May 4th, 2010
04:31 PM ET
4 years ago

Kirk mentions BP, accuses Giannoulias of distracting in new ad

Republican Mark Kirk's new ad mentions embattled energy company BP.
Republican Mark Kirk's new ad mentions embattled energy company BP.

(CNN) – Illinois Republican Rep. Mark Kirk is out with a new television ad that both accuses his opponent of distracting voters and refers to embattled energy company BP.

Kirk and Democrat Alexi Giannoulias, the Illinois State Treasurer, will face off in November's midterm election in an effort to win the Senate seat once held by President Obama.

The 30-second spot says Giannoulias is trying to distract attention from the recent failure of the bank founded Giannoulias' family which was seized by the FDIC late last month.

Related: Giannoulias discusses family bank in TV ad

Then the ad turns positive and focuses on Kirk's record. "Because of Kirk's record on stem cells and stopping British Petroleum's pollution of Lake Michigan, he's called 'independent' and 'effective,' the ad says.

Asked for a response to the new Kirk ad, the Giannoulias campaign said Kirk was not in touch with voters' concerns.

"Only someone as out of touch as Congressman Mark Kirk would say talking about jobs and the economy during a campaign is a distraction," Giannoulias campaign spokesman Matt McGrath told CNN.

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Filed under: 2010 • Alexi Giannoulias • Illinois • Mark Kirk
April 7th, 2010
02:25 PM ET
4 years ago

Kirk reports cash haul, Giannoulias responds

Rep. Mark Kirk's campaign announced their first quarter fundraising totals on Wednesday.
Rep. Mark Kirk's campaign announced their first quarter fundraising totals on Wednesday.

Washington (CNN) – Rep. Mark Kirk, the Illinois Republican seeking President Obama's old Senate seat, raised $2.2 million in the first quarter of 2010, and has more than $3 million in the bank, his campaign said Wednesday.

"Illinois voters have a clear choice in this election to change direction, create jobs and restore integrity to the State of Illinois," the five-term congressman said in a written statement.

Kirk is set to face Democratic nominee and Illinois State Treasurer Alexi Giannoulias in November. Current Illinois Sen. Roland Burris, a Democrat, will not seek a full term for the seat he was appointed to after Obama became president.

The Giannoulias campaign has not released its own fundraising totals for the first quarter, but did respond to the Kirk figures.

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Filed under: 2010 • Alexi Giannoulias • Illinois • Mark Kirk
March 18th, 2010
01:23 PM ET
4 years ago

Axelrod weighs in on Illinois Senate race

David Axelrod fired back Wednesday at Rep. Mark Kirk, a Republican who is seeking to replace Sen. Roland Burris as the junior Senator from Illinois.
David Axelrod fired back Wednesday at Rep. Mark Kirk, a Republican who is seeking to replace Sen. Roland Burris as the junior Senator from Illinois.

Washington (CNN) - Senior White House adviser David Axelrod brought the White House bully pulpit to bear Wednesday on Rep. Mark Kirk, the Republican hoping to capture Barack Obama's old Senate seat in November.

In an interview with the Chicago Sun-Times, Axelrod criticized Kirk for telling a group of Republicans last week that if elected, he will, "lead the effort to repeal this [health care] bill."

"As an Illinoisan, I have to say, I find his remarks disappointing," Axelrod told the Sun-Times. "Given the great challenges America, and families across Illinois face today, the last thing we need is another Republican senator in Washington who is more focused on tearing down the President than he is on solving problems."

This isn't the first time that the White House has lent its support to Alexi Giannoulias, the Illinois state treasurer that will face Kirk in November.

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Filed under: 2010 • Alexi Giannoulias • David Axelrod • Illinois • Mark Kirk
March 15th, 2010
11:40 AM ET
4 years ago

First Senate ads to hit Illinois

Rep. Mark Kirk is out Monday with his first TV ad.
Rep. Mark Kirk is out Monday with his first TV ad.

Washington (CNN) - A Republican candidate vying to capture President Obama's old Senate seat released his first political ad of the season Monday.

The 30-second spot highlights Rep. Mark Kirk's record on tax cuts and what his campaign calls, "a thoughtful, independent and effective record of standing up to special interests and party leaders."

Set to run statewide, the ad entitled "Independent" also focuses on Kirk's military service as a naval intelligence officer.

