Politics

GOP: Double Amputee 'Not Standing Up For Our Veterans'

| by Michael Allen
Democratic Rep. Tammy Duckworth of IllinoisDemocratic Rep. Tammy Duckworth of Illinois

The National Republican Senatorial Committee launched a controversial attack on March 8 against Democratic Rep. Tammy Duckworth of Illinois who is running against Republican Sen. Mark Kirk of Illinois.

NRSC tweeted: "Tammy Duckworth has a sad record of not standing up for our veterans."

Duckworth is a double amputee who lost both legs and partial use of one arm after her helicopter was shot down during the Iraq War in 2004, notes NBC News. She received the Purple Heart for her service.

Duckworth's campaign spokesman Matt McGrath responded by saying: "Tasteless and dishonest, just like everything else to do with Mark Kirk's flailing campaign. Tammy has made fighting for Veterans her life's work, and will continue to so in the Senate."

NRSC removed the tweet, but did not apologize.

NRSC spokeswoman Andrea Bozek said in an email to CNN: "It would be great if reporters would pay as much attention to a deleted tweet as they should to Tammy Duckworth being sued by VA whistleblowers for ignoring claims of mistreatment and corruption."

According to the Chicago Tribune, the "whistleblower" lawsuit that Bozek referred to is a lawsuit by two employees who were terminated from an Illinois veterans home. At the time of their firings, Duckworth was head of the Illinois Department of Veterans Affairs.

In 2008, the lawsuit was thrown out of court by a federal judge who deemed it a "garden variety workplace case." The lawsuit was filed in a state court, but was tossed out a second time. The lawsuit has been refiled a third time and a trial is scheduled in April. The Illinois attorney general is defending Duckworth.

Christine Butler and Denise Goins are claiming in their lawsuit that their complaints about their supervisor were ignored, and that they were subsequently fired. Butler got her job back after meeting with Duckworth, but Goins says Duckworth told her: "[D]o your job and keep your mouth shut."

Sources: NBC News, CNN, Chicago Tribune / Photo credit: Wikimedia Commons

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