Daily dose: Local history, first 13th District candidates debate, Rodney Davis' poll numbers, David Gill's 'hypocrisy,' More big money

Daily dose: Local history, first 13th District candidates debate, Rodney Davis' poll numbers, David Gill's 'hypocrisy,' More big money

Local history

In 1912, supporters of the Progressive Party are planning an automobile caravan through Champaign County next week. On Monday, they’ll be in Seymour, Giblin, Ivesdale, Parkville, Pesotum, Tolono and St. Joseph. The next day, they will be in Fisher, Dewey, Rantoul, Ludlow, Gifford, Penfield, Royal and Ogden.

In 1962, University of Illinois trustees Wednesday purchased the portable basketball floor for the new Assembly Hall. The 60- by 120-foot floor by Cincinnati Floor Co. will cost $16,500. Of wooden construction, it will be rubber cushioned. It will be installed in the 16,500-seat stadium that is scheduled to open next spring.

13th District debate

Tonight's the first of three debates scheduled between the candidates in the 13th Congressional District -- well, some of the candidates in the 13th District.

It will include Republican Rodney Davis and Democrat David Gill, but not independent John Hartman.

Hartman wasn't invited, said debate organizer Steve Hunt, because he did not meet "the widely accepted practice of using the 10 percent threshold in polls for determining the participating candidates."

Hartman -- who has spent no money on advertising -- has drawn between 5 percent and 9 percent in polls taken in the district. In the most recent public poll, taken by We Ask America on Oct. 10, he got 5.55 percent.

Tonight's debate is at 6:30 p.m. at Illinois State University's Bone Student Center.

Davis' numbers

One interesting sidelight of the We Ask America poll is that Davis' support appears to be softer than Mitt Romney's in the 13th District.

While the Republican presidential candidate is drawing 48 percent in the 13th District (to 45 percent for President Obama), Davis is getting 44 percent (to 42 percent for Gill). 

That 4 percent drop is the largest among the six Illinois congressional races that We Ask America polled earlier this month.

In the 17th Congressional District, for example, where Obama leads Romney 54 percent to 41 percent, U.S. Rep. Bobby Schilling is at 46 percent — 5 percentage points better than the presidential candidate.

The 12th Congressional District race where Republican Jason Plummer faces Democrat William Enyart is the only other race where the GOP congressional candidate is running weaker than Romney. But the difference is only 2 percentage points there. Romney is at 46 percent, Plummer is at 44 percent.

Gill accused of hypocrisy

The Illinois Republican Party is accusing Gill of hypocrisy for working with the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee on a new television commercial.

Gill criticizes candidates who take corporate PAC money, a press release from the GOP says, but "coordinated with the DCCC to use DCCC corporate-backed money to pay for advertising on his behalf."

The Republicans say Gill "broke one of his most longstanding campaign pledges: his often repeated line to not take a penny of corporate money."

The tagline on the new TV spot says that it was paid for by both the Gill campaign and the DCCC.

'Independent' spending exceeds $3 million

With yesterday's infusion of $266,000 more in advertising by the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee and about $30,000 by the National Nurses United for Patient Protection, total "independent" spending in the 13th Congessional District race now exceeds $3.2 million.

That's well above the approximately $1.1 million the two candidates had spent as of Sept. 30.













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