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 Thursday, July 24, the 205th day of 2014. There are 160 days left in the year.

1864 -- 150 years ago: The Rev. R.J. Humphrey, once a clergyman in this city, was reported killed in a quarrel in New Orleans.
1889 -- 125 years ago: The Rock Island Citizens Improvement Association held a special meeting to consider the proposition of consolidating Rock Island and Moline.
1914 -- 100 years ago: The home of A. Freeman, 806 3rd Ave., was entered by a burglar while a circus parade was in progress and about $100 worth of jewelry and $5 in cash were taken.
1939 -- 75 years ago: The million dollar dredge, Rock Island, of the Rock Island district of United States engineers will be in this area this week to deepen the channel at the site of the new Rock Island-Davenport bridge.
1964 -- 50 years ago: The Argus "walked" to a 13-0 victory over American Container Corporation last night to clinch the championship of Rock Island's A Softball League at Northwest Douglas Park.
1989 -- 25 years ago: The Immediate Care Center emergency medical office at South Park Mall is moving back to United Medical Center on Sept. 1. After nearly six years in operation at the mall, Care Center employees are upset by UMC's decision. The center is used by 700 to 800 people each month.

(More History)