I was reading about Senator Kirk of Illinois. It’s a long and convoluted story:
Soon after Mark Kirk’s ex-wife announced she would no longer support his 2010 run for the U.S. Senate, he brought her onto his campaign team, then quietly paid her after his victory.
But Kimberly Vertolli, a lawyer who received $40,000 from the campaign, again is at odds with her ex-husband, filing a complaint with the Federal Election Commission alleging that Kirk and his then-girlfriend may have broken campaign finance law. The girlfriend, Dodie McCracken, who works in public relations, has acknowledged receiving more than $143,000 in fees and expenses for her campaign work.
A former live-in girlfriend, she is no longer romantically involved with Kirk, according to a campaign aide. Kirk’s campaign has characterized Vertolli as an aggrieved ex-wife and labeled “groundless” her complaint filed late last year about payments to McCracken.
At the heart of the matter is Vertolli’s assertion that the Kirk campaign may have improperly hidden money to McCracken by paying her through another company working for the campaign. Because the money was not paid directly to McCracken, her name does not appear in Kirk’s federal disclosures.
Kirk’s ex-wife, Vertolli, is alleging that Kirk broke campaign finance rules by paying his then-girlfriend through a separate entity without listing the payment. I haven’t been following campaign finance that long, but I’m not sure it’s possible to break campaign finance rules in the US, such as they are, so I think she should pursue something else. This might be a dead end.
Anyway. This next part is good. Vertolli was no longer Kirk’s wife at this point in the story, but he was (essentially) paying her so she would still support his candidacy:
Indeed, when Kirk announced his Senate bid in July 2009, Vertolli told reporters: “He’ll make a great senator.” But as the campaign advanced, he tried to contain Vertolli’s public remarks.
This was the deal-breaker for Kirk, in terms of employing his wife:
When she commented on a political blog — defending Kirk on issues related to his marriage and military service — Kirk emailed her.
The Jan. 5, 2010, email, which Vertolli gave to the Tribune, said:
hey, can I ask you to not post on the blogs? You have unique authority and power with our message, wasting it on the blogosphere is beneath you and me — there will be moments for you to comment but I would not add your name to a post — sort of like Jackie O cmmenting (sic) on a blog …
Wouldn’t it be great of that happened here? If a candidate or famous grifter had a spouse that commented? I’d like it to be Callista Gingrich, but that’s just me.