Mark Kirk And Alexi Giannoulias Spar Over BP Ties (VIDEO)
Mark Kirk has been accused of lying quite often as of late--but that has not stopped him from making over the top remarks.
This week, both PolitiFact and FactCheck.org called Kirk out following an ad that claims an "Alexi Giannoulias' top aide was a longtime BP lobbyist." The man in question, Endy Zemenides, actually did zoning work for BP gas stations in Chicago--and is not a top Giannoulias aide.
By the City of Chicago's definition, Zemenides was a lobbyist for a BP subsidiary. We think it's highly misleading to suggest that he lobbied in any way for a federal policy that allowed the oil spill to occur. We're not saying a lobbyist isn't a lobbyist. But some cities define lobbyist differently.
Also, FactCheck.org reports that Zemenides is actually an unpaid adviser to the Giannoulias campaign.
Both watchdog groups deemed a commercial Kirk was running that painted Zemenides as a BP lobbyist as "barely true," but Kirk wasn't exactly willing to own up to it.
The Chicago Tribune reports (emphasis added):
"A BP lobbyist is a BP lobbyist," Kirk said. "When you register as a BP lobbyist, you're a BP lobbyist."
Democratic critics have pointed out that Kirk has taken $150,000 in campaign contributions from Chicago law firm Kirkland & Ellis, which is representing BP. Kirk said it's difficult to find individuals or companies without ties to BP, which has a long history in Chicago.
"BP hires lawyers, BP has accountants, BP has property managers. BP has had, because of its heritage from Standard Oil and Amoco, a tremendous economic impact on Chicagoland," Kirk said. "So you can get into second- and third-order connections to BP with just about every family in Chicagoland."
"You wonder whether he even hears himself when he talks out of both sides of his mouth like that," the Capitol Fax blog's Rich Miller wrote Tuesday.
The ad continues to air on Chicago-area television stations.
Check out the ad here: