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Illinois voters to the National Rifle Association: ‘Go to hell’

By SHERRY BREWER - Capitol Hill Blue
March 2, 2013

Robin Kelly (AP Photo)

Robin Kelly (AP Photo)

Before the special election primary in late February to select a Democratic candidate to run for the seat  to replace disgraced Congressman Jesse Jackson Jr., few political pundits gave Robin Kelly much of a chance.

In a crowded field of candidates, Kelly ran against two high-profile candidates with “A” ratings from the gun-touting National Rifle Association.  Kelly, on the other hand, had a lifetime “F” rating, which she considered a badge honor but others considered the kiss of death.

The NRA told its members that it wasn’t wasting any money in the race but secretly poured a lot of money, time and resources into it, using third party political action committees and contract consultants.  On the other side, New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg‘s independent political action committee, backed Kelly.  Bloomberg, an advocate of strong and sensible gun regulations, wanted to send a message to the NRA.

Kelly is the kind of candidate the gun nuts hate:  A politician not afraid to advocate a ban on assault-style weapons, a ban on high-capacity magazines and elimination of gun show loopholes that allows felons to purchase firearms without the threat of background checks.

The swaggering leadership of the gun organization didn’t even come close as it ignored a recent USA today poll that showed a majority of Americans support putting a stop to assault-style weapons, large capacity magazines and felon-loving gun shows.

Kelly was also the only candidate in the race who signed a pledge to never accept support from the NRA.  She was also running in a district where polls showed only 17 percent of likely voters think much of the NRA.

So Kelly won and the NRA lost.

“Robin Kelly supports taking guns out of the hands of criminals, the NRA does not. Picking her was an easy decision for any voter with sense,” Andrew Koteas, a voter in Illinois 2nd Congressional district, told Capitol Hill Blue after the election.

The gun organization, of course, claims things are different in the rest of the nation but a new NBC/Wall Street Journal polls shows that 61 percent of Americans want stricter laws on guns — an increase of nine percent in recent months.

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9 Responses to Illinois voters to the National Rifle Association: ‘Go to hell’

  1. Charles Ely

    March 3, 2013 at 2:43 am

    I think you need to check your facts on this one. Yes,
    Bloomberg spent over $2 million on the race, but the NRA spent zero and had no involvement. I don’t really think this adds up to Illinois voters telling the National Rifle Association to ‘Go to hell’

    • Capitol Hill Blue

      March 3, 2013 at 12:43 pm

      As the story pointed out, the NRA attempted to conceal its help by using third party political action committees and outside consultants. The NRA routinely lies to its membership and the public about its political involvement and this race was not different. What is even more interesting is the pro-NRA comments we received from posters using fake email addresses. They were caught by our anti-spam filters.

      • Charles Ely

        March 3, 2013 at 5:06 pm

        “The NRA told its members that it wasn’t wasting any money in the race but secretly poured a lot of money, time and resources into it, using third party political action committees and contract consultants.”

        Ok, can anyone provide any proof of this or is it just hearsay. Sound to me like the article is more of a hit piece rather than attempt to report the news.

        • Capitol Hill Blue

          March 3, 2013 at 6:36 pm

          When the final financial reports are in to the Federal Election Commission, we will print a detailed list of where the money came from and how it was spent. We don’t expect you to accept it. We’ve found many times before that NRA supporters aren’t interested in facts, especially when they get in the way of pro-gun bias. We’re also working on a series about the many lies that the NRA leadership tells to its membership and the public. Will it change the bias of NRA members? Probably not.

          • Charles Ely

            March 3, 2013 at 7:00 pm

            So, your saying that you don’t have the information,yet you printed the story. Sounds like all the bias is on your end. If you had any facts, you would have published them. Would I have double checked. Of course. But in the final analysis, I would have believed hard data. Your nasty,belittling attitude does nothing to help the free exchange of ideas.

            • Capitol Hill Blue

              March 3, 2013 at 7:19 pm

              Sigh, the tone of your “response” proves our point. Giving you facts won’t do a bit of good. We learned of the political activity in the race by the NRA through good sources that gave us the info we needed to go to print but we will protect those sources and use the documentation in financial reports to follow up. But that doesn’t matter to people like you because your mind is made up and facts don’t change your bias. We will print the followup when the facts are in and, frankly, we don’t give a damn how you feel about it. We publish this site for people who let facts guide their way of thinking, not those who follow the pro-gun movement with cult-like bias. We’re aren’t the only ones following this money trail. Other sites like Politico are too.

  2. Jon

    March 3, 2013 at 3:43 am

    Hear hear. Zealots should always be defeated in a reasonable world.

    J.

  3. Bill Cravener

    March 3, 2013 at 7:47 am

    The NRA is no more then stink in the air and the time has come to call their bluff. They should rename their group to NGNA “National Gun Nut Association”.

  4. Observer

    March 4, 2013 at 1:03 am

    Thanks for this article, CHB!

    What people often say about the gun control issue is that a majority supports gun control, but it’s “soft support”. Meanwhile, anti-gun-control voters may be in a minority, but for them this is a bottom-line issue, meaning they’ll vote on this issue alone.

    Your story indicates that this logjam may be beginning to end. I hope.

    One cautionary note: you mentioned a crowded field, including two strong NRA supporters. Did these two NRA supporters split the pro-gun vote? And did this allow a gun-control advocate to win? If all this is true, this election might not carry over to other races that feature only one pro-NRA candidate.