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.
The spending figures by Bloomberg’s super PAC come as a rival in the race, former state Rep. Robin Kelly of Matteson, launched her own cable TV advertising effort that highlights her support for tougher restrictions on guns.
In the ad, a narrator notes that Kelly worked with President Barack Obama during his days in the Illinois General Assembly to “crack down on illegal gun sales.”
“In Congress,” the narrator says, “Kelly will keep taking on the NRA.”
Meanwhile, another contender in the special Feb. 26 Democratic primary, Chicago Ald. Anthony Beale, 9th, announced the formal endorsement of Cook County Sheriff Tom Dart. In December, the sheriff gave $1,000 to Beale’s congressional effort, among $49,800 in contributions the alderman had to start the new year. Other donations included $2,000 from campaign funds controlled by 14th Ward Ald. Ed Burke, $1,000 from former 36th Ward Ald. William J.P. Banks and $1,000 from 49th Ward Ald. Joe Moore.