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.
Today is Tuesday, June 18, the 169th day of 2013. There are 196 days left in the year. 1863 -- 150 years ago: Fanatics have grown wonderfully civil since the president snubbedthem by revoking Burnside's infamous attack upon the freedom of the press. 1888 -- 125 years ago: The Interstate baseball league has collapsed, leaving Davenport'sleading team without a league connection. 1913 -- 100 years ago: Passengers were stunned yesterday when lightning struck a LongView street car at 9th Ave. and 25th St. 1938 -- 75 years ago: X-ray examinations today traced the trouble with Dizzy Dean's$250,000 pitching arm to a pulled muscle back of his right shoulder blade. 1963 -- 50 years ago: Radio station WQAD in Moline is being considered by the NationalCivil Defense Office for selection as a "secured communication center" Mrs. Gault,executive deputy director of the Moline Civil Defense unit reported today. 1988 -- 25 years ago: "Marketplace 29 A.D." an unusual vacation Bible school programthat will allow children to live three days as people did during the Bible Times June 21-23. The three day program, is a joint project of Aldersgate and Bethel-Wesley UnitedMethodist churches.