Skip to main content

Robin Kelly (pictured on the left) is running for Congress in the Illinois 2nd District to replace former Congressman Jesse Jackson Jr. Robin Kelly is proud of the "progressive" record she has established as a public servant.

This includes her time as a progressive Illinois State House Representative, as the chief-of-staff to Illinois State Treasurer Alexi Giannoulias, and Administrative Assistant to the most respected Democrat in Illinois, Cook County Board President Toni Preckwinkle.

Of the major candidates in the race for Congress in the 2nd District of Illinois, only Robin Kelly can claim a "progressive record." Robin Kelly has an "F" rating from the National Rifle Association (NRA) and has received an "F" from the Illinois State Rifle Association (ISRA).

Former Congresswomen Debbie Halvorson cannot make that claim of being a "true progressive," based on many issues, but the most glaring is her abandonment of progressive principles is her stand on "guns rights" and "gun control."

Robin Kelly is the true progressive in IL-2 and the only major candidate with an "F" NRA rating, releases video titled "Enough."

Debbie Halvorson has a dismal record on the issue of "gun control" and the proof is that she has the support of the National Rifle Association (NRA) and has received the support of the Illinois State Rifle Assoication (ISRA). She told Roll Call reporter Shira Toeplitz that “I’m not going to change just because this is a primary with a lot of candidates,” she said. “I know where I stand. I’ve been doing this for 20 years.”

She also told Roll Call that "a criminal will always find a way to get a gun.” She said she “may” support an assault weapon ban.

Then maybe not.

At a critical juncture in the "gun control" debate, does the 2nd Congressional district of Illinois need another "no" vote in the United States Congress on the issue of guns. Don't we have enough "no" votes from the right-wing, Tea Party controlled Republicans in the House of Representatives?

The ISRA is pulling for a pro-gun candidate, that is certain. “It’s going to make a difference in the Illinois delegation, certainly,” said Richard Pearson, ISRA’s executive director. “One 435th of a vote? We’ll take it.”

In 2008, Debbie Halvorson had an A+ rating from the NRA. She supported the U.S. Supreme Court’s decision upholding a citizen’s right to own guns, as well as the striking of Washington D.C.’s handgun ban, as reported by Kurt Erickson of The Pantagraph on Oct. 19, 2008.

In 2009, Debbie Halvorson was part of 65 House Democrats who vowed to “actively oppose” any effort to restore the assault weapons ban as reported in Steve Chapman's column in the Chicago Tribune on Feb. 14, 2010.

In 2010, Debbie Halvorson received the NRA endorsement again. The NRA cited her record, including her support for an amendment allowing permit holders to carry concealed weapons in national parks, as reported by the Associated Press (AP) on Sept. 28, 2010.

Another contender in the race, is a pretender when it comes to being a "true progressive." Illinois State Senator Toi Hutchinson’s record on preventing gun violence is becoming muddier by the day as she obfuscates and attempts to mislead 2nd Congressional District voters about her true position on the issue and her history of currying favor with the National Rifle Association (NRA).

After being appointed to Debbie Halvorson’s state senate seat in 2010, Senator Toi Hutchinson received an A- rating from the NRA Political Victory fund, the highest rating for a candidate without a record of gun votes at the time.

After being appointed to Debbie Halvorson’s state senate seat in 2010 Hutchinson received an A- rating from the NRA Political Victory fund, the highest rating for a candidate without a record of gun votes at the time. Until her current run, she has listed the NRA endorsement on her website. The NRA gave her a 92% rating for the 2012 cycle.

In her 2010 campaign, Hutchinson aggressively struck back against accusations from her Republican opponent that she was not pro-gun enough. In fact, Hutchinson released a statement to the press saying:

• “Law-abiding citizens don’t need any more infringements on their constitutional right to protect their families and their property.”
• “I know that my stance on gun rights isn’t the consensus in my party, but above all else, I represent the 40th district; a diverse district that is representative of the State of Illinois,” said Hutchinson. “I’m clear about our right to keep and bear arms, and I’ve been recognized for that.”

This statement was removed from Senator Hutchinson’s website before launching her Congressional campaign, but a cached version remains.

On December 19th, a Hutchinson spokesperson told Roll Call that the Senator has “always supported” an assault weapons ban and a ban on high-capacity ammunition magazines.

However, Robin Kelly and her campaign is calling on Senator Toi Hutchinson to release her 2010 or 2012 NRA questionnaires and should do so to clarify the totality of her record.

The National Rifle Association’s 2012 questionnaire for Illinois state legislature candidates directly addresses questions about assault weapons bans and bans on high capacity ammunition magazines:

• Question 10: Do you support state legislation banning the lawful manufacture, possession, ownership, purchase, sale and/or transfer of any firearms?
• Question 11: Would you support state legislation restricting the possession, ownership, purchase, sale and/or transfer of semi-automatic firearms used for hunting, competitive shooting, collecting and self-defense?
• Question 12: Would you support restricting or banning magazines that hold more than ten rounds?

