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Giannoulias camp post "Meet the Press" debate react, statements, fact checks


below, from the Giannoulias camp.....
Click here for Kirk campaign post debate react, statements, fact checks


Kirk tells more than a lie a minute
Mark Kirk has told his share of whoppers on the campaign trail but he outdid himself today, telling more than 30 lies in 30 minutes during his Meet the Press debate with U.S. Senate Nominee Alexi Giannoulias.

KIRK LIE: The health care reform proposal "adds to our long term deficit." [Kirk floor speech, 2/24/10; Kirk press release, 2/24/10]

THE TRUTH: The non-partisan Congressional Budget Office reports that the compromise health care reform legislation cuts the deficit by $138 billion over the next decade, and by $1.2 trillion over the following ten years. [Congressional Budget Office, 3/18/10]

KIRK LIE: "This bill will kill over 100,000 jobs in the state of Illinois." [Fox News, 3/13/10]

THE TRUTH: Annenberg's FactCheck found that the health reform bill is unlikely to have a significant effect on jobs in either direction, while a Center for American Progress analysis found that 17,755 jobs will be created in Illinois. No other respected think tank, or the Congressional Budget Office, or the Congressional Research Service has issued an analysis of the state-by-state employment implications of health care reform. [, 11/17/09; Center for American Progress, 1/8/2010]

KIRK LIE: Health care reform legislation would "cut Medicare for seniors." [Kirk floor speech, 2/24/10; Kirk press release, 2/24/10; WDWS Champaign radio interview, 4/11/10]

THE TRUTH: The AARP has endorsed the compromise reform legislation because Medicare savings do not come from cutting benefits, but from establishing new ways to pay doctors more fairly and to reward providers for quality of care instead of paying them a fee for each separate service, as we do now. The bill also reduces billions of dollars in waste and fraud, and cuts the amount of subsidies now paid to private health plans, which cost an average of 14 percent more per person than traditional Medicare does. [Center for American Progress, AARP Bulletin, 8/14/09]

KIRK LIE: "Illinois employers will face higher costs and taxes under this bill." [Kirk press release, 3/22/10]

THE TRUTH: In Illinois, as many as 144,000 small businesses will be eligible for tax credits to help cover their health insurance premiums. []

KIRK LIE: "Seniors get hit worst of all. The bill cuts Medicare home health, hospital, drug, preventative services, wheelchairs, hospice care and more." [Kirk press release, 3/22/10]

THE TRUTH: The reform legislation helps seniors and extends the long-term solvency of Medicare, which is why it earned the endorsement of the AARP. Most importantly, the bill closes the Medicare donut hole completely for seniors struggling with their prescription drug costs. [AARP endorsement of Senate health care legislation]

In Illinois, 1.8 million seniors will receive free preventive services and 314,000 seniors will have their drug costs in the Medicare Part D donut hole covered over time. []

KIRK LIE: "According to the nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office, the IRS would need to hire over 16,000 people ... to audit the American people and impose the new taxes and mandates" of the health care bill. [Kirk floor speech, 3/21/10]

THE TRUTH: An independent fact check by deemed this Kirk claim as "barely true." The report by the CBO made no mention of the staffing needs of the IRS. Kirk is citing a report from a Republican congressional group that estimated the number of new hires, but admitted that it is "impossible to know exactly how many new employees the IRS would have to hire to enforce the individual mandate and other provisions of the Democrats' health care bill." [, 3/30/10]

KIRK LIE: "All of the pain of the bill is upfront, and all of the gain is later." [New Trier GOP Corn Beef and Cabbage Dinner, 3/12/10]

THE TRUTH: The health care reform bill has a significant impact the day it is signed into law. Among its many immediate effects are:

a prohibition on insurance companies from dropping people from coverage when they get sick;
a prohibition on pre-existing condition exclusions for children in all new plans;
lower prescription drug prices for seniors by beginning to close the donut hole; tax credits to small businesses to purchase coverage;
requirements that new plans cover preventive services and immunizations; and
requirements that plans cover an enrollee's dependent children until age 26.
KIRK LIE: "The non-partisan Congressional Budget Office concludes this bill spends $1.2 trillion while increasing health care costs. Once the Social Security Trust Fund, long-term health care and student loan budget gimmicks are removed from the accounting, the legislation adds an additional $1.55 trillion to our children's deficit." [Kirk press release, 3/22/10]

THE TRUTH: It's tough to respond to accusations based on flat-out lies and Rovian economics. Congressman Kirk and his Republican allies should read the CBO report before launching a campaign to repeal a reform bill that they clearly don't understand.

