…you might think this was a Mafia don, not United States Senator Dick Durbin. Durbin seems to be doing his best to keep any criticism of him off the airwaves. Move America Forward is an organization that supports the American armed forces. It has been trying to place television ads in Illinois, criticizing Durbin’s comparison of American soldiers to Nazis and Communists. Durbin’s response, apparently, has been to try to intimidate Move America Forward and force its commercials off the air. CNS News reports:
Durbin’s office is trying to silence Move America Forward, the group says, by hinting to an Illinois newspaper (the Northwest Herald of Crystal Lake) that the Internal Revenue Service should audit Move America Forward.
Someone from Durbin’s office was quoted as telling the newspaper – in connection with Move America Forward — “Have you ever seen that H&R Block commercial where the guy leans in and says, ‘I see an audit’?”
“For the office of a United States senator to threaten reprisals from the IRS against an organization that is supporting our troops in harm’s way is absolutely reprehensible,” said Mark Washburn, executive director of Move America Forward.
Move America Forward also accused Durbin’s office of pressuring Illinois television stations not to run the television ad criticizing Durbin’s remarks about U.S. troops at Guantanamo Bay.
According to Move America Forward, two television stations have buckled under the pressure, including the ABC and NBC affiliates in Chicago. Both stations are refusing to run Move America Forward’s ad, it says, although CBS’s Chicago affiliate is running it.
I haven’t seen any response from Durbin’s office. The Democratic Party is no stranger to strong-arm tactics, obviously, but if this report is correct, Durbin’s effort to insulate himself against criticism is over the top.