Mark Kirk’s Misrepresentations: When Twice Is Too Many

Mark S. Kirk, the Republican candidate for that troublesome Illinois Senate seat (the one Rod Blagojevich tried to sell, the one Roland Burris lied to get) was caught in perpetrating some credential-inflating on his curriculum vitae when it was discovered that what he had long claimed was an award bestowed on him for outstanding service as a military intelligence officer was really a group award for his whole unit, and, in fact, someone else had received the honor he claimed as his own.

This is not good, but in the hierarchy of resume lies, it belongs in the “wait and see” category. The dishonesty doesn’t rise to the “Red Alert,” instant distrust level of, to pick a wild example out of the air, claiming you fought in the Vietnam war when you did not.  A mistake like Kirk’s might just be a failure of diligence: “I’ve got to fix that when I get a chance…”, but you never do. This might be sloppiness, laziness, lack of diligence, irresponsibility, or just a dumb mistake— might. It also just might be sign of dishonesty and a proclivity to deceive for personal gain.

So the fair thing is to wait and see if Kirk’s award misrepresentation was an anomaly, or part of a pattern.

Now, the New York Times reports, another claim of Kirk’s has failed a background check. He has stated in public that he was a nursery school teacher. He was not. The school where he supposedly “taught” identified him as a work-study student whose job was to play with the kids. Kirk has been referring to his “experience” as a nursery school teacher for about a decade; this isn’t “misspeaking” or a one time exaggeration. It’s a lie.

The lie puts his award expansion in a different context. Kirk, who already has the problem of explaining away the seizure of his family’s bank, now has tried to deceive the public about his credentials twice. Twice is too many; we don’t have to wait for thrice.

He’s untrustworthy.

5 thoughts on “Mark Kirk’s Misrepresentations: When Twice Is Too Many

  1. Wouldn’t it be handy to ahve a roster of candidates (let’s limit it to House and Senate) who have lied egregiously about their records. We have Kirk (R-IL Senate), Blumenthal (D-CT Senate)…

    And then there are the people who said what they believe, but pretend to retract because they misspoke or were misconstrued: There’s Joe Barton (R-TX House), Rand Paul (R-KY Senate)…

    C’mon, there must be more.

  2. Pingback: Plagiarism, Lies, and the Shameless Scott McInnis « Ethics Alarms

  3. Pingback: Integrity, Rep. Mark Kirk, and the Citizen’s Duty to Pay Attention « Ethics Alarms

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