Today Is Election Day In IL-02
The top ad was the original ad Bloomberg put out against Halvorson and then someone got them to alter it in a way that forced Toi Hutchinson out of the race. This is it:
Technically, it's just a primary to pick the Democratic nominee to replace Jesse Jackson, Jr. But in a district where Jackson won reelection-- without even campaigning-- with 181,067 votes (63%) against a Republican opponent who got 67,396 votes (23%) and where Obama took 80.7% of the vote in November, the primary is the real contest. Whomever wins today will be the next Member of Congress for this Southland district. Blue America endorsed state Senator Toi Hutchinson primarily because she seemed like the strongest candidate who could beat self-described conservative Debbie Halvorson-- and, most important, not splinter the progressive and African American vote that would allow Halvorson to get back into Congress. We hoped to interest a nonplused online community in a race no one seemed to care about or understand. Eventually a few online groups and communities did get involved but decided that Toi was tainted because she filled in an NRA questionnaire badly-- even though she was a sponsor of the bill to ban assault weapons and high caliber magazines and even though she had never voted with the NRA. In fact, once the Bloomberg folks were persuaded to changed their TV ad campaign from just attacking Halvorson to also attacking Toi... well it wasn't a race Toi had the resources to stay in.
She immediately-- the next day-- withdrew and threw urged her supporters to back Robin Kelly, the other progressive candidate. Blue America respected that and endorsed Kelly. And then yesterday-- the bad news. New polling from WCKG shows Chicagoland voters so angry about the millions of dollars being spent by Bloomberg that his ads are backfiring and Halvorson has taken the lead (at least according to a poll by a Republican who was once convicted of manipulating numbers). Another poll shows Robin winning by double digits.
Pollster Rod McCulloch told The Daily Journal that negative ads paid for New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg’s Independence USA PAC “may have backfired.”The Illinois State Rifle Association is the state lobbying version of the NRA and below are copies of what they've been sending out:
The ads highlighted Halvorson’s past alliance with the National Rifle Association. But conservative, pro-gun voters in Will and Kankakee counties may have taken the ads as an endorsement of Halvorson, and may be willing to cross over to the Democratic primary, because the Republican primary is meaningless. The Illinois State Rifle Association has sent postcards to its members declaring "A Vote For Robin Kelly Is A Vote For Michael Bloomberg" and "A Vote For Debbie Halvorson Is A Vote For AMERICA."
If you plan to vote today... bring a friend. If you have two friends, bring them both. If the NRA wins this one it will set back the gun safety movement gigantically. Let's hope that the liberal PACs, which played such a huge role in driving Toi Hutchinson out of the race on largely trumped up and hysterical charges of being an NRA candidate, can pull this off for Kelly. She'll make an excellent Member of Congress and Halvorson has already shown herself to be a shill for not just the NRA but for Wall Street as well. Chicagoland congressmembers Jan Schakowsky, Danny Davis, Bobby Rush and Mike Quigley took the unusual step of endorsing a challenger against a former colleague. That's because Robin Kelly really is good and Debbie Halvorson really is horrible.