Tuesday, December 2, 2014

US Senator Mark Kirk, the SEIU, and 2016

US Senator Mark Kirk (R-Illinois) will be one of a few embattled incumbents in Election 2016. A fiscal conservative and social moderate by self-description, Kirk is well-aware of his endangered status as a blue-state Republican running for reelection in a Presidential year.

When asked whether he would run for reelection, he confidently retorted:

No frickin' way am I retiring!

How did Kirk enter the upper chamber?

As an Illinois Congressman, Kirk won an upset for Barack Obama's former Senate seat in November, 2010, the year of the Great Shellacking. The primary was a contested effort, as he faced pressure from the right as well as the left for key votes on the environment and the Iraq War. Justifying those votes based on the will of his constituents, Kirk backed away from some votes, and courted the support of Tea Party favorite Sarah Palin.

Yes, Senator Kirk as Congressman supported Cap and Trade. He is pro-choice, pro-gay marriage. Geez! Local bloggers still attack Kirk on these issues. Mark Levin invited his 2010 conservative primary challenger Patrick Hughes on hi show, where they both blasted Kirk as Illinois' version of liberal Republican Arlen Specter, or Olympia Snowe in pants. Despite these setbacks, and attacks from the left and right, Kirk won the election, and was immediately seated to represent the state of Illinois for a full six-year term.  Kirk understood the rank backroom wheeling-and-dealing which had revolved around the senate seat. A corrupt governor, widely coiffed Democrat Rod Blagojevich, tried to sell Barack Obama's US Senate seat to the highest bidder ("I'm not givn' it for f---king nothing!") Following the sudden and brief appointment of Roland Burris, he declined to run for a full term because the controversies surrounding his elevation came to light.

Kirk's battle in 2010 forced him to recant prior votes as a Congressman in a liberal suburb of Chicago, including Cap and Trade.

Kirk won Obama's seat by a two-point margin. His first speech before the US Senate highlighted his awareness of first speeches defining one's service.

Since his election to the US Senate, Kirk has pressed his fiscal conservative credentials. He even celebrated with Arizona Senior Senator John McCain about killing a pork-laden omnibus bill in the US Senate. A loyal opponent of Obamacare, he just supported the Keystone Pipeline extension, even though it failed to overcome cloture by one vote.

Kirk's Election Victory Map 2010

Following Republican gubernatorial candidate Bruce Rauner's 2014 upset over Democratic Governor Pat Quinn this year, Kirk shared his views:

With Rauner's victory, it showed a pro-choice Republican can be nominated by the party and go on to win. As a social moderate. fiscal conservative, you are likely to win in Illinois.

Emphatically, I am not a fan of this kind of rhetoric. Standing up for life, limiting abortion to extreme cases, is not an extreme position. I am also deeply troubled by Senator Kirk's support for gay marriage. In contrast to Kirk's embrace of those causes, Rauner offered to Illinois voters the decision about marriage by referendum, not the legislature nor the courts. He did not take a firm stance to promote true marriage (one man and one woman), and Kirk refused to press him on the issue. Besides, the endorsement of hundreds of Democrats, including former legislator and South Side pastor Meeks, all suggest that Rauner's stance did not trouble local leaders. Illinois is in bad fiscal straits, and Rauner can make good out of so much bad.

So, what makes Kirk an appealing choice for US Senate in 2016, despite his different stance on key issues in the GOP? Kirk's take on Rauner's victory shined the light on one of Kirk's worthy points as a Republican, and his position on an issue which a Democrat would never hold:

The National significance of this race for governor is that the toxic left will look at, like what happened in Wisconsin, as a Gotterdammerung for their cause.

Public sector unions were bleeding Wisconsin into bankruptcy. They lost three times to unseat the fiscal, collective bargaining reformer Scott Walker (who is mulling his own Presidential run).

And they will do almost anything to make sure that Illinois stays safely in the dull grey, union-controlled, dumb economy that we have.

Wow! Did Kirk just say that on live TV, in an interview with the Chicago Sun Times?

I would particularly say that there is one union that has run the state of union, and that is called the SEIU, a particularly corrupt union. It's no mistake that Rod Blagojevich wanted to leave his job as governor and work for them. It's because he saw them as more powerful than the state of Illinois.

Ouch! He even indicted Blago, the former executive who tried to the sell the US Senate seat which he now occupies.

SEIU: The Most Corrupt Union in Illinois

Indeed, the SEIU is irrepressibly corrupt. In my hometown in Torrance, CA, they protested to the point of blocking the streets, requiring the local police to arrest protestors and disperse the crowd. Recently, the SEIU have tried to force families caring for sick relatives into the SEIU because they rely on Medicaid funding. Public opinions frowns on this greedy, immoral practice, and the US Supreme Court agreed.

Yet, social conservatives may still see no reason for supporting Kirk's reelection bid.

Consider the following

The SEIU supports Planned Parenthood, engaging in the hollow attacks against Republicans and their (now debunked) War on Women. SEIU also supports pro-abortion candidates. The union promotes gay marriage. They support Cap and Trade, and this group urged passage of that legislation in 2009, which Kirk repudiated in his campaign and his vote for Keystone. They also support gun control.

US Senator Mark Kirk

Kirk despises the public sector unions, which have corrupted his home state, where they retain excessive influence. This international collective's revenue stream props up the extreme, liberal agenda nationally. One politician propping up offensive views is bad, but immoral public sector unions funding this agenda nationally is worse.

Other points worth considering about Kirk's US Senate record including his latest demands for background checks on the illegal immigrant youth who have flooded this country's southern border. Partisan amnesty advocate Luis Gutierrez shamed Kirk for this common-sense request. The voters of Illinois should applaud Kirk's expectation.

So, even if voters oppose Kirk's views on key moral issues, his strong stance against the SEIU is a plus. Why would anyone want another puppet of the public sector unions representing their interests as opposed to the public interest in the US Senate? If Kirk stresses fiscal discipline and states' rights, if he focuses on pushing back against progressive Barack Obama's aggressive agenda, he stands a better chance of winning a heated primary and carrying through to the November 8th, 2016 general election.

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