Chicago's 9th ward Alderman and candidate in the 2nd congressional district race Anthony Beale released a new TV ad today blasting New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg's superPAC, Independence USA, for its activity in the race, while touting his own record on violence prevention and gun control.
A narrator in the ad says, "A New York Super PAC is spending a fortune trying to buy the 2nd district special election. But no candidate comes close to matching Anthony Beale's record of fighting gun violence."
Beale is not the only candidate who has claimed that the more than $2 million that Independence USA has spent on the 2nd district race to date is an attempt to "buy" the election. Former congresswoman Debbie Halvorson, who has been the target of many of the superPAC's ads for earning an 'A' grade from the National Rifle Association, made the same claim over the weekend. The superPAC has also run ads in support of candidate Robin Kelly for her views on gun control.
Over the weekend, Beale released a statement citing his displeasure with the superPAC's involvement in the race and heavy support of Kelly:
It is not rocket science to determine that Bloomberg's millions aren't having the effect on Halvorson that was intended. That is why the media buy has gone from $660,000 to a proposed $2 million. The first money dump should've destroyed Halvorson. Now, Bloomberg's PAC is not only running spots against Halvorson, but for Robin Kelly.
At no time did the Independence USA PAC reach out to other candidates in the race. When we saw the Bloomberg PAC's involvement, we immediately sent information outlining Anthony Beale's record on gun control. We also sent information to One Million Moms Against Guns and Gabby Gifford and Mark Kelly's PAC.
We were hoping Bloomberg's PAC was sincere about gun control and not about boosting a candidate with a lackluster record. Obviously, from the similar look of the mail pieces and the commercials, we were wrong.
Unfortunately, the media have been MIA in this campaign. When I worked Jesse Jr.'s campaign in the 1995 Special Election, the race received national coverage. Surely, this race deserves the same type of coverage. I realize there are a multitude of candidates in the race, but we all know there are only a handful who are viable candidates.
The fact that Anthony Beale has been an afterthought in all the coverage is a travesty. He's the only elected City official running. Forty percent of the 2nd CD vote is in the city. The 9th Ward, which Beale represents, has 98 percent of its precincts in the 2nd CD. Voters in the 9th Ward have voted for Beale eight times as alderman and committeeman.
The favored candidate has been out of office since 2006. We are in the final days of this race and I hope the media will start to give it the coverage it deserves.
Take a look at Beale's new ad:
Early voting for the 2nd congressional district race began last week. The special primary election will be held February 26.