'Dark money' Super PAC attacks Duckworth - FOX 32 News Chicago

'Dark money' Super PAC attacks Duckworth

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CHICAGO (FOX 32 News) -

The race for an Illinois congressional seat is heating up.

Just weeks before the election, the candidates in the 8th District are finding more outside help. An outside group that is a so-called "dark money" super PAC is spending hundreds of thousands of dollars to pick up on a theme that the Joe Walsh campaign has been sending out in a mailer. The messages to voters in the 8th Congressional District it is that a state audit of the Illinois Department of Veterans Affairs that Tammy Duckworth once ran shows that she is allegedly not a good steward of tax-payer dollars.

"12 instances of non-compliance of state law," Joe Walsh tells Fox Chicago. "She's touting her record for veterans when it looks like a lot of our taxpayer dollars went to things that didn't go to veterans."

The Duckworth campaign said the audit found no serious problems that a $4.4 million federal grant had been inadvertently omitted. They say they've accounted for most of the money involved and that at no point does the audit state or in any way suggest that the funds were misused.

That state audit plays a role in a new TV ad airing on some stations paid for by an independent group called the "Now or Never Super PAC."

"As a Blago appointee, an audit found Duckworth was guilty of misusing and misrepresenting $4 million worth of taxpayer money," it says, in part. "Tammy Duckworth -- a Blagojevich pal who supports higher taxes and wasteful spending."

The $4 million figure comes from an audit of the Illinois Department of Veterans Affairs during the time Duckworth ran the department. While the auditor did not suggest criminal wrongdoing, there were complaints that some employees did not properly document expenses such as gasoline purchases, hotel stays and mileage reimbursements. Some reports were filed later than the auditor liked.

The Duckworth campaign again asserts that there was not a finding of any serious problem and they say, in fact, that a federal grant that was inadvertently omitted involved most of the $4 million that this audit refers to.

Joe Walsh indicated that his campaign is opening up a new front that will be attacking a program and a major expenditure that he says Duckworth oversaw when she was in Washington D.C. at the Federal Department of Veterans Affairs. The Duckworth campaign says that tomorrow they're going to show that that too is not a correct statement.

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