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Illinois State Treasurer Alexi Giannoulias is a progressive Democrat running for the United States Senate against Republican Congressman Mark Kirk.  We are the people behind his campaign, and we need your help to keep this seat blue. Learn more about Alexi and help us elect a fighter for us to the U.S. Senate.

Michael here, Alexi's campaign manager and the guy in charge of making sure this Democratic seat doesn't fall into Mark Kirk's hands.

As those of you who have been following the front-page coverage know, Congressman Kirk has a problem with the truth.  Yesterday, as Barb pointed out, after a month of literally running away from the press, he held a press conferences where he apologized (again) for being "careless" and not "precise" in describing his professional career.

The press has talked about why Mark Kirk "misremembered" his record so often over the last decade.  For us, the answer is pretty clear.

He lied.

As our spokesman Matt put it yesterday:

"In terms of hollow apologies and passive-voice blame-shifting, Congressman Mark Kirk's acknowledgment of 'misrememberings' and 'carelessness' sets a new standard. Allow me to be blunt: Congressman Kirk wasn't careless and he didn't misremember - he lied.  One mistake is careless.  Misrepresenting, embellishing or not telling the truth about 10 different phases of your military career over a 10-year period is a pattern of lies, plain and simple.   When these mistruths have been repeated on the floor of the House of Representatives, on a taxpayer-funded official website, in campaign television ads and materials, in press releases, on campaign websites, and from his own lips, Congressman Kirk's web of lies can't be fixed by one phony press conference."

Scrambling to deal with what the press has dubbed a "flailing" campaign, Kirk released two ads today which are filled with almost as many lies as he's told over the last 10 years.

Here they are:

But there's a problem when you've lied and then try to distract by, well, lying again.

The press catches you on it.  NBC 5 explains how "truthy" Kirk's ads really are:

Mark Kirk has two new TV spots out. Between them, they have just about enough truth for one ad.

Kirk’s first ad, "Stand," begins with scenes of BP’s oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico, and a boast that "Mark Kirk won praise for helping stop BP when it tried to pollute Lake Michigan."

That’s true, but it’s also a non-sequitur. Kirk did nothing to stop BP from polluting the Gulf of Mexico. In fact, he specifically endorsed oil drilling there, telling WLS’ Don Wade and Roma Show, "it makes perfect sense for the United States to make sure our team gets that same oil before Castro does." [...]
Kirk states that, as treasurer, Giannoulias "made risky investments that cost families $73 million in lost college savings."

Kirk is referring to the Bright Start college savings fund, which suffered when one of its investments, the Oppenheimer Core Plus fund, lost 40 percent of its value. Almost every state’s investments lost money in 2008 and 2009. If Giannoulias had been overleveraged in Core Plus, he would rightly bear the blame for risky, irresponsible investing. But Core Plus was one of 22 different funds that Bright Start owned.

Kirk’s criticism is a turnaround from a statement he made to the Chicago Tribune in October. Kirk told the paper that Bright Start was "failing miserably" ... but didn’t blame Giannoulias. "But rather than criticize the first-term Democratic state treasurer, Kirk went after 'a state bureaucrat that has a bad record,'" the Tribune reported. "Asked by a reporter who that bureaucrat was, Kirk replied it was the person who ran the Oppenheimer "core plus" fund—who is not a state employee. That’s the argument that Giannoulias has been making in trying to recover the funds."

And, in case you're interested in our response to Mark Kirk's ad?

Well, we've put out one of our own. Check it out:

In response to Kirk's double-barrelled assault of misinformation, the Giannoulias campaign is releasing its own spot, "On and On." This ad uses Kirk's own laughably dishonest words spliced amid media accounts of his lies to dramatize the unraveling of Kirk's bizarre self-mythology, demonstrating a clear pattern.

"First it was 10 lies in 10 years about his military record, then it was a bizarre story about pistol-wielding toddlers at a nursery school that said he was 'never, ever' a teacher there," McGrath said. "Now, in a desperate attempt to change the subject, Congressman Kirk is on the attack. But just as you can't trust what Congressman Kirk says about himself, you really can't trust what he says about Alexi. Congressman Kirk really ought to heed his own words, less than a day old, and stop lying to the people of Illinois."

Some campaigns like to stick to DC-speak and sugar-coat their words.  In this campaign, there's too much at stake for the future of our country to mince words.  

We have a chance to elect Alexi, a young, vibrant progressive, to the U.S. Senate.  And we won't let Mark Kirk's lies stop us from getting him there.

Update [2010-6-30 15:21:44 by Alexi for Illinois]::
I'd be remiss in my duties as Campaign Manager if I didn't mention that we could really use your help today as the fundraising quarter closes.

Mark Kirk's campaign is fueled by millions from corporate PACs and federal lobbyists. But our campaign is fueled by people just like you.

If you could chip in $5 or $10 to help us put this ad on the air, we can make sure voters across Illinois know the truth about Mark Kirk's lies.

Click here to show your support for Alexi.

Originally posted to Alexi for Illinois on Wed Jun 30, 2010 at 11:48 AM PDT.

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