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Robin Kelly
Robin Kelly, happily failing NRA's test
From emailed press release:
Robin Kelly, candidate for Illinois’ second Congressional district, released her fundraising numbers, current through February 13th.

Total Raised as of February 13:   $417,727.19
Individual Contributors: 5,254
Average Contribution: $79.50

Goal ThermometerAs of this writing, the Daily Kos community accounts for $80,937 of that total, or over 19 percent of her entire fundraising haul. Even more amazing, the 4,456 Daily Kos community donors make up 85 percent of her total donors.

Kelly has also gotten the endorsement of nearby Reps. Danny Davis, Bobby Rush and Jan Schakowsky. The Chicago Tribune endorsed Kelly partly for her stance on guns, but also because of her unimpeachable ethics (a rare thing in Illinois politics):

Throughout her career, Kelly has been meticulous about separating her campaign activities from her government work. When she ran for state treasurer in 2010, she subtracted from her time sheets any activities that could be considered election-related. In this campaign, she resigned from her job in Cook County to run full time. That's rare among Illinois politicians.
Meanwhile, chief opponent Toi Hutchison, fresh off her endorsement by the Kankakee County Republicans, is sending non-sequitor emails to her list, like this one:
Here's the situation: national gun rights advocates know that I'll support President Obama’s plan for comprehensive gun reform - and they're trying to defeat me with their dishonest attacks. If I am not able to fight back, the gun lobby will win [...]

Right wing radicals know I co-sponsored the assault weapons ban here in Illinois. The NRA and their special interest allies know that I will stand with President Obama and demand that Washington pass comprehensive gun safety legislation that will keep our homes, neighborhoods and schools safe.

White is black. Up is down. We've always been at war against Eastasia. While the gun lobby certainly loves the idea of earning an ally out of this seat, fact is they're sitting the election out. Not a single dime of NRA dollars has been spent against Hutchinson or anyone else in this race. And let's not forget Hutchinson's late conversion. She's been a co-sponsor of that assault weapons ban for a couple of weeks after years of avid support for the NRA. That's why she was one of those rare Democrats to consistently earn their endorsement.

And as for the last real candidate in this race, former Rep. Debbie Halvorson, she's now faced over $1.2 million in attack ads from Bloomberg's Super PAC.

The election is less than two weeks away. Let's close the deal. We're currently at 4,456 donors to her campaign. I'd love to see us get to 5,000. So if you haven't chipped in, please do so so we can send our message loud and clear—that an NRA "A" rating will no longer go unpunished.

Update:

Debbie Halvorson making her case to #IL02 Democratic primary voters right now... on FOX News
@DKElections via Echofon

Originally posted to kos on Thu Feb 14, 2013 at 11:21 AM PST.

Also republished by Shut Down the NRA, Land of Lincoln Kos, Repeal or Amend the Second Amendment (RASA), and Daily Kos.

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Comment Preferences

  •  This is an instance of the right person (16+ / 0-)

    in the right place at the right time!

    "We the People of the United States...." -U.S. Constitution

    by elwior on Thu Feb 14, 2013 at 11:27:02 AM PST

  •  unimpeachable ethics & Illinois = (3+ / 0-)

    Santa Clause

    Ho Ho Ho!

    What we call god is merely a living creature with superior technology & understanding. If their fragile egos demand prayer, they lose that superiority.

    by agnostic on Thu Feb 14, 2013 at 11:35:10 AM PST

  •  My greatest hope... (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    elwior, Tennessee Dave

    My greatest hope is that one day we can limit or eliminate corporate or other entity funding.  At the very least, we must broaden the disclosure requirements.  It is all together unthinkable to imagine there is some corporate or foreign entities behind our politicians.

    •  robin agrees with you... (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      HeyMikey

      she told me tuesday, that if she "has any say about it, those rules are gonna change."

      like most candidates, and especially female candidates, robin hates fund-raising, but she's done what was asked of her and spent the time raising money.  the fact that she's been able to raise money (the hard way -- in illinois, you can raise money from corporations, and the limits are much higher) hasn't made her less weary of the finance laws (successful fund-raisers often become less concerned about how we fund elections because they are good at getting money with the rules as they are).  her disgust is genuine...

      Want to drive conservatives crazy? Send President Obama back to Washington for four more years...

      by bored now on Thu Feb 14, 2013 at 11:55:09 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  Asking donors for cash is THE worst job ... (0+ / 0-)

        ... a Congressperson or aspirant has. After the first race or two, money does start to come to people with assignments on committees of interest to "special" interests and almost every House committee attracts such interests.

        Elections are costly. Mother Jones reports that incumbent Congresspeople raised $1 million for the 2010 election, challengers $166,000. (Senate races go for many times more.)

        Let's face it - you want to support your friends, return them to Congress and provide seed money to those who will at least pay attention to your concerns. Why do so many corporations, trade associations and lobbyists contribute to both parties in an election? Think about it!

        Is the time ready for campaign finance reform? Do not bet on it.

