retroactively to June 2. The motion passed 272-152. [CQ Floor Votes, Vote 463, 7/22/10; Vote 463, 7/22/10]

Kirk Opposed Unemployment Benefit Extension. In 2008, Kirk voted against a bill that would extend federal unemployment benefits to individuals for 13 weeks beyond the 26 weeks already authorized under law for all states. The bill included language that would extend federal unemployment benefits for another 13 weeks to states with high unemployment. The bill also included language that would set the extended benefit program to expire March 31, 2009. The bill passed 274-137. [CQ Today, 6/12/08; CQ Floor Votes, Vote 412, 6/12/08; Vote 412, 6/12/08]

Kirk Voted to Block Consideration of Bill to Extend Unemployment Benefits. In 2008, Kirk voted against adoption of a rule that would provide for House floor consideration of a bill that would extend federal unemployment benefits to individuals for 13 weeks beyond the 26 weeks already authorized under law by all states. The bill also included language that would provide another 13 weeks of unemployment benefits to individuals in states with high unemployment rates. The rule passed 227-192. [CQ Today, 6/12/08; CQ Floor Votes, Vote 408, 6/12/08; Vote 408, 6/12/08]

Kirk Voted to Block Extension of Unemployment Benefits. In 2008, Kirk voted against a motion to suspend the rules and pass a bill that would extend federal unemployment benefits to individuals for 13 weeks beyond the 26 weeks already authorized under law for all states. The bill included language that would provide another 13 weeks of unemployment benefits to individuals in states with high unemployment. Under suspension of the rules, the motion failed 279-144. [CQ Today, 6/12/08; CQ Floor Votes, Vote 403, 6/11/08; Vote 403, 6/11/08]

Kirk Opposed Extension of Unemployment Benefits in States with High Unemployment Rates. In 2008, Kirk voted against a $60.8 billion economic stimulus package designed to fund infrastructure projects, unemployment insurance and Medicaid. The bill would specifically extend unemployment insurance benefits by seven weeks nationwide and an additional 13 weeks in states with high unemployment. The bill passed 264-158. [CQ Today, 9/26/08; Vote 660, 9/26/08]


Narrator: And Five times to block increasing the minimum wage.

Visual: B-roll of retail workers.

Source: Vote 364, 7/12/06; 360, 7/11/06; 319, 6/27/06; House Appropriations Committee Markup, HR 5672, 6/20/06; House Appropriations Committee Markup, HR 5647, 6/13/06


Kirk Has Blocked Raising the Minimum Wage At Least Five Times:

Kirk Voted to Block Attempt to Raise Minimum Wage via Credit Rating Bill Debate. In 2006, Kirk voted in favor of killing a Democratic attempt to offer an increase to the minimum wage during debate of the credit rating bill. Kirk voted in favor a motion offered by Rep. Capito of West Virginia to end debate on adoption of the rule to provide for House floor consideration of the credit rating bill. The rule for debating the bill offered by the GOP leadership prohibited Democrats from offering a minimum wage increase. When Democrats protested, Republicans voted to kill the Democratic attempt. The attempt passed 223-197. [Vote 364, 7/12/06; Steny Hoyer Press Release, 7/12/06; CQ Floor Votes, Vote 364, 7/12/06]
Republican Motion Blocked a Vote on Increasing the Minimum Wage. The motion offered by Rep. Capito of West Virginia to end debate on the rule prevented a vote from being taken on the Miller/Owens Minimum Wage Bill, legislation to raise the minimum wage from $5.15 to $7.25 an hour over two years. [Steny Hoyer Press Release, 7/12/06]