KIRK LIE: "I strongly support reforms to lower the cost of health insurance and cover Americans with pre-existing conditions. That is why I authored the Medical Rights and Reform Act." [Kirk press release, 3/21/10]

THE TRUTH: The Congressional Budget Office scored both the Republican health care "reform" proposal and the Obama plan. Mark Kirk's bill would have helped only three million people gain access to coverage (compared to 32 million in the Obama plan) and would have made a much smaller dent in long-term medical spending or the federal deficit. His bill would have focused almost exclusively on medical malpractice reform, which accounts for less than one percent of medical spending. [Congressional Budget Office, 11/4/09]

KIRK LIE: I'm a fiscal conservative and budget hawk.

THE TRUTH: Congressman Kirk calls himself a fiscal conservative, but that didn't stop him from voting for every one of George W. Bush's budgets that took the country from a $236 billion budget surplus in 2000 to record deficits over the next decade. When Kirk took office, the CBO predicted that the surplus would reach $5.6 trillion over the next decade. But Bush and Kirk's irresponsible spending turned a historic budget surplus into a record $458 billion deficit by 2008. [HCR83, Vote 104, 5/9/01; HCR353, Vote 79, 3/20/02; HCR95, Vote 141, 4/11/03; SCR95, Vote 198, 5/19/04; HCR95, Vote 149, 4/28/05; HR4241, Vote 601, 11/18/05; HCR376, Vote 158, 5/18/06; SCR 21, Vote 377, 5/16/07; New York Times, 1/30/03; Office of Management and Budget; Congressional Budget Office]

As the unemployment rate stands in the double digits, Mark Kirk's plan to solve the problem is to ship more American jobs overseas. That's why he voted six times to protect tax loopholes that reward American companies for shipping jobs overseas. [Bureau of Labor Statistics; HR1586, Vote 518, 8/10/10; HR4213, Vote 324, 5/28/10; HR4520, Vote 258, 6/17/04; HR4931, Vote 247, 6/21/02; HR2871, Vote 120, 5/1/02; HR3529, Vote 509, 12/19/01]

Despite Mark Kirk's claims that he only supports deficit-neutral legislation, he voted against reestablishing pay-as-you-go budgeting in the House. [HR2920, Vote 612, 7/22/09; HJR45, Vote 48, 2/4/10]

KIRK LIE: I stopped wasteful pork barrel earmarks.

THE TRUTH: Congressman Kirk has voted for billions in earmarks during his ten years in Washington.

KIRK LIE: I stopped the Bridge to Nowhere.

THE TRUTH: Congressman Kirk voted for the Bridge to Nowhere twice before he came out against it. [HR3550, Vote 114, 4/2/05; HR3, House Vote 453, 7/29/05]


KIRK LIE: "I was the Navy's Intelligence Officer Of The Year"

THE TRUTH: The Washington Post and Chicago Tribune broke the story that "Republican U.S. Rep. Mark Kirk, who has highly publicized his position as a Naval Reserve intelligence officer in his bid for the U.S. Senate, has acknowledged he erroneously boasted he was named Intelligence Officer of the Year... Kirk now says that his unit - not just him - received a different citation from a professional organization called the National Military Intelligence Association. That citation - the Vice Admiral Rufus L. Taylor Award - was given to his unit while it was based in Italy." [Chicago Tribune, 5/29/10; Washington Post, 5/29/10].

KIRK LIE: "I served in Iraq"

THE TRUTH: Kirk's first ad of the Senate general election received statewide airtime and features the Congressman saying he has "served in Iraq." [Kirk for Senate TV Ad, "Independent", 3/14/10 (YouTube)]. On June 2, 2010, in a radio interview with Kirk admitted: "I have never served in Iraq as a military man, I have been Iraq as a congressman, and then as part of operation northern watch, I deployed to Incirlik Airbase, Turkey, where we supported the no fly zones, so we were flying over Iraq, but we didn't set boots in Iraq." [AP, 6/4/10]

KIRK LIE: I am "the only member of Congress to serve in Operation Iraqi Freedom"

THE TRUTH: As noted above, Kirk never served in Iraq. The Washington Post also recently reported that "Mark Kirk's Senate campaign has now acknowledged a second misrepresentation of his service record, admitting to me that his Web site falsely claimed that he was 'the only member of Congress to serve in Operation Iraqi Freedom.'" [Kirk for Senate TV Ad, "Independent", 3/14/10 (YouTube)]; Washington Post, 6/2/10]

KIRK LIE: "I am a veteran of the Desert Storm and Enduring Freedom missions"

THE TRUTH: In a letter to a constituent, Kirk noted "As you may know, I am a veteran of the Desert Storm and Enduring Freedom missions." In a subsequent press release, he claimed to be "a veteran of the Desert Storm." But he admitted yesterday to the Chicago Tribune editorial board that this statement is false and that he never served in Operation Desert Storm. [Congressman Kirk Letter to a Constituent, July 2009; Congressman Kirk press release, 6/29/09; Chicago Tribune, 5/3/10]

KIRK LIE: "The Navy named Mark 'Intelligence Officer Of The Year' for his combat service in Kosovo."

