* The DCCC has begun a $230,000 television buy in the Champaign market. The ad blasts Republican Rodney Davis for working for George Ryan and being on the disgraced former governor’s “clout list of political favors.” According to the ad, Davis is a “career insider” who has “taken nearly one million dollars in taxpayer-funded salaries.”
Illinois remains a target-rich environment for Democrats, who tried to put more House seats in play in their redraw of the Congressional map last year. The DCCC has reserved millions in TV ad time in markets across the state.
That’s why it’s notable Democrats started their Illinois ad campaign in the 13th district. The party’s preferred candidate lost the primary to emergency room doctor David Gill, who just joined the ranks of the DCCC’s Red to Blue program earlier this month.
Today, the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee (DCCC) launched a false, negative, misleading attack ad on Rodney Davis. Here are some of the misleading claims:
Misleading Claim #1: “Rodney Davis, he was right in the middle of it (George Ryan’s corruption.)”
Fact: Rodney Davis began working for the Secretary of State’s office as a fellow right out of college. He was a low-level employee who was only there for a short time and never had a connection to any wrongdoing.
Unlike David Gill, who appeared with Governor Rod Blagojevich in a thinly-disguised campaign rally, paid for by Illinois taxpayers, as a candidate for Congress in 2004. (Kurt Erickson, “Governor stumps for drug plan,Pantagraph, 10/26/04)
Misleading Claim #2: “named on the infamous George Ryan Clout List of political favors.”
Fact: Rodney Davis was added to Scott Fawell’s “master list” without his approval, consent, or knowledge. He never asked for a favor, job, or political help. The list included numerous people, both Republicans and Democrats, who had nothing to do with corruption.
Governor Rod Blagojevich also kept a clout list that included President Obama and Gill supporter Senator Dick Durbin, neither of whom have been accused of any wrongdoing.
Misleading Claim #3: “given a job in Governor George Ryan’s office.”
Fact: Rodney Davis never worked for Governor George Ryan. He was an employee in the Secretary of State’s office until 1997, two full years before Ryan became Governor.
Misleading Claim #4: “taken nearly $1 million in taxpayer funded salaries.”
Fact: Rodney Davis has been serving his community and has a strong understanding of the issues facing our communities. He lives here and works here and understands the challenges residents of the district face.
If Rodney Davis loses his race, you can trace the blame to the completely ineffectual Champaign County Republican organization who is still more interested in intraparty knife-fights than winning elections. Good job, Habeeb!
==Fact: Rodney Davis has been serving his community and has a strong understanding of the issues facing our communities. He lives here and works here and understands the challenges residents of the district face.==
I am baffled by this response. What does this reply have to do with the “misleading claim”?
I harken back to the old political adage: “If you’re explaining, your losing.”
And I’ll add a corollary: “If you’re explaining badly, you’re toast.”
First, George Ryan is still relevant. He’s been in a news a lot in the last year and he’s now out of prison. Governors who have served time in prison and are social pariahs carry a very negative connotation. And yes, I would argue that George Ryan is a social pariah. As a Republican campaign staffer who has been burned by the Ryan stigma, I certainly consider Ryan a pariah.
Second, YDD, I have known Rodney since I was in college and he knows every county chairman, elected official and party insider in the 13th CD. Guess what?! That’s what you need to get walkers, phone bank volunteers, parade marchers and people willing to host events and fundraisers. And he’s got Congressman Shimkus helping him, which is a huge bonus in an area where Shimkus’s political tentacles stretch way into every facet of the GOP.
Third, the public salary definitely doesn’t look great, but there are many public employees who eventually run for office and win.
VM is right… can’t the DCCC try talking about the 21st century? I don’t live in the 13th (at least I don’t think I do, but I’d better check the new map), but I know I wouldn’t be swayed by allegations about something that, in political terms anyway, is ancient history.
Dr. Gill has run for Congress twice before, why not talk about what he wants to accomplish?
- Yellow Dog Democrat - Wednesday, Aug 29, 12 @ 3:53 pm:
@Team Sleep -
Yeah, because county chairmen just have volunteers coming out of their ears.
Agreed. The ad would have worked a bit better the other way around.
“Who is Rodney Davis? A political insider, Rodney Davis….yada, yada, yada.”
I’m not sure its that they needed to remind folks who George Ryan is. I think they were looking for a way to fill 30 seconds.
Point #1: That’s b.s.
Point #2: That’s more b.s.
Point #3: Seriously, is there a b.s. store having a clearance sale?
Point #4: Yeah, OK. I know how to make it rain.
- Yellow Dog Democrat - Wednesday, Aug 29, 12 @ 4:15 pm:
The YDD Response to the Davis Response:
1. I don’t know what you mean by “low level employee” or “short time,” but I also know from news reports that a lot of “low level employees” were involved in low-level corruption. So what I really want to know is, did you raise money for George Ryan, did you engage in any political activities while you worked for Ryan, and how did you get your job in the first place?
