ILGOP Chairman Pat Brady Slams Alexi Giannoulias for Sending Campaign Surrogate to Make Ludicrous Accusations against Mark Kirk
In Fox Chicago interview, State Rep. Chapa LaVia claims Kirk lied about Vietnam service:Kirk was 13 when Paris Peace Accords signed
CHICAGO - Illinois Republican Party Chairman Pat Brady today called on Alexi Giannoulias to explain why his campaign surrogates are making ludicrous allegations against his opponent, Congressman Mark Kirk.
This morning, Fox Chicago decided to air an interview in which State Rep. Chapa Lavia made blatantly false and outrageous accusations against Congressman Mark Kirk. In the interview, Chapa LaVia - an active Giannoulias campaign surrogate - leveled wholly unfounded, false attacks on Congressman Kirk's military service record. Among her ludicrous claims included a charge that Kirk falsely claimed service in Vietnam even though the congressman was 13 years old at war's end.Chapa LaVia's false attacks went entirely unchallenged by Fox reporters throughout the segment. Fox Chicago aired the segment despite a letter sent by Chairman Brady detailing the interview's obvious falsehoods.
Previous post: Kirk no Sunshine Patriot, Thoughts on Kirk vs. Alexi
June 12, 2010
205 N. Michigan Avenue
Chicago, IL 60601
It has recently come to our attention that Fox Chicago Sunday will air an interview Sunday morning featuring State Representative Linda Chapa LaVia that it knows contains unfounded and false accusations about 10th District Congressman Mark Kirk.
The statements by Representative Chapa LaVia, a supporter of Kirk’s opponent, Alexi Giannoulias, are not only false and defamatory but also a shocking abandonment of fundamental journalistic principles. That LaVia may have been acting as Mr. Giannoulias’ surrogate only compounds both the legal obligation Fox Chicago has under FCC rules to act in the public interest by not airing the segment, but also constitutes an unsettling absence of fair reporting.
Representative Chapa LaVia’s false statements on Fox Chicago Sunday include:
Falsely claiming Representative Kirk claimed to have served in Vietnam
Fox Chicago Sunday Transcript – Chapa LaVia: “What I would hope that he would come out and apologize to all the veterans especially the veterans during the Vietnam era because that’s when he supposedly served.”
Not only is claiming that Representative Kirk ever falsely claimed to have served in Vietnam outrageous, it is ridiculous.
Mark Kirk was born on September 15, 1959. On August 7, 1964, the date of the Gulf of Tonkin Resolution, Representative Kirk was a month away from his 5th birthday. On January 27, 1973, the day the Paris Peace Accords were signed, Mark Kirk was 13 years old.
Falsely claiming Representative Kirk lied about serving over Iraq and in Afghanistan
Fox Chicago Sunday Transcript – Chapa LaVia: “And not only that, allegations are starting to come out where he falsified that he served in Iraq and Afghanistan too.”
Representative Kirk served over Iraq in 2000 when he deployed to Incirlik, Turkey as part of Operation Northern Watch, which enforced the no-fly zone in Northern Iraq.
Representative Kirk has twice served in Kandahar, Afghanistan, first in 2008 and again in 2009. He was the first US House member to serve in an imminent danger zone since 1942.
In Kirk’s 2008 officer fitness report, the Brigadier General states: “Cdr. Kirk’s exceptional intellect, creativity and experience benefited this command and our Nation by laying the foundation for the successful introduction of over 20,000 US troops and hundreds of millions in development investment in this most critical part of Afghanistan.” He goes on to note “Completely selfless and demonstrating tremendous personal courage, Cdr. Kirk performed duties in two of the most dangerous provinces of Afghanistan– Helmand and Kandahar--routinely traveled to remote bases to enable the best coordination possible with Allies and Afghans.”
US Navy Fitness reports verifying that Representative Kirk served over Iraq and in Afghanistan, and documenting his exemplary service therein, are attached.
Falsely claiming Representative Kirk has been reprimanded for stating he served over Iraq and in Afghanistan and that he faces military prosecution
Fox Chicago Sunday Transcript – Chapa LaVia: “There’s two allegations out there about he was reprimanded because he stated that he served in Afghanistan and Iraq. I think those things need to come clear, we need to hear out of his mouth that indeed he didn’t serve or he embellished on that or he did serve and whether he got reprimanded for it at the federal level because those issues of falsifying information are a little bit more severe. I want to say two years of jail time, dishonorable discharge and there’s a couple other things that are weighing really heavy.
Anchor: You aren’t suggesting he could actually be prosecuted?
Chapa LaVia: He could be prosecuted. I really do think that under military law he could be prosecuted for using those because if you, I mean its’ a whole set of rules and conduct that we are supposed to abide and this is very sacred.”
Representative Kirk has never been reprimanded for stating he served over Iraq and in Afghanistan for one simple reason - he did serve over Iraq and in Afghanistan.
Mark Kirk has never been accused of violating military policy and Representative Chapa LaVia’s claiming that Representative Kirk faces potential prosecution is both outrageous and false.
Representative Chapa LaVia has several well documented connections to Alexi Giannoulias’ campaign.
1. Representative Chapa LaVia is a co-chair of “Latinos con Alexi”
2. Representative Chapa LaVia is a donor to Giannoulias’ campaign (FEC report attached)
3. Representative Chapa LaVia is one of Giannoulias’ earliest supporters for his Senate bid, appearing on his initial endorsement press release.
The combination of Representative Chapa LaVia’s false statements against Representative Kirk and her documented links to Alexi Giannoulias’ campaign raise several troubling questions. Namely:
1. Who booked Representative Chapa LaVia for the segment? Was it the Giannoulias campaign?
2. Was Representative Chapa LaVia appearing as a Giannoulias representative?
3. Did Representative Chapa LaVia receive her false statements from the Giannoulias campaign?
4. Why were Representative Chapa LaVia’s obviously false and defamatory statements allowed to go unchallenged by the two Fox reporters interviewing her?
Federal law and Federal Communication Commission precedents require Fox Chicago to operate in the public interest. This obligation requires Fox Chicago to ensure that its news programming satisfies basic journalistic principles by providing its viewers with factual information, not false and defamatory statements. Airing the interview with Representative Chapa LaVia after Fox Chicago was notified that her statements are false and defamatory is the height of irresponsibility and violates Fox Chicago’s obligation to operate in the public interest. Accordingly, we hereby demand that Fox Chicago not air the interview, and Representative LaVia must issue a full retraction of her false statements and issue an immediate apology to Congressman Kirk.
Illinois Republican Party