Democrat Alexi Giannoulias has been hitting his GOP opponent, Congressman Mark Kirk, pretty hard with charges of lying and attacks on Kirk's credibility. We've now learned that Giannoulias has planned a press conference for today, after some weeks of running from the press, so we can expect some hard questions to be presented to Alexi. To prime the reporters' pumps a bit, the Kirk for Senate campaign released the following e-mail this morning attacking Giannoulias on his credibility on the issues:
Giannoulias Tries to Shift Blame for Springfield's Debt Problems, Continues to Mislead Voters
Background: During an appearance last night on Fox Chicago, Alexi Giannoulias continued to mislead voters about Congressman Kirks record while attempting to shift blame away from his failed leadership for the economic problems facing the State of Illinois.
Giannoulias Myth: What happened in Greece, what happened in Springfield, what Mark Kirk and George Bush have been a part of and Congress has been a part of, and thats really saddling the next generation with disgusting levels of debt.
Get the Facts: Alexi Giannoulias cannot blame Mark Kirk for his failed leadership in Springfield. While the national unemployment average stands at 9.5%, Illinois unemployment rate stands at 10.4%. The New York Times recently dubbed Illinois Greece by Lake Michigan noting the skyrocketing debt and unfunded liabilities in Springfield. In June, Fitch downgraded Illinois generation obligation bond rating to A with a negative outlook and downgraded its appropriations rating to A-.
Giannoulias Myth: He voted against extending unemployment benefits.
Get the Facts: Kirk voted to extend unemployment benefits five times in the last two years: On October 2, 2008, Kirk voted in favor of extending benefits. Kirk repeated his votes in favor of extending unemployment benefits on November 5, 2009, February 25, 2010, March 17, 2010 and on April 15, 2010. Congressman Kirk has said he would vote to continue unemployment insurance benefits again if Congress pays for it by cutting other spending.
Giannoulias Myth: He voted against time after time increasing the minimum wage.
Get the Facts: In 2007, Mark Kirk broke with his party to support raising the minimum wage. (Roll Call 18, 1/10/07)
Giannoulias Myth: Yet has no problem increasing his own salary.
Get the Facts: On April 27, 2010, Congressman Kirk voted to forego a pay raise for Fiscal Year 2011.
Giannoulias Myth: I am the only candidate who is out there proposing a plan to create jobs.
Get the Facts: Mark Kirk has outlined his plan to help small business employers grow their businesses and create jobs. His Small Business Bill of Rights is endorsed by the National Federation of Independent Business.
Get the Facts: Mark Kirk is the only candidate promoting specific economic agendas in local communities across Illinois. Learn more about Mark Kirks Rockford Agenda, Quincy Agenda and Springfield Agenda.
Get the Facts: Mark Kirk is endorsed over Alexi Giannoulias by the Illinois Chamber of Commerce for his economic plan and vision.
Get the Facts: Alexi Giannoulias wants raise state income taxes for Illinois families and employers and allow federal tax relief to expire.