U.S. Rep. Tammy Duckworth (D-Hoffman Estates), who announced a bid for U.S. Senate on Monday, started Tuesday to criticize the incumbent, U.S. Sen. Mark S. Kirk (R-Ill.). An Iraq War veteran who lost her legs when her helicopter was shot down in 2004, Duckworth says Kirk, a Navy veteran who suffered a stroke in 2012, is part of the problem, calling him “irresponsible” for “votes for tax cuts for the rich, for those companies that send jobs overseas, (and) by signing on to that letter (with 46 other Republican senators) to the Iranian president to undermine our own nation in international talks.”
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The letter advised Iran that nothing President Obama says will be binding beyond Obama’s departure from the White House in January 2017.
As for Duckworth, she says she has used her brief time in Congress to be a budget hawk, stopping excess spending to a Defense Department spare parts program.
Republican campaigners have spent the day sending reporters e-mails tying Duckworth, a former director of the Illinois Department of Veterans Affairs, to imprisoned former Gov. Rod Blagojevich, who appointed her to be head of the state’s Department of Veterans’ Affairs.
The jockeying for position accelerates with Raja Krishnamoorthi, a Democrat from Schaumburg, declaring for Duckworth's U.S. House seat. Krishnamoorthi, a former deputy state treasurer, was an unsuccessful primary candidate for Congress in 2012 and for comptroller in 2010.