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Today in Duh: Illinois Republican Party Tries to Have it Both Ways

By Kevin Robinson in News on Sep 29, 2009 2:00PM

2009_9_mark_kirk.jpg The National Republican Senatorial Committee, which is targeting the open U.S. Senate seat in Illinois for a win next year, is calling on Democratic candidate Alexi Giannoulias to "demand the Service Employees International Union (SEIU) sever all financial ties with ACORN" before accepting the union's endorsement. This shouldn't come as a surprise for anyone that's watched the right sharpen their knives on the community group's recent missteps. Which should be par for the political course, if the GOP's own candidate, Mark Kirk, hadn't accepted support from SEIU in the past as well. “Originally I saw it as a Chicago union and if they wanted to help out candidates, that’s fine,” said Kirk. “The information that we now see is, though, that it appears highly inappropriate this organization is involved with the U.S. government.” The "highly inappropriate" involvement with the U. S. government Kirk is referring to? That includes a $140,000 earmark in 2005, for teen delinquency work ACORN was doing in New York. Which Mark Kirk voted for in 2005.

Kirk has said that he'll give $2,500 to charity to offset the fund's he accepted from SEIU's political action organization in 2003, and would also "donate" a "proportional share" of $19,000 he's taken since 2000 from the Republican Main Street Partnership PAC. That group backs moderate GOP candidates (Kirk's status therein has been a bit of a problem for him as he tries to energize a less moderate Republican base statewide), and has accepted some $90,000 in contributions from SEIU's PAC since 2001.

Nevertheless, Kirk is adamant about taking a hard-line against SEIU and ACORN. In a press conference this week with U.S. Reps. Peter Roskam of Wheaton and Patrick McHenry of North Carolina, Kirk said that SEIU's involvement with ACORN is a threat to “the integrity of the census.”