September 19, 2012

Rodney Davis has more trouble answering questions again, and again, and...

A pattern is emerging in Rodney Davis' campaign for Congress (IL-13). He's trying to run without answering tough questions or taking clear stands on controversial issues. He mostly attends private Republican events and has so far avoided public forums where he would have to answer difficult questions.

When a reporter asked about his previous support for the Ryan budget he said he supported some parts but not others. But, he wouldn't say which parts. When asked if he supported the parts that cut Medicare he "didn't want to get boxed in" by taking a position.

Then he scurried away when I asked him about climate change during a press conference about flooding. How does someone rationalize holding a press conference about flooding along the Mississippi and NOT talk about climate change?

When people posted dozens of questions on his campaign page asking for his position on climate change his campaign ignored them and deleted every single question, no matter how politely worded. During a press conference on energy policy (held at a gas station outside the district) he still managed to avoid explaining whether he shares the anti-science, conspiratorial views of his former boss, John Shimkus.

Back in June he walked away from a voter who asked if he supports the Ryan budget and ignored a group who asked if he would support a minimum wage increase. This Tuesday, Action Now gathered outside Davis' $250 a plate fundraiser at the Illini Country Club. They asked, once again, why Davis is holding private events outside the district instead of answering tough questions.

Action Now has an online petition asking Davis to hold a town hall meeting in Springfield. It makes the modest request that Davis:

  • Run a clean, transparent campaign. As working parents who hold one, two and sometimes three jobs, we cannot easily attend events if we are given only 24 hours notice. We need adequate, advance notice before a meeting is held.
  • Answer our questions. We deserve to know where Davis stands on issues that affect us, including the creation of good jobs, stopping cuts to vital services and ensuring the top 1% pay their fair share.
I won't hold my breath, but accepting their petition would show that Davis is willing to appear to groups other than the Republican party faithful.

Davis isn't the first candidate to try getting elected by ducking controversial issues. Many consultants will advise that it's a smart strategy. Sometimes it works. Usually, a candidate isn't shy about where they stand if their views are in line with the district they're running in. What it suggests is that Davis holds extremist views similar to those of his former boss, John Shimkus, and he knows that isn't the kind of Congressman most voters in Illinois' 13th district are looking for.

Then again, he might just be auditioning for a part in the traveling production of Monty Phyton's Spamalot.