In New York, Mayor Michael Bloomberg has been an outspoken advocate for strict gun control and turned the so-called “war on obesity” into his own personal crusade.  From large sodas to salty snacks, his big government bans have made him something of a progressive hero.  But now, Bloomberg is looking to expand his influence past the Big Apple’s city limits.

Bloomberg: Banning sodas, buying elections

NYC Mayor Michael Bloomberg (Image: AP)

Not surprisingly, the progressive heavyweight now aiming to influence Chicago politics:

Robin Kelly, a former Illinois state representative, won a crowded Second District Democrat primary Tuesday to fill the seat of the latest Chicago politician to face a few years residency in a federal penitentiary, Jesse Jackson Jr.

Winning the Democrat primary in that district, which includes part of Chicago’s South Side where Barack Obama used to live, is tantamount to victory in the special election April 9.

Here’s how lopsided the district’s vote was and will be: With 99.6% of the precincts reporting, Kelly had almost 31,000 votes (52%). By comparison, the district’s leading Republican primary candidate, Paul McKinley, didn’t even reap 1,000 votes. …

Through his political action committee, Independence USA, Bloomberg poured about one day’s lunch money — $2.3 million — into the Windy City district to drive Kelly’s two-to-one win over her main opponent, Debbie Halvorson. She’s a former U.S. House member who ran against Jackson last year and was the only white in the race.

The issue that attracted the 71-year-old Bloomberg’s involvement was gun control in general and an assault weapon ban in particular. Kelly says she favors the assault weapon ban. Halvorson has not.

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