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Bloomberg PAC has spent $660K blasting Halvorson

Friday, Feb 8, 2013

* Tribune

New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg’s super political action committee has spent at least $660,000 for 12 days of TV ads blasting Democratic congressional candidate Debbie Halvorson’s past support from the National Rifle Association, records filed by local affiliates of the four major networks showed Thursday.

When its current ad buy ends Sunday, the Independence USA super PAC will have aired 574 half-minute broadcast TV commercials to influence the outcome of the 2nd Congressional District special election, records show.

Halvorson, a former one-term congresswoman from Crete, has accused Bloomberg of trying to buy an Illinois congressional seat. She has maintained her opposition to bans on assault weapons and high-capacity ammunition magazines, in line with the NRA. The former lawmaker has, however, backed comprehensive background checks, a federal gun registry and increased penalties for criminal gun use and possession

* Meanwhile, the candidates debated last night

It was a lively exchange between ten democrats on the stage at the campus in the south suburbs. They discussed everything from whether we should keep American troops in Afghanistan even after the president says combat operations will seize, to whether we should balance the budget with spending cuts, tax increases, or a combination of both.

Given the national discussion on gun control and recent hearings locally, it was no surprise that some of the sharpest exchanges during the debate were on the topic. FOX 32’s Mike Flannery, who moderated the debate, asked for a show of hands on who supported the president’s proposal for a ban on assault weapons and on high capacity ammunition magazines. Only one candidate disagreed with that proposal: Debbie Halvorson– the former congresswoman who has the backing of the National Rifle Association.

“I refuse to support any other wide-ranging law that is going to harm a law-abiding citizen until we do something that is going to go after the criminal,” Halvorson said.

All of the candidates agreed on issuing universal background checks before a gun could be purchased.

“Even though it’s probably going to happen in the state of Illinois, I’m also against concealed carry,” Robin Kelly said. “When do we say enough is enough with all the killings in Chicago and all the mass murders around the country?”


On other issues, Hutchinson said she’d like to see a repeal of the George W. Bush-era tax cuts, with extra money put into programs benefiting education and infrastructure, while Williams said he’d like to see a federal lottery to raise money for education programs.

Kelly said she’d like to see cuts in military spending.

“We don’t fight wars like that anymore,” she said of fleets of battleships.

Chicago 9th Ward Alderman Anthony Beale said he’d like to see cuts in agriculture subsidies that he says pay farmers not to grow crops.

One area where there was general agreement was on immigration reform. All said they support a version of reform that gives many of the roughly 11.1 million people living illegally in the United States a chance to gain U.S. citizenship.

* And here’s the raw video

- Posted by Rich Miller        

  1. - bored now - Friday, Feb 8, 13 @ 9:54 am:

    you have to admit, toi’s got guts. how many politicians, democrat OR republican, will go into a candidate’s forum and argue for middle-class tax increases?

    the American Taxpayer Rielief Act (ATRA) eliminated the bush-era tax cuts for families with taxable above $450,000, and eliminating the bush cuts for $100,000 to $450,000 wouldn’t fund education, let alone education AND infrastructure. clearly, toi is talking about the rest of the bush-era tax cuts — which this administration fought to be made permanent (toi keeps saying that she will stand with the president — except for guns, taxes, hmmm… what else?) — because that’s where the money is…

  2. - dupage dan - Friday, Feb 8, 13 @ 9:58 am:

    === “We don’t fight wars like that anymore,” she said of fleets of battleships ===

    “In our age of nuclear technology and nuclear weapons, I don’t think we need 3 million battleships - we don’t fight wars like that anymore”.

    Where does one start? Her ignorance is breathtaking. There are no more battleships in the naval fleet - the last one was mothballed in 1992. Is she really suggesting that we use nuclear weapons instead of a measured response using our considerable force projection power thru our carrier groups? These not only allow US presence in war zones but are a major asset used in natural calamities such as the 2004 tsunami.

    I only listened to that because Rich put the comment up. Breathtaking. Disturbing.

  3. - wordslinger - Friday, Feb 8, 13 @ 10:04 am:

    –Kelly said she’d like to see cuts in military spending.

    “We don’t fight wars like that anymore,” she said of fleets of battleships.–

    There isn’t a commissioned battleship on the planet, and one hasn’t been built anywhere since 1943. The last ship-to-ship naval battle was Leyte Gulf in 1944.

    After WWII, off and on, the U.S. Navy kept four battleships commissioned that at times provided bombardment of land positions, the last time in Desert Storm.