How does Senator Toi Hutchinson answer those questions? Can we conclude those answers were to the liking of the NRA.

Of course they were, since they wouldn't think of endorsing her without it.

These issues are the core of the NRA’s legislative agenda. And it goes against the "progressive" agenda.

In order to understand whether Senator Hutchinson has “always supported” the ban on assault weapons and high capacity ammunition magazines as her spokesperson claims, she must release her NRA questionnaire that she filled out last August.

Either Senator Hutchinson supported the NRA’s position on the issue at the time in order to win their endorsement or she notified them of her opposition to their core beliefs and received the endorsement regardless.

Meanwhile, Robin Kelly is running an open and honest campaign and will not tell the voters necessarily what they want to hear depending on the audience. Robin Kelly supports the 2nd Amendment. Every American does.

Gun control is an issue that is "front and center" in a special election being held in Illinois to replace former Congressman Jesse Jackson Jr., in the Congressional 2nd district. Former state representative and longtime friend of President Barack Obama, Robin Kelly, has taken a stand for stronger laws to protect citizens from gun violence.

Robin Kelly has taken the lead on the issues, getting out front on the issue of gun control and also released a new campaign video today entitled “Enough,” that powerfully delivers the message of the need for stronger gun control. Robin Kelly also has a "zero" rating from the National Rifle Association, meaning she never votes the NRA way on legislation.

Robin Kelly vowed that if elected to congress, she will:

• Pass a strong, comprehensive ban on assault weapons.
• Eliminate the gun show loophole.
• Ban the use of high capacity ammunition magazines, like those used in Newtown and Aurora.
• Pledge never to receive support from organizations, like the NRA, that oppose reasonable gun safety legislation.
• Support current laws that prohibit conceal and carry permits.

To donate to the Robin Kelly for Congress campaign, click on the contribution page.

Send John Presta an email and your story ideas or suggestions or even to volunteer for Robin Kelly at

John is the author of an award-winning book, the 2010 Winner of the USA National Best Book award for African-American studies, published by The Elevator Group Mr. and Mrs. Grassroots: How Barack Obama, Two Bookstore Owners, and 300 Volunteers did it. Also available an eBook on Amazon. John is also a member of the Society of Midland Authors and is a book reviewer of political books for the New York Journal of Books

Originally posted to Mr. Grassroots on Fri Jan 25, 2013 at 06:12 AM PST.

Also republished by Land of Lincoln Kos.


Of the three major candidates for IL-2, which one would you support?

76%32 votes
19%8 votes
4%2 votes

| 42 votes | Vote | Results

Your Email has been sent.
You must add at least one tag to this diary before publishing it.

Add keywords that describe this diary. Separate multiple keywords with commas.
Tagging tips - Search For Tags - Browse For Tags


More Tagging tips:

A tag is a way to search for this diary. If someone is searching for "Barack Obama," is this a diary they'd be trying to find?

Use a person's full name, without any title. Senator Obama may become President Obama, and Michelle Obama might run for office.

If your diary covers an election or elected official, use election tags, which are generally the state abbreviation followed by the office. CA-01 is the first district House seat. CA-Sen covers both senate races. NY-GOV covers the New York governor's race.

Tags do not compound: that is, "education reform" is a completely different tag from "education". A tag like "reform" alone is probably not meaningful.

Consider if one or more of these tags fits your diary: Civil Rights, Community, Congress, Culture, Economy, Education, Elections, Energy, Environment, Health Care, International, Labor, Law, Media, Meta, National Security, Science, Transportation, or White House. If your diary is specific to a state, consider adding the state (California, Texas, etc). Keep in mind, though, that there are many wonderful and important diaries that don't fit in any of these tags. Don't worry if yours doesn't.

You can add a private note to this diary when hotlisting it:
Are you sure you want to remove this diary from your hotlist?
Are you sure you want to remove your recommendation? You can only recommend a diary once, so you will not be able to re-recommend it afterwards.
Rescue this diary, and add a note:
Are you sure you want to remove this diary from Rescue?
Choose where to republish this diary. The diary will be added to the queue for that group. Publish it from the queue to make it appear.

You must be a member of a group to use this feature.

Add a quick update to your diary without changing the diary itself:
Are you sure you want to remove this diary?
(The diary will be removed from the site and returned to your drafts for further editing.)
(The diary will be removed.)
Are you sure you want to save these changes to the published diary?

Comment Preferences

  •  Tip Jar (4+ / 0-)

    "Never doubt that a small group of committed citizens can change the world; indeed, it's the only thing that ever has!" - Margaret Mead

    by Reading on Walden Bookstore on Fri Jan 25, 2013 at 06:12:41 AM PST

  •  Really? (0+ / 0-)

    I guess everyone plans to attach Debbie since she is leading in all 3 recent polls.

    Debbie was the IL Democratic Senate Majority Leader before she ran for Congress.  IL Democrats are not conservative.  Why would they want her as their Leader if she was so conservative as you say?