        Public financing may obviate calls for money but it would also help level the playing field. How many sitting Congresspersons or Senators would want that? Limiting who can give or how much - or both - is an invitation to loopholes and gimmicks, just as we enjoy today. Even with limits, a $5000 check would cover over 60 of Robin's "average" contributions (at $80 per). For many in Congress, the lobbyist or corporate rep who presents a bundle of checks at once is a welcome person, indeed.

        The key is that we support candidates and challengers who believe as we do, who usually vote "our way." Some of us feel free to say that we'll never give them another dime if they do/don't do thus-and-so. The difference between us and the big money interests is important, but it is also a matter of degree.

        2014 IS COMING. Build up the Senate. Win back the House : 17 seats. Plus!

        by TRPChicago on Thu Feb 14, 2013 at 01:19:34 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

  •  Those thermometer fundraising gimmick... (0+ / 0-)

    piss me off.  Sure they shouldn't, but it bothers the hell out of me that the new goal is always added once the threshold is met.  Like if 5000 was met, it would just be jacked up to 5250 or 5500.

    Using the ever changing goal posts treats us like morons.  

    Keystone XL Pipeline - Canada gets the money, Asia gets the oil, America gets the toxic refinery pollution and potential for a pipeline leak ecological disaster.

    by Jacoby Jonze on Thu Feb 14, 2013 at 11:38:09 AM PST

  •  Funny update (4+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    elwior, TomP, ehstronghold, pistolSO
    Debbie Halvorson making her case to #IL02 Democratic primary voters right now... on FOX News
    Sure. That otta reach a whole bunch of Democratic voters.
    •  This just proves she not even smart enough (3+ / 0-)

      to be a House member, and that's a pretty low bar.  Even if it had been her campaign manager's stupid idea, she should have had the courage (and presence of mind) to say, "Are you nuts?"

      "In this world of sin and sorrow there is always something to be thankful for; as for me, I rejoice that I am not a Republican." - H. L. Mencken

      by SueDe on Thu Feb 14, 2013 at 12:31:12 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  Schakowsky (7+ / 0-)

    Jan Schakowsky, my rep, keeps making  me proud.

    This latest endorsement is one more star in her crown.

  •  'Blue America' called me last night to hit me (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    TomP

    up for a donation for Toi Hutchinson.  I was non-committal because I don't really know either candidate, and apparently I lucked out, since the script they were trying out on me was painting her as the gun control person in the run off.

  •  It'll be another big win for us. (4+ / 0-)

    However, we gotta continue to grow the muscles in other very blue districts with some primary challenges. The goal is to get to the point where we can primary someone like Feinstein or Levin and win. That's how start pushing these Senators in the right direction.

  •  Thanks Dailykos! (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Williston Barrett

    This site is doing fine work and is truly making a difference!
    Great job Markos!

  •  Everyone knows that the Democratic primary (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    HeyMikey, Aquarius40

    in this newly reconfigured, overwhelmingly Democratic leaning district is the election that will determine who represents this district in Congress. That's why the strong Republican support for Toi Hutchinson is especially telling.

    Republicans have decided that she is the closest to a conservative Republican that they can hope to elect.

    What's troubling is that they have united behind Hutchison and will be flocking to polls to vote for her (In Illinois you do not register by party and when you show up at the polls  you choose which party's ballot to vote on.)

    So in IL 02 among the frontrunners for the Democratic nomination you have a candidate with an A+ rating from the NRA (Halvorson), another candidate that the conservative GOP  is rallying around and will turn out in great numbers to support (Hutchinson), and one true Democrat (Kelly).

    •  More info on the field, please? (0+ / 0-)

      So, I'm inferring from all this that Hutchinson and Halvorson are both Democrats? Any other Dem candidates?

      Kelly seems good. I keep seeing that Kossacks are enthused about her. But I would like more info about why she's better than Hutchinson and Halvorson.

      "The true strength of our nation comes not from the might of our arms or the scale of our wealth, but from the enduring power of our ideals." - Barack Obama

      by HeyMikey on Thu Feb 14, 2013 at 01:44:29 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  There are Many Candidates (3+ / 0-)

        But the top four are

        Halvorson, Hutchinson, Kelly, and Beale.  Beale isn't making much headway and is a Chicago Alderman.  Nothing terribly wrong with him, but I would put Robin as being more progressive and independent.

        Follow the links in the article on Halvorson and Hutchinson and their NRA ratings.  It's important to note, Toi was Halvorson's chief of staff while Halvorson was in the Illinois Senate.  When Halvorson went to DC she hand picked and pushed Toi to take her spot as State Senator.  Somehow Toi is trying to act like she is significantly more progressive than Halvorson, yet agreed with her on the gun issues and owed her position to Halverson.  

        Toi took $100,000 in the general election in 2010 from Stand for Children, an anti-union education "reform" group and has never been asked about that as far as I can tell.  

        Toi's claim of co-sponsoring the assault weapon ban is a bit empty given she did it on January 29th.  Robin Kelly had co-sponsored an assault weapon ban at least as early as 2006 when she was in the State House.  

        •  Thank you! (0+ / 0-)

          That kind of info should routinely go into candidate diaries.

