Illinois: Kirk Touts Advantages in Campaign Memo

Posted July 16, 2008 at 6:25pm

In a memo distributed by his campaign on Wednesday, Rep. Mark Kirk (R) said his 2.5-to-1 cash advantage, popularity with Jewish voters and challenger Dan Seals’ (D) gaffes will again make him bulletproof in 2008.

Kirk, who beat the marketing consultant by roughly 14,000 votes in the previous cycle, predicted that downtrodden Gov. Rod Blagojevich (D) will generate “a strong anti-Democratic headwind” in the North Shore district — despite home-state Democratic Sen. Barack Obama’s name at the top of the ballot as the White House nominee.

In the memo, Kirk also appears to portray his general election opponent, who holds a University of Chicago MBA, as a jobless laggard who pays his personal expenses out of his campaign coffers.

“After losing his bid for Congress, Seals did not return to GE Finance and was unemployed,” the memo reads. “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.”

The memo added: “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.

Ozinga Outraises Halvorson in Quarter

Chicagoland concrete baron Martin Ozinga (R) outraised state Senate Majority Leader Debbie Halvorson (D) through July 1, according to second-quarter campaign finance totals. Both candidates are vying to replace Rep. Jerry Weller (R), who abruptly announced his retirement last year after a local newspaper profiled his questionable Central American land deals.

Ozinga, who was recently drafted by local GOP bosses to fill a ballot vacancy, raised more than $800,000. The political newcomer, who has significant personal wealth but has given his campaign only $70,000, has about $670,000 in the bank compared with Halvorson, who raised about $400,000 but had $900,000 in cash on hand going into the homestretch.