    Keep in mind that she is the only one who has actually been in Congress doing something for working people.  She voted for real consumer protections and holding Wall Street accountable, she strongly supported Obamacare and was the only one running that actually voted for it, and she voted for education opportunity ref ors and student loan reforms to name a few.

    I personally know Debbie and she is a great woman and hard worker. Debbie lost her seat in a Republican Congressional District that Nancy Pelosi recruited her to run in. Remember that she was the IL Democrats Senate Majority Leader before she was willing to put her seat on the line for her country and help Nancy Pelosi increase her majority in the House. She won in 08 like many Dems and worked hard to get Obamacare passed (see her commercials touting her personal healthcare stories online from 08 and 10). She supported the Lilly Ledbetter Fair Pay Act, the Matthew Shepard Act, and other progressive legislation in a Republican District. She lost in 2010 to a tea partier like so many other Democrats. Now you want to trash a leader who worked so hard for progressive legislation and support President Obama. This is quite disheartening that you would trash someone who helped to move a progressive agenda forward in a really tough district.

    •  Yes, really! (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Captain Pants, SilentBrook

      I was stunned to learn that Halvorson has NRA and ISRA support and further, that she would accept that support. For that reason and more, I am with Robin Kelly. A "real" progressive.

      "Never doubt that a small group of committed citizens can change the world; indeed, it's the only thing that ever has!" - Margaret Mead

      by Reading on Walden Bookstore on Fri Jan 25, 2013 at 07:51:19 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  hmmm... (2+ / 0-)

      i'd expect that everyone that wants to win will attack debbie since she has the highest name recognition and is the only white candidate in a majority minority district -- iow, a safe democratic district.

      look, debbie got screwed in redistricting, and no one would deny that she was a great fit for the old 11th IL CD, but she's not a great fit in the 2nd.  while debbie and toi fight over eastern will and kankakee counties -- an area that i expect will turn out about 10-12 percent of the vote in the february special election -- the election will be decided in the four south suburban townships.  debbie hasn't represented that area for more than a decade and doesn't seem to be well known outside of bloom township.  we can honor debbie's service without insinuating that she deserves a pass in this special election for it...

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

      by bored now on Fri Jan 25, 2013 at 08:35:32 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  A little stunned, frankly (0+ / 0-)

        I am a little stunned. First, as I said by the NRA endorsement. Jesse Jr. did talk about it in the primary, but I missed that completely. The there is the 88 votes against the Obama Administration. You have to have beliefs and stay with them. We need leaders that stop calculating every single move.

        "Never doubt that a small group of committed citizens can change the world; indeed, it's the only thing that ever has!" - Margaret Mead

        by Reading on Walden Bookstore on Fri Jan 25, 2013 at 08:41:29 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

    •  Then you also know (0+ / 0-)

      that Halverson voted against Obamacare/ACA. Fat lotta good that did her in '10. But it was a big reason she lost to JJJr. in last year's IL-2 primary, even as he began to sink below the surface.

      A winning campaign? You didn't build that...

      by SilentBrook on Fri Jan 25, 2013 at 11:17:43 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  She voted for the ACA (0+ / 0-)


        Don't lie.  She was a huge supporter of Obamacare and the only one currently running who actually voted for it in Washington.  Her commercials in 08 were around healthcare and her personal family story with healthcare.

        So...check your facts, but don't lie.

      •  The issue is gun control n/t (0+ / 0-)

        "Never doubt that a small group of committed citizens can change the world; indeed, it's the only thing that ever has!" - Margaret Mead

        by Reading on Walden Bookstore on Fri Jan 25, 2013 at 11:38:14 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  I'm a strong progressive (0+ / 0-)


          I'm very progressive.  Grew up in the district and most of my family lives throughout it.  We are probably very close in our ideas.  This race is about many things throughout the new district.

          I think that we are lucky to have both Debbie and Robin in the race.  Both are fine leaders.

          Debbie is a very reasonable and pragmatic person.  I have no doubt that you could talk to her about your concerns.

          Keep in mind that this is no longer just a Chicago and suburban district.  It goes all the way past Kankakee now.  There are a lot of important issues to constituents throughout the district whether in Chicago, the Cook suburbs, the Will suburbs, exurban Beecher, and more rural Kankakee County.  Some may clash.

          While hunting is not my thing, there are many Democrats, progressives, and reasonable Republicans who are hunters in the new district.  I want common sense gun laws too, but please don't make Debbie out to be the enemy.

          She has been a faithful Democrat, hard worker, Democratic Majority Leader, mother, grandmother, mother of an Iraq War veteran, huge advocate for women's issues, fierce defender of our soldiers and veterans.  I can go on, but please don't make her out to be something other that a Democrat who is a strong advocate for working families.

          You can be an advocate for Robin without tearing down others.

Subscribe or Donate to support Daily Kos.

Click here for the mobile view of the site