The ad paints Kirk as a centrist, as the candidate seeks to shore up support with independent voters ahead of the general election.

But the ad's narrator also says Kirk will work to "end the corruption in Illinois" as images of current Senator Roland Burris and former Gov. Rod Blagojevich flash on screen.

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Filed under: 2010 • Illinois • Mark Kirk
February 2nd, 2010
11:48 PM ET
4 years ago

Illinois picks contenders to fight for Obama's former Senate seat

CHICAGO, Illinois (CNN) – Illinois Treasurer Alexi Giannoulias on Tuesday night emerged as the Democratic Party's choice to fight for President Barack Obama's former Senate seat.

Giannoulias will now take on moderate five-term Republican Rep. Mark Kirk in the November mid-term elections. Kirk won the GOP primary handily Tuesday night.

Political analysts have said it might be an uphill climb for the Democrats to hold onto the seat that Obama vacated when he became president last year.

Giannoulias' opponent, former Chicago inspector general David Hoffman, conceded in a phone call to him about 10:40 p.m.

Tuesday's primaries included competitive races in both parties for senatorial, gubernatorial and several congressional seats. There were also contests for attorney general, secretary of state, comptroller and treasurer.

But most of the attention focused on the Senate race.
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Filed under: 2010 • Alexi Giannoulias • Illinois • Mark Kirk
January 26th, 2010
06:03 AM ET
5 years ago

Jewish political groups spar over anti-Semitism

ALT TEXT

The National Jewish Democratic Council questioned several Republican leaders for not speaking out against Tea Party activists who allegedly invoked strong Holocaust references at a November rally on health care. (Photo Credit: Getty Images/File)

Washington (CNN) – The Republican Jewish Coalition called foul Monday on the National Jewish Democratic Council after the group criticized GOP leaders and an Illinois Republican Senate candidate for failing, in its estimation, to repudiate anti-Semitic rhetoric.

The NJDC wrapped its' criticism of the GOP in a statement declaring that it had "launched a 'pledge campaign' to demand that federal candidates condemn and refrain from 'abusive Holocaust rhetoric and anti-Semitic language.'"

The NJDC offered specific praise for the candidates seeking the Illinois Democratic Senate nomination, while at the same time disparaging Rep. Mark Kirk, R-Illinois, for not embracing their language. Kirk is running for the Republican Senate nomination.

"The leading Democratic candidates for U.S. Senate in Illinois have committed to condemn and repudiate abusive Holocaust comparisons and anti-Semitic remarks made by anyone claiming to support their candidacy or attending any campaign events," Linda Berg, NJDC political director, said in the statement. "Where are Mark Kirk and the other Republican candidates on this important issue, and why won't they pledge to take a stand against this profoundly divisive rhetoric?"

Kirk condemned anti-Semitism in a blog entry time stamped Monday morning on his official House Web site.

"As we pause to remember the horrors of the Nazi genocide, we must reaffirm our commitment to fight anti-Semitism and Holocaust denial in our day – at home and around the world," Kirk wrote in the post.

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Filed under: Mark Kirk • Popular Posts
January 25th, 2010
07:58 PM ET
5 years ago

Jewish political groups spar over anti-Semitism

ALT TEXT

The National Jewish Democratic Council questioned several Republican leaders for not speaking out against Tea Party activists who allegedly invoked strong Holocaust references at a November rally on health care. (Photo Credit: Getty Images/File)

Washington (CNN) – The Republican Jewish Coalition called foul Monday on the National Jewish Democratic Council after the group criticized GOP leaders and an Illinois Republican Senate candidate for failing, in its estimation, to repudiate anti-Semitic rhetoric.

The NJDC wrapped its' criticism of the GOP in a statement declaring that it had "launched a 'pledge campaign' to demand that federal candidates condemn and refrain from 'abusive Holocaust rhetoric and anti-Semitic language.'"

The NJDC offered specific praise for the candidates seeking the Illinois Democratic Senate nomination, while at the same time disparaging Rep. Mark Kirk, R-Illinois, for not embracing their language. Kirk is running for the Republican Senate nomination.

"The leading Democratic candidates for U.S. Senate in Illinois have committed to condemn and repudiate abusive Holocaust comparisons and anti-Semitic remarks made by anyone claiming to support their candidacy or attending any campaign events," Linda Berg, NJDC political director, said in the statement. "Where are Mark Kirk and the other Republican candidates on this important issue, and why won't they pledge to take a stand against this profoundly divisive rhetoric?"

