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17th District advertising war escalates


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Posted Online: Oct. 05, 2012, 7:06 pm
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By Eric Timmons, etimmons@qconline.com
The advertising war between Republicans and Democrats in the 17th Congressional District is intensifying, with independent expenditures now at $3.2 million in one of the most closely watched races in the nation.

U.S. Rep. Bobby Schilling, R-Colona, released a new ad this week called "Let's Get Real" that takes his opponent, Democrat Cheri Bustos, of East Moline, to task for running a "Chicago-style false attack ad on Bobby Schilling."

However, the ad Rep. Schilling is responding to was paid for by the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee and produced independently of the Bustos campaign.

The DCCC commercial, called "Bellringer," features constituents from the 17th District blaming Rep. Schilling for job losses. But a spokesman for the Schilling campaign said the ad showed "Democratic operatives posing as workers who had lost their jobs."

Those featured in the commercial include former Rock Island County Democratic Party chairman Steve Ballard, who also is a former East Moline Correctional Center warden.

"You forgot where you came from," Mr. Ballard says to Rep. Schilling in the DCCC ad.

In the Schilling commercial, the narrator responds: "But we know where this guy came from. Bustos is using party bosses posing as local workers."

Also featured in the DCCC ad are Cecilia O'Brien -- a Moline School Board member and wife of Pat O'Brien, who used to work for former Democratic Congressman Phil Hare -- and Derek Jones, who also used to work for Mr. Hare. Rep. Schilling beat Mr. Hare in the 2010 election.

The new Schilling commercial shows a picture of Ms. Bustos with Democratic Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel, taken at a Chicago fundraiser. The House Majority PAC, a super PAC that supports Democrats, has its own ad hitting Rep. Schilling in a similar fashion for raising "$800,000 from special interests."

So far, Democratic outside groups have been outspending Republicans in the 17th District, in large part because of the House Majority PAC, which had pumped close to $500,000 into the race by Friday, according to the Federal Election Commission.

Most independent Republican expenditures in the 17th have come from the National Republican Congressional Campaign, which has spent more than $1 million on the race.

On Friday, the U.S. Chamber of Commerce launched a new commerical criticizing Ms. Bustos for her support of the Affordable Care Act, President's Obama's health-care law.

The U.S. Chamber has begun sponsoring ads in the 2012 election cycle for the first time, overtly urging people to vote for or against a candidate, according to the nonpartisan Center for Responsive Politics. As a 501(c)(6) nonprofit association, the Chamber does not have to disclose its donors.

The $3.2 million in outside money spent on the 17th District is likely to continue rising. The two campaigns also are raising big money. Terry Schilling, Rep. Schilling's campaign manager, said the Republican had raised $2.1 million by the end of September. Numbers from the Bustos campaign for the quarter have yet to be tallied, a spokesman said.




















 




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  Today is Saturday, Aug. 30, the 242nd day of 2014. There are 123 days left in the year.

1864 — 150 years ago: A large pair of elk, captured in Iowa, were exhibited in Market Square today.
1889 — 125 years ago: The Rock Island Arsenal dam was being constructed under the supervision of Charles Frances, of Lowell, Mass.
1914 — 100 years ago: Mrs. Frank Mixer, of Rock Island, was the winner of the final preliminary for the women's handicap golf cup at Rock Island arsenal links.
1939 — 75 years ago: Sixteen hundred persons — many from war-fearful Europe — arrived in New York aboard the German liner Bremen. For two days on the trip, passengers were cut off from the world with both incoming and outgoing radio messages banned.
1964 — 50 years ago: Police reported five youths have been involved in the theft of about seven cars in recent weeks. Three of the youths were arrested Saturday afternoon, one was in custody as the result of a previous arrest, and the fifth is expected to be arrested today.
1989 — 25 years ago: The Rock Island/Milan School Board is asking the city to tear down Franklin School and allow the school district to pay back the estimated $100,00 cost during 10 years.






(More History)