Sen. Kirk aide said to be point-man in campaign against Hagel

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Richard Goldberg speaks for Kirk’s family after stroke Jan.2012, Dr. Richard Fessler (photo: couriernews.suntimes)

Illinois Senator Mark Kirk’s chief of staff has his hands full. Richard Goldberg is said to be manning the unofficial headquarters of the campaign to knock out Chuck Hagel as the next secretary of Defense.

Kirk has been a huge beneficiary of Israel lobby donations, and while the leading lobby group AIPAC is reportedly staying out of the Hagel fight, nightflowers bloom in the dark (as a former AIPAC aide once bragged), and who better at the helm than Kirk aide Goldberg with his “undying commitment to the safety and security of the State of Israel.”

Roll Call: Has Kirk’s Office Been Running a Secret Anti-Hagel Campaign?

A top aide to Sen. Mark S. Kirk, R-Ill., has been distributing anti-Chuck Hagel emails to a large, undisclosed listserv of staffers — including Democrats — beginning as early as Dec. 20, according to the more than a dozen emails obtained by CQ Roll Call.

Richard Goldberg, a deputy chief of staff in Kirk’s office who also focuses on foreign policy issues, has been sending as many as three emails a day to the list, which CQ Roll Call confirmed includes reporters, Republican policy staffers and some Democrats. The emails typically include links or text of articles that cast Hagel — a former Republican senator from Nebraska and President Barack Obama’s secretary of Defense nominee — in a negative light.

Kirk served for 10 years in the House before winning President Obama’s old Senate seat in 2011 with the help of wads of pro-Israel cash. Kirk suffered a stroke a year ago and only returned to the Capitol a few days ago. Last year, when Kirk’s office originated legislation to curb Palestinian rights, we took a look at who was running his office in his absence; and Goldberg’s pro-Israel bona fides jumped out. Then weeks later it was revealed that Goldberg was the go between in a scheme in which an Israeli Knesset member seeded anti-Palestinian legislation in Congress. The bill required the State Department to count Palestinian refugees, with the goal of stripping Palestinians of their refugee status, and it became law last spring.

In April [Knesset member Einat] Wilf and Rosen met with Kirk’s deputy chief of staff, Richard Goldberg. Kirk is recovering from a stroke he suffered a few months ago, and Goldberg is promoting the senator’s legislative efforts.

After a preliminary draft of the bill was worded, AIPAC officials went on board in an attempt to pass it, holding meeting with many of the senators on the appropriations committee in an attempt to sway them into supporting the legislation.

These days Goldberg’s twitter feed appears to be myopically dedicated to slamming Chuck Hagel, for instance publicizing a Commentary piece that highlights Hagel’s “anti-Israel positions,” including his understanding of Palestinian desperation under occupation.

About Annie Robbins

Annie Robbins is Editor at Large for Mondoweiss, a mother, a human rights activist and a ceramic artist. She lives in the SF bay area. Follow her on Twitter @anniefofani
Posted in Israel/Palestine | Tagged

{ 23 comments... read them below or add one }

  1. American says:

    Yes indeed. Been sending my faxes all morning to the I-Firsters identified so far as opposing and smearing Hagel on Israel. Feel free to join in. Some of you will probably want to be more polite about it than I am. I personally don’t believe in showing any respect to these people…they deserve none. Kill all the taboos, tell the truth.

    The Guilty:

    Fax Numbers as of Jan. 1, 2013

    Kirk – Goldberg 202 228 4611
    Lindsey Graham – 202 224 3808
    Tom Coburn – 202 224 6008
    Mitch McConnell- 202 224 2499
    Chuck Schumer 202 228 3027
    Bill Nelson – 202 228 2183
    Saxley Chambliss 202 224 0103
    Robert Menendez 202 228 2197
    Ted Cruz—no fax yet—Ph 202 224 5922
    Pat Roberts – 202 224 3514
    John Cornyn 202 228 2856
    Mark Rubio 202 228 0285
    Rob Portman – 202 224 9075
    John McCain 202 228 2862

    For good measure:
    Harry Reid- 202 224 7327
    John Kerry – 202 224 8525
    Paul Rand – 202 228 6917

    For this….
    “SENATE AIDE: SEND US HAGEL AND WE WILL MAKE SURE EVERY AMERICAN KNOWS HE IS AN ANTI SEMITE””…Bill Kristol – Jewish Lobby – Kirk’s Goldberg -Weekly Standard Headline

    You will get this..

