Mark Kirk's "Bejing Fundraiser"

Mark Kirk has a problem. Someone keeps leaking documents from his campaign -- highly confidential documents with donor names and fundraising information, goals and alliances. Via Capitol Fax Blog:

Congressman Mark Kirk’s US Senate campaign has been plagued by strange internal leaks for months. And now we have one that includes a plan for a “Bejing fundraiser,” which was held the day before a House vote to close tax loopholes for companies that send jobs out of the country.

The latest leak is the internal agenda of a mid-May Kirk campaign finance meeting. Click here to read it. (PDF)


The Kirk campaign says that the candidate held a “Skype” fundraising meeting with American businesspeople in Bejing, China. I’m told that 12 people participated in the event.

FEC records show that Geoffrey Enck contributed $1,000 to Kirk that day. Enck is the CEO of ITI China Holdings. One of the things the company does is investment banking for Chinese manufacturing plants.

And then the next day, Kirk voted “No” on a bill to close a tax loopholes that would prevent companies from “using current U.S. foreign tax credit rules to subsidize their foreign activities .”

Now, it’s not like the contributions from Americans doing business in China likely swayed Kirk much. Just about every Republican voted against that bill. And the Kirk campaign points to a story from 2008 about the Obama campaign sending people to China for fundraisers.

But Kirk co-chairs the China Congressional Working Group, and he’s taken heat several times for his ties to the nation. He infamously told Chinese officials that US budget numbers shouldn’t be believed, for instance. Kirk opposed legislation on Chinese currency manipulation.

“When you hear Congressman Kirk talk about job creation, he’s talking about jobs he created in China,” has been a standard line from Alexi Giannoulias this year. And while the campaign fundraiser looks legal, there are plenty of American businesses over there who are, indeed, exporting jobs to that country.

Of course, the author is right. Kirk would have voted against the bill because that's what Republicans do now. They don't really do anything besides vote against things. But the other side of it is also right -- Republicans have a vested interest these days in profiting from Chinese business relationships, and fostering the outsourcing of American jobs to China.

Just this past Tuesday, Think Progress reported on joint ventures between the US Chamber of Commerce and their Chinese affiliates, like the one sponsored by Sheldon Adelson teaching American businesses how to outsource to China.

Based on that alone, I'd say Mark Kirk isn't going to be a friend to unemployed Americans. Beyond that, it appears that he has some difficulty managing even the simple things, like keeping confidential memos secure.


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