With just a week left before the March 20 primary election, 8th
Congressional District candidate and former Veterans Affairs Assistant
Secretary Tammy Duckworth is voicing her displeasure and concerns with the fact that supporters of her
opponent Raja Krishnamoorthi have started a Super PAC.
According to a press release from Duckworth’s campaign on Friday, the Super PAC, a political action committee which is allowed to raise unlimited sums of money in support of a candidate, was created by Krishnamoorthi's former senior staff members.
Duckworth’s campaign also alleged that the super PAC – “Suburban Voters for Choice” – was created with the “sole purpose of supporting or attacking one candidate in a Democratic primary in Illinois.”
About an hour later, Krishnamoorthi ‘s campaign fired back with their own press release saying their candidate had nothing to do with the Super PAC’s creation.
Once Duckworth’s campaign pointed a finger towards the Super PAC, Krishnamoorthi attempted to call out Duckworth for accepting “$102,847.96 in Washington special interest PAC money since she has entered race through February 28, 2012.”
“It is pretty clear that Duckworth’s campaign is trying to make hay out of nothing in order to throw the spotlight off of all the special interest money backing their campaign,” Deputy Campaign Manager Mike Murray said in a press release. “Voters deserve better than the same old Washington political tricks.”
Both Democratic candidates, who are fighting for a chance to take on Republican incumbent and Tea Party lightning rod Joe Walsh, previously claimed they asked the other to keep the primary race free of any Super PAC influence. Both candidates have also been vocal about their disdain for Super PACs, with Krishnamoorthi saying just last month, “I detest Super PACs.”
“It’s hypocritical [of Krishnamoorthi] to say I detest [Super PACs], but two of my former staff members are creating one right now to support my campaign” Kaitlin Fahey, Duckworth’s deputy campaign manager, told Progress Illinois on Tuesday.
a phone interview, Murray said Duckworth’s campaign offered a No
PAC Money pledge, which Krishnamoorthi's campaign turned down saying
her pledge “made the campaign budgets bound to third parties.”
“We said post January 1st – both PACS and Super PACS – let’s get them out,” Murray recalled. “But [Duckworth] didn’t respond to our counter pledge.”
Amid all of the blaming, Duckworth’s political strategist Pete Giangreco told the Chicago Sun-Times on Friday he’s concerned that the Super PAC will solicit money from “Big Oil” to run attack ads on television.
Krishnamoorthi's former Finance Director and current “Suburban Voters for Choice” Treasurer Michael Vainisi told the Sun-Times that his former employer had nothing to do with the creation of the Super PAC, adding that it was independently created by the candidate's supporters to “level the playing field” financially.