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Illinois Senate Third Debate: Lynn Sweet live blog


7:54 It's over. "That is our show," Ponce said.

7:50 Kirk calling himself a centrist...talking about debt...
Giannolias said "he shifts to the right when he runs for the Senate," citing Kirk vote against equal pay for women...the Lily Ledbetter act.

Kirk said he voted against Ledbetter because "I read the bill" because some trial lawyers may have an upper hand (Kirk has in past debates rallied against trial lawyers.)

7:47 Kirk hits Giannoulias for wanting to form progressive caucus in the Senate. And start "class warfare" Not true, never said it, said Giannoulias. Kirk tells him, let me finish. Ok, Giannoulias said. Kirk touts himself as moderate.

Not for "class warfare," said Giannoulias.

Kirk attacks on taxes....for line item veto proposal

Kirk "He is our leader for four years..have to respect the office.
Giannoulias said such talk is "disgusting" Brings up again he is going positive (in ads) for the rest of the campaign...should not be talking about why Obama is "scooping dogs poop" a reference to Obama telling a group recently he had to go home to deal with Bo, the dog.

7:42 Most proud achievements
Giannoulias: saving Hartmarx
Kirk most of all, being a thoughtful moderate. and North Chicago VA hospital, among other.

7:35 Kirk who backed Iraq war with "moral certitude" said he was lied to by CIA official--as were Democrats.
Giannoulias "this is a big problem." from someone who touts his intelligence experience and asked Congress to trust him --Kirk made that moral certitude comment from the floor of the House and the Giannoulias campaign has been highlighting this for weeks.

Giannoulias hits Kirk for not voting for the surge in Iraq.

Kirk brings up Iran...he said he does not rely on CIA for intel on Iran but the United Nations...."this may be the issue next year" the next senator will have to work on


Giannoulias...we should step back and let parties decide...(Obama called for a settlement freeze, an extension of the ten-month freeze Israeli PM Netanyahu gave Obama.

All options should be on the table, Giannoulias said.

Kirk said best option is through the "cut off of foreign gasoline supplies to Iran," something that Kirk has been working on...."Cut off Iran's gas"..empowered diplomacy...

Kirk on settlements: Obama more concerned about "zoning issues in Jerusalem" than Iran nuclear threat. How can Palestinians deliver peace.

7:31 Dont Ask Dont Tell
Kirk...better to let the Joint Chiefs of Staff decide. Kirk said he does not know anyone in the military who is gay.
Giannolias is for the repeal.

AFGHANISTAN: Difference Approaches
Giannolias...we need to draw down and downsize our troops as quickly as possible.
Kirk...i served in Afghanistan twice. "I was at West Point when he delivered that famous speech," a reference to President Obama speech announcing Afghanistan policy.
Kirk says an extension of deadline will probably be recommended and he hopes Obama does that.

7:24 KIRK holding up a paper chart on national debt...not a great visual...since the paper is shaking in his hand....back and forth on tax cuts for the wealthy..Kirk for retaining Bush era tax cuts, Giannoulias for cuts for those below $250,000.

Ponce asks, did the stimulus package avoid a Depression. Kirk said no. Stimulus success claims "overstated," Kirk said. Most people credit TARP legislation for stopping the emergency---which Kirk supported. Kirk said Giannoulias said would have voted for TARP and Giannoulias said no he did not....THEN Giannoulias said he did....

SHOWDOWN...Kirk said this shows Giannoulias is "immature" and this was a flip flop. They go back and forth and Kirk shoots to Ponce, "You want to moderate this?

7:29 Neither candidate has personal Facebook pages, we learn.

7:17 back and forth on Giannoulias running the Bright Star college plan...a major Kirk issue...Kirk at one time--before, he said, he had all the documents--that Giannoulias was not at fault--Giannoulias said did best he could

STRATEGY WATCH: GIANNOULIAS bringing up Karl Rove name at least twice--people dont like, his campaign figures, GOP political guru...ALSO..STRESSING that he has pulled down his negative ads only running positive ad and Kirk is only running negative ads. In the press filing room: for Giannolias, Pete Giangreco, for Kirk, Lance Trover.

7:13 Ponce asks why Kirk exagerrated, what with his record. So far Kirk same answer, apologized to the "people of the state of Illinois."

Ponce follows...boating accident, award, subject to ground fire.."why a pattern," he says trying again. But Kirk has been to this movie before and hits Giannoulias for "he hasn't served a day in uniform in his life....did I make mistakes and learn a painful lesson? I did" All this Kirk has said before. What is different here is that more people may be listening--this is the first live debate in prime time. Meet the Press was Sunday morning and debate two on ABC was at 10:35 p.m.

