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updated: 8/15/2014 12:08 PM

Kirk says Duckworth's 'deserter' comment overblown

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  • U.S. Sen. Mark Kirk, a Highland Park Republican, speaks to the Republican gathering at the Illinois State Fair Thursday.

       U.S. Sen. Mark Kirk, a Highland Park Republican, speaks to the Republican gathering at the Illinois State Fair Thursday.
    Mike Riopell | Staff Photographer

 

U.S. Sen. Mark Kirk, a Highland Park Republican, Thursday criticized Democratic U.S. Rep. Tammy Duckworth for saying a company that leaves the country to lower its tax burden is a "deserter."

"If we use comments like 'deserter' and 'traitor,' that normally those crimes have capital punishment consequences, I would say that that rhetoric is probably too overblown for a country that wants to stick together and hang together," Kirk said.

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Kirk, a military veteran like Duckworth, made the comment to reporters outside an annual Republican breakfast during the Illinois State Fair in Springfield.

During a similar breakfast Wednesday, Duckworth, of Hoffman Estates, gave the keynote address and argued U.S. companies benefit from federal services and therefore should pay federal taxes.

"I'm an old soldier at heart and let me tell you, we have a word for people who abandon their nation, who change their allegiance, and there's nothing worse than a deserter," Duckworth said.

The background

The recent suggestion by Deerfield-based Walgreen Co. that it might move its headquarters to Europe is largely behind the debate.

The company has since decided to stay, but the issue has provided Republicans and Democrats another reason to spar over a popular 2014 topic -- the state's and country's relative friendliness to businesses and workers.

Lighter fare

The state fair gives officials plenty of chances to joke about food. Gov. Pat Quinn every year professes his love for the pork tent. Kirk got in on it, too.

"I've got a date with some fried Twinkies over at the fairgrounds," Kirk said.

Schneider releases return

Democratic U.S. Rep. Brad Schneider of Deerfield is releasing his 2013 tax return and making it available at his campaign office to credentialed members of the media, his campaign manager said Thursday.

Republican opponent Bob Dold of Kenilworth, who released his in April, has pressured Schneider over his tax returns and still wants him to release the 2012 and 2011 forms.

Campaign manager Jamie Patton says Schneider filed his taxes Wednesday, and she said the return shows he made $220,216 in adjusted gross income for federal tax purposes, paid $74,169 in federal taxes and is owed a $13,491 refund, which he'll apply to his 2014 taxes.

Tipped

Republican candidate for lieutenant governor and Wheaton City Council member Evelyn Sanguinetti responded this week to a report she had emailed an old friend in early 2013 about potential state government job openings and joked about whether "cow tipping" was required.

She told the Springfield State Journal-Register she kept in touch with a law-school friend who lived in Springfield and had "a jovial exchange" about his city and about Miami, where she had lived. Sanguinetti said her friend told her cow tipping, which supposedly involves pushing over a sleeping cow, is a joke around Springfield. But she said she didn't mean to offend.

"Very early on, Bruce Rauner has allowed me to tour Springfield and I love the truth of the people I have met. The comment, regretfully, was made two years ago," she said. "It was only to a law school buddy."

Boot camp

State Rep. Jeanne Ives, a Wheaton Republican, is hosting her annual Kids' Fitness and Health Boot Camp starting at 9 a.m. today at Cantigny Park in Winfield.

The first 150 kids get tickets to a Kane County Cougars game.

"This is an enormously generous donation to the kids in my district," she said. "It carries the promotion of fun and fitness in kids' lives beyond the day of boot camp."

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