With the exception of the massively liberal Chicago Sun-Times, and the apparently socialist St. Louis Post-Dispatch, it appears that just about every major Illinois-market newspaper has lined up behind Congressman Mark Kirk to endorse him over his Democratic opponent, Alexi Giannoulias. Look for these endorsements to start moving the poll numbers up for Kirk very soon...
From the Kirk for Senate campaign, here are the three latest major endorsements:
Kirk for U.S. Senate
October 17, 2010
When U.S. Sen. Evan Bayh (D-Indiana) announced in February he would not seek another term, he cited Congress' bitter partisan divide.
"There is too much partisanship and not enough progress. Too much narrow ideology and not enough practical problem-solving," he said. "Even at a time of enormous challenge, the peoples' business is not being done."
Bayh's decision was our nation's loss. He was a rare, practical-minded public servant who ignored party ideology and supported or opposed legislation based on merits. He worked across the aisle, often to the grumblings of his fellow Democrats and without regard to the next election.
The U.S. Senate needs more of that, which is why we endorse U.S. Rep. Mark Kirk (R-10th), of Highland Park.
Kirk has shown a willingness to break with his own party on key votes…
…Kirk also rejects the earmark process, declining to submit pork projects for his own congressional district. We wish more members of Congress would do the same.
Representing a fiscally conservative, socially moderate district has shaped Kirk to take those same principles to the U.S. Senate. Members of his party have scorned his willingness to work across the aisle, but fortunately those voices are the minority. As Bayh said, we need more problem-solving and less "narrow ideology."
We want to send Kirk to the U.S. Senate to unwind the partisanship, to leverage his independence by swinging between both sides of the aisle. Illinoisans embrace middle-of-the-road positions, and so do most Americans. It's called common sense. It's called compromise. We look forward to watching Kirk work more closely with U.S. Sen. Dick Durbin (D-Springfield) for the betterment of Illinois than with the partisan political leaders of his chamber.
Kirk also brings unparalleled perspective to foreign policy issues. He is a go-to lawmaker on Middle East policies and remains focused on addressing Iran's terrifying pursuit of nuclear weapons, as well as the security of Israel, our strongest ally in the region…
…While we find Giannoulias earnest and thoughtful, he simply hasn't acquired a portfolio of accomplishment yet to merit election to the U.S. Senate.
We endorse Kirk.
Illinois would be best served by Kirk in Senate
October 17, 2010
In a debate on “Meet the Press,” each candidate was asked to name two parts of his party platform with which he disagreed. Kirk quickly listed at least four. Giannoulias talked around, but did not answer, the question.
Kirk has been effective in Congress working with both sides of the aisle. He has demonstrated leadership in the House and would be better able to hit the ground running in the Senate.
Kirk said the government needs to spend less, borrow less and tax less.
He supports extending the Bush era tax cuts because current congressional leaders would spend the extra revenue rather than use it for debt reductions and because this is the wrong time to enact large tax increases.
He wants to do more to increase exports and sees agricultural exports as particularly important for Illinois.
Giannoulias is bright, but still inexperienced.
This is the seat once held by President Obama. But it has been under a cloud since Roland Burris was appointed by Rod Blagojevich on the heels of the former governor’s arrest on federal corruption charges. Illinois deserves better.
Because of the convoluted procedures around the appointment of Burris, voters actually will be voting twice on the ballot: once to fill the seat from after the election until the swearing in of the next Congress, the second for a full six-year term.
The brief two-month term takes on added significance because of the important matters that could come up in the lame duck session — particularly budget and tax cut measures.
The Pantagraph Editorial Board endorses Mark Kirk for the interim term and six-year term in the U.S. Senate.
Kirk for Senate
October 17, 2010
…we think Republican Mark Kirk's maturity and seasoning, gained during a decade in the U.S. House, make him the better choice in this race. We urge Kirk's election on Nov. 2.
Kirk brings a thorough, thoughtful understanding to the issues of the day, from the threat posed by Iran's nuclear program to the dangers of the federal government now borrowing 40 cents of every $1 it spends.
His time in the House has made him increasingly a fiscal conservative. He said he will work to rein in government spending, eliminate waste and promote more public-private partnerships for public works programs.
He has a reputation of working well with politicians on both sides of the aisle, which is preferable to the polarized, can't-get-anything-done politics often on display. For example, Kirk says Republicans should support Democratic President Barack Obama's proposal for a line-item veto because it's a good idea.
Giannoulias also promises to be an independent voice in Washington and has criticized some of Obama and the Democrats' decisions. However, Giannoulias either couldn't or wouldn't cite even one Democratic position he disagreed with when asked for two during a debate on "Meet the Press."