With all precincts reporting, New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg has decisively won the 2nd Congressional District Democratic primary. Bloomberg, who spent $2.3 million to win the seat, captured 58 percent of the vote and is certain to win the general election in April.
Opinion: Bloomberg Wins 2nd District Primary
Updated at 7:34 PM CDT on Wednesday, Feb 27, 2013
Here’s what Bloomberg had to say on Election Night:
"This is an important victory for common sense leadership on gun violence, a problem that plagues the whole nation. And it's the latest sign that voters across the country are demanding change from their representatives in Washington -- not business as usual. As Congress considers the President's gun package, voters in Illinois have sent a clear message: we need common sense gun legislation now. Now it's up to Washington to act."
Bloomberg is giving himself too much credit for electing a pro-gun control candidate. Because of its high murder rate, the 2nd is one of the most anti-gun districts in the nation. As the results show, a proponent of gun control would have won even if Bloomberg had not inserted his fortune into the race. Former state Rep. Robin Kelly defeated former congresswoman Debbie Halvorson, 58 percent to 25 percent. Even if Kelly had split her votes with state Sen. Toi Hutchinson -- the candidate Bloomberg hounded out of the race to prevent her from spoiling Kelly’s chances -- one of them would have beaten Halvorson. But Bloomberg got to choose which one.
Despite Hutchinson’s “A” rating from the National Rifle Association as a state senator, she supported every facet of President Obama’s gun control plan -- banning assault weapons, requiring background checks, closing the gun show loophole. Hutchinson favored allowing individual counties to set their own rules on conceal carry, but that’s a state issue, not a federal issue.
So liberals shouldn’t be celebrating these results as a victory for gun control. They should be see the results as a victory for unlimited money in politics. Bloomberg took advantage of the Citizens United decision to form a pro-gun control Super PAC funded entirely from his $25 billion fortune. According to the The New York Times, this election is encourage Bloomberg to spend even more money.
Mr. Bloomberg is just warming up, electorally. He and his aides are already scouting out future races, making little secret of their plans to open his wallet in support of Democrats or Republicans who share his views on guns.
It’s sure to encourage other billionaires. Unlike Bloomberg, most don’t have liberal views. The next time a billionaire buys an election, it could be the Koch Brothers, funding a candidate who wants to eliminate public employee unions. We’re getting closer to the democracy long envisioned by wealthy Americans: one dollar, one vote.