    ” AND WE WILL MAKE SURE EVERY AMERICAN KNOWS THAT YOU ARE TRAITORS TO THIS COUNTRY AND ANTI AMERICAN PAID AGENTS FOR THE JEWISH LOBBY AND THE FOREIGN COUNTRY OF ISRAEL WHO SELL OUT AMERICANS FOR YOUR OWN PERSONAL POLITICAL CAREERS.

    • seanmcbride says:

      # Chuck Hagel attackers who are also Jewish nationalists and pro-Israel activists

      1. Abraham Foxman
      2. Adam Kredo
      3. Alana Goodman
      4. Ari Morgenstern
      5. Barney Frank
      6. Bret Stephens
      7. Caroline Glick
      8. Chuck Schumer
      9. Daniel Greenfield
      10. Danielle Pletka
      11. David Brog
      12. Debbie Schlussel
      13. Ed Koch
      14. Eliot Engel
      15. Elliot Abrams
      16. Eric Cantor
      17. Frank Gaffney
      18. Fred Hiatt
      19. Gil Troy
      20. Ira Forman
      21. Jeff Dunetz
      22. Jennifer Rubin
      23. Joe Lieberman
      24. Jonathan Tobin
      25. Josh Block
      26. Malcolm Hoenlein
      27. Matt Brooks
      28. Michael Rubin
      29. Morris Amitay
      30. Morton Klein
      31. Noah Silverman
      32. Pamela Geller
      33. Paul Wolfowitz
      34. Philip Klein
      35. Richard Goldberg
      36. Ron Radosh
      37. William Kristol

      Do they really think that the world doesn’t see what is going on?

      • seanmcbride says:

        Notice how the above anti-Hagel lobbyists cut across traditional Republican and Democratic Party lines — for them, it’s all about Israel, period. The last thing that is on their minds is the American interest.

        Particularly take note of the liberal Zionists who are making common cause with neoconservatives — two arms of a single Israel lobby.

  2. Citizen says:

    Phone number for Nelson is screwy. Weird sound, no answer. But go to his web site and you can call on another number and email him. Plus, even the weird number allows you to leave a pro-bagel message, which I did.

  3. jimmy says:

    Wake up America….

    the enemy is right in front of you

    as far as I can see annie there is not even a glimmer of hope to confront the jewish lobby in this country…

    I have been saying ..Wake up America since 2000 ..regarding the lobby in this country…

    most was posted on Yahoo boards…

    the is no media to confront them…

    is it any wonder that the US is in debt to the tune of $16T…

    I did a survey over at Newsmax today..

    vote yes kerry 78% said vote not
    vote yes hagle 82% said vote no
    filbuster them 69% said filbuster them both
    that is the mind set of the gop/tp

    absolutely sad

    • lol! you crack me up jimmy, lefties don’t frequent newsmax. it’s not an msm site.it’s radical right, of course their surveys will reflect that. maybe you could let us know what gellars audience are into also.

      as far as I can see annie there is not even a glimmer of hope to confront the jewish lobby in this country…

      i guess you can’t see very far than. itmay surprise you to know there’s a difference between the people and the msm. i think we already know the msm is biased. if you want to believe everything they tell you go for it. me, i watch trends in the news. it doesn’t surprise me a few days after wapo informs us the anti hagels are turning this into a campaign the msm floods us with negative news stories. that’s what people do in campaigns. it doesn’t mean it speaks for the people. chill,everybody said obama wouldn’t nominate him and they were all proven wrong.

      the way i look at it, we’ve got a win win on our hands. if hagel goes down it will reflect poorly on the lobby, people are already sick of them. if anyone thinks obama will respond to a defeat of hagel by appointing someone less contentious iv’e got a bridge to sell you. this fight works for us no matter which way it goes because it exposes power.

