Big Money in Politics: Bloomberg Buys IL Congressional Primary for Anti-Gun Radical
NewYork Mayor Michael Bloomberg's $2.3 million in campaign spending helped anti-gun radical Robin Kelly win the Democratic primary to replace convicted former Rep. Jesse Jackson, Jr. (D) yesterday. Bloomberg joined Obama political adviser David Axelrod, radical Jeremiah Wright ally Father Michael Pfelger, and left-wing Rep. Jan Schakowsky (D-IL) in helping Kelly defeat former Rep. Debbie Halvorson, who was once the darling of the party's election machine but became a useful target due to her "A" rating from the National Rifle Association (NRA).
Kelly told voters: "I'm all for banning guns." She also vowed to be a "leader" on gun control more generally:
Though President Barack Obama and the Democratic Party have campaign against "big money in politics," they welcomed Bloomberg's efforts as a chance to advance their gun control agenda. During the campaign, Kelly boasted of her "F" rating from the NRA, and expressed pride that Illinois does not permit the carrying of concealed weapons. The city of Chicago, part of which falls in the 2nd congressional district, has suffered a surge in shootings and murders despite having one of the nation's most restrictive gun-control regimes.
At one point, when the pro-Second Amendment Halvorson seemed well-positioned to win, Axelrod tweeted:
Elsewhere, Bloomberg is using his vast personal wealth to advance pet causes, worthy and otherwise. In Los Angeles, Bloomberg is funding a slew of campaign advertisements in the city's school board race, after donating $1 million to the Coalition for School Reform. Bloomberg reportedly became involved in the race at the behest of Los Angeles major Antonio Villaraigosa, who has battled with teachers unions throughout his tenure. As a result, Los Angeles residents are seeing an unusually large volume of ads not long after the 2012 election.
Earlier this week, Bloomberg said that he would like to see New York City's unpopular ban on large soda drinks, which has yet to go into effect, extended throughout the state of New York. He has not yet contributed money to that effort, but has lent his political profile to that and other government interventions in consumer choices.
In Illinois, Bloomberg's chosen candidate comes with a great deal of political baggage. As former chief of staff to troubled former Illinois state treasurere Alexi Giannoulias, she was reportedly the target of an ethics investigation into her pattern of unpaid absenses from her job. Kelly's opponent in the general election will be Republican Paul McKinley, a convicted criminal who connected with audiences by running as a reformer and non-politician. McKinley is in good company: Kelly acknowledged help in her election victory from Rep. Schakowsky, whose spouse, Democrat political strategist Robert Creamer, is himself a convicted felon.
As for Halvorson, her defeat represents a new and concerted effort by the Democratic Party to drum pro-Second Amendment legislators out of its ranks. In 2010, Obama's Organizing for America sent activists to create Astroturf demonstrations on her behalf, in which they mocked her opponent, Rep. Adam Kinzinger, as Hitler. Now the boot is on the other foot, with Axelrod attacking Halvorson and Bloomberg footing the bill.
This post has been updated to include the video above.