    The U.S. Navy is unchallenged, and unchallengeable in the foreseeable future. Former Secretary Gates certainly argued for cuts, but it’s all about nuclear carrier groups and subs nowadays, not battleships.

    Currently, there are 288 commissioned vessels — and 275 admirals.

  4. - Responsa - Friday, Feb 8, 13 @ 10:07 am:

    Several of those quotes were interesting/scary in their cluelessness–both about the subject matter and the composition of the district.

  5. - Oswego Willy - Friday, Feb 8, 13 @ 10:21 am:

    Who or Whom is going to come to the rescue of Halvorson? $660K, and I am sure that is not goig to be the end of all this.

    At some point, will all this Ad time and money saturate even the areas Halvorson “thinks” she is going to do well? Halvorson is probably not sleeping to well about now, and won’t until Election Day, but I am still waiting to see who, or whom, is going to help Halvorson at a level to stave off some of this negativity?

    I am asking, I have no clue about this, but I wonder how blind sided Halvorson and her Crew were once this started, and at the level this got racheted up.

    I am asking honestly, not rhetorically so all her opponents swamp the boat on the question, I am asking about Halvorson, in her game plan, was this even a possible threat in her, and her Crew’s thoughts?

  6. - wordslinger - Friday, Feb 8, 13 @ 10:29 am:

    –Who or Whom is going to come to the rescue of Halvorson? $660K, and I am sure that is not goig to be the end of all this.–

    What’s that NRA A-rating worth?

    In some circles, the NRA has a reputation as a political powerhouse.

    Gov. Rendell was actively opposed by the NRA and won big statewide three times in Pennsylvania, which has the second-highest NRA membership in the country. He said they’re a “paper tiger.”

    Is the NRA going to help an A-rated candidate pull through in a low-turnout, open primary?

  7. - Oswego Willy - Friday, Feb 8, 13 @ 10:39 am:

    ===Is the NRA going to help an A-rated candidate pull through in a low-turnout, open primary?===

    That is the question. Is the NRA going to help Halvorson defend herself, if they are, how, (Phone calls?, Mail?, equal media buys?) and how effective NOW will a full blown response be, and can the damage be measured right now to see how much rehab her image needs?

    At some point, be it the NRA or “someone” - (PAC, for example) someone is going to help, its just a matter of how best you can help the “patient”…

  8. - walkinfool - Friday, Feb 8, 13 @ 10:43 am:

    I suppose since it’s a short-cycle election, it’s smart to pick one differentiating theme and run hard with it from day one. It seems to be more Bloomberg than Kelly, so I wouldn’t be surprised if Halvorson was caught short at first.

  9. - Wumpus - Friday, Feb 8, 13 @ 10:50 am:

    So Wordslinger, what you are telling me is that there could be an Admiral Wumpus in the not too distant future?

  10. - Kasich Walker, Jr. - Friday, Feb 8, 13 @ 10:59 am:

    I get a kick out of hearing some candidates talk about “training” security forces in another country. In all the military adventures the US has been involved in overseas, I don’t recall the local populations being sorely in need of training.

  11. - Responsa - Friday, Feb 8, 13 @ 11:10 am:

    Using media to demonize candidates -not disagree with them or stretch the truth a little in ads and social media- but demonize them– will have a chilling effect on the quality of candidates who are willing to run for any office in the future from either party. This can’t be good for our republic.
    Debbie’s a big girl and she likely had an inkling of what she was getting into when she decided to run. What bothers me about what’s being done to her, though, is the dangerous shallow group think, a litmus test of some sort seemingly being applied where one should not be, and the lack of recognition by her opponents that the position she has taken is not extreme but is in fact somewhat nuanced, and one that a great swath of the nation shares.

    People are quick to notice and point out the purity tests that are fracturing the Republican party, and the big money advocates that sometimes help push it to extremes on some issues. I agree with that. Do people not see that this is exactly what is going on in the the Democratic field for the 2nd congressional district? Do intelligent Democrats really want a party where no NRA members or even gun owners feel welcome or can be heard?

  12. - Small Town Liberal - Friday, Feb 8, 13 @ 11:18 am:

    Responsa - Demonizing is not new, it’s been here from the very start, and we’ve had good and bad candidates all along.

  13. - Kasich Walker, Jr. - Friday, Feb 8, 13 @ 12:00 pm:

    To the points mentioned above, lIke constituents, the candidates may need more information, or at least a willingness to express uncertainty.

