Friday, July 31, 2009

Senate Candidate Mark Kirk Begins Statewide Tour

I was wondering when Congressman Mark Kirk was going to head south of I-80 with his campaign for U.S. Senate, and it looks like I didn't have to wait too long. Kirk announced a statewide tour to begin this Saturday, but I don't have any more details as of yet.

As you might expect, Kirk is getting a lot of scrutiny in the media, and he's certainly gotten his share over the years, but this is definitely the big time, now. Kirk is still getting questions on his Cap and Trade vote, but it appears he may be winning back conservatives to some degree as he has indicated he 'got the message' about disappointment from the right wing of the party on his vote. The lefties have noticed that as well.

Also, yesterday's story was that Kirk had two "tweets" sent out while he was on active duty in the naval reserves (if you don't know what a "tweet" is, you probably are still in the majority, but better figure it out fast). Rich Miller at Cap Fax Blog put up a post on this, which has been picked up by others, and many are asking questions this morning about whether this violated military regulations for a number of different reasons. However, there doesn't seem to be a clear answer, at least not yet, in large part due to the fact that Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn and other new social media tools are so new, it sometimes is a challenge to apply the 'old rules' to these new media. While this seems to be a hot story right this minute, I think the Dems' ability to potentially capitalize on this (if, in fact, there's anything here) is severely limited, considering the very story clearly highlight's Kirk's military service, which none of his expected top opponents can tout.

Getting back to the Kirk statewide strategy, here's a good article by Greg Blankenship of the Springfield State Journal-Register that lays out the landscape Kirk faces nicely. That saves me a lot of time teeing up today's issue, which is what advice you would give Team Kirk to help transplant their successful 10th District operation to a statewide basis?


Anonymous said...

Despite what the know nothings on Illinois Review and Democrats like Rob N elsewhere say, this is not an impossible task and very very doable. Remember many of the democrats right now in the senate playing a big role in the health care fight, conrad from dakota, reid from nevada, baucus from montana, and formerly daschle from dakota, were all dems elected DURING or just after the reagan revolution in red states. Mark can pull it off, he just needs to pick it up a notch. And remember I am probabaly his biggest detractor of his fans on here.

For what it's worth, durbin was pro-life, pro-gun, anti-enviornment as a congressman.


Anonymous said...

Hey TA, a friend of mine from a small town in the southern part of IL was on a tele town hall phone call last night with Mark Kirk and her Congressman, John Shimkus. I was happy to see that he has transported his very successful way of communicating with people to outside this district. While my friend and her husband are far more conservative in their thinking than I am on most issues, they were really impressed with how our Mark presented his views. He picked up my friends as supporters.
I'm happy that Mark will be leaving the area to get known south of I-80. Once people meet him, hear him speak, he has the unique ability to sell himself.
As for the Tweet. It's nothing other than bloviating by those on the other side who have nothing else to chatter about.I'm not a Twitter person so you can guess my age. By the way, I can't access the Mark Kirk for Senate website. Can you help?

Anonymous said...

Foklaes, you're right about what and who Durbin was way back in the day. He was all that and more. There were many of us bound and determined to rid our State and our nation of Paul Findley. While we don't have a thug like that to oppose, we DO have in Mark Kirk the kind of Senator who will bring the kind of leadership and balance we need in the Senate. I sincerely believe that Mark Kirk can do a state-wide tour and pick up many new supporters but it won't be easy and it won't be in one fell swoop. I hope that you and others who like to pick at and pick on Mark Kirk will do so, but ONLY in a constructive and productive manner. I have to believe that you share our commitment to have him be the next Senator from our State. You are right when you say that this is doable. Join the Kirk for Senate team, Foklaes, and give us your support.

Anonymous said...

Read that stuff on Capitol Fax yesterday. Looks like Lou Atsaves took Rob N's pathetic rantings on this subject and stuffed them back into his face! Way to go Lou!

Anonymous said...

Louis really needs to end Karen May and be done with it. What a terrific fighter he'd be in springfield.

Durbin makes me physically ill. Some issues in politics are lagging indicators, guns and abortion are 2. The country is starting to move beyond culture wars and Mark will easily be able to get the hicks downstate to realize that he is their only way to stop obama. We dont like obama, but trust me, after speaking with some of my conservative friends from the south the other day and the unprintable words they had for sonia sotomayer and socialized medicene they are desperate as starving dogs or rabid ellens to see obama stopped even if it means a social liberal like Mark.

