Duffy has heated exchange in hearing

  • Sen. Dan Duffy

    Sen. Dan Duffy

Updated 4/7/2011 5:13 PM

SPRINGFIELD -- A hearing over whether abortion-rights activist Terry Cosgrove should get a job on the Illinois Human Rights Commission turned heated Thursday when Sen. Dan Duffy accused Cosgrove of sending misleading mailers in Duffy's 2008 campaign.

Cosgrove, of Chicago, was appointed by Gov. Pat Quinn to the commission. The Senate had a hearing Thursday about whether he should be confirmed for the job.


Duffy, a Lake Barrington Republican, argued during the hearing that it would be unethical for Cosgrove to take the job because his political committee gave thousands of dollars to Quinn's campaign last year.

Then, Duffy charged that Cosgrove's group, Personal PAC, sent misleading campaign mailings about Duffy's views on abortion during his 2008 campaign for Senate.

At one point, committee chair Sen. Tony Munoz, a Chicago Democrat, cut Duffy off.

"Do not attack someone," Munoz said loudly.

"You're attacking me right now," Duffy replied.

Later, Munoz and Duffy had what appeared to be a heated exchange in a corner of the meeting room, even as the hearing continued.

"Let's hope we don't have to get boxing gloves out," said Sen. Dale Righter, a Republican from downstate Mattoon.

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Of his personal talk with Munoz, Duffy said afterward that "some words were exchanged." Duffy accused Democrats of trying to prevent him from asking questions.

"I felt like they got extremely hostile to me right off the bat," he said.

The committee eventually voted to confirm Cosgrove's appointment to the $46,950-a-year post on a party-line, 5-4 vote. Later in the day, the full Senate approved as well.

"Wow, what a morning we're having here," said Sen. William Delgado, a Chicago Democrat.