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Duckworth: No Super PAC will ‘bury’ me

Tammy Duckworth. File photo. | Richard A. Chapman~Sun-Times

Tammy Duckworth. File photo. | Richard A. Chapman~Sun-Times

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Updated: November 19, 2012 3:41PM

Tammy Duckworth says no one is going to “bury” her.

In response to a story Wednesday, Duckworth’s camp released a statement taking issue with a source who told the paper that the conservative super PAC Now or Never was preparing to spend another $2.5 million in the 8th Congressional District in an attempt to “bury” Duckworth, a Democrat, in a sea of negative ads.

Duckworth is in a heated race against tea party Republican Joe Walsh, an incumbent who has garnered national attention for making incendiary comments.

The source spoke on the condition of anonymity but was familiar with the strategy behind the super PAC spending in the north and northwest suburban congressional district.

“I wasn’t buried in Iraq, and I won’t be buried by Joe Walsh’s Out-Of-State Right Wing Super PAC,” Duckworth said in a statement.

Duckworth is an Iraqi War veteran, a helicopter pilot who lost both her legs in combat.

The Duckworth campaign said it was preparing to file a complaint with the Federal Elections Commission against “Walsh for Congress, Now or Never, and Americans for Limited Government for illegal coordination.”

That was after it was revealed this week that the biggest donor by far to Now or Never was Americans for Limited Government — a group Walsh helped “launch” years ago, according to his own website.

The Now or Never super PAC has pumped $2 million into attack ads against Duckworth in the race, and it received a $1.9 million infusion in September from Americans for Limited Government.

A source said another $2.5 million was planned with just three weeks left in the race.

“This is a 100 percent diversionary distraction by Ms. Duckworth,” said Walsh spokesman Justin Roth. He noted the campaign had filed an FEC complaint against Duckworth for filing financial disclosures late. The Duckworth campaign said there was an error with filing that was corrected within hours.

“They’re filing a baseless FEC complaint for what they hope is the case. Not only is there no coordination, we didn’t even know who was involved until yesterday morning, when everyone else found out.”

Americans for Limited Government said it had “virtually zero contact” with Walsh.

“There is no coordination either now or in the past. An even cursory look at the thousands of articles, statements, releases and videos produced by Americans for Limited Government over the past couple of years will show that we have had virtually zero contact with Mr. Walsh,” said Rick Manning, communications director for Americans for Limited Government. “Our contribution was to the Now or Never Pac and no one else.”

Walsh also pointed out that Democratic super PACs have attacked him in the race.

Walsh’s campaign noted that the candidate was the centerpiece of an attack ad by the House Majority PAC that was titled “loud.” Walsh’s bluster was featured in a $2.4 million ad buy attacking the congressman and two other Illinois Republicans — U.S. Reps. Robert Dold in the 10th District and Judy Biggert in the 11th — who are targeted by Democrats.

Duckworth and Walsh are poised to debate tonight in what’s anticipated to be another fiery exchange between the two.

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