Kirk Voted to Block Attempt to Raise Minimum Wage via Internet Gaming Bill Debate. In 2006, Kirk voted in favor of killing a Democratic attempt to offer an increase to the minimum wage during debate of the internet gaming bill. Kirk voted in favor of a motion offered by Rep. Gingrey of Georgia to end debate on adoption of the rule to provide House floor consideration of the internet gaming bill. The rule for debating the bill was offered by the GOP leadership and prohibited Democrats from offering a minimum wage increase. When Democrats protested, Republicans voted to kill the Democratic attempt. The motion passed 214-189. [Vote 360, 7/11/06; Pelosi Press Release, 7/11/06; CQ Floor Votes, Vote 360, 7/11/06]
Republican Motion Blocked a Vote on Increasing the Minimum Wage. The motion offered by Rep. Gingrey of Georgia to end debate on the rule prevented a vote from being taken on a bill offered by Rep. George Miller of California to increase the minimum wage. [Pelosi Press Release, 7/11/06]
Kirk Voted to Block Minimum Wage Increase in SSJC Appropriations Bill. In 2006, Kirk voted in favor of killing a Democratic attempt to offer an amendment to increase the minimum wage to the Science, State, Justice, and Commerce (SSJC) appropriations bill. Kirk voted in favor of a rule offered by the Republican leadership that barred Democrats from offering an amendment to increase the minimum wage. When Democrats protested, Republicans voted to kill the Democratic attempt to bring up the amendment. The motion passed 224-188. [Vote 319, 6/27/06; CQ Today, 12/16/06; CQ Floor Votes, Vote 319, 6/27/06]
Republican Rule Blocked Vote on Increasing the Minimum Wage. The rule offered by the Republican leadership prevented a vote from being taking on an amendment would have increased the minimum wage to $7.25. [CQ Today, 12/16/06]
CQ Today: House Lawmakers Rejected Minimum Wage Increase in SSJC Appropriations Bill. "House lawmakers rejected several contentious amendments that could have delayed passage, including a proposal to cut off funding for enforcement of bilingual voting assistance and another to boost the federal minimum wage from $5.15 an hour to $7.25 by January 2009." [CQ Today, 12/16/06]
June 2006: Kirk Voted Against Minimum Wage Increase in Committee. In June 2006, Kirk voted against an amendment to the FY 2007 Commerce, Justice and Science Appropriations Bill that would increase the minimum wage to $5.85 an hour on Jan. 1, 2007; to $6.55 an hour on Jan. 1, 2008; and to $7.25 an hour on Jan. 1, 2009. The Obey amendment was rejected 28-34. [CQ Committee Coverage, House Appropriations Committee Markup, HR 5672, 6/20/06]

June 2006: Kirk Voted Against Minimum Wage Increase in Committee. In June 2006, Kirk voted against an amendment to the Labor-HHS-Education Appropriations Bill that would increase the minimum wage to $5.85 an hour on Jan. 1, 2007; to $6.55 an hour on Jan. 1, 2008; and to $7.25 an hour on Jan. 1, 2009. The Hoyer amendment was adopted 32-27, with seven Republicans voting in favor. [CQ Committee Coverage, House Appropriations Committee Markup, HR 5647, 6/13/06]


Narrator: While voting to raise his own pay six times.

Visual: Kirk on house floor.

Source: Vote 261; 6/13/06; 327, 6/28/05; 451, 9/14/04; 463, 9/4/03; 322, 7/18/02; 267, 7/25/01


Kirk Supported Congressional Pay Raises Six Times:

Kirk Supported Congressional Pay Raise in 2006. In 2006, Kirk voted to kill a motion that would have forced a vote on a Congressional pay raise for FY 07, an increase of $3,330 a year. Under federal law, members automatically receive an annual cost-of-living adjustment unless Congress votes to block the increase from being implemented. The pay increase is included as part of the FY 07 Transportation, Treasury and Housing appropriations bill. The vote was in favor of killing a procedural motion by Rep. Jim Matheson (D-UT) to force an up-or-down vote on the automatic pay raise. An effort to block an amendment on the pay raise was adopted 249-167. [Vote 261, 6/13/06; Roll Call, 6/14/06]
AP: House lawmakers accept $3,300 pay hike. The AP reported, "House lawmakers Tuesday embraced a $3,300 pay raise that will increase their salaries to $168,500. The 2 percent cost-of-living raise would be the seventh straight for members of the House and Senate. Lawmakers easily squelched a bid by Rep. Jim Matheson, D-Utah, to get a direct vote to block the COLA, which is automatically awarded unless lawmakers vote to block it...But by a 249-167 vote, the House rejected Matheson's procedural attempt to get a direct vote on the pay raise." [AP, 6/13/06]

