Rep. Mark Kirk, Mulling Higher Office Run, Says People 'Ready To Shoot Anyone' Behind Tax Increase

Rep. Mark Kirk, Mulling Higher Office Run, Says People 'Ready To Shoot Anyone' Behind Tax Increase

UPDATED (Scroll Down)Republican Congressman Mark Kirk, who says he will decide by the end of the month whether to run for either the U.S. Senate occupied by Roland Burris or Illinois governor, vented his anger over Gov. Pat Quinn's tax hike proposal to the Chicago's Tribune's Rick Pearson:

"I think that the decision to raise taxes by 50 percent in Illinois is political suicide," Kirk said of Quinn's proposal to raise the tax rate to 4.5 percent from 3 percent, coupled with an increase in the personal deduction. "I think the people of Illinois are ready to shoot anyone who is going to raise taxes by that degree."

Capital Fax's Rich Miller advises Kirk to tone down the volume if he's serious about running for higher office:

Perhaps someone who hasn't yet lost his or her mind in the Illinois GOP could advise this distinguished gentleman to turn it down a notch or two?

Seriously. What the heck? I mean, I've heard of dogwhistling the base, but that was like a foghorn in a library. I thought Kirk was supposed to be a moderate? He sounds a bit like Alan Keyes on meth. Or maybe Rod Blagojevich before he was hampered by federal bail restrictions.

Background on Kirk's political planning, from the Associated Press:

Kirk has previously expressed an interest in running for the U.S. Senate seat currently occupied by Democrat Roland Burris, who has come under heavy criticism for accepting the appointment from former Gov. Rod Blagojevich.

The 10th District congressman said Wednesday that over the next two weeks he will analyze the issues confronting Illinois and then decide whether he should run for Congress again, or turn his attention to winning a Senate seat or the governorship.

Kirk said he is considering a run for governor because of the corruption that has tainted the state. He contended that Gov. Pat Quinn has done little to get reforms enacted.

Kirk is in solid financial shape to support a statewide run for either seat, Politico reports:

Kirk raised $696,000 in the first three months of the year, one of the highest fundraising totals of any member of the House so far. He now has $597,000 in his campaign account ...

UPDATE Kirk is standing by his earlier comments on taxpayer anger and violence, the AP reports:

Congressman Mark Kirk is standing by his earlier comments that Illinois residents "are ready to shoot anyone who is going to raise taxes" as much as Gov. Pat Quinn is proposing.

Kirk says the many people facing unemployment don't need a tax increase. Quinn has proposed a graduated income tax increase to help fill an $11.5 billion deficit.

Kirk appeared in Chicago on Thursday to introduce legislation increasing funds to target illegal arms smuggling. The Republican also says an increase in suburban heroin overdose deaths is linked to the underground drug and arms trade with Mexico.

Kirk says he'll decide by early May whether to run for governor against Quinn.

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