WASHINGTON--Democratic House hopeful Debbie Halvorson has been the target of a $2 million campaign against her bankrolled by the anti-gun SuperPac controlled by Mayor Michael Bloomberg and on Friday, the Washington Post Fact Checker columnist concluded the TV ads "cut very close to the line" by suggesting "guilt by association" with the NRA.
From Glenn Kessler: "These ads cut very close to the line. The description of the NRA positions are correct, but the photograph of Halvorson suggests guilt by association -- even though she has since distanced herself from the NRA and taken a more nuanced approach toward potential gun restrictions in her current race.
Moreover, the ad conjures up the image of criminals entering the state with hidden guns, even though the bill she co-sponsored has never become law and its possible impact on Illinois residents is unclear."
My take: The Tuesday Democratic primary for the Illinois House seat vacated by the disgraced former Rep. Jesse Jackson Jr. (D-Ill.) finds Halvorson, a former House member, former State Rep. Robin Kelly and Ald. Anthony Beale the front-runners in a hard-hitting contest where Bloomberg has emerged as a major factor, bankrolling ads and direct mail hits to take down Halvorson and bolster Kelly.
The winner Tuesday faces nominal GOP opposition in the March 19 general election and will land in Washington at a time when Congress will likely be considering measures to curb gun violence. Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Pat Leahy (D-Vt.) is planning to roll out legislation mid-March.
So let's deal with what Congress will likely be voting on soon--and see where Halvorson, Beale and Kelly stand on the main four measures headed towards a roll call: I asked the three campaigns about their positions on the four main proposals; below, the answers.
1. A bill by Sen. Mark Kirk (R-Ill.) and Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand (D-N.Y.) to cut down on gun trafficking. HALVORSON, BEALE, KELLY SUPPORT
2. A proposal for universal background checks for all firearm sales. HALVORSON, BEALE, KELLY SUPPORT
3. A proposal to limit the size of clips on ammunition magazines. President Barack Obama put the number at 10 bullets. HALVORSON, BEALE, KELLY SUPPORT.
Halvorson advisor George Bogdanich told me "she believes that there should be a limit on ammunition magazines, but hasn't yet decided on the number."
4. A proposal to reinstate and strengthen a ban on assault weapons. BEALE, KELLY SUPPORT. HALVORSON OPPOSES.