Integrity, Rep. Mark Kirk, and the Citizen’s Duty to Pay Attention

The defenders of G.O.P. Rep. Mark Kirk, who has been caught in more than one misrepresentation of his achievements, will argue (as such people always do) that these “mistakes” are simply campaign gotchas that tell voters nothing about what really counts, which is how he will perform when he is elected, as he hopes he will be, a U.S. Senator from Illinois.

In fact, a candidate who lies about his past honors and job history, as Kirk has, cannot be trusted. He continues to show voters that quality, or lack of quality, as this incident, reported in several sources, proves. From The Plum Line: Continue reading

John Avlon’s “Ten Congressmen Who Should Be Fired”: Too Short, By Far

John Avlon, a senior political correspondent at The Daily Beast and author of  the book Wingnuts: How the Lunatic Fringe is Hijacking America, has posted his list of “Ten Congressmen Who Should Be Fired.” Though Avlon’s definition of “wingnut” is too often “conservative,” and picking the ten most embarrassing members of Congress is like choosing the ten most offensive reality TV stars, it’s a reasonably good list, if far too short and only the beginning. The members on it seem to split into four main categories: outrageously uncivil, clearly incompetent, corrupt, and too outspokenly conservative for Avlon, who regards all Tea Party sympathizers, for example, as dangerous “wingnuts.”

Here’s the list, with highlights of Avlon’s reasons: Continue reading

Plagiarism, Lies, and the Shameless Scott McInnis

Colorado  gubernatorial candidate Scott McInnis did the impossible: he made Richard Blumenthal look honest by comparison.

McGinnis, a Republican, has admitted that a recent story in the Denver Post, alleging that articles he had written on water issues for a foundation grant were significantly  plagiarized from the writings of a Colorado Supreme Court justice, was factually correct. Then McInnis came up with an astounding non-explanation that was even more unconvincing than the Connecticut Attorney General’s excuse that his repeated and false claims of Vietnam war service were mere slips of the tongue. Continue reading

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. Continue reading

Credential Deceit From Rand Paul

Rand Paul’s resume dishonesty is not in the same league with Richard Blumenthal claiming Vietnam service that wasn’t. It is closer in unethical heft to Illinois Republican Senate candidate Mark Kirk’s representation of a group military award as in individual one on his resume. Still, if candidates for national office show a penchant for dishonesty and deceit before they are elected, what can we expect later, when they have the keys to the candy store and genuine power? Continue reading

Rep. Kirk’s False Award

Thanks to Republican U.S. Rep. Mark Kirk’s revelation that he has been knowingly misrepresenting (or “lying about”) the nature of a military honor on his official biography for years, following close on the heels of the Richard Blumenthal scandal, we must answer the question: how much dishonesty should the public tolerate in candidates for the U.S. Senate?

How about “none”? Continue reading