FYI, there were a TON of southern pro-life republicans that drooled over Rudy because they saw him as a fiscal and national security hawk and knew that like Mark he wouldn't change the party on guns or abortion.


Anonymous said...

Hey, FOKLAES. Some of us have been working for years to build bridges between the Moderates and Conservatives in our Party, so it would help if people stopped referring to the IR folks and readers as "know nothings", because theyre not.

Anonymous said...

The Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff has a tweet account. So do most U.S. military commanders.

I checked and found that members of the military are encouraged to talk about military life on facebook and twitter -- generally helps recruiting. Nearly all sailors at Great Lakes have such accounts and they are told they can keep them.

Hope the Democrats keep talking about this -- reminds all that Alexi Ginanoulias has never worn the uniform

Anonymous said...

No one seems to need a reminder that Alexi doesn't wear "the uniform". I think most who know of Alexi, also know he doesn't.

Anonymous said...

Congressman Mark Kirk for senator? Not according to the experiences of this District 10 citizen.

Voters need to know a few basic answers from Mr. Kirk, who wants to be an Illinois senator. I’m a constituent who has lived in Mr. Kirk's 10th District for 23 years. These are my independent observations, not those of any political party.

Here's a letter sent to the Wilmette Life, exploring aspects of Mr. Kirk's management style. (See also my blog at


(Letter to the editor, edited and printed in the Wilmette Life, May 8, 2008, slightly re-edited)

In April, 2008, General David Petraeus testified before Congress on Iraq. It’s a good time to ask: has anybody examined Congressman Mark Kirk’s e-mails and newsletters leading to the general’s last appearance in September, 2007? If so, you’ve captured Mr. Kirk’s stance. What does the public record reveal?

Most noticeable is what’s missing. We, the public. Aside from a June, 2007 mail-in survey (four questions), we’ve registered hardly a murmur.

Search District 10’s website. Ask town librarian, village trustees, neighbors: did Mr. Kirk during June, July, August 2007, running up to September’s decision-making time on the "Iraq surge," arrange a single pre-announced opportunity to debate by town, township or district, the Iraq war as a priority? This refers to all venues under Mr. Kirk’s control (not to the large anti-Iraq war rally held at Northbrook’s Renaissance Hotel, addressed by Congresswoman Jan Schakowsky and Iraq veterans, and absent Mr. Kirk, on August 28, 2007).

Despite apparent unwillingness to schedule any debate, Mr. Kirk sent constituents a Congressional e-mail dated September 20, following (not preceding) Petraeus’s September 10-11 appearance. Mr. Kirk claimed he had made a “bipartisan effort to open a constructive, non-political dialogue on Iraq." Held September 10 (one day before spin-sensitive 9/11). Location, undisclosed.

The Chicago Tribune reported the host: Chicago Council on Global Affairs. The event took place at The Chicago Club, in Chicago. The Council’s website (" Programs: Past programs: 9/10/07") states: “This complimentary event is exclusively for invited guests.”

Nevertheless, Mr. Kirk's e-mail: “I was grateful for the opportunity to lead this roundtable discussion about the most important issue before the nation.”

Anyone remember Mr. Kirk’s “roundtable discussion” on Iraq? Were we invited? Did Mr. Kirk grant any such debate to District 10? Before, not after, Petraeus's appearance?

All we, the public, got was an e-mail, after the fact, informing us of a dialogue in which we never took part.

(District 10 alone has spent 2.8 billion dollars for the Iraq war in total spending approved to date. Source: National Priorities Project)

Anonymous said...

Congressman Mark Kirk for senator? Not according to the experiences of this District 10 citizen.

Here's a letter sent to the Wilmette Life, exploring aspects of Mr. Kirk's management style. (See also my blog at

(Letter to the editor, printed in the Wilmette Life, April 3, 2008, slightly re-edited)

Have an appointment with Congressman Mark Kirk’s staff? As I discovered, the journey can be a pain without a car. The public has access to the barest minimum of public transportation to Mr. Kirk’s office at 707 Skokie Boulevard.

Representing an area where rail service forms the all-important spine, the office’s nearest three stations are Northbrook, 2 miles away, Braeside, 1.5 miles, and Ravinia Park, 1.5 miles. A single bus route, Pace 626, runs on Skokie Boulevard during restricted hours. Northbound is limited to 5:40 a.m. to 9:25 a.m. Southbound to 2:45 p.m. to 6:45 p.m. Neither north nor southbound routes pick up passengers at any of the three train stations.