7:06 Giannoulias getting grilled on what he knew about crime figures getting loans from family owned Broadway Bank...sticking to "if we knew then what we know now" would have not done business with these people. Ponce brings up two in particular were facing prison.

Kirk brings out list he used at second debate, with crime figure names doing business with Broadwat Bankin yellow...saying almost word for word what he said

Giannoulias..."guilt by association. I've brought my own list...Stuart Levine, other GOP donors...lets elevate this campaign...

Giannoulias talks about TV ads: He's pulled all his positive ads and is only running negative.

Kirk said he refunded money from Levine and others...brings up Rezko....Giannoulias breaks in and notes that Kirk got donations from Rezko too..

So far, this third and final debate most intense yet.

"What I did not do is loan money to Tony Rezko

7:05 Outside money ....Both agree need more disclosure. Disagree how

7:00 Host Phil Ponce asks what in the negative Illinois Senate campaign they can say that is nice. Republican Mark Kirk said Democratic Alexi Giannoulias called when his father died and Giannoulias offered a compliment too

The third and final Illinois Senate debate is starting now at WTTW-channel 11 Chicago


Is it just me, or did Ponce decide to take the night off tonight? Between bloodshed almost breaking out between Kirk and Alexi, and Ponce pretty much giving Kirk an open forum for double digit minutes without interruption, for a short while I was literally wondering if Ponce decided to just step out for a smoke.

Dont get me wrong... I'm not complaining since I voted for Kirk and he came off VERY well tonight, but geez... he was practically a one man show thanks to Ponce. It wasn't exactly a "balanced" forum for both candidates to feature themselves.

Hi all,

The Blog states:

"Giannoulias talks about TV ads: He's pulled all his positive ads and is only running negative."

You've got this wrong.

Giannoulias clearly stated that he is pulling all NEGATIVE adverts and only running positive adverts from now on!!

Please correct this.

Thank You

I'd have to say :
Roll back of Health Care Reform = another Lehman Brothers of U.S. economy.
Middle class & housing market collapse & an irrevocable cash under the mattress.

It's well known that democracy & technology shape the future of a nation.
Let's give Democrats a chance to make headway.
The former President Bill Clinton said "It took me four years to balance the budget, then I gave you four surpluses, paid $600 billion down on the national debt,"

And I'd say : It took 8 years for the Bush mishandling to get a final verdict.
Let's not fall for the outrageous claim : Heal the 8 year-long chronic disease quickly, but do not see a doctor, adding to the deficit.
I do believe strongly that the nope or tea party, the insane group, are set to wreck a havoc on America.

Maybe Kirk voted "against" equal pay because nothing has worked to close the gender wage gap -- not the Equal Pay for Equal Work Act, not affirmative action, not diversity... Nor will the Ledbetter Fair Pay Act and the Paycheck Fairness Act work. The wage gap will stubbornly persist because pay-equity advocates stubbornly ignore this:

Despite the 40-year-old demand for women's equal pay, millions of wives still choose to have no pay at all. In fact, according to Dr. Scott Haltzman, author of "The Secrets of Happily Married Women," stay-at-home wives, including the childless, constitute a growing niche. "In the past few years,” he says in a CNN August 2008 report at, “many women who are well educated and trained for career tracks have decided instead to stay at home.” (“Census Bureau data show that 5.6 million mothers stayed home with their children in 2005, about 1.2 million more than did so a decade earlier....” at Perhaps more women are staying at home because feminists and the media have told them relentlessly for years that women are paid less than men in the same jobs, and so why bother working if they're going to be penalized and humiliated for being a woman.)

As full-time mothers or homemakers, stay-at-home wives earn zero. How can they afford to do this while in many cases living in luxury? Because they're supported by their husband.

If millions of wives can accept no wages and live as well as their husbands, millions of other wives can accept low wages, refuse to work overtime, refuse promotions, take more unpaid days off, avoid uncomfortable wage-bargaining — all of which lowers women's average pay. They can do this because they are supported by husbands who must earn more than if they'd remained single — which is how MEN help create the wage gap. (If the roles were reversed so that men raised the children and women raised the income, men would average lower pay than women.)

By the way, the next Equal Occupational Fatality Day is in 2020. The year 2020 is how far into the future women will have to work to experience the same number of work-related deaths that men experienced in 2009 alone. See

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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 27, 2010 7:02 PM.

Rahm Emanuel reacts to Tom Dart dropping out of Chicago mayor race. Video was the previous entry in this blog.

Illinois Senate: Giannoulias, Kirk third and last debate. Video is the next entry in this blog.

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