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DCCC defies DC expectations, runs ad attacking Davis

Tuesday, Sep 30, 2014 - Posted by Rich Miller

* DC outlets have reported in the recent past that the DCCC is abandoning a rapidly sinking Ann Callis. Larry Sabato piled on yesterday

Reps. David Valadao (R, Calif.-21) and Rodney Davis (R, Ill.-13) ranked among the top Democratic targets in the country earlier in the cycle, but neither challenge has really materialized, and both races go from Leans Republican to Likely Republican.

Stu Rothenberg seconds that emotion

In Illinois, Democratic challenger Ann Callis, a star recruit against Rep. Rodney Davis, has gone nowhere.

* But the DCCC is running a new ad attacking Davis…

The Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee is launching its first television ad in Illinois 13th Congressional District, highlighting how Congressman Rodney Davis shut down the government and kept his perks, like spending $40,000 at Washington, D.C. restaurants, a taxpayer-funded gym, first class airfare and lifetime Congressional health care.

* The ad

* Script…

When Rodney Davis got to Washington, the sky was the limit for Congressional perks.

A taxpayer-paid health club.

Lifetime Congressional healthcare.

$40,000 at Washington restaurants, like meals with donors and lobbyists.

Rodney Davis even kept his own perks while shutting down the government.

Oh, and first-class airfare for members of Congress.

Rodney Davis cares more about first class than the middle class.

The Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee is responsible for the content of this advertising.

* Davis’ response…

Claim: “…a taxpayer paid health club…”
Truth: Rep. Davis pays for access to a gymnasium just like hundreds of other members of Congress, including the Chairman of the DCCC, Steve Israel. Additionally, since Congressman Davis does not live in DC and sleeps in his office when he’s there, the gym is his only access to a shower.

Claim: “…lifetime Congressional health care…”
Truth: Congressman Davis voted to stop Members of Congress for receiving taxpayer-funded health care for life. (Roll Call Vote #177, 4/10/14). Additionally, Davis and his family are enrolled in Obamacare, as Members of Congress are required to participate in the program.

Claim: “…first class airfare for members of Congress…”
Truth: The DCCC is taking a page out of the Ann Callis playbook, using an attack that political fact checkers have called “smarmy.” (Washington Post 5/5/2014). This attack received a Four Pinocchios rating by fact checkers…the worst rating possible.

Congressman Davis voted to ban first-class flights by members of Congress and have never flown first-class on the taxpayer’s dime. (Roll Call Vote #177, 4/10/14).

* I’m not sure of the actual network buy, but the Davis folks say the DCCC reserved 1,582 GRP this week in Springfield-Champaign, which was pegged at $210,444. The cable buy was $16,101.


  1. - wordslinger - Tuesday, Sep 30, 14 @ 10:16 am:

    –Additionally, since Congressman Davis does not live in DC and sleeps in his office when he’s there, the gym is his only access to a shower.–

    Let’s all shed tears for the poor homeless Congresscritters. The taxpayers shell out plenty for them, yet some feel they’re entitled to free housing as well.

    The practice is disgusting. Get a room!

  2. - PrairieFire - Tuesday, Sep 30, 14 @ 10:17 am:


    Did you link the Stu Rothenberg story because that’s you in the blue t-shirt?

    Come on. Fess up. That’s you, isn’t it?


  3. - Anonymous - Tuesday, Sep 30, 14 @ 10:24 am:

    - Davis and his family are enrolled in Obamacare -

    Somewhere in the 13th a tea partier’s head just exploded.

  4. - VanillaMan - Tuesday, Sep 30, 14 @ 10:34 am:

    Many of our Congressmen sleep in their offices regularly, as though it is their residence. It isn’t at all unusual. This has been done since we’ve been sending representatives to Congress. During the War years, there wasn’t enough lodgings rooms or apartments for newly elected Congressmen. It has always been considered one of the things new representative do until they find affordable housing.

    There are some representatives that have lived in their offices when they are in DC for years.

    None of them are asking for free housing. They just prefer to use their congressional pay for other costs.

    WELL anyway - this ad is a waste of money for the DCCC. The issues are ridiculous coming from a person with as many homes as Bruce Rauner.

  5. - circularfiringsquad - Tuesday, Sep 30, 14 @ 10:43 am:

    And let’s not forget the great service Lil Rodney did when he laundered all the ReBooters cash through the small county GOP committees so they could funnel it back to state GOPies and pay Karl Rove’s speaking fees.
    BTW members of Congress pay about 10% the cost of the gym

  6. - VM - Tuesday, Sep 30, 14 @ 10:53 am:

    I’m OK with most of the responses, but this one deserve special scorn:

    “Additionally, Davis and his family are enrolled in Obamacare, as Members of Congress are required to participate in the program.”

    For years now we have been treated to Republican lies that Congress has exempted itself from Obamacare. If he wants to use this excuse he also has to answer the question of whether leaders of the Republican Party lied when they said members of Congress are exempt from ACA.

  7. - VanillaMan - Tuesday, Sep 30, 14 @ 10:57 am:

    In 2011, Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington reported that at least 33 members of Congress — 21 of them freshmen — lived in their offices. Although a few Democrats have taken to sleeping in their offices, the practice is more popular with conservative members: Republicans made up 26 of the 33 representatives taking up residence in their offices, according to CREW. - HuffPo 1/17/2013

  8. - wordslinger - Tuesday, Sep 30, 14 @ 11:07 am:

    Vman, it’s a disgusting practice whoever does it. They make great money, get royal perks and aren’t entitled to free housing. Davis whining about it is a joke.

    Do you sleep in your state office? I mean, after work hours?

  9. - Formerly Known As... - Tuesday, Sep 30, 14 @ 11:56 am:

    == This attack received a Four Pinocchios rating ==

    So now we’re going to put it in our ad buy? Sheesh.

  10. - LincolnLounger - Tuesday, Sep 30, 14 @ 12:01 pm:

    Why do you care, wordslinger. “Disgusting practice”?!? If you were raising a family in Taylorville and saw the DC housing sticker shock, perhaps you would, too.

    He wasn’t “whining” about it — just pointing out the fact. I don’t know why anyone would care whether their Congressman slept in his office — let alone becoming unhinged on the subject.

  11. - jim - Tuesday, Sep 30, 14 @ 12:12 pm:

    this debate about where Davis sleeps just shows how easily even the political junkies on this sight are distracted by bogus issues.

  12. - wordslinger - Tuesday, Sep 30, 14 @ 12:37 pm:

    –let alone becoming unhinged on the subject.–

    Unhinged isn’t what it used to be, I guess.

    Most commercial office properties ban sleeping overnight in offices as part of the lease. Many local governments have ordinances against it as well. Safety issues, liability issues, general flophouse issues.

  13. - my two cents - Tuesday, Sep 30, 14 @ 12:43 pm:

    It’s effective to remind the public that republicans shut down the government then refused to take pay cuts or delays even as they forced them on other government workers. Just as the freshmen tea party congressmen’s first order of business was to whine about not getting their government health care plans fast enough.

  14. - Truth Squad - Tuesday, Sep 30, 14 @ 1:35 pm:

    Also, worth pointing out that the reference that the Davis campaign uses to discredit Callis, (Washington Post 5/5/2014), is from a different campaign ad in another state before the Callis ad even started. Just look at the date.

    But you know, who needs reality, its campaign season!

  15. - Shore - Tuesday, Sep 30, 14 @ 1:48 pm:

    $40k is a lot for food and expenses even though it’s probably lifetime and fundraising costs. He can thank eric cantor for this hit. Hadn’t seen it before cantor went down.

    Fed agency employees can’t fly first class unless they are traveling more than 13 hours on a flight-that usually means east asia or pakistan if it’s not a mil air flight. Not sure on members of congress but I’d be shocked if they had the travel records to prove he flew home first class.

  16. - VanillaMan - Tuesday, Sep 30, 14 @ 2:39 pm:

    Vman, it’s a disgusting practice whoever does it.

    Like nothing disgusting ever happened in a congressional office before, right?

    Jimmy Carter slept on a cot in the Oval Office during the Hostage Crisis. It isn’t a big deal to sleep in an office. These ladies and gentlemen are deluged by 24/7 stuff and few of them ever had to deal with that level of work before. Not every congressman has a staff of veteran professionals and lobbyists when they begin their congressional careers. Congressmen bring not only themselves, the bring the lives of their staffers as well. Bunking down in the office isn’t a sin.

    And finally, thank you for your concern. There are many nights when I have sick kids and am not allowed to sleep. Your concern over my sleep habits is touching and kind.

    We should have a sleep over at Rich’s, but you probably snore like a freight train.

  17. - Truth Squad - Tuesday, Sep 30, 14 @ 2:52 pm:

    Actually, Rodney Davis does have a staff of professionals, including his Chief of Staff, Jen Dauby, who was previously a lobbyist for Monsanto, and Davis himself worked for another Congressman for 16 years before he ran, so I wouldn’t exactly say that he is at, “beginning his congressional career.”

  18. - Precinct Captain - Tuesday, Sep 30, 14 @ 3:16 pm:

    ==- LincolnLounger - Tuesday, Sep 30, 14 @ 12:01 pm:==

    Maybe he should commute from the M or the V part of the DMV.

    ==- VanillaMan - Tuesday, Sep 30, 14 @ 2:39 pm:==

    You’re really comparing Davis sleeping in his office to Jimmy Carter sleeping in the Oval Office, which is actually part of his home?

Sorry, comments for this post are now closed.

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