The Chicago Sun-Times reports that Illinois Democratic Senate nominee Alexi Giannoulias admitted yesterday that his campaign had a hand in a mailer sent to conservatives in downstate Illinois touting Libertarian Senate candidate Mike Labno as a “pro-life, pro-gun” alternative to Rep. Mark Kirk, the Republican nominee in the race.
A scan of the flyer was posted by The Capitol Fax Blog on Tuesday. The front features a picture of Kirk, with the question “not a conservative?” Inside, below a picture of Labno, the flyer reads “Conservative Mike Labno, the only pro-life, pro-gun candidate for U.S. Senate, says Congressman Kirk is ‘not a conservative.’ Is he right?” The back features a picture of Giannoulias, and reads “While Labno and Kirk fight over labels, Alexi Giannoulias is fighting for Illinois Jobs.” The flyer also included a box that read “Paid for by Illinois Victory, a Project of the Lake County Democratic Party.”
The Sun-Times reports that Giannoulias fessed up to his campaign’s role in the flyer after last night’s debate with Kirk.
The Democrats hoped to divert votes from Kirk to Labno. Is that deceptive?
“No,” Giannoulias said.
“It’s a sign of increasing desperation of a campaign when the Democratic Party of Illinois starts sending out flyers on behalf of an entirely different party,” Kirk said.
The Sun-Times also reported that Giannoulias had had a “warm chat” with Labno on his way in to the debate. Labno stood outside the debate last night, protesting his exclusion.
The TPM Poll Average for this race shows Giannoulias (40.4%) leading Kirk (39.7%) in a four-way race with Labno (3.6%) and Green Party candidate LeAlan Jones (5.0%).
Eric Lach is a reporter for TPM. From 2010 to 2011, he was a news writer in charge of the website’s front page. He has previously written for The Daily, NewYorker.com, GlobalPost and other publications. He can be reached at ericl(at)talkingpointsmemo.com