The Illinois Senate Fight

In Illinois Democrat Alexi Giannoulias is attempting to win the Senate seat vacated by President Barack Obama, facing Republican Congressman Mark Kirk. Suffolk University was in the field at the beginning of October, and pollster David Paleologos shows a dead heat, with Kirk leading 43% to 42%. Meet the Press had them on for a debate today, and I clipped the section dealing with the federal budget and the deficit. (I cannot help myself) Two issues come at you quickly. The first is that Kirk is full of baloney on the hilarious notion that he is a “deficit hawk”. Having been in office for the Bush Presidency he was called on his record by Giannoulias, who cited many embarrassing votes taken by Kirk that added to the deficit. Kirk also pointedly refused to sign on to Republican Rep. Paul Ryan’s Roadmap plan, which attacks the deficit in ways that would likely be unpopular. He instead followed the Pledge to America, which calls for rolling federal spending back to 2008 levels. As David Gregory points out to him that is woefully inadequate to even make a dent in the budget deficit.

As for Giannoulias he was not much better with regard to the deficit, but he at least said that he would consider the recommendations of the Presidents Deficit Commission, and that we would have to take tough medicine.

The race has been tough and nasty, with Kirk lobbing accusations of misconduct at Giannoulias over his family banking business. From The Chicago Tribune:

The family bank of Democratic Senate candidate Alexi Giannoulias loaned a pair of Chicago crime figures about $20 million during a 14-month period when Giannoulias was a senior loan officer, according to a Tribune examination that provides new details about the bank’s relationship with the convicted felons.

Not to be outdone Congressman Kirk has “embellished” his military record a la Dick Blumenthal, even saying that he once commanded the Pentagon war room.

Republican U.S. Senate candidate Mark Kirk accepted responsibility Thursday for a series of misstatements about his Navy Reserve career, including that he served in the Gulf War, that he once commanded the Pentagon war room and that he came under fire while flying intelligence missions over Iraq.

Read the Chicago Tribune story on Kirk here.

Read the Chicago Tribune story on Giannoulias here.

A key race as the parties battle to control the U.S. Senate.

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