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U.S. Senate
Quick Hit
by Josh Kalven
11:01am
Wed Aug 18, 2010

New Giannoulias Video: Kirk At The Wall Street "Trough"

Yesterday, we highlighted how Republican U.S. Senate candidate's opposition to cap-and-trade (following a blatant flip-flop on the issue last summer) has reaped him more and more contributions from oil and gas interests.  This week, Democrat Alexi Giannoulias' campaign also released a web video -- titled "Mark Kirk: A 'Pig At The Trough' Of Wall Street" -- hitting Kirk for the over $800,000 he has taken from the financial services industry this election cycle. Watch it:

The "pig at the trough" description, by the way, comes from a scathing August 3 MarketWatch op-ed (which happened to apply the label to Democratic Sens. Harry Reid and Chuck Schumer as well).

Quick Hit
by Josh Kalven
8:42am
Wed Aug 18, 2010

Giannoulias Supports NYC Mosque (Costello On The Other Hand ...)

The uproar over a proposal to build an Islamic center (including a mosque) near the site of ground zero in New York City has to be one of the most infuriating political controversies in recent memory.  As Republicans have fought to keep the facility from being built -- and as President Obama has stuck his neck out in favor of the plan -- many Democrats have remained silent.  Thankfully, Illinois' own Alexi Giannoulias isn't one of them.  "Are we going to talk about tolerance, talk about freedom of religion or are we actually going to practice it?" he said yesterday at the state fair.  (By contrast, his GOP U.S. Senate opponent, Mark Kirk, predictably opposed the site.)

Meanwhile, downstate Democratic Congressman Jerry Costello also joined the opposition.  "The proponents of this project need to listen to the concerns of the families of those who died on that spot almost nine years ago," he said in a statement yesterday. Costello -- and others Dems taking this stance -- would do well to read Glenn Greenwald's new piece on the New York Times website: "It's true that polls reflect majority opposition to the project, but what Democrats fail to understand, as usual, is that courageously defending an unpopular view is far superior to stand for nothing, to be afraid of one's own beliefs."

Quick Hit
by Aricka Flowers
4:23pm
Mon Aug 16, 2010

Kirk Nets Even More Dirty Energy Money

GOP U.S. Senate candidate Mark Kirk keeps cashing in on his cap-and-trade flip-flop. At the start of July, Kirk's campaign received a $5,000 contribution from COALPAC, a political action committee of the National Mining Association (NMA). This follows a series of donations Kirk grabbed over the past nine months from several oil and gas conglomerates. It's pretty clear why environmental advocacy organizations have decided to support his opponent, State Treasurer Alexi Giannoulias.