Duckworth, Kirk trade barbs over Letterman fundraiser

  • David Letterman

    David Letterman

Updated 10/6/2015 7:55 PM

Retired late-night legend David Letterman is set to appear at a fundraiser for Democratic U.S. Rep. Tammy Duckworth's Senate campaign later this month, and the event drew jabs from her opponent.

The Oct. 25 fundraiser is billed as "Serious Fun," a play on its headliner comedian and the other top name on the New York event, Sen. Al Franken, a Minnesota Democrat and "Saturday Night Live" alumnus. Suggested donations range from "Kinda Serious" at $1,000 to "Totally Serious" at $10,400.


The fundraiser drew a retort from U.S. Sen. Mark Kirk's election campaign, which made light of the duo's appearance for Duckworth.

"Named as one of Congress' least effective members, Rep. Duckworth clearly needs to get more 'serious' about her work," Kirk campaign manager Kevin Artl said in a statement.

In reply, Duckworth's campaign criticized Kirk's donations from the investments and securities industry.

"Senator Kirk apparently believes the only 'serious' fundraisers in New York are with Wall Street bankers and corporate executives," spokesman Matt McGrath said.

The campaigns for Senate in Illinois will be fundraising often between now and the election. Many national observers say the race here will be one of the country's most hotly contested, and star power can help draw donors.

Kirk, a Highland Park Republican, has a fundraiser scheduled in New York this month with former New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg.

Duckworth, of Hoffman Estates, faces her highest-profile primary challenge from former Chicago Urban League CEO Andrea Zopp, who last month held a fundraiser at "Star Wars" creator George Lucas' Chicago condo.

Candidates for federal office are required to report on their third-quarter fundraising by next week.

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