* I’ve been thinking that it was a pretty smart move by the NRA not to get involved in the 2nd Congressional District on behalf of Debbie Halvorson.
Why? Well, the group has been assiduously courting African-American state legislators to vote for a concealed carry bill. Helping nominate a white Democrat in a black-majority congressional district might not go down too well with the Legislative Black Caucus, after all.
Besides, Mayor Bloomberg’s millions of dollars worth of TV ads have made it pretty clear that Halvorson is pro-gun. He’s educating the NRA’s base without the NRA spending any money.
* But the Illinois State Rifle Association has decided to jump into the race at the last minute…
“Just because I want to have an honest discussion of how we deal with the entire culture of violence, I’m being attacked,” added Ms. Halvorson, who does support universal background checks for gun buyers. “To ban one more firearm, all that’s going to do is harm the law-abiding citizen.”
Forced into an awkward spot between not feeding the fire against her and keeping Second Amendment-supporting voters engaged, Ms. Halvorson has said that she has not sought support from any gun groups in this election, despite holding steadfast on her positions.
Still, the Illinois State Rifle Association started fighting back on her behalf on Wednesday, sending out a direct mailer to thousands of its members living in the district asking them to vote for Ms. Halvorson, according to Richard A. Pearson, the association’s executive director.
“We can’t let that go unanswered,” he said of the advertising campaign against her. His group had planned to endorse Ms. Halvorson in a news release on Thursday, but decided not to at the last minute, Mr. Pearson said, though he would not explain why.
* Kelly defends against ethics allegations in Jackson Jr. race
* Gun debate is changing the Democratic Party