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.
The ad buy points how gun-rights groups are trying to use new leverage to change Washington's political calculus on gun control. For years, the Democratic Party has embraced pro-gun candidates in an effort to expand its base. But recently, former Rep. Gabby Giffords (D) and her husband have sought to use the massacre in Newtown, Conn., as well as her own shooting, to reverse this trend.
Now, Bloomberg is using his own vast fortune to hit opponents where it hurts most: on the airwaves. It is a message that could resonate in Illinois' Second Congressional District, which is in Chicago, a city currently wracked by gun violence. And while there's no polling on the Democratic race, at least one prominent election watcher has said Bloomberg's ads could swing the contest.