2. I lost my copy of the George Ryan Clout List, but thought it included notes along with names. What were the notes next to yours.
3. Your defense is you didn’t work for George Ryan when he was governor, only in his rampantly corrupt SoS Office? Really? Well, in case you didn’t know, former elected officials are commonly referred to by the highest office they attained, regardless of the period of their career you’re referring to. So let’s move on.
4. $1 million is a lot of money, but if you earned it saving lives, preventing child abuse, protecting the public from dangerous criminals, or teaching our kids, I’ll happily give you a pass. So. What did we get for that $1 million?
- LincolnLounger - Wednesday, Aug 29, 12 @ 5:58 pm:
The Davis folks should be thankful that the commercial is so poorly done. The idea and subject matter were right, but the production and focus arew terrible. Still damaging, but it could have been a lot worse.
Conversely, the Davis campaign response was terrible.
- Michael Westen - Wednesday, Aug 29, 12 @ 6:18 pm:
“taken nearly $1 million in taxpayer funded salaries.”
Really? Coming from Democrats? I can’t wait for the DCCC ad asking people to vote for Mitt Romney because President Obama has “taken over $2 million in taxpayer funded salaries.”, or their ad asking voters to vote against Dick Durbin because the Senator has “taken over $4 million in taxpayer funded salaries.”
Further, aren’t they blasting Jason Plummer in the neighboring district because-among other reasons-of his lack of experience-presumably in government?
Shameful. It’s the kind of ad that turns voters off causes voters of all stripes to stay home.
- Yellow Dog Democrat - Wednesday, Aug 29, 12 @ 7:53 pm:
@Michael Westen -
The only mention Rodney Davis makes in his biography of any government work is serving as Projects Director for Congressman Shimkus. I’ve got a fair idea what President Obama and Senator Durbin do, but I’m not sure what a “Projects Director” does to earn $1 million.
If you or Rodney Davis want to enlighten the voters, that’s great.
According to sources online, Davis “managed” to get a job working for George Ryan in 1992. Coincidentally, that year he became a Republican Precinct Committeeman and active part of the Christian County Republicans.
By his own account, he left the Secretary of State’s Office in 1997. 1992-1997…sound like a “short time” working for George Ryan to you?
YDD - if central and southern Illinois county chairmen (for either party) take a shine to a candidate or cause, they will work OT to ensure the candidates and party with whom they are affiliated have the workers they need. In 2010, Bobby Schilling and his staff were able to tap many of the 23 county chairmen in the current 17th CD to help with precinct walking and phone banking. Trust me - I was in the middle of it and the county chairmen were energized and ready to help. Rodney and his team have worked well with chairmen and the response has been good.
Let’s not kid ourselves about Congressional and Senatorial salaries. People in high-ranking public positions make a relative killing in terms of salary (especially when compared to lower-level staffers and rank-and-file union members). Go to Legistorm and check out what some of Durbin’s and Kirk’s staffers earn and I guarantee you that Rodney’s salary with Shimkus’s office doesn’t look so awful.
- Yellow Dog Democrat - Thursday, Aug 30, 12 @ 6:49 am:
@Team Sleep -
Maybe you and I have different standards. I haven’t seen a decent field operation from the Illinois GOP since they lost the Illinois Secretary of State’s Office in 1998, and all of those patronage workers.
The 17th, which John Kerry barely won in 2004, was lost by Democrats due to national voting trends and a haphazard candidate who it seemed to me didn’t take his re-election seriously.
And if Rodney Davis wants to offer the defense that all Congressional staffers are overpaid, and he was just gettin’ his while the gettin’ was good….well, good luck with that.
To me, it seems like he is part of the problem, not the solution.
Frankly, the Republicans created this problem for themselves by trying to engineer their way around a legitimate primary. Davis could have been vetted by the voters.
All I know is, Erika Harold is looking pretty good right now.
You guys could have had HER speaking at the convention.
- champaigndweller - Thursday, Aug 30, 12 @ 8:20 am:
I think George Ryan is old news. What’s also old news is Gill running again. I understand that Davis might not be an ideal candidate, who is, but what does Gill have to offer that the voters here haven’t already rejected at least twice?
Weak. Topics might work, but ad was a stretch to begin with and only resonates with insiders. Regular voters that decide close elections moved on from George Ryan a LONG time ago - unless it’s about some clearly high-level hack. Ad fails totally in that regard. There’s so much thrown at the wall here that it’s going to strike average voters as over-the-top campaign crap they hate. Seriously doubt it affects the race much. The anti-Gill ad is much better.