          "The true strength of our nation comes not from the might of our arms or the scale of our wealth, but from the enduring power of our ideals." - Barack Obama

          by HeyMikey on Thu Feb 14, 2013 at 02:31:17 PM PST

          [ Parent ]

      •  this really isn't about the field... (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        HeyMikey, HCKAD

        everyone but debbie halvorson is african-american in a majority minority district.  there isn't a lot of differences between the primary candidates (although debbie comes from the rural, not suburban, part of the district) EXCEPT when it comes to gun safety and how to stem the violence in the 2nd CD.

        in that regard, robin kelly stands out.  while the NRA state chair claims that he'd be comfortable if either halvorson or hutchinson won, robin kelly boasts that she received an "F" from the NRA because of her career-long commitment to ending gun violence.

        robin is a long-time reformer in the south suburbs, leading its civil rights efforts, which saw the area transformed from a white-flight area (this is where red-lining began) to an area that boasts a proud black middle class.  she toppled a machine incumbent when she first ran for the state house, made a skeptical speaker into a pliant opponent, left the house when a democrat took over the state treasurer's office and then became the chief administrative officer to one of the biggest governmental units (cook county) in the country.

        all throughout that time, robin's been a leading reformer and supporter of reformers in one of the last vestiges of the old political machines in america.  toi hutchinson (another candidate in the race) considered robin to be a mentor.  toi's campaign has linked itself to the old parts of the anachronistic democratic machine, and its funders are based on that machine.  toi has been exceptionally close to lobbyists in the state (she was a lobbyist when she was chosen to replace debbie halvorson in 2009), and there is little reason to think that she won't be equally enamoured with lobbyists in d.c.  anthony beale, a chicago alderman, seems more interested in establishing himself as "the man" in south chicago, a king-maker rather than a congressman.

        debbie, because she served in congress in 2008, has the most name recognition in the early polls; toi's name recognition stems from replacing debbie in the state senate.  robin ran for statewide office, and has been on the ballot in each of the last 3 cycles in the 2nd congressional district.

        what distinguishes robin from the rest of the field is that she has an older political organization and is loved throughout the south suburbs.  many, other, politicians resent how much support robin has in the district.  almost all of toi's support came from robin's people in 2010.

        robin's strong relationships with elected officials, community activists and reform democrats in the 2nd make her uniquely prepared to be a strong reformer or progressive in the next congress, able to listen to her own heart and withstand the pressures to conform that confront any new member of congress.

        but what makes this race important is that we have the opportunity to send the country -- and the special interests -- a message that politicians can withstand the strong outside pressures of special interests like the NRA.  just like scott brown's election framed the 2010 cycle, robin kelly's election can frame 2014 and give all progressives hope that our issues can win in an off election year...

        Want to drive conservatives crazy? Send President Obama back to Washington for four more years...

        by bored now on Thu Feb 14, 2013 at 03:09:28 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  Excellent! Thank you! (0+ / 0-)

          Again--that is the kind of thing I would like to see in all candidate diaries. DKos should be a place for analysis, not mere cheerleading.

          "The true strength of our nation comes not from the might of our arms or the scale of our wealth, but from the enduring power of our ideals." - Barack Obama

          by HeyMikey on Thu Feb 14, 2013 at 07:38:08 PM PST

          [ Parent ]

  •  No 48 Hour Reports from Toi (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Georgia Logothetis, bored now

    At all and the 48 Hour reporting rule for donations of $1,000 and more has been in effect since February 6th.  

  •  85 percent from DK (0+ / 0-)

    I realize that it's only 20% of her dollar total, but I'd like to see her doing better in her local fundraising. With her big-name endorsements, I'd think should be able to be doing much better. And it causes me to wonder whether her comparative lack of local donors is a warning sign of problems in her ability to run a local campaign?

    I admit I don't know what her opponents are hauling in. And better she come to us than to Fox News.

    •  No Republican can win this district. (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      BleacherBum153

      So I'm not overly concerned about her "ability to run a local campaign" if we can get her through the primary.

    •  robin is doing great on the local front... (0+ / 0-)

      and has raised more money in the district than anyone else (including jackson in his last two election cycles).  the south suburbs isn't exactly a rich area (although there are pockets of wealth).  when you compare what robin has raised locally to what barack raised in the south suburbs, you can see that robin is doing very well indeed.  but like most majority minority districts, a lot of what gets raised comes from elsewhere...

      Want to drive conservatives crazy? Send President Obama back to Washington for four more years...

      by bored now on Thu Feb 14, 2013 at 03:13:45 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  LaPierre and WTF? (0+ / 0-)

    Saw a wonderful screen shot of LaPierre speaking at the National Wild Turkey Foundation, or NWTF. The shot was framed so that LaPierre was centered, but the 'N' on the sign behind him was cut off. So in bold letters it read: WTF. Appropriate if accidental.

  •  Robin Kelly, Robin Kelly, Robin Kelly, Robin Kelly (0+ / 0-)

    How sweet the sound.
    She is a breath of fresh air
    In a sea of polution.

  •  Is Kelly actually the most liberal candidate? (0+ / 0-)

    Or does a desire to ban guns simply trump everything else in the average Kossack's eyes?

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