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Screenshot of Project VoteSmart gun control ratings for Illinois state senator Toi Hutchinson
An Illinois Democrat with this type of record doesn't deserve a seat in Congress.
Democratic state senator and IL-02 candidate Toi Hutchinson is having a difficult time explaining her transformation from a politician who voted with the NRA 92% of the time to a candidate who now claims to support gun control. This is Hutchinson's explanation of her sudden turnabout:
Hutchinson said she changed her mind on the NRA in the aftermath of the Sandy Hook Elementary School shooting in Newtown, Conn., in mid-December.
Just to make sure everyone understands her explanation, Hutchinson leads off the new "gun safety" section of her website with this: "The tragic events in Connecticut have caused many to reevaluate their positions on gun control..."

The question for IL-02 voters is this: how geniune is Hutchinson's convenient conversion? Did the tragic deaths of children resonate with Hutchinson so much that she suddenly decided she no longer believes that "law-abiding citizens don’t need any more infringements on their constitutional right to protect their families and their property"?

Certainly, since Hutchinson took office, Chicago and Illinois as a whole have seen their share of heart-wrenching shooting tragedies. Here's just a sample of horrific shootings that dominated news coverage in Illinois since Hutchinson took office:

Not one of these slaughters of innocent children, not all of them in the aggregate nor all of those that aren't listed prompted Hutchinson to turn her back on the NRA or its positions.

Hutchinson also claims that she's distancing herself from the NRA because of the NRA's proposal to put guards in schools:

She contends NRA leadership under CEO Wayne LaPierre is out of touch with its own members in calling for armed security at the nation's schools.
The NRA's long-standing position is to have guns everywhere and anywhere. The group made national headlines in 2005 when it called for armed teachers in schools (before Hutchinson accepted the NRA's endorsement) and Wayne LaPierre's CPAC speech in 2011 was a mirror image of his post-Sandy Hook comments (complete with calling for guns to protect schools and the whole "good guy with a gun vs. bad guy with a gun" shtick). Hutchinson accepted the NRA's support after both events. To feign ignorance of these proclaimed positions and to claim that she only just now realized that the NRA is crazy is an insult to voters in IL-02.

In her 2010 NRA questionnaire, Hutchinson echoed every single false-headed, Limbaugh/Pierre-esque dog whistle about the government being a "bad actor" when it comes to gun control.

Goal ThermometerHutchinson now wants voters to believe that she "moderated" those right-wing, extreme positions that earned her an "A" NRA rating and that she's swung 180 degrees in the other direction, suddenly and genuinely becoming this absolute proponent of sound gun control measures on paper...all because of what happened at Sandy Hook Elementary School (nevermind the steady stream of dead children in Chicagoland that did little to sway her opinion over the last three years). Such a transformation is possible, sure, but when a politician does it during election season in a hotly-contested race, it smacks of pure opportunism.

Daily Kos has endorsed Hutchinson's opponent, Robin Kelly in this race. Kelly is "proud" of her "F" rating from the NRA. In just a few days, this community has already raised over $50,000 to help send a true gun control advocate to Congress. Contribute $3 (or more!) right now and let's keep the momentum going!

Originally posted to Georgia Logothetis on Tue Feb 05, 2013 at 08:36 PM PST.

Also republished by Shut Down the NRA.

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Comment Preferences

  •  Silence. (5+ / 0-)

    Note also that Toi Hutchinson didn't mention anything about Sandy Hook on her Facebook or Twitter page on the day of the tragedy or the weeks after.

    Her first pro-gun control tweet was on January 8th when Gabby Giffords and Mark Kelly published their op-ed.

    •  Silence after the scrub, that is. (3+ / 0-)

      From Aaron Camp at Blue Downstate:

      Early on in her congressional campaign, Hutchinson even used her campaign’s Facebook page to tout having “worked with the NRA” as a state senator. She’s since deleted the post in question, but not before I blockquoted it in this post at a blog that I no longer use, but the posts are still available to read:
      We have to stop tragedies like Newtown, and that means we need an all-of-the-above strategy. We can’t afford partial solutions because we can’t lose so many innocent lives again. In my time in the State Senate, I’ve worked with the NRA, law enforcement and gun control advocates. If we have any hope of finding a solution, we need to elect someone who can bring all sides to the table to pass reasonable gun control along with programs that catch and treat mentally ill individuals before they become dangerous. In Congress, I’ll stand with President Obama to pass an assault weapons ban, outlaw high capacity ammunition clips, close the gun show loophole and other reasonable steps to curb gun violence. But just passing stricter rules on guns isn’t enough–we need a comprehensive approach that also includes anti-violence initiatives like gang intervention and afterschool programs and mental health treatment.
      Toi Hutchinson supported the NRA’s extreme agenda before she was against it. The only reason she’s now moderating herself on gun-related issues because she’s now running in a special election...
  •  Robin Kelly is clear about gun safety legislation (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    kerflooey, citylights

    and we should support her with time and $.  We must send a clear message that touting guns for their own sake as is the NRA way will not be acceptable.

  •  What amazes me (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    about Toi is she thought it was ok to routinely seek out the endorsement of the NRA because the parts of her district are "conservative." Is that someone that can be trusted? I say no. Robin Kelly's message has been clear and consistent.

    "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 Wed Feb 06, 2013 at 01:14:10 AM PST

  •  who's getting endorsements / org help? (0+ / 0-)

    Among Robin Kellky (our candidate), Toi Hutchinson and Debbie Halvorsen, who is getting endorsements / organization's endorsements (GOTV efforts)?  What are the unions doing in this race?  I understand EMILY's List has not engaged in this race.  I am aware of Mayor Bloomberg's PAC's pro-gun control and anti-Halvorsen ads.

    •  AFSCME (0+ / 0-)

      Is with Toi. I don't know if any other union has endorsed.

    •  robin has her own organization... (0+ / 0-)

      she was a phenom reformer who defeated a sitting incumbent by organizer all the reformers in the southland.  much of toi's (former) support came out of robin's network when she first ran -- and those people are really annoyed that toi decided to run after she promised people she wouldn't and attended robin's first organizational meeting after jackson resigned (they feel betrayed by toi).  

      robin has kept her organization together (and maybe even expanded it a little) with her delicate balance event every year.

      robin also has the support of the obama organizers from 2000, 2004, 2008 and 2010, including obama field staff that moved over to robin after the presidential.  this is one of the major reasons why she collected almost 4,000 signatures on her nominating petitions.

      afscme has some presence in the south suburbs, but they'd have to ship people in to play a significant role on election day...

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

      by bored now on Mon Feb 11, 2013 at 09:32:22 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  Robin Kelly should take this list... (0+ / 0-)

    and ask Toi why these people didn't matter.  If Toi says her stance changed because of Sandy Hook - why didn't any of these people matter to her and her A rating from the NRA.

    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 Wed Feb 06, 2013 at 06:23:15 AM PST

  •  Trib article (0+ / 0-)

    There was a Trib article about Hutchinson's "conversion". Certainly her opinions before were not great, but it said that she co-sponsored a bunch of legislation in Illinois to ban assault weapons, large clips, and to require reporting of stolen guns. I mean, maybe this is all political, but it's not like it's just rhetoric. There's actually policy changes to back up the talk.

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