  4. American says:

    Citizen,

    Those numbers are their fax numbers…probably why you got the funny sound.
    Save this site for future reference….it’s up to date as of Jan 10 2013.
    If you click on your state it shows all Senators and Reps and displays their phone and fax numbers. Really time saving if you’re looking just for numbers.

    link to contactingthecongress.org

  5. Thanks, Annie. Great work exposing the mechanisms. One thing I’ve realized over the years on Mondoweiss is how banal everything looks when it is finally exposed to the light of day, in this case, Richard Goldberg.

  6. jimmy says:

    annie they are trying to get Hagel to quit before he even gets started

    that worked on that Chas Freeman ….now they are trying it again

    these right wing zionists absolutely hate obama they are the new KKK with a Z somewhere in there I beleive I read somewhere that the nuttys govern is trying to kick out the black jews tooo

    whenever the zionists come to DC they go right to the republicans now…act as if obama isnt even there…

    telling

  7. Sin Nombre says:

    Using a guy named “Goldberg” to do this … makes you wonder if they just couldn’t *find* anyone with a non-jewish name to be the point-person. It sure as hell ain’t gonna go unnoticed.

  8. Great piece. Kirk is a fanatical supporter of continuing insane Israeli colonisation programme in the West Bank, no matter how many hundreds of billions of dollars this insane programme costs the American people.

  9. Kathleen says:

    You can bet Schumer is working behind the scenes to take Hagel down. Let’s hope Frank does not get Kerry’s seat even for three months (and I would put money on it that if Frank gets that spot for three months he will flip and run for the seat) he could be a another vote against Hagel.

  10. RE: “Illinois Senator Mark Kirk’s chief of staff has his hands full. Richard Goldberg is said to be manning the unofficial headquarters of the campaign to knock out Chuck Hagel as the next secretary of Defense.” ~ Annie Robbins

    MY OBSERVATION: Judging from the photo, Richard Goldberg certainly has perfected the über-preppy look that is so popular with the young neocons. Doug Feith is another nice example of how they seem determined to out-WASP the WASPs, at least as to their appearance.

  11. MRW says:

    What we need is a list of all chiefs of staff for all senators and congressmen. And a list of the chief fundraisers inside their offices.

    Sean?

    • seanmcbride says:

      MRW,

      What we need is a list of all chiefs of staff for all senators and congressmen. And a list of the chief fundraisers inside their offices.

      What we need is a Wikipedia-style reference tool that lays out the entire structure of the worldwide Israel lobby in minute detail — including the kind of details you mention.

      It would be especially useful to have instant access to all the key quotes by and about the leading players in the Israel lobby — including the founding fathers of Zionism.

      All of this information is currently available in scattered and disorganized form in mainstream Jewish publications.

      • Mooser says:

        “What we need is a Wikipedia-style reference tool that lays out the entire structure of the worldwide Israel lobby in minute detail — including the kind of details you mention.”

        Be quite a job keeping it updated, since things change all the time. Still, it might be of some use even if it can’t be updated, I mean, look at the Protocols. Accuracy isn’t as important as making a very threatening presentation. Don’t forget about background ambient noise/music. Video and slide shows help. This could be a real coup for an enterprising web designer.

        • seanmcbride says:

          Mooser,

          Be quite a job keeping it updated, since things change all the time. Still, it might be of some use even if it can’t be updated, I mean, look at the Protocols.

          Are you trying to suggest that collecting, organizing and analyzing the truthful and well-documented facts about the structure and operations of the Israel lobby would be equivalent to composing and circulating the Protocols of the Elders of Zion?

          How do you feel about Walt’s and Mearsheimer’s book on the Israel lobby? Many pro-Israel activists and militants smeared it with the Protocols line.

          A Wikipedia-style reference guide to the Israel lobby would be easy to update — there are thousands of people around the world who are well-informed about the subject and who would be eager to share their knowledge. How do you think Wikipedia itself remains updated? — through voluntary input from many thousands of people who contribute their efforts for free.

        • seanmcbride says:

          Mooser,

          What topics/entries do you think would be appropriate for a Wikipedia-style reference tool on the Israel lobby?

