Bloomberg vs. NRA: Big spending could swing Illinois race
New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg’s ‘super PAC’ is spending $2.1 million to defeat a pro-gun candidate in the race to replace Rep. Jesse Jackson Jr. It’s part of his broader attack on NRA power.
Through the “super political-action committee” he launched shortly before the November election, Mayor Bloomberg has purchased $2.1 million in political attack ads in the special vote to replace Rep. Jesse Jackson Jr., who resigned in November. The primary target is Debbie Halvorson, a former member of Congress who once received an “A” rating from the NRA and opposes President Obama’s push for an assault-weapons ban.
Halvorson just lost tonight. But what’s worth noting is that Bloomberg spent $2.1 million.
The NRA, according to OpenSecrets.org, has only spent $19.5 million on candidates from 1989-2012, in all races. They do note there are other methods of spending:
During the 2010 election cycle, the NRA spent more than $7.2 million on independent expenditures at the federal level — messages that advocate for or against political candidates.
That’s $7.2 million across an entire year, and across the entire country. Bloomberg, a billionaire who knows what’s best for you – spent $2.1 million on one race with Democrats against Democrats.
Halverson’s stance ultimately doomed her when a big NYC billionaire who hates guns decided to destroy her. She did see it coming, though.
“If you can tell me that banning another gun will go after the criminals, I’d be all for it. I’d be for anything that stopped the killing and gets guns out of the hands of criminals, but it won’t work. (Chicago’s) Cook County has had an assault weapons ban since 1993 and they have the highest murder rate in the country,” she told The Hill.
“That’s why I refuse to just say I’m for it, knowing in my heart it’s not going to work. It would have saved me a lot of grief, there wouldn’t be all this money going against me, but I’ve been an elected official too long and I know too much. I know that won’t work.”
Halvorson accuses Bloomberg of trying to “purchase” the election. “We cannot allow Bloomberg to buy this district from New York,” she told reporters Monday.
She says she has not received an endorsement from the NRA. One of her top opponents in the Democratic primary will be Ms. Kelly, a former Illinois state representative who is running on a pledge to reduce gun violence by supporting assault-weapon and conceal-carry-permit bans and reducing the loophole for weaponry sold at gun shows. The winner of the Democratic primary on Feb. 26 is seen as being the favorite in the April 9 general election.
Bloomberg’s involvement could be decisive, says Professor Sabato. The $2.1 million Independence USA ad buy dwarfs the $50,000 Halvorson has spent on her race to date, according to data from the Federal Election Commission.
$2,100,000 to $50,000.
215 to 5. 43 to 1 spending ratio.
A multimillion-dollar ad blitz by New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg to stop an NRA-backed House candidate in Illinois paid off Tuesday night, as local official Robin Kelly crushed more than a dozen Democratic candidates vying to replace disgraced former Rep. Jesse Jackson Jr.
Bloomberg and gun control proponents seized on the results as evidence of momentum in their push to enact President Barack Obama’s gun control package. The mayor will take that message to Washington Wednesday in meetings with Vice President Joe Biden, Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) and Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.), according to Bloomberg’s public schedule.
Bloomberg’s visit coincides with a hearing the Senate Judiciary is slated to hold Wednesday on a proposal to ban assault weapons.
The outcome marked a major win for Bloomberg, who spent around $2.3 million attacking Halvorson for her pro-gun views and propping up Kelly. The ad blitz swamped the underfunded ex-congresswoman and prompted her to brand him as an out-of-town billionaire trying to buy a House seat.
Note that it marked a major win for Bloomberg… so there’s no “branding” him as an out-of-town billionaire buying a house seat – he IS an out-of-town billionaire buying a house seat.
And his group, Independence USA PAC, spent more than $14 million in races across the country.
His PAC’s name is delightfully Orwellian. A billionaire dictator who tells people how much soda they can drink in a city he rules with an iron fist goes out and buys already-gerrymandered house seats from one Democrat to hand to another all in the name of disarming the US population calls himself in favor of “Independence”.