New ad blasts Bustos for EM's electronic welcome sign

Originally Posted Online: Oct. 08, 2012, 5:20 pm
Last Updated: Oct. 09, 2012, 2:14 pm
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By Eric Timmons,

Republicans have released a new attack ad against Democrat Cheri Bustos, this time hitting her for supporting a $40,000 electronic sign while she was an East Moline alderwoman.

The "Bustos billboard," as the National Republican Congressional Committee ad dubs the digital welcome to sign, is at 11th Street and 18th Avenue in East Moline.

"It's a great way to greet people coming into our town," Scott Feldt, East Moline's former director of economic development, said in 2010 around the time the sign was erected.

The NRCC, however, calls the sign an example of "frivolous spending" by Ms. Bustos.

The sign was not paid for with city funds, but with nearly $250,000 in federal earmark by U.S. Sen. Dick Durbin, D-Ill., that East Moline City Council meeting minutes state Ms. Bustos helped obtain. Earmarks are allocations of money for specific projects in spending bills, typically to benefit a congressman's home district.

Ms. Bustos is challenging U.S. Rep. Bobby Schilling, R-Colona. The Bustos campaign said the new commercial was "deceitful," laying responsibility for its content at the feet of Rep. Schilling, although the ad was produced by the NRCC independently of the Schilling campaign.

The NRCC ad implies the sign personally benefited Ms. Bustos, but a Bustos spokesman said, in reality it's used to promote community events.

Earlier NRCC commercials criticized Ms. Bustos for supporting a $625,000 water main project in East Moline that was unanimously approved by the council and part of a project begun before she joined the council.

The NRCC ad is the latest example of the money being spent by outside groups in the 17th District, which has now passed the $4 million, making the race one of the most expensive in the country in terms of independent expenditures. In the 2010 election cycle, $3.7 million was spent by outside groups in the district.

Last week, the U.S. Chamber of Commerce made unleashed $620,000 on a new campaign opposing Ms. Bustos.


Local events heading

  Today is Wednesday, April 16, the 106th day of 2014. There are 259 days left in the year.
1864 -- 150 years ago: Yesterday some bold thief stole a full bolt of calico from a box in front of Wadsworth's store, where it was on exhibition.
1889 -- 125 years ago: A team belonging to Peter Priese got away from its driver and made a mad run across the Rock Island Bridge. The driver was thrown from his seat but not hurt.
1914 -- 100 years ago: Carlton Taylor was appointed district deputy grand master for the 14th
Masonic District of Illinois.
1939 -- 75 years ago: Moline's million dollar municipal airport was dedicated to air transportation and the national defense by Lt. Gov. John Stelle.
1964 -- 50 years ago: THE ARGUS will be election headquarters for Rock Island County tomorrow night, and the public is invited to watch the operation. The closing of the polls at 6 p.m. will mark the start of open house in the newsroom. Visitors will see staff members receiving, tabulating and posting returns.
1989 -- 25 years ago: Few bricks actually tumbled, but no one seemed to mind as about 1,000 people gathered to celebrate the formal start of demolition at the site of a downtown civic center.

(More History)