Letter: Election endorsements superficial, unsubstantiated

Katie Glueck

The Daily’s editorial board and Senate hopeful Alexi Giannoulias share at least one thing: a refusal to engage in substantive policy debate. In endorsing Giannoulias, the Democrat running to represent Illinois in the U.S. Senate, The Daily relied on simplistic, hyper-partisan and misleading arguments. The Daily acknowledged that Republican Senate hopeful Mark Kirk, currently a congressman representing the North Shore’s Tenth District, is a moderate with a “real dedication to public service.” But Northwestern students shouldn’t vote for him anyway, The Daily said, because he has an “R” after his name and might vote with Republicans sometimes (and doing so is never in the interests of the monolithically liberal Northwestern community, they suggested).

Except that Kirk is far from a toe-the-line Republican. He consistently ranks among the top most centrist members of Congress, according to non-partisan publications like Congressional Quarterly. And his district, which overwhelmingly supported Obama, re-elected him five times because Mark Kirk doesn’t answer to the Republican Party. Kirk answered to the Tenth District – that explains his controversial vote for cap-and-trade – and Kirk will answer to the people of Illinois.

The Daily, like Giannoulias, also conveniently ignored the question of experience. As the Chicago Tribune put it in their ringing endorsement, Kirk’s years as a naval officer and his time in Congress prove that he is “what he says he is: a social moderate, fiscal conservative and national security hawk.” Alexi Giannoulias, on the other hand, has managed to lose a lot of money for the people of Illinois as a grossly incompetent state treasurer with questionable ties to crooks. Giannoulias and The Daily both gloss over those uncomfortable facts in their quest to paint Kirk as just another cog in the Republican machine.

Such reasoning is hackish, unsubstantiated and dishonest. Here’s hoping the people of Illinois – and the students of Northwestern – look to records and reputation, rather than tired political partisanship.

-Katie Glueck

Medill Junior

Volunteer for the Illinois Republican Party

Former Daily writer