U.S. Sen. Mark Kirk was a leading sponsor of congressional legislation that has meant $5.3 million for two clients of his onetime girlfriend, and he is backing another bill that could bring millions of dollars to a third group she represented.
Kirk supported bills directing the Treasury Department to mint and sell collectible coins, with a surcharge for three nonprofit groups — all of which had hired Arcadian Partners, a public relations firm led by Dodie McCracken, Kirk’s ex-girlfriend and former congressional staffer.
When he was in the House, Kirk backed commemorative coin bills that yielded $2.81 million for the Disabled Veterans’ LIFE Memorial Foundation and almost $2.5 million for the Congressional Medal of Honor Foundation. In the Senate, Kirk in December co-sponsored a coin bill that, if passed, could send up to $5 million to another McCracken client, the March of Dimes.
At least two of the three bills were introduced after Kirk and McCracken became romantically involved, including the March of Dimes bill, which he co-sponsored while the two were living together.