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Mark Kirk, In The News

By Kevin Robinson in News on May 19, 2010 4:20PM

He's got no love for BP or Arizona's critics, but Mark Kirk loves the puppies!
Republican Senate candidate Mark Kirk received the endorsement of the Illinois Chamber of Commerce Tuesday. The endorsement shouldn't come as a surprise, given that the generally Republican-leaning Chamber has only endorsed a Democrat once before - when Dick Durbin ran for re-election in 2002. Nonetheless, Chamber president Doug Whitley told the Sun-Times that they would have considered Alexi Giannoulias had he agreed to meet with the Chamber's board before the endorsement. In describing the Chamber's rationale for endorsing Mark Kirk, Whitley noted Kirk's "depth of knowledge and experience; national defense; his position on international trade," adding that "he supports policies that will bring jobs to Illinois." Giannoulias spokesman Matt McGrath shot back, attacking Kirk on trade policies: "Mark Kirk does have a notable record on job creation, if you count jobs in China." (The Chamber has not responded to our email asking if Hartmarx, which Giannoulias fought to keep open and in Illinois, was still a member of their organization.)

Kirk took the opportunity to slam BP for how it has handled the catastrophic oil disaster in the Gulf, telling the Associated Press that oil companies need to have contingency plans and technology to handle deep water disasters before they start drilling. He said that a company that causes such a spill should be held financially accountable, adding that he wasn't concerned if such liability puts the company out of business.

Also on Tuesday, Kirk weighed in on the Highland Park girl's basketball controversy, saying that school officials should let the girls play basketball in Arizona, rather than Florida. Kirk wouldn't comment on the Arizona law, although he did say that he supports completing a border fence and beefing up the border patrol.