Gill scrambles to explain new ad

After saying for weeks that he had no control over negative television ads produced by the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee, David Gill on Thursday had trouble explaining a new television ad that his campaign created with the DCCC.

His explanation, made during an awkward 15-minute conference call with reporters, ended abruptly when the Democratic candidate for the 13th Congressional District left the call, leaving campaign staffers to try to answer questions about the ads and how they were funded.

The audio of the conference call was quickly posted on at least two websites, including the conservative Illinois Review (illinoisreview.typepad.com).

The National Republican Congressional Committee called the conference call "a circus."

"David Gill couldn't answer questions about his hypocritical ad and his less-than-transparent approach to this bogus campaign spin," said NRCC spokeswoman Katie Prill. "Illinois families are looking for answers, but David Gill refuses to be honest. If David Gill will deceive voters about a TV ad, how can Illinois families trust that he will be in honest in Congress?"

Ironically, the NRCC ran a similar coordinated ad with Gill's Republican opponent, Rodney Davis, last month.

The coordinated ads are legal under Section 441a(d) of the Federal Election Campaign Act. Congressional campaigns across the country make use of the coordinated spending, said officials at both the NRCC and the DCCC.

Gill claimed the DCCC money for his ads came from a "special fund set aside for candidates who feel that that kind of money is strangling our democracy."

But the DCCC said only that the money came from online donors, and not from political action committees, lobbyists or corporate donors.

Gill's conference call, which began with a statement defending his ad and attacking Davis for taking money from "corporate PACs, oil companies and Wall Street bankers," spun out of control when reporters began asking questions.

Asked if he would pull an ad in which he claims that he doesn't take money from corporations, Gill said merely, "I think the statement stands for itself."

When he was asked why he didn't announce he was going to take advantage of the DCCC grass-roots funding, there was a long pause and he responded that he didn't think it would be an issue.

At times, campaign staffers on the call were left to answer questions for Gill, but they declined to identify themselves.

At a debate Wednesday night in Normal, Gill said that Davis "has taken large checks from Exxon-Mobil, from Exelon, from Marathon, from Haliburton, etcetera. My campaign refuses to do that."

But Gill has taken PAC money from labor union and other PACs.

And the DCCC has run more than $1.7 million worth of TV spots against Davis, benefiting Gill, that are paid from corporate PAC money.

Asked what makes some PAC money appropriate and other money inappropriate, he responded, "I think the PAC money that I receive comes from individuals together who I'm going to Washington to work for, that is working men and women."

But the Exelon PAC, for example, also is supported by contributions from individuals, many of whom work for the company.

Comments

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Joe American wrote on October 19, 2012 at 10:10 am

Why is it that the entire time I was reading this article, I heard the Benny Hill theme song playing as Gill scrambled into damage-control mode?

Foreshadowing of what you're going to get if he's elected??

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Gpc5_3B5xdk

 

Political Observer wrote on October 19, 2012 at 9:10 pm

Well you know, Joe American, to you that may be the “Benny Hill Theme Song,” but to a lot of the old-timers living in these here parts that’s "Yakety Sax," the song written and performed by former Decatur resident Boots Randolph, may he rest in peace.  (Remember that saxophone in “Return to Sender” by Elvis?  That was Boots playing in the background on that one, as well.)

But I know what you mean about the Benny Hill Theme Song sometimes playing in the background.  In fact, a lot of the time I find it hard not to think about the Benny Hill Show when I read a Tom Kacich article and try to figure out the strange kind of logical reasoning he seems to think he’s using when he tries to tie his arguments together.

Anyway, if you want a YouTube video that can give you a foreshadowing of what you’re going to get if Rodney Davis is elected, here’s a good one:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=eN37ue6C7Xc

Title:  "Rodney Davis thinks that Venezuela is in Central America?"

David Gill is a pretty darn smart guy, Joe, as are most of the physicians I've known.  I'd rather have a smart representative in Congress than some guy, Davis, who worked in George Ryan's Secretary of State's Office when the Bribes for Driver's Licenses Scandal was going on and in it's heyday...(and who claims he didn't have a clue that anything funny was going on at the time).  And it sure doesn't help my opinion of Mr. Davis when I can watch the video linked above and see how he thinks that Venezuela is in Central America.

As for the topic of this Tom Kacich article, if Rodney Davis really wants to get into a debate about which candidate has more dirty money flowing into his campaign warchest, do you think that that's a debate that Rodney Davis is going to win?  Is that really a debate that Rodney Davis would lilke to have?

bluegrass wrote on October 19, 2012 at 12:10 pm

In a tough conversation with a reporter?  No problem, just drop the phone and walk away.


It might be hilarious, except that this person is trying to become an elected official who will be asked to make difficult decisions on my behalf, and simply walking away to let someone else deal with the problem isn't the kind of representation we deserve.


Wake up people.  David Gill's politics are to the left of Pelosi and Reid, but taking character into account he apparently fits right in.

Political Observer wrote on October 19, 2012 at 9:10 pm

I give David Gill credit, Bluegrass, for walking away from the feeding frenzy ginned up by the Driveby Corporate Media, as they try to play, “Gotcha!” with a bit of campaign funding minutiae, while they deliberately ignore the big picture of where the Rodney Davis campaign money comes from.

In addition, you may not have noticed, but David Gill isn’t the person that should be answering their questions in the first place…The question is really where the DCCC money that went into the commercial in question came from, corporate or small online donations, so they need to be asking the DCCC the questions, not David Gill.

Let me ask you a question, if I may, Mr. Bluegrass.  Which is more important to you: (1)  Whether every dollar that funds a particular campaign commercial is non-corporate and completely kosher…or  (2)  Whether or not Rodney Davis supports the Paul Ryan budget plan?  And not just for the immediate  moment…Which issue do you think should have a greater relevance and would be a more important thing for constituents to know about in the weeks and months to come?

The reason I bring up the Paul Ryan budget plan is because there’s a link below to a nice little video showing a constituent trying to ask Mr. Davis about his views on the Paul Ryan budget plan…and if you click on it, you can see Mr. Davis just walk right away from her, trying to ignore that she even exists:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qUaqOepspf4

Title:  “Shame! Rodney