Kirk condemned anti-Semitism in a blog entry time stamped Monday morning on his official House Web site.

"As we pause to remember the horrors of the Nazi genocide, we must reaffirm our commitment to fight anti-Semitism and Holocaust denial in our day – at home and around the world," Kirk wrote in the post.

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Filed under: Extra • Mark Kirk
July 20th, 2009
04:59 PM ET
5 years ago

Republican congressman announces bid for Obama's Senate seat

Rep. Mark Kirk announced Monday that he would seek the Republican nomination for Illinois' open U.S. Senate seat in 2010.
Rep. Mark Kirk announced Monday that he would seek the Republican nomination for Illinois' open U.S. Senate seat in 2010.

(CNN) - Mark Kirk, the five-term congressman representing the northern Chicago suburbs, announced Monday he will seek the Republican nomination for Illinois' open U.S. Senate seat in 2010.

The seat was formally held by Barack Obama, and currently belongs to Sen. Roland Burris who has said he will not seek to defend it.

Kirk, a moderate Republican whose district leans Democrat, said in Monday's announcement speech that he is "not an ideologue or party partisan," according to the Chicago Tribune.

The National Republican Senatorial Committee quickly endorsed Kirk, calling him an "experienced leader."

Meanwhile, the Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee was quick to tie Kirk to former President Bush's economic policies.

“Republicans are asking the people of Illinois to replace the President with the anti-President,” DSCC Communications Director Eric Schultz said. “Congressman Kirk supported the Bush economic approach that got us into this mess and is now standing in the way of President Obama’s solutions at every turn.”

On the Democratic side, candidates reportedly eyeing the seat include Illinois Treasurer Alexi Giannoulias, Chicago Urban League President Cheryle Jackson, and Chicago businessman Christopher Kennedy. Kennedy is the son of the late Sen. Robert F. Kennedy, D-New York.
Lisa Madigan, the current state attorney general widely believed to be a top candidate for the Democratic nomination, said earlier this month she would not run.

(Updated with DSCC comment)


Filed under: Mark Kirk
July 15th, 2009
01:00 PM ET
5 years ago

Kirk to announce statewide run in Illinois

WASHINGTON (CNN) – Republican Rep. Mark Kirk may make his run for the Senate in 2010 official next week.

His office said Wednesday that the congressman would announce a "statewide candidacy" Monday morning at a suburb outside Chicago.

Kirk has reportedly been seriously weighing a bid for the seat currently filled by embattled Sen. Roland Burris, who announced on Friday that he would not run for election. Burris was appointed by former Gov. Rod Blagojevich, who was arrested on corruption charges that he tried to sell President Obama's Senate seat.

The state Republican Party chairman, Andy McKenna, was also considering running for the Senate seat, but announced Monday that would "not oppose" Kirk if the congressman decided to run, as GOP officials have hoped.


Filed under: 2010 • Mark Kirk
June 16th, 2009
02:26 PM ET
5 years ago

GOP lawmakers offer 'practical' health reform plan

WASHINGTON (CNN) - A group of congressional Republicans offered what they call a "centrist, practical" plan to overhaul the U.S. health care system Tuesday, one they say would be the cheapest of any option proposed so far.

Illinois Rep. Mark Kirk said the package put together by moderate Republicans in the House of Representatives would be far cheaper than a plan being drawn up in the Senate. A preliminary review of that plan by the Congressional Budget Office found it would cost about $1 trillion over 10 years to extend health insurance to 16 million people who otherwise would not be covered - about a third of the roughly 45 million now uninsured.

"I think this plan that we put forward is more centrist, more bipartisan and would be at significantly lower cost," Kirk said. He said no cost estimate had been prepared for the measures he put forth Tuesday, but asserted its elements would require less money from taxpayers than other proposals.

The package announced by the GOP "Tuesday Group" includes some perennial Republican favorites such as regulatory relief, an individual tax break for purchasing health insurance, and limits on malpractice lawsuits. It also would encourage insurers to pool their coverage to a greater extent than currently allowed, which Kirk and other supporters say has worked well in California.

But it also emphasizes preventive care, computerizing patient records and reducing "defensive medicine" by promoting treatments proven effective - all principles the White House has endorsed as well.

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Filed under: Health care • Mark Kirk
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