Libertarian candidate gets surprising freebie

Senate hopeful Mike Labno appreciates Democratic-funded ad

November 1, 2010

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(WBEZ/Sam Hudzik)
Mike Labno is the Libertarian Party candidate for U.S. Senate in Illinois.

Tens of millions of dollars have been spent on campaigns in Illinois this year. But one candidate didn't even have to pay for an advertisement he says gave his campaign a boost.

Libertarian Party U.S. Senate candidate Mike Labno said he was caught off-guard when ads started landing in mailboxes, describing how he was the most conservative candidate in the race.

"I started getting calls from people all around the state," Labno said. "Facebook, emails, I mean, everything has been lifted up quite a bit."

Labno has run his campaign on a tiny budget, so he didn't pay or authorize the mailing. It was, in fact, funded by Democrats. On Sunday, Labno said he appreciates the help, even though he called it an attempt by one "weak" candidate, Democrat Alexi Giannoulias, to peel off conservative votes from another "weak" candidate, Republican Mark Kirk.

Giannoulias last week denied the mailing was deceptive. "It talks about me and it talks about other individuals in the race," he said.

For his part, Kirk said the mailing shows Democrats are increasingly desperate.

The Green Party's LeAlan Jones is also on the ballot for U.S. Senate.