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 Monday, Sept. 1, the 244th day of 2014. There are 121 days left in the year.

1864 -- 150 years ago: We are informed by J.H. Hull that the reason the street sprinkler was not at work yesterday settling the dust on the streets, was because one of his horses was injured.
1889 -- 125 years ago: Bonnie McGregor, a fleet-footed stallion owned by S.W. Wheelock of this community, covered himself with glory at Lexington, Ky, when he ran a mile in 2:13 1/2. The horse's value was estimated as at least $50,000.
1914 -- 100 years ago: Troops are pouring into Paris to prepare for defense of the city. The German army is reported to be only 60 miles from the capital of France.
1939 -- 75 years ago: The German army has invaded Poland in undeclared warfare. Poland has appealed to Great Britain and France for aid.
1964 -- 50 years ago: Publication of a plant newspaper, the Farmall Works News, has been launched at the Rock Island IHC factory and replaces a managerial newsletter.
1989 -- 25 years ago: Officials predict Monday's Rock Island Labor Parade will be the biggest and best ever. Last minute work continues on floats and costumes for the parade, which steps off a 9:30 a.m.




(More History)