Illinois: Kirk and Seals Trade Jabs Over Jobs, Election

Posted July 21, 2008 at 6:11pm

Dan Seals’ (D) campaign responded Monday to recent suggestions by Rep. Mark Kirk (R) that the business consultant should get a job and perhaps stop living off his donors.

“After losing his bid for Congress, Seals did not return to GE Finance and was unemployed,” according to a Kirk campaign memo out last week. “Near the end of the 2006 campaign, Seals paid himself $25,000 out of his campaign donor funds — an act that is legal but strongly discouraging to donors … in May, Seals filed his 2008 financial disclosure with the U.S. House showing only $3,300 in earned income through the first quarter of the year.”

But Seals’ campaign said in a new memo distributed Monday that the incumbent is resorting “to demeaning and untruthful smears” reminiscent of slash-and-burn GOP operative Karl Rove.

“Mark Kirk entirely overlooks the fact that Dan Seals has worked as a business consultant and lecturer at Northwestern since 2006 and that Seals’ wife serves in a senior level corporate position,” the Seals campaign memo states. “So the question is, what does Mark Kirk find so objectionable that the Seals family, like many families in the 10th district have two working parents?”

“It is this out-of-touch mentality that has guided Kirk’s votes against economic relief for hard-hit families and also driven Seals to devote himself full-time to campaigning, because now more than ever change is needed in Washington,” the memo continues.

Seals and Kirk faced each other in 2006, when the incumbent won re-election by about 14,000 votes. This cycle, however, Kirk is expected to face the election of his career as the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee has taken Seals’ campaign under its wing.