Bernard Schoenburg: Fact-checker finds anti-Duckworth ad mostly false
PolitiFact Illinois recently labeled “mostly false” a TV ad that targets U.S. Rep. TAMMY DUCKWORTH, D-Hoffman Estates, who is running for U.S. Senate against incumbent MARK KIRK, R-Highland Park.
The ad, funded by Independent Voice for Illinois PAC and on the subject of the Iran nuclear deal, states that “secret documents reveal that Iran could obtain a nuclear weapon far sooner than we were told. And Duckworth voted yes.”
PolitiFact Illinois, which has Reboot Illinois as a partner, noted that the source of the “secret documents” allegation was listed as an Associated Press story from July 18. But PolitFact said the AP story only mentioned one document, and the story also says Tehran still would not be allowed to complete a bomb before the end of the 15-year deal.
PolitiFact also quotes DANIEL JOYNER, director of international programs at the University of Alabama School of Law, saying that the document doesn’t contradict the timeline in the original agreement, but just adds more detail
ERIC ELK, a consultant for the PAC, responded that PolitiFact is mistaken in its criticism because the time frame referred to in the ad isn’t the life of the deal, but the statement in the AP story that says use of more efficient centrifuges allowed would reduce the “breakout time” to make enough weapons-grade uranium for at least one weapon to six months or less, instead of 12 months.
Meanwhile, PolitiFact notes that Independent Voice raised more than $1.6 million in 2016.
Among donors to the PAC are Chicago billionaire KEN GRIFFIN, who gave $150,000 in June. Griffin has donated more than $11 million to Republican Gov. BRUCE RAUNER’s campaign fund.
SAM FOX, 87, founder of Harbour Group, a St. Louis company that owns and operates manufacturing companies, gave Independent Voice $25,000 in May. Fox also donated $50,000 to Swift Boat Veterans for Truth, the group that aired TV ads against Democratic presidential candidate JOHN KERRY in 2004, helping in the re-election effort of President GEORGE W. BUSH, who then named Fox ambassador to Belgium.
A spokesman for Fox said Fox is deeply concerned about the nation’s fiscal health and believes the GOP shares that concern, and he has made hundreds of donations in current and past elections, having no role in campaigns beyond being a donor.
Meanwhile, Kirk campaign manager KEVIN ARTL said the campaign couldn’t comment on the Iran ad because it is a product of the unrelated PAC. Elk, the consultant to the PAC, does happen to be Kirk’s former chief of staff.
Page 2 of 4 – Meanwhile, PolitiFact in July also rated a Duckworth Tweet as “false.” She had written on Twitter on June 8 that “Kirk, who called for the mass arrest of 18,000 African Americans, was apparently fine w/Trump’s #StillTooRacist call for mass deportation.”
Kirk did tell Fox32 TV in Chicago in May 2013 that he would like to do a “mass pickup” of “the Gangster Disciple gang, which is 18,000 people,” and “put them all in the Thompson Correctional Facility.”
But, PolitiFact noted, Kirk later in 2013 said the mass-arrest plan was “not actually that practical,” he never mentioned any race, including “African-American,” in his comments, and it said Kirk’s voting record suggests he would not be “fine” with deporting 11 million immigrants. Kirk does not now support Trump for president.
According to PolitiFact, “not only does Duckworth’s Tweet take what Kirk said out of context, it also implies he supported the general mass arrest of 18,000 African-Americans, even though Kirk never mentioned race. …”
The political arm of the Sangamon County Farm Bureau endorsed state Rep. SARA WOJCICKI JIMENEZ, R-Leland Grove, in her race for a full term in the 99th House District. But her Democratic opponent, TONY DelGIORNO of Springfield, didn’t walk away empty-handed.
LARRY BEATY, president of the county farm bureau, said in a statement that Jimenez “understands that agriculture is one of the top few economic engines in the county and her voting record … exemplifies that Sara (is) a true friend of the farmers she represents.”
JIM BIRGE, manager of the farm bureau and its political involvement committee, said multiple meetings were held with each candidate.
“We were very impressed with both of them, and on agricultural issues, we firmly believe that if Tony were the one elected, we could work very well together,” Birge said.
The PAC gave $4,000 to Jimenez, Birge said, and it commonly gives something to non-endorsed candidates as well as appreciation for their “time and candor … to come meet with us.”
Jimenez said she has an agricultural advisory committee, headed by J.D. SUDETH, a past president of the county farm bureau.
“What an honor to be endorsed by one of the most respected organizations in our county that represents the number one industry in our state,” Jimenez said.
DelGiorno said he was honored to be considered, and to receive $500 from the group.
Page 3 of 4 – “I understand that the farm bureau was pleased to have two quality candidates and deferred to the fact that Ms. Jimenez had a voting record as an appointed incumbent in making their decision,” he said. Jimenez replaced former state Rep. RAYMOND POE, R-Springfield, when he became state agriculture director.
Among people on DelGiorno’s ag advisory committee is a Sangamon County Board colleague — CRAIG HALL, a Republican representing District 7. Hall said he thinks DelGiorno “does a good job on the county board,” and was impressed that DelGiorno visited New Berlin and Loami to talk about an issue important to Hall involving fire protection districts.
Hall doesn’t live in the 99th, and said his advisory role isn’t an endorsement.
“I’m trying not to take sides because they’re both old friends,” he said of Jimenez and DelGiorno.
A lot of world history was experienced by HELYETT CAROLINE JONES of Roodhouse, who died Tuesday at age 95.
She was a native of Algeria, and fell in love with a U.S. Army military policeman, JAMES JONES, who she married in 1945 in her home country.
Their lives would transition back to Roodhouse, and over the years, her obituary said, she ended up visiting French classrooms and tutoring teachers to pass along her native language.
Jones was grandmother of TRISTA MANAR, wife of state Sen. ANDY MANAR, D-Bunker Hill. And as a sidenote, Senate President JOHN CULLERTON, D-Chicago, got interested in meeting her a couple of years ago, as he had been reading a biography of WINSTON CHURCHILL that included some information about Algeria in World War II. They ended up spending more than an hour together at Jones’ Roodhouse home.
After I recently asked about that meeting, Cullerton recalled being “fascinated” by the encounter. Among things they talked about was when Jones got a job as a cook.
“She said, ‘I didn’t know how to cook, but I was French-speaking, so everybody thought I was a good cook,’” Cullerton recalled.
Sen. Manar also recalled that Jones used schoolbooks of one of her daughters — Trista’s aunt NANCY — to help learn English.
“She was an incredibly loving person,” Manar said. “She loved everybody around her. My children adored her. That’s the type of person she was.”
Posted Sep. 3, 2016 at 8:02 PM