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$2.5 million in negative ads aims to ‘bury Duckworth’, source says

Republican candidate Joe Walsh (right) answers questiduring an 8th congressional debate with Democratic candidate Tammy Duckworth September .File Pho| Steven

Republican candidate Joe Walsh (right) answers a question during an 8th congressional debate with Democratic candidate Tammy Duckworth in September .File Photo | Steven Buyansky~Sun-Times Media

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Updated: November 18, 2012 7:15AM

The plan is to “bury” Democrat Tammy Duckworth in a sea of negative ads.

The means: an additional $2.5 million.

A conservative SuperPAC touting Duckworth rival Joe Walsh is preparing to dump an extra $2.5 million into the heated 8th Congressional District race — on top of $2 million it has already spent, a source familiar with the plan told the Chicago Sun-Times.

The idea is to “bury Duckworth,” the source said.

The revelation comes a day after Duckworth reported that she personally raised more than five times as much as Walsh did in the last quarter — about $1.5 million to the Republican’s $251,000. That means that the Now or Never SuperPAC spent eight times what Walsh was able to raise himself in the last quarter.

On Tuesday, Duckworth raised red flags about Now or Never — including that its biggest donor is a group that Walsh helped “launch,” according to his Web site. Federal election rules ban any coordination between a candidate and a SuperPAC, which has loose disclosure rules.

In an interview with the Chicago Sun-Times on Friday, Walsh answered “no” when asked if he knew who was behind funding the Now or Never SuperPAC.

According to new FEC disclosures, Americans for Limited Government put $1.95 million into the Now or Never SuperPAC, which ran anti-Duckworth ads.That accounts for all the money given to the SuperPAC in September, the time when a series of TV attack ads ran against Walsh’s Democratic rival.

“Joe Walsh has been bought and paid for by some of the wealthiest and right-wing fringe characters in America,” said Kaitlin Fahey, Duckworth’s campaign manager.

Americans for Limited Government describes itself as a non-partisan, not for profit “committed to advancing free-market reforms, private property rights,” as well as term limits.

“ALG’s mission is to roll back government,” the group’s Web site says.

A source within the Walsh campaign said Walsh was one of the first employees of Americans for Limited Government in 2001 to 2002 and said “he had not worked with them or had any relationship with them for over 10 years.”

Duckworth has repeatedly said she asked Walsh to take a vow not to accept SuperPAC money but said he would not agree to it.

Walsh’s campaign complained about the level of Duckworth’s fund-raising outside the newly drawn district. Duckworth’s campaign said it raised more than $82,000 from the newly drawn 8th district when compared to Walsh’s $25,635.

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