THE TRUTH: In an editorial, the Chicago Sun-Times wrote "Kirk's congressional website bragged, until last week, of his 'combat service in Kosovo.' Not true. Kirk did not serve in combat in Kosovo." [Chicago Sun-Times, 6/2/10]

KIRK LIE: "I command the War Room in the Pentagon"

THE TRUTH: Last year, Mark Kirk claimed that "In my role in the military, I command the war room in the Pentagon." But according to Politico, "This struck military observers as, literally speaking, implausible: The Pentagon's National Military Command Center is typically run in eight-hour shifts headed by an officer of the rank of a one-star general, who would outrank Kirk, an intelligence officer in the Navy, both a retired flag officer and current Pentagon official said." [Politico, 5/21/10]

KIRK LIE: "The last time I was in Iraq, I was in uniform flying at 20,000 feet and the Iraqi air defense network was shooting at us."

THE TRUTH: While speaking on the floor of the House in 2003, Kirk claimed "The last time I was in Iraq, I was in uniform flying at 20,000 feet and the Iraqi Air Defense network was shooting at us." But during an appearance before the Chicago Tribune editorial board yesterday, Kirk admitted that this claim "may not be correct." [House Session, 10/1/03 [YouTube]; Chicago Tribune, 5/3/10]

KIRK LIE: He "never said" he was shot at in Kosovo.

THE TRUTH: "No, he was never fired on as he flew over Iraq or Kosovo, he said Thursday, but he never said he was, he said." [Chicago Sun-Times, 6/3/10]

In his announcement speech for U.S. Senate, Mark Kirk said: "I remember one day over Kosovo, when I saw some, ah, I called out to the pilot captain. 'We have some weather over the target.' He said, 'that's not weather, idiot, that's flack.' I thought briefly for a second, "I could get killed doing this!'" [Kirk announcement speech, 7/39/09] [YouTube]

KIRK LIE: "Last year, I was with a Dutch armor unit in Kandahar, getting shot at."

THE TRUTH: During his Senate campaign in January 2010, Kirk claimed that the "wildest thing he's ever done" was: "Last year, I was with a Dutch armor unit in Kandahar, getting shot at." [Chicago Sun-Times, 1/24/10].

But a year earlier, when he returned, he described his experience this way: "It was very much of a combat environment [in Afghanistan] our base got shelled once. We heard small-arms fire. I never got shot at, but it was a very tense situation.'" [Lake County News Sun, 1/6/09]

KIRK LIE: "I have a very good staff and they said 'boss, the title of this award was different than what's in the bio.' So I said, 'we've gotta change that.'

THE TRUTH: "GOP Illinois Senate candidate Rep. Mark Kirk did not tell the whole story - was not candid - about how he discovered he never won a Navy 'Intelligence Officer of the Year' award. It turns out the Navy tipped off Kirk's House staff that news outlets were asking questions about his military record. Last week, Kirk, a commander in the Naval Reserves, said his staff called the false claim to his attention as if they discovered it themselves. What actually happened was that after his staff got the heads-up from the Navy, Kirk's team scrambled a damage-control operation, wanting to put a statement on his website correcting the record before a story came out." [Chicago Sun-Times, 6/1/10]

KIRK LIE: "I probably could have stopped the war in Kosovo."

THE TRUTH: Kirk's quote speaks for itself: ""I just remembered in my own war, which was Kosovo. As a congressional staffer, I went into the two villages whose massacre triggered that war. Had I had about $2 million dollars in human rights money to spread around [inaudible], I probably could have stopped the war in Kosovo. But we did not have that." [2/3/07 [YouTube]

KIRK LIE: I didn't violate Department of Defense rules against mixing politics and military service.

THE TRUTH: Kirk's campaign claimed that he never engaged in political activity while serving. The Department of Defense thinks differently:

"The Pentagon said Republican Senate candidate Mark Kirk has been cautioned twice for improperly mingling politics with his military service, but Kirk's campaign denied any improper conduct Tuesday. [He] was warned after two incidents of political activity while he was on active duty. Before being allowed to go on active duty again in Afghanistan, Kirk was required to sign a statement acknowledging he knew to avoid all political work. 'Commander Kirk was counseled about each of his violations after they occurred and signed a statement acknowledging the limitations on his ability to participate in campaign activities while on active duty." [AP, 6/14/10]

KIRK LIE: Alexi's risky loans helped trigger the Broadway Bank collapse.

