The Scan - June 27, 2013

More condemnation for NSA leaker, more GOP criticism of Obama's climate plans.
National Journal
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June 26, 2013, 4:37 p.m.

Want More On This Race? Check out the Hot­line Dash­board for a com­pre­hens­ive run­down of this race, in­clud­ing stor­ies, polls, ads, FEC num­bers, and more!

Rep. Mark Kirk (R-10) “fled re­port­ers fol­low­ing an ap­pear­ance at a lunch­eon in down­town Chica­go” 6/21. He has “dodged re­port­ers for a week after ac­know­ledging he em­bel­lished stor­ies about his mil­it­ary ser­vice.” He “ran from a pack of re­port­ers” through “a back door through a kit­chen prep area and onto a load­ing dock where a car waited for him” after speak­ing for about 20 minutes.

“The rap­id de­par­ture came after Kirk offered his an­swers on a series of pre-ar­ranged ques­tions deal­ing with plan­ning and urb­an growth is­sues such as pub­lic trans­it to Lake Michigan’s wa­ter levels” (Chase, “Clout Street,” Chica­go Tribune, 6/21).

Kirk “has been on the de­fens­ive and has kept a low pro­file,” but “seemed to hint at the con­tro­versy” when he “re­cited a list of facts about the tough eco­nomy” dur­ing his speech be­fore he “ducked out the back door.” Kirk: “Some may won­der if I’ve ex­ag­ger­ated the last points.”

He also “was quick to jab” at Treas. Alexi Gi­an­nouli­as (D), who has pro­posed to set up a spe­cial fund to “mod­ern­ize the na­tion’s in­fra­struc­ture.” Kirk: “At least the FD­IC wouldn’t close that bank.”

Kirk’s camp said he left without an­swer­ing ques­tions be­cause he had an­oth­er event to get to (Bel­landi, AP, 6/21).

Crain’s Chica­go Busi­ness’ Hinz says Kirk “lit­er­ally ran out the hotel door rather than an­swer ques­tions.” He “bolted” with the “me­dia in hot pur­suit” and jumped in­to the back seat of a black SUV “which in­stantly peeled out.”

“Frankly, I’m kind of stunned about this. Bad pub­li­city is bad pub­li­city, but there’s a way to not make it worse.” Kirk “can’t hide un­til” Nov., “he’s go­ing to have to con­front those nasty re­port­ers soon­er or later.” But “at least give” Kirk “cred­it for be­ing fleet afoot. He moved so fast that none of the TV crews was able to get film of him.”

Al­ways Look On The Bright Side Of Life…

ABC 7’s Thomas re­ports that mort­gage broker Mike Nieces­tro (I) “did not file pe­ti­tions for a po­s­i­tion” after vow­ing to run to the right of Kirk. Nieces­tro said “that his pe­ti­tion drive fell way short of its goal” be­cause a “cer­tain” GOP “politi­cian” did “not make good on his prom­ise to get” 45K. In fact, “ac­cord­ing to Nieces­tro, the politi­cian known as a ‘flake’ in GOP circles, de­livered a goose egg.”

Ret. Mar­ine Randy Stuffle­beam (C) did file as part of the Con­sti­tu­tion Party slate. But the Tea Party fa­vor­ite said he filed only 34K sig­na­tures, which may fall short of the 25K needed after cer­ti­fic­a­tion. “So self-de­scribed mod­er­ate Kirk is likely not to have con­ser­vat­ives on the bal­lot to take away right wing” votes.

“So it’s not all bad news for Mark Kirk. Des­pite his cred­ib­il­ity is­sues and re­cent status as a ‘me­dia fu­git­ive,’ he’s still very much in the run­ning. No pun in­ten­ded” (“Pre­cinc­t7,” 6/22).

They Can Do That? … Will It Still Be Green?

Mean­while, Gi­an­nouli­as was his “usu­al af­fable, if slightly flip, self” at the lunch­eon speech (6/21). He and Kirk agreed that the six-month drilling morator­i­um made sense, but dis­agreed about cap-and-trade. Gi­an­nouli­as: “We need to put a price on car­bon emis­sions.”

Kirk said that “would hurt busi­ness and de­ter job growth. He ad­voc­ated build­ing more nuc­le­ar power plants in­stead.” Gi­an­nouli­as ad­voc­ated re­vers­ing the Chica­go River, back to its nat­ur­al flow, but Kirk dis­agreed, say­ing that would “send pol­lu­tion in­to the re­gion’s drink­ing wa­ter sup­ply.” Freel­ance writer LeAl­an Jones (G) was also in at­tend­ance, and “dis­agreed with cap and trade, say­ing it ‘would put an un­due bur­den on in­dustry’” (Pyke, Ar­ling­ton Heights Daily Her­ald, 6/21).

De­mise Ap­prise

VP Biden at­ten­ded a fun­draiser for Gi­an­nouli­as on 6/21, and he “came with a mes­sage: Alexi Gi­an­nouli­as is go­ing to win.” Biden: “The re­ports of the de­mise of the Demo­crat­ic Party are pre­ma­ture.”

The race “ap­par­ently now seems worth the fight” to the WH, who is “sud­denly doub­ling down to try and keep” the seat (Zeleny, New York Times, 6/21). Gi­an­nouli­as, to Biden: “It would be the hon­or of my life to come to Wash­ing­ton, DC and be able to help you move this coun­try for­ward” (Es­posito, Chica­go Sun-Times, 6/22).

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