Mark Kirk voted again and again to put Tom Delay in the leadership of the House [an issue we emphasized in our ad about this race this week in the Chicago Jewish News], so it's no surprise that his staff have adopted "the Hammer's" methods.
When Robert Schrayer supported Kirk's opponent, Kirk's district aide Caryn Garber wasn't pleased.
Schrayer, the national chairman of the Tel Aviv University, is backing Dan Seals' strong challenge to Kirk. Garber sent a threatening email to Sam Witkin, who is also involved with Tel Aviv University.
In the email, Garber suggested Schrayer's stance could jeopardize funding for Tel Aviv University. Kirk sits on the Foreign Operations subcommittee of the Appropriations Committee, which oversees funding for entities in Israel.
"His actions can have a very bad effect on the university," Garber said.
In case Garber hadn't made the threat clear enough, she added, ""Revenge is a dish best served cold."
"A very bad effect?" "Revenge?" According to Garber, support for Tel Aviv University is for sale - and the price is support for Mark Kirk's political operation. If Kirk's team doesn't get the latter, TAU can forget about the former. Dirty politics, it seems, trumps good policy.
Abuse of power for political gain? It should be a scandal, but it's just standard operating procedure in the Republican-controlled House.
Is Mark Kirk any different than his Republican peers? He likes to suggest so, but the lack of accountability here is staggering -- and very similar to the problems bedeviling the GOP from Bush, Cheney, and Rumsfeld to Dennis Hastert, Tom Reynolds, and John Shinkus.
According to Kirk, he has rebuked his staffer and told her she'd be fired if it happened again. That's clearly inadequate - there's no excuse for a staffer to make political threats. Garber shouldn't get the chance to make the same mistake again.