September 11, 2012

Rodney Davis ducks my question about climate change

Illinois Republican Congressional candidates Rodney Davis and Jason Plummer held a press conference in East St. Louis last week to talk about the flood levee system. Both candidates are running for open seats in two of the nation's most competitive Congressional races. I decided to tag along and see how it went.

After speaking at length on promoting federal spending for levees, they answered questions about how the current drought is impacting farmers. That's when I thought, "Hey, I have a relevant question" and asked Davis if he thinks the floods and droughts are getting worse because of climate change.

Davis responded by ignoring me, then asking a reporter if he had another question, and quickly walking away. The scene is caught near the end of a video posted to the IL13RawFootage YouTube page. You can hear me ask the question off-camera before it pans over.




I understand why Davis wanted to rush away. He knows who I am and since he has seen my blog, he knows I'm not likely to praise him. But, I was polite. I didn't interrupt the press conference. I only jumped in when I did because I could tell his staff wanted him to leave. I would have been more than happy to post any answer he gave. Instead, he walked away.
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It's an important question directly related to the extreme weather events Davis and Plummer were talking about. He spent 15 years working for Congressman John Shimkus, who earned national attention for his extremist, anti-science views on climate change. People deserve to know before election day whether Davis believes the climate crisis is a hoax. So far, he's not telling anyone and he has attended very few forums where the public can ask questions.

We do know that the Rodney Davis campaign already took large donations from Exxon and the Koch brothers PAC. Both groups financed campaigns to cast doubt about the scientific consensus behind climate change.

I'll at least give Shimkus credit for the fact that no matter how many times I wrote critical blog posts (which was often) his office always responded. My questions were never ignored.