September 17, 2012

FaceMob floods Rodney Davis with climate change questions. Still no answer.

If you were watching Rodney Davis' campaign Facebook page Sunday afternoon you would have seen a flood of questions from citizens asking where he stands on climate change. They're still waiting for an answer.

I wrote about Davis ignoring my question and hurrying away when I asked if he thought floods and droughts are getting worse due to climate change. That's not the only question he's dodging. He attends very few public forums where he will have to answer questions from the public, and he won't get specific about where he stands on many major issues. Would he respond to citizens on his campaign Facebook page asking about climate change, the great challenge of our time?

I repeated my own question about floods and droughts.
Mr Davis, you didn't answer my question about whether you think floods and droughts in Illinois are getting worse because of climate change. It will be devastating to farmers, residents, and the regional economy if the extreme weather disasters we've had the last few years become the new normal. Do you acknowledge the scientific consensus that man-made pollutants are contributing to climate change and what would you do to solve the problem?

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Dozens of questions by others were posted on his page.

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My respectful questions were removed quickly and I was banned from commenting on his Facebook page again. That didn't surprise me. After a while, every mention of climate change by anyone was deleted as quickly as it was posted. Even the most politely worded questions were removed, like this one:
Thank you for putting forth an energy policy but I'm unclear about your stance regarding climate change. Since I will likely not be able to attend one of your appearances, might you be able to respond in this forum? Thanks so much.
That got deleted. As were these questions.

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Many more excellent banned questions can be viewed at my Flickr set. I captured many, but not all, before they were removed by the Davis campaign. My favorite was posted under a photo of a campaign sign in a soy field.

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Wonder where he stands on climate change? Rodney are you going to answer ever? It might help out the bean field?
Questions in response to the energy plan posted on his main campaign website haven't been removed yet. I'm sure they'll get to those after they read this blog post so catch them while you can. A couple of voters there let Davis know they aren't happy about their questions on Facebook being ignored and removed.


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Congratulations, by not answering my question and blocking me from your Facebook page, you've just proven how you will not work with people who may disagree with you. When running on the spirit of working with others, you blatantly shut out a possible voter. I was a swing voter. I wasn't entirely decided on David Gill today. You've just changed my mind, and the mind of my husband, and the mind of my friend, all who were honestly considering a Davis vote. NEVER shut out a possible voter. Politics is about addition, not subtraction. Thank you.

The fact that he was able to hold a press conference on energy policy without any reporters pressing him for his stance on climate change is inexcusable. If record-setting heat waves, extended droughts, and extreme flooding year after year are front page news then climate change is important enough for journalists to ask questions and expect answers.

Davis did tell one reporter that his former boss, Congressman John Shimkus, has "lead the debate" on energy issues. What Shimkus has done is wage a war against science, spread misleading conspiracies about non-existent EPA regulations, and attempted to make climate change a religious issue. John Shimkus' unique interpretation of the Bible doesn't represent the many people of faith who understand that we must deal with the climate crisis. I'd like to know if Shimkus represents the kind of leadership Davis will follow.

Running for Congress in one of the nation's most competitive races takes a lot of work. But, there are only a few things most voters expect a candidate to do at minimum. One of them is to explain where you stand on the most important issues of the day. His opponent has no trouble saying on his website that, "David Gill is a man of science, someone who uses technical results in the ER to diagnose and treat illness and injuries. Our approach to addressing the growing problem of climate change and environmental damage needs to be scientific and fact-based, too."

If Rodney Davis is unwilling, or incapable, of answering questions, then he probably shouldn't be running for office.