    Though I was disappointed to hear only one candidate — Anthony Williams — speak against the airport in Peotone, after watching this I will feel less troubled by outcome of this election.

  14. - Angry Chicagoan - Friday, Feb 8, 13 @ 12:56 pm:

    I think the problem is that the NRA has become too partisan to be of much use to, or to care about, a Democrat of even Halvorson’s centrist type.

  15. - Endangered Moderate Species - Friday, Feb 8, 13 @ 1:12 pm:

    =People are quick to notice and point out the purity tests that are fracturing the Republican party=

    Responsa, I don’t agree that the CD2 race can be compared to the challenges facing the Republican party.

    The CD2 winner will be a Democrat. The Bloomberg PAC and Kelly have found the only wedge issue in this primary race and they are going to drive that wedge until the stump can no longer be split.

    The GOP does not have a ground game in this district, but their voters could have an affect on this race. Halvorson needs help. The cross-over primary voters may be a source she can draw from.

  16. - Kasich Walker, Jr. - Friday, Feb 8, 13 @ 2:31 pm:

    It may not put much of a dent in budgetary problems, but it might eliminate some state dollars from pork if political spending on TV/radio time ads & robo-calls was taxed.

    “Free” speech?

    Tell that to Halvorson.

  17. - South Suburban (Chicago area) Voter - Friday, Feb 8, 13 @ 2:41 pm:

    Actually, I think those negative ads against Halvorson is helping her name reconition and will bring out her base of supporters and those who support the 2nd amendment’s right to bare arms.

    As for the forum yesterday at the GSU, I believe most of the major candidates (Hutchinson, Halvorson, Kelly, Beale) held their own.

  18. - wordslinger - Friday, Feb 8, 13 @ 2:46 pm:

    –I think the problem is that the NRA has become too partisan to be of much use to, or to care about, a Democrat of even Halvorson’s centrist type.–

    Halvorson is A-rated. What does that get you?

    If you’re right, and it means nothing when the chips are down, that’s food for thought for a lot of officeholders, not just Democrats.

    –Do intelligent Democrats really want a party where no NRA members or even gun owners feel welcome or can be heard?–

    Plenty of Democrats are NRA members, hunters and have guns in the home for protection. If differences of opinion with current NRA leadership on all issues is a deal-breaker, that’s their problem, not the Democratic Party’s.

    As far as bipartisanship is concerned, Sens. Kirk, Schumer, Manchin and Coburn — the last two, NRA members, are working together on federal legislation.

    By the way, once again, welcome back, Sen. Kirk.

  19. - wordslinger - Friday, Feb 8, 13 @ 2:50 pm:

    –Actually, I think those negative ads against Halvorson is helping her name reconition and will bring out her base of supporters and those who support the 2nd amendment’s right to bare arms.–

    That’s what we’re going to find out. And it will be a lesson, one way or the other.

    By the way, “bear arms,” dude, not “bare.” Too cold.

  20. - Just The Way It Is One - Friday, Feb 8, 13 @ 3:42 pm:

    Kelly’s comments about cutting battleships was flabbergasting–she should be mum if she doesn’t know what she’s talking about. Halvorson, on the other hand, seems to know quite well what her position is on gun rights and isn’t backing off. Good for her. I don’t know if there’ll be enough NRA backers in her corner to put her over the top, but if the NRA throws her a decent chunk of change to help her out on TV and/or Radio, if they care enough, and I can’t see why they wouldn’t, the battle will REALLY be on then! Certainly few voters in the 2nd who watch TV can’t say how she stands on this currently-encompassing issue; where it gets her is another thing.

    And one more thing–Toi Hutchinson actually wants to END our tax CUT thereby leading, obviously, to a lower and middle-income income tax INcrease? For real? It’d sure be hard for me heading into the polling place NOT to be thinking about THAT plank in her Platform…man!

  21. - wordslinger - Friday, Feb 8, 13 @ 4:14 pm:

    – but if the NRA throws her a decent chunk of change to help her out on TV and/or Radio, if they care enough, and I can’t see why they wouldn’t, the battle will REALLY be on then!–

    She’s an A-rated candidate. Why wouldn’t they?

    Watch and learn.

  22. - Arthur Andersen - Friday, Feb 8, 13 @ 4:31 pm:

    Not surprised by Battleship Kelly. She is about as worldly as her mentor Alexi.

Sorry, comments for this post are now closed.

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