To confirm this, I called Mark Kirk’s staff. An assistant, inquiring internally, could not find any staff member who knew the hours of public transportation by train, bus, or any combination to Mr. Kirk’s office. She advised to check the Pace website.

When I arrived (by borrowed car) for my appointment, I found no public sidewalk leads to the building where Mark Kirk represents us. Mr. Kirk, eschewing numerous friendly village centers that populate the North Shore, has located his office in a steel and glass tower in a corporate parking lot. This tower borders, along with six other corporate islands, a major highway. The lot is surrounded by a spaghetti bowl of 6-lane, 5-lane, 4-lane, and 2-lane highways on four sides.

Facing the highway sits a large corporate sign. Absent on its impressive sides are both “District 10” and “Congressman Mark Kirk.” Non-existent is any nearby town infrastructure such as restaurants or coffee shops which might draw the inquiring citizen.

Getting a Congressman’s attention can be problematic in the 10th District. It’s more difficult if its headquarters, like its constituents, is invisible.

Anonymous said...

Congressman Mark Kirk for senator? Not according to the experiences of this District 10 citizen.

Voters need to know a few basic answers from Mr. Kirk, who wants to be an Illinois senator. I’m a constituent who has lived in Mr. Kirk's 10th District for 23 years. These are my independent observations, not those of any political party.

Here's a letter sent to the Wilmette Life, exploring aspects of Mr. Kirk's management style. (See also my blog at


(Letter to the editor, edited and printed in the Wilmette Life, July 17, 2008, slightly re-edited)

One key to democracy -- and thanks to the internet, one of the most important keys -- continues to dangle firmly out of reach in Congressman Mark Kirk’s 10th District. That’s the notion of giving public notice of District 10’s town meetings on District 10’s tax-paid website (, a resource Congressionally mandated for district use.

Instead, the site has become a velvet glove that fits, web-tight, Mr. Kirk’s concept of “public relations.” Mr. Kirk’s photo and name proliferate alongside Kirk-friendly headlines on veterans, Medicare, gas prices, family planning, the emerald ash borer, even a “Kid’s Page.”

But a probe into the website’s slickness reveals a chilling lapse. Under “town,” “town meeting,” “town hall meeting,” “village,” or “village meeting,” the search engine routinely reports no public notices for upcoming town meetings in any town, on any issue, for any date, throughout District 10.

Mr. Kirk's batting average, 0 for 100, is no accident. Instead, town meetings are publicized with low-profile announcements in the local paper. For example, the only apparent public notice for Palatine’s February 21, 2008 town meeting was an 88-word announcement in that day’s Daily Herald, bottom of page 3.

Mr. Kirk also delivers automated calls, postcards, and e-newsletters to controlled lists of District 10 citizens. These do not conform to public notices of town meetings. Nor does Mr. Kirk divulge voter lists of citizens who are notified or the method by which names are selected. Call Aaron Winters, Deputy Communications Director, to receive a well-rehearsed “no comment.”

In a democracy increasingly reliant on the internet, how can we express ourselves to Congressman Mark Kirk if District 10’s website is kept clear of public meeting notices?

Mr. Kirk alone holds that key.

Anonymous said...

Mr Kirk,

Where do you stand on the assualt weapons ban? Where do you stand on one gun a month limit and trigger locks? Where do you stand on the Brady gun ban?

We know where you stand, you stand with the Democrats. If you truely want to get people of ALL down state Illinois you will have to stand up for 2nd ammendment rights.

Sadly you have stood with the Democrats. If you haven't noticed the you are a republican. All of Illinois is NOT like Chicago.

Start representing the whole of Illinos then perhaps those of us that are sportman, and those of that want to protect there families, family values and property will support you.

Anonymous said...

Since Mark Kirk wants to represent all of us in Illinois, I wonder when he will try to sell his "thoughtful, independent leadership" to those of us in the southwest suburbs. In my part of the state we have legislators like Congressman Lipinski, State Senator Maloney, State Rep. Brosnahan, and State. Rep. Joyce. These centrist Democrats are almost always to RIGHT of Kirk on social issues, and sometimes even on fiscal issues. Maybe voting with Planned Parenthood 100% of the time, even supporting partial birth abortion, is considered "thoughtful" on the north shore but in my neck of the woods (and probably in most of America) that makes you a liberal extremist. Kirk's "suburban values" sure aren't the values of those of us in the southwest suburbs.

Anonymous said...

Democrats will speak about this hoping so..
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