As Jesse Jackson, Jr. awaits sentencing for misuse of campaign funds, the special election to replace him has seen State Sen. Toi Hutchinson drop out due to her positive ratings from the NRA. Hutchinson, a Democrat, received an A- rating from the organization, which is anathema to Democratic voters. Mayor Michael Bloomberg of New York and his anti-gun super PAC have been trying to pick off pro-gun Democrats before the primary. As a result, Hutchinson dropped out of the race.
State Sen. Toi Hutchinson, targeted in recent days by critical anti-gun campaign ads funded by New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg’s political action committee, said she was leaving the race and swinging her support to former state Rep. Robin Kelly. The major shake-up came with just nine days to go before the Feb. 26 primary.
Hutchinson’s move reflected the sharp divisions over the gun control issue, but also appeared to be in line with efforts to consolidate support for one of the many black candidates in the black-majority district. Community leaders had expressed concerns that the black vote could be split, thus boosting the chances of former U.S. Rep. Debbie Halvorson, a white candidate whom Jackson defeated in last year’s primary battle.
Bloomberg’s super PAC, Independence USA, has run ads in the district that target Hutchinson for her past opposition to tougher gun restrictions – one of the campaign’s most pressing issues along with economic hardships such as joblessness and foreclosures.
However, Bloomberg isn’t finished. Debbie Halvorson, another Democratic candidate vying for Jackson’s seat, has become the next target in Bloomberg’s crusade to purge pro-gun Democrats from the urban areas.
On the second floor of a firehouse in this Chicago suburb, Debbie Halvorson, a candidate for Congress, let the news cameras zoom in as her fingerprints were taken — the final step in her application for a license to carry a concealed firearm in 31 states.An ad paid for by Independence USA. Debbie Halvorson, a Democrat, became the chief target of the “super PAC” financed by Michael R. Bloomberg, the billionaire mayor of New York who has vowed to spend millions to help further his goal of toughening the nation’s gun laws.
Ms. Halvorson does not own a gun. But she is among a crowded field of Democrats vying to fill the House seat vacated by the resignation of Jesse Jackson Jr., and she has been pointedly defending her opposition to some gun-control measures in the final days before the primary on Tuesday.
The race has centered on little else since Ms. Halvorson became the chief target of a “super PAC” financed byMichael R. Bloomberg, the billionaire mayor of New York, who has vowed to spend millions to help further his goal of toughening the nation’s gun laws.
Propelled by a wave of homicides in Chicago and Mr. Bloomberg’s plans to spend more than $2 million on the special election here, the campaign has been suddenly thrust, however briefly, into the middle of the national debate over gun control.
During the Walker recall election, liberal activists blamed outside money, which they felt meddled with the outcome. Mother Jones described it as “dark money.” Rep. Ed Markey has called for a ban on outside contributions in preparation for his run to fill John Kerry’s vacancy in Massachusetts. Nevertheless, for liberals in Chicago, they seem fine with a liberal mayor interfering in their election since it’s on behalf of progressive values.
What’s ironic about Bloomberg’s campaign to chip away at Second Amendment freedoms is that it will only make the lines that divide us on this issue more clear. He’s forcing out pro-gun Democrats in the Chicago, and possibly other cities, since those are the areas where his message can resonate. In the rural areas, it will usually be ineffective. My home state of Pennsylvania has hunting ingrained in its communal fabric. To complicate things, Democrats in the western part of the state are pro-gun. Almost half of the NRA’s total membership lives within a four-hour drive of Pittsburgh. Bloomberg should shop somewhere else.It’s now an explicit rural vs. urban war when it comes to honoring the Bill of Rights.
In all, while Bloomberg may be successful in getting an anti-gun zealot to replace Jackson, his pious crusade for stricter gun laws are in areas where they already exist. Ironically, for all of Chicago’s anti-gun laws, which are some of the most stringent on the books, the city is drowning in its own blood. It seems Bloomberg is perfectly fine turning America’s cities, safe for New York, into hubs of carnage, bloodshed, and misery. Well, that’s liberalism for you.