Kirk Supported Congressional Pay Raise in 2005. In 2005, Kirk voted to increase the annual salary for House members by $3,100 to $165,200. The House blocked a bid by Rep. Jim Matheson to force an up-or-down vote on the pay raise. Instead, lawmakers would automatically receive the raise - officially a cost of living adjustment - as provided for in a 1989 law that barred them from pocketing big speaking fees in exchange for an annual COLA. An effort to block an amendment on the pay raise was adopted 263-152. [Vote 327, 6/28/05; AP, 6/28/05]
Morning News: Congress OKs raise. The Deseret Morning News reported, "Rep. Jim Matheson, D-Utah, tried again -- and failed again -- to persuade his colleagues to reject the automatic congressional pay raise that is wrapped inside an appropriations bill. 'We are at war, and that requires shared sacrifices,' Matheson said. 'Let us send a signal to the American people that Congress gets it. A little belt-tightening wouldn't hurt anyone around here.'" [Deseret Morning News, 6/30/05]
Kirk Supported Congressional Pay Raise in 2004. In 2004, Kirk voted in favor of increasing the annual salary for House members by 2.5%, or about $4,000, to $162,100. The House blocked a bid by Rep. Jim Matheson to force an up-or-down vote on the pay raise. Instead, lawmakers will automatically receive the raise - officially a cost of living adjustment - as provided for in a 1989 law that barred them from pocketing big speaking fees in exchange for an annual COLA. [Vote 451, 9/14/04; AP, 9/14/04; Gannett News Service, 9/17/04]
Headline: U.S. House members vote to give themselves salary increase. [Las Vegas Review-Journal, 9/16/04]

Kirk Supported Congressional Pay Raise in 2003. In 2003, Kirk voted in favor of increasing the annual salary for House members by $3,400 to $158,100. The House blocked a bid by to force an up-or-down vote on the pay raise. Instead, lawmakers will automatically receive the raise - officially a cost of living adjustment - as provided for in a 1989 law that made such cost-of-living increases automatic. [Vote 463, 9/4/03; CQ Today, 9/4/03]
AP: Lawmakers Include Themselves in Federal Pay Raise. "The House on Thursday agreed to a 2.2 percent pay raise for Congress - slightly less than average wage increases in private business but enough to boost lawmakers' annual salaries to about $158,000 next year. The House members decided to allow themselves a fifth straight cost-of-living raise after rejecting them for several years during the 1990s. Their annual pay has risen from $136,700 in 1999 to about $158,000 in 2004, if the legislation clears Congress and is signed by the president. Their salary this year is $154,700." [AP, 9/4/03]

Kirk Supported Congressional Pay Raise in 2002. In 2002, Kirk voted in favor of increasing the annual salary for House members by 3.3%, or about $5,000, to $155,000. The House blocked a bid by to force an up-or-down vote on the pay raise. According to CQ Weekly, "The issue of whether members of Congress will get annual pay raises typically is fought out on the Treasury-Postal Service bill. The pay raises are automatic unless Congress blocks them, and in the 1990s the lawmakers denied themselves their cost of living adjustment four times. This year, the House defeated, 258-156, a procedural move aimed at blocking the pay increase." [Vote 322, 7/18/02; CQ Weekly, 12/6/02; AP, 7/18/02]
Headline: House opens the way for fourth straight raise in pay. [AP, 7/18/02]

Kirk Supported Congressional Pay Raise in 2001. In 2001, Kirk voted to increase the annual salary for House members by 3.4%, or $4,900, to $150,000. In a 293-129 vote, the House declined to make any of the blocking amendments in order. Rep. James Matheson, D-Utah, said he had hoped to register ''concern about being responsible'' with the federal budget, particularly in paying down the federal debt. ''People ought to have an up-or-down vote'' on the raises, Matheson said. [Vote 267, 7/25/01; AP, 7/25/01]
AP: House members avoid yes-or-no vote on own cost-of-living pay raise; it will take effect unless blocked. House members managed to dodge a vote Wednesday on an effort to stop their own cost-of-living pay raise. The 3.4 percent raise takes effect for all of Congress on Oct. 1 unless blocked. Several lawmakers sought to attach amendments stopping the raise to the annual appropriations bill for the Treasury Department, postal service and other government operations. That $32.7 billion bill also includes a 4.6 percent pay raise for civilian federal employees. But in a 293-129 procedural vote, the House refused to allow the amendments that would stop the pay raise to be considered. Rep. James Matheson, D-Utah, said he had hoped to register "concern about being responsible" with the federal budget, particularly in paying down the federal debt. [AP, 7/25/01]


Narrator: Congressman Mark Kirk. The problem is him.

