Did Mark Kirk play you for a chump?

By DOUG IBENDAHL • October 11, 2010
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POLITICO just dropped a bombshell with a story Sunday evening about a leaked email written by Mark Kirk to his campaign manager Eric Elk on November 3, 2009. Full story: Kirk feared attack from right.


POLITICO says the email came from a Democratic operative who in turn claims to have received it from “someone close to Kirk’s inner circle.” Could a certain “Svengali figure” be involved somehow? We just don’t know.


In any case, the email and its instructions reflect some panic on Kirk’s part going into the campaign season for the February Primary. Kirk’s email was sent just a few days after liberal Republican Dede Scozzafava dropped out of a special election for a U.S. Congressional seat in upstate New York. Scozzafava suspended her campaign because she was running so far behind the Conservative Party candidate, Doug Hoffman.


Kirk wrote on November 3rd, “The moderate brand has to be rebuilt after Scozzafava implosion.”


Kirk goes on to give his campaign manager several marching orders – most of which in essence relate to keeping gullible conservatives within the Kirk campaign fold.


The POLITICO story points out that the day following the email is when Kirk’s campaign reached out to Sarah Palin seeking some kind of an endorsement.


The good news is Palin is a smart woman and obviously saw right through the scam. She ignored Kirk’s appeals. The bad news is many conservatives in Illinois took the bait hook line and sinker.


So are you one of the “conservatives” who has been helping Kirk, or at least keeping quiet about him? Think you’re special because Kirk or one of his operatives reached out to you? Well guess what, you’re not. Kirk set out the strategy on November 3rd where the campaign would “communicate with conservative elites” and convince them to sell-out their souls. Many of course have – but not here at RepublicanNewsWatch.com. We still proudly highlight Mark Kirk’s extremely liberal voting record on our front page.


After reading all the excerpts POLITICO provides from Kirk’s memo, it’s not clear which is the most offensive – the cynical way Kirk intends to bamboozle conservatives, or his poor grammar.


Decide for yourself, but I still say screw Mark Kirk. The guy isn’t a Republican to begin with and we can’t possibly build a real GOP around someone so dishonest. And make no mistake, if Kirk becomes a U.S. Senator he becomes the de facto head of the Illinois Republican Party – to an even greater degree than he and his people already are.


Conservatives and Tea Partiers should also wake up and realize that a Senator Kirk would be the liberal fly in the ointment, the liberal in the GOP senate caucus who will hinder the new agenda incoming conservatives will surely try to advance.


Finally, if your goal is to stick it to President Obama, electing Mark Kirk gets you nowhere. Not only is Kirk mostly in tune with Obama on the big issues, but consider how the GOP winning both the House and Senate can be expected to assist Obama with reelection in 2012. He’ll now have a foil to campaign against for two years.


Absent something big and unforeseen happening in the next few weeks, Republicans seem nearly assured of winning back control of the U.S. House. If we get back the U.S. Senate too, that’s great – but I do think there’s a downside. And in any case, if Republicans do get a majority in the Senate, it needs to be thanks to principled Republicans who stand for something Republican. Obviously that excludes Mark Kirk.


Doug Ibendahl is a Chicago Attorney and a former General Counsel of the Illinois Republican Party.


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