U.S. Rep. Tammy Duckworth (D-IL,8) is pushing back against attacks made by U.S. Sen. Mark Kirk (R-IL) during her time as head of the Illinois Department of Veteran's Affairs.
Last week, the Kirk campaign launched an online ad highlighting a lawsuit filed against Duckworth by two Veteran's Affairs employees who claimed she retailated against them for speaking out against a shared supervisor. The case, which has been dismissed twice, is now set to go forward following a judge's decision last week to allow the case to go to trial. A tentative start date for the trial will be some time in August.
During his 2010 senatorial bid, Kirk faced criticism for exaggerating his military record, having said he fought in combat and was named as the Navy's Intelligence Officer of the Year. Kirk, in fact, never engaged in combat and was given a different award.
"Republican Mark Kirk's new ad isn't just dishonest, it's shameful -- but what else would you expect from someone who has lied about his military record at least 10 times, including falsely claiming to have been in combat," said Matt McGrath, Duckworth's campaign spokesman. "Tammy Duckworth is a 23-year Veteran of the National Guard who nearly lost her life in Iraq in 2004, and who has been a fierce and accomplished advocate for her fellow Veterans since recuperating at Walter Reed.
"Unlike Kirk, Tammy can point to real results at the state and federal level helping our Veterans get jobs, reducing Veterans' homelessness, increasing awareness and screening for PTSD, and addressing the scourge of Veterans' suicide -- among other things. Kirk is obviously willing to say or do anything to hold on to his Senate seat -- including taking a page out of Karl Rove's old 'swift boat' playbook. He should be ashamed of himself."
Here's a look at Duckworth's new ad: