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Burying the debate

Monday, Mar 10, 2014

* If you really don’t want to debate your under-funded opponent and you go ahead and do it anyway, you probably ought to do it like this

In their only live joint appearance before the March 18 primary election, Republican congressional candidates Erika Harold and Rodney Davis clashed over Davis’ vote to trim veterans’ benefits in a federal budget deal.

The one-hour debate was held at 7 a.m. today at Bloomington-Normal radio station Cities 92.9 FM, a station whose signal doesn’t reach Champaign-Urbana or any of the larger communities in the 13th Congressional District. Only a portion of Bloomington-Normal is in the district, which is represented by Davis of Taylorville.

However, the magic of the Interwebtubes means the debate is forever available to anyone with a computer. Click here.

* From the debate coverage

“I think it’s unconscionable to have voted for something that cut veteran’s pensions. And I would disagree with Congressman Davis, he was not the person who led the charge on restoring those benefits.”

[Harold] said Davis defended the cuts in a television interview.

“That’s not true,” Davis interjected.

“He was justifying the cuts as saying that they would not apply to disabled veterans, and he said that they would be applying to people who could have a second job. I think it’s a mischaracterization to say that he was the one who led it,” said Harold, a Harvard Law School graduate and former Miss America. “Finally I would say that if members of Congress fixed it, what was the point of having those cuts in the first place? Either they didn’t read the bill carefully or, what I think happened, is they understood after the American public responded negatively that this is unacceptable and they went back and fixed it.” […]

[Davis] said he was asked what the impact of the cuts would be “if they weren’t fixed.”

“And that’s the quote they used and that’s where you say that I support these cuts, and that is just wrong and disingenuous and frankly dishonest,” Davis charged.

* Meanwhile

Davis raised $328,000 from Jan. 1 to Feb. 26, according to his pre-primary filing with the Federal Election Commission. Davis also reported $1.1 million in cash on hand. […]

Former judge Ann Callis, a candidate touted as a top recruit by the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee, brought in $102,000 in the pre-primary time period. The haul left her with $449,000 in cash on hand as of Feb. 26.

Physics professor George Gollin, a Democrat running against Callis in the primary, raised $76,000. He reported $227,000 in cash on hand, some of which includes an initial loan Gollin made to his campaign. […]

Davis’ GOP primary challenger, Erika Harold, a former Miss America winner, raised $61,000 in the pre-primary period. She reported $137,000 in cash on hand.

* And here’s a new TV ad by Democrat George Gollin

* Script…

Narrator: Political insider Ann Callis folded to the tea party agenda. Ann Callis said this about cutting Social Security…

Audio of Callis: We’re going to have to see what’s there and what we remove

Narrator: Cut Social Security? Ann Callis wants what the tea party wants

The sentence in question was actually only part of a sentence. According to the Big Debbie’s House Blog, when asked if she’d favor making people work longer before they could retire, Callis said no. The blogger documented several other times where Callis opposed cutting Social Security benefits and quotes the Illinois AFL-CIO president

Ann Callis has the support of thousands of working men and women in Illinois because she is a true fighter for the middle-class and will protect Social Security and Medicare. Gollin’s ad is clearly misleading and uses a quote out of context, and this desperate attack from George Gollin is totally unwarranted.

Subscribers have an update on poll results in that primary race.

- Posted by Rich Miller        

  1. - J. Nolan - Monday, Mar 10, 14 @ 11:42 am:

    If I saw that Gollin ad and immediately thought it was effective (although I’m annoyed that it was a cut-off sentence). I’m a republican though… so what do I know about Dem primaries…

  2. - J. Nolan - Monday, Mar 10, 14 @ 11:43 am:

    That “If” at the beginning is not needed..woops

  3. - Friedman - Monday, Mar 10, 14 @ 12:27 pm:

    Davis has been a lackluster congressman, to put it mildly. His speech on the house floor, defending the farm bill, was terrible. A farm bill, I might add, larded up with the usual fat back.

  4. - Mokenavince - Monday, Mar 10, 14 @ 12:30 pm:

    I don’t believe any of these attack ads. There all contrived and full of lies.

  5. - Downstater - Monday, Mar 10, 14 @ 12:41 pm:

    It is interesting to note, Callis raised just a little more than Gollin, in a district she was thought to be the overwhelming favorite. She may end up winning the primary big, but he lackluster fundraising is not a good sign for her campaign.

  6. - John Boch - Monday, Mar 10, 14 @ 12:48 pm:

    Rodney Davis has been nowhere near what the old Tim Johnson used to be on constituent relations.

    For a guy who won the race last time by the thinnest of margins, I’m surprised he hasn’t been campaigning with vigor.

    Instead, he’s been practically invisible.

    Erika isn’t perfect, but Davis seems to be one of his own worst enemies.


  7. - jake - Monday, Mar 10, 14 @ 1:14 pm:

    I am a former Gollin supporter, now Callis supporter, because George betrayed his own principles by endorsing Carol Ammons in spite of her claiming a degree bought from a diploma mill as a legitimate credential. As far as I know or can tell, Callis is a person of complete integrity. But even as a Callis supporter, I must admit that a Davis-Callis campaign looks as close as we will ever see to two carefully programmed robots campaigning. I could imagine portraying them as Ken and Barbie dolls (they are both quite good-looking in that Ken and Barbie style) where each one is programmed with a canned answer to every question.

  8. - CollegeStudent - Monday, Mar 10, 14 @ 1:16 pm:

    ===Davis has been a lackluster congressman, to put it mildly. His speech on the house floor, defending the farm bill, was terrible. A farm bill, I might add, larded up with the usual fat back. ===

    Pork works if it helps your constituents.

  9. - J. Nolan - Monday, Mar 10, 14 @ 1:29 pm:

    John Boch,

    He will easily defeat Erika Harold. Why would he need to be campaigning vigorously in this primary? Political hacks might enjoy congressman who endlessly are campaigning for the next race but most people don’t. He has the ability to lay low for the moment.

  10. - John Boch - Monday, Mar 10, 14 @ 1:38 pm:

    J. Nolan:

    “He will easily defeat Erika Harold. Why would he need to be campaigning vigorously in this primary…”

    No argument that Rodney will win handily.

    Why would he need to campaign? He only one by a few hundred votes last time through. If he’s counting on his good looks to carry him through November, he better have plans for a new job after January 2015.

    Dems want this seat badly.


  11. - J. Nolan - Monday, Mar 10, 14 @ 1:51 pm:


    I don’t need arguments - I have polls. Conveniently, they have been published right here on CapFax. Perhaps you missed them?

    As for a general election - I think he’s got that covered. He went from being a no name to beating a democrat in a D+ district in a presidential election year. I’m confident in his campaigning abilities, especially in 2014.

  12. - shore - Monday, Mar 10, 14 @ 2:36 pm:

    This isn’t 2004 at the congressional level where fundraising is the be all end all. After a certain point with super pacs now this stuff is a wash yet operatives and especially national journal/roll call types make it out to be an indicator of momentum.

    That florida race tomorrow has $10 million of outside money in it.

    Harold has been a bust-we need a label for candidates in odd numbered years who get a ton of media attention and then bust miles from the finish line.

    Davis does nothing for me and that’s a seat where the party missed a chance to develop a potential future gov/senate candidate into something.

  13. - Louis Howe - Monday, Mar 10, 14 @ 7:03 pm:

    Callis is a very weak candidate. My sense is that she’s expecting some federal appointment after the election.

Sorry, comments for this post are now closed.

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