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GOP Staffer Threatens Tel Aviv U

According to this story in yesterday’s Chicago Sun-Times, Rep. Mark Steven Kirk, a three-term Illinois Republican, is facing an unexpectedly strong challenge from Democrat Dan Seals.

In the Sun-Times, a staffer for Kirk sent a threatening email to a representative of Tel Aviv University with the goal of having the school’s president pressure a supporter of Seals, Robert M. Schrayer, to back down. Schrayer is the national chairman of the Tel Aviv University American Council and on the board of the Jewish Federation of Metropolitan Chicago, and a one-time backer of Kirk who is now supporting his Democratic opponent.

“Tell him his actions can have a very bad effect on the university,” Caryn Garber reportedly wrote in a July e-mail to Sam Witkin, president of the univeristy’s U.S. operation. Garber added, “Revenge is a dish best served cold.”

Kirk is a member of the House Appropriations Committee’s Foreign Operations subcommittee, which handles grants to Israel.

The GOP congressman reportedly said that the staffer had been reprimanded and warned that she would be fired if such an incident happened again.

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