THE TRUTH: The disastrous Bush-Kirk economic policies of the last decade brought the American economy to the brink of collapse. Nearly 300 community banks have been shuttered in the last year as the Wall Street banks were bailed out and small businesses were left to fight on their own. While Alexi has taken his share of the responsibility, only 9 percent of Broadway Bank's non-performing assets were made during his time there. Nearly all of the loans that caused the problems were made in 2007 and 2008, just as the Bush-Kirk economic policies began wreaking havoc on the national real estate market.

KIRK LIE: Alexi made tens of millions in risky loans to convicted felon Tony Rezko.

THE TRUTH: Mr. Rezko was not a convicted felon, under indictment, or even under public suspicion, when he received loans from Broadway Bank. He also received loans from First Bank and Trust of Illinois, GE Capital, Harris Trust and Savings, LaSalle Bank, and several other financial institutions. In fact, only one candidate in this race has taken money from Tony Rezko, and that's Mark Kirk.

KIRK LIE: Alexi made risky loans to convicted felon Michael "Jaws" Giorango.

THE TRUTH: Alexi did not manage the relationship with Mr. Giorango and did not sit on the loan committee that approved his loans. As reported in the Chicago Tribune, "Broadway violated no laws" by making the loans. [Chicago Tribune, 4/2/10]

KIRK LIE: Alexi made risky loans to criminals Lev and Boris Stratievsky.

THE TRUTH: Mr. Stratievsky had no known criminal record when he received loans from Broadway Bank, "not even a misdemeanor charge." [Chicago Sun-Times, 3/13/10]

KIRK LIE: The same loans to convicted mobsters caused the bank to collapse.

THE TRUTH: Because of banking regulations that were strictly followed by the bank, all of these loans were legal and reviewed by state and federal regulators. Any suggestion that these few loans had any relationship to the bank's financial problems is a lie.

KIRK LIE: The failure of Broadway Bank cost taxpayers $394 million.

THE TRUTH: Like any insurance fund, the FDIC collects premiums from every bank and maintains the necessary funds to cover the costs incurred when a bank is closed. All banks - including Broadway - pay in depending on the risk they pose. There is no cost to the government or taxpayers. FDIC chairwoman Sheila Bair has publicly said that the fund has the necessary resources to weather the growing storm of bank failures. [AP, 3/9/09]

KIRK LIE: From 2002 to 2006, Alexi Giannoulias increased the bank's brokered deposits (also known as "hot money") fourfold to $640 million. The typical bank at this point was growing brokered deposits at about 9 percent a year.

THE TRUTH: Small- and mid-sized banks operate differently than large Wall Street firms. They don't have the advertising budget or the retail locations to attract depositors and sell CDs, so many community banks acquire deposits through a market-based process called brokered deposits, which is often less expensive and more stable than other instruments that small banks could use. This is real money, not like some of the derivatives and other shady instruments that brought down Wall Street firms. It allows community banks to raise deposits efficiently and use that money to lend to small businesses.


sorry i couldn't watch the whole thing... the first few of kirk's lies was enough for me... but -

when kirk held up that chart that he said illustrated the debt, i was baffled when giannoulias did not explain that the huge increase was due to the fact that President Obama PUT BUSHCO'S DEBT ON THE BOOKS, IN THE BUDGET, where it belongs... bushco was hiding all the debt from tax cuts to the wealthy, 2 illegal wars, the medicare part D gift to pharma and who-knows-what-else!

why is no one explaining that most important fact to the "folks"?!???!?

This kind of stuff is what is wrong, in general, with out political system. It, unfortunately, could just as well be a Democrat, as a Republican, making all these false statements. This is just more proof of how badly our political system is broken. Over the decades, Congress has built in so many perks for serving senators and legislators, that the needs of the American people they are suppose to be serving, has become coincidental to their desire to stay in office.
Think about it; if not for the many perks these professional politicians have given themselves over the decades, why would a lawyer (which many of them are)or millionaire elect to serve the country for $179,000 annual pay?
Nothing major will ever be solved as long as these professional politicians are not affected in the same way, and face the same problems, as regular taxpaying American citizens.
I was hoping the Tea Party movement would change all that, but those people are just more wolves hidden in sheep clothing. What a shame for America ... we deserve more. DM

When Vice President Cheney was on Meet The Press making the case for the invasion of Iraq, it was obvious that he was lying on every point. "Aluminum tubes' were supposed to be terrifying.

The highly misleading or misstatements of the costs or savings of the upcoming health care programs are much more insidious because the FACTS are not often reported. Coverage of a major speech by the President might include some additional facts.

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Lynn Sweet

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

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About this Entry

This page contains a single entry by Lynn Sweet published on October 10, 2010 10:55 AM.

Giannoulias: did not know "extent" of Broadway Bank loans to crime figures; Kirk apologizes for embellishing military record was the previous entry in this blog.

Kirk camp post "Meet the Press" debate react, statements, fact checks is the next entry in this blog.

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