Report: Sen. Kirk backed three bills benefiting former girlfriend

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According to the Chicago Tribune, Kirk was an original co-sponsor for two bills while serving in the House of Representatives and is a co-sponsor in the Senate of a bill that benefits clients for his former girlfriend, Dodie McCracken, through McCracken's public relations firm, Arcadian Partners.

The House bills, the American Veterans Disabled for Life Commemorative Coin Act (H.R. 634) in 2007 and the Medal of Honor Commemorative Coin Act of 2009 (H.R. 1209) netted $2.81 million for the Disabled Veterans' LIFE Memorial Foundation and roughly $2.5 million for the Congressional Medal of Honor Foundation, respectively, according to the Chicago newspaper.

The third bill, the March of Dimes Commemorative Coin Act of 2011 (S.1935), could send $5 million toward the March of Dimes Foundation, also one of McCracken's clients. Additionally, the Chicago newspaper reports that two of the bills were introduced while Kirk and McCracken were a couple. That bill was referred to the Senate Banking Committee.

Specifically, the Medal of Honor Act requires the Treasury Secretary to mint commemorative coins "in recognition and celebration of the establishment of the Medal of Honor in 1861." The American Veterans Disabled for Life Commemorative Coin orders minted coins in recognition of veterans who were permanently disabled in combat. The March of Dimes bill mints coins recognizing the founding of the March of Dimes Foundation 75 years ago.
 
The Tribune report came a few days after the Chicago paper also reported that Kirk's ex-wife filed a complaint with the Federal Elections Commission that Kirk, who suffered a stroke in January, violated campaign finance law through improperly paying McCracken while campaigning for the Senate.

President Obama called Kirk on Thursday with get-well wishes as he recovers from the stroke, according to the Chicago Sun-Times.