Kimberly Vertolli, the ex-wife of Rep. Mark Kirk, says that while she’d vote for him, she won’t advocate for him (“because she fears he is too influenced by a ‘Svengali figure’ in his life—a former staffer named Dorothy ‘Dodie’ McCracken … OK!). There’s also the small matter of Kimberly believing Mark does not support “basic human rights.”
Like the right to serve openly. Kimberly tells Chicago magazine where they differ:
I’ll give you one solid example. I lobbied him on behalf of the Human Rights Campaign, [an organization that promotes lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender equality, of which Vertolli is a member, donor, and volunteer]. I passionately support their drive to overturn “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell.” Mark voted against the Murphy amendment [to repeal DADT, named for Pennsylvania Democrat Patrick Murphy, passed by the House this past May]. Therefore, he voted in favor of maintaining a discriminatory policy against gays and lesbians who are serving us in the military. I privately withdrew my support because to me that’s a basic human right. I will not support a candidate who upholds a policy that discriminates against gays and lesbians.
All right. But what’s this about Mark being a gay (or lesbian)?
That [rumor has] been going on since he first ran. It’s highly unusual for a man to have been married to a woman for eight years and not produced children. And it’s unusual for a man to have not been married until he’s 40 years old. [Kirk was 41]. So people get suspicious. It’s human nature. When we don’t understand something, we want to attach an explanation to it. It’s not an accurate explanation that Mark is gay, but nevertheless, that’s how some people choose to reconcile it.
And Kimberly’s not so subtle hints that Mark is doting on “Svengali” McCracken — “I will not characterize their relationship” — is how she chose to reconcile it.