      • American says:

        @sean……you will find this to be useful
        link to legistorm.com

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        For Example:…..

        link to legistorm.com

        Displaying search results for Israel. Found 17 people, 0 offices, 43 organizations, 29 destinations, 8 other pages.
        People
        Rep. Rahm Emanuel (D-IL) – Resigned
        Alternate Name: Rahm Israel Emanuel
        Summary – Salaries – Expenses – Staff Directory – Revolving Door – Trips – Financial Disclosures – Lobbying – Gifts – Earmarks – Family
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        Summary – Salaries – Expenses – Staff Directory – Revolving Door – Trips – Financial Disclosures – Lobbying – Gifts – Earmarks – Family
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        Employed by: House Education and the Workforce Committee
        Summary – Salaries – Trips – Financial Disclosures – Lobbying – Gifts
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        Alternate Names: Jennifer Dietrich, Jennifer N. Israel
        Employed by: Rep. Jerry McNerney (-CA), Rep. Ellen Tauscher (-CA)
        Summary – Salaries – Trips – Financial Disclosures – Lobbying – Gifts
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        Alternate Name: Israel Klein
        Employed by: Sen. Chuck Schumer (-NY), Rep. Ed Markey (-MA), Rep. Dick Gephardt (-MO)
        Summary – Salaries – Trips – Financial Disclosures – Lobbying – Gifts
        Israel Ortega (Izzy)
        Employed by: House Republican Conference, Rep. Henry Bonilla (-TX), Rep. Ileana Ros-Lehtinen (-FL)
        Summary – Salaries – Trips – Financial Disclosures – Lobbying – Gifts
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        Employed by: Rep. Al Wynn (-MD)
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        Israel AME Church
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        1 2
        Other Pages
        Blog: Trip tally 2009: Israel and beyond (02/23/2010)
        … the Jack Abramoff scandal caused a drastic re-evaluation of congressional travel rules. While Israel is a frequent congressional travel destination, the number of privately funded trips ballooned to …
        Blog: Record number of House members to visit Israel this August (08/10/2011)
        … having AIEF pay for the trips, as LegiStorm highlighted after AIEF sent a large congressional contingent to Israel in 2009.The group has been sponsoring such trips for large groups of members in non- …
        Blog: Rep. Lipinski’s “secret” trip to Israel (07/30/2010)
        … ‘s Twitter Room blog posted an item regarding Rep. Pete Roskam (R-Ill.) tweeting details of a trip to Israel. The story listed seven Republican lawmakers that accompanied Roskam, but had this to say …
        Blog: Israel jaunts set record for most costly trips (09/12/2011)
        … is technically a separate organization, it is virtually indistinguishable from AIPAC. As a pro-Israel lobbying group, AIPAC is prohibited from sponsoring most congressional trips. The organization …
        Blog: Storm Tips: Israel lobbying organization uses loophole to sponsor trips (09/23/2009)
        … ) and Rep. Michele Bachmann (R-Minn.).AIEF is the fundraising arm of the American Israel Public Affairs Committee, or AIPAC, an influential lobbying group. Despite tough rules forbidding congressional …
        Blog: Privately-sponsored congressional travel hits new low (03/01/2011)
        … (AIEF) was once again near the top of the list. The affiliated charity of the American Israel Public Affairs Committee (AIPAC) sponsored 63 trips to Israel costing $530,389. AIEF and the Aspen …
        Blog: Privately funded congressional trips hit new highs in 2011 (01/25/2012)
        … country in 2011, after falling behind Turkey in 2010. (AIEF traditionally sends the largest delegations to Israel in non-election years.) A total of 168 trips were to Israel in 2011, ahead of Turkey …
        Blog: Trip costs rising (10/04/2011)
        … members of Congress and their family members. Most of the total spending was done by the American Israel Education Foundation, which paid more than $1.5 million to send 87 lawmakers and staff – and …

        AND ALSO THIS…….link to senate.gov…….for records and statements that aren’t covered on thomas.gov

  12. Les says:

    from URI AVNERY

    But the catalogue of Hagel’s crimes is much more extensive.

    Many years ago he called the pro-Israeli lobby in Washington (would you believe it?) the “Jewish lobby”. Until then, it was understood that AIPAC is mainly composed of Buddhists and financed by Arab billionaires like Abu Sheldon and Abel al-Adelson.

    link to counterpunch.org