Visual: Kirk in front of Capitol.



Narrator: The Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee is responsible for the content of this advertising.

Visual: Paid for by the Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee, www.dscc.org, and not authorized by any candidate or candidate's committee. The Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee is responsible for the content of this advertising.

KIRK REBUTTAL


***FACT CHECK***

New DSCC Ad Riddled with False and Misleading Claims, Opens Giannoulias to Pay Raise Attack

Misleading Claim # 1: "On unemployment Kirk said: 'I have heard very little. I have a very high income district.'"

Get the Facts: The DSCC ad does not mention the quote they reference was from over two years ago - June 2008 - when unemployment stood at 5.5 % according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics. (GOP Rallies on Unemployment, Roll Call, June 16, 2008)

Misleading Claim #2: "And he voted six times against extending benefits for laid off workers."

Get the Facts: Mark Kirk has voted to extend unemployment benefits eight times. (HR4851, Vote 211, 4/15/10; HR4851, Voice Vote, 3/17/10; HR4691, Voice Vote, 2/25/10; HR3548, Vote 859, 11/5/09; HR6867, Vote 683, 10/3/08; HR2185, Vote 223, 5/22/2003; S23, Vote 7, 1/8/2003; HR3090, Vote 52, 3/7/2002) Mark Kirk has said he would vote to extend unemployment benefits again if the legislation did not add to the debt or raise taxes.

Misleading Claim #3: "And 5 times to block increasing the minimum wage."

Get the Facts: Mark Kirk broke with his party to support raising the minimum wage to its current level. (Vote 18, HR 2, 1/10/07)

Misleading Claim #4: "While voting to raise his own pay six times."

Get the Facts: This is a tired and misleading attack that uses procedural votes that have nothing to do with Congressional pay increases. According to the Congressional Research Service: "There are no provisions for funding the salaries of Member in the Treasury and General Government Appropriations bill. Member salaries are funded in a permanent appropriations account of the legislative branch in the Federal Budget." (Salaries Of Members Of Congress: Congressional Votes, 1990-2004, Congressional Research Service, 97-615, December 20, 2004)

Get the Facts: On up or down votes specifically dealing with congressional pay, Mark Kirk voted for a congressional pay freeze all four times. (HR 5146, Vote 226, 4/17/10; H.Res 184, Vote 85, 2/25/09; H J Res 20, Vote 72, 1/1307; H J Res 102, Vote 540, December 8, 2006)

Get the Facts: The DSCC ad makes no mention of the fact that Alexi Giannoulias' pay increased over $20,000 from 2007 to 2009 - even though he pledged not to accept any pay increase when he ran for Treasurer in 2006.

Giannoulias 2007 Salary: $115,235 (Pay Recommendations, State-Journal Register, July 16, 2007)

Giannoulias 2009 Salary: $135,669 (Wealthy Giannoulias paid no taxes last year, Chicago Tribune, July 2, 2010)

Net Pay Increase 2007-2009: $20,434

Giannoulias Pay Raise Pledge:

"Priorities - Be a diligent financial watchdog to protect Illinois dollars and prevent ethical abuses and waste in state government, including my pledge to never take a gift from a lobbyist or never accept a pay raise during my four years in office." (Treasurer | Democrat, St. Louis Post Dispatch, March 17, 2006)

2 Comments

Kirk has been misleading the public for years now. His letters to
constituents are riddled with misleading republican talking points.

He has opposed almost everything President Obama has proposed to help
revive the economy.

And Kirk supported the Bush budgets that were some of the most reckless in American history. And Kirk considers himself fiscally responsible? How can the republican policies Kirk supported just a few years ago be considered fiscally responsible?

Kirk is my Congressman and I know how he works. He's a liar and he should be retired from public service.

Vote against MORE deficit spending? If only more had done the same perhaps we would be growing again. What has AG voted for while running his family Bank into the ground costing all of us $110,000,000?

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Lynn Sweet is a columnist and the Washington Bureau Chief for the Chicago Sun-Times.

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