Protesters rail against Duckworth over firings
About two dozen Congressman Joe Walsh supporters protested Wednesday outside the Rolling Meadows campaign headquarters of his 8th Congressional District Democratic opponent Tammy Duckworth, demanding answers to why she authorized the firing of two "whistle-blowers" from a veterans home in downstate Anna, Ill.
At issue is a January 2009 wrongful termination lawsuit filed in Union County against Duckworth, when she was director of the Illinois Department of Veterans' Affairs, and Anna Veterans Home administrator Patricia Simms.
The initial suit was dismissed for not having "sufficient facts in the case," according to the Union County Clerk's office. An amended complaint filed in September 2009 by the two fired Anna Veterans Home employees -- Christine Butler and Denise Goins -- is pending.
Duckworth, an Iraq War veteran, has denied the McHenry Tea Partyer's claims that she unfairly fired people in her department. A campaign spokesman could not be reached for comment Wednesday.
Protesters were mobilized within a day through Facebook and email outreach. Retired Navy veteran Mike Richard of Bloomingdale said he decided to use his lunch break to join the rally. "She is using disabled vets to further her own political career," he said. "I don't like veterans being taken advantage of."
"This system we have in Illinois is so corrupt and Tammy is part of the corruption that exists," said Frank Skorski of Palatine.
The 8th Congressional District includes portions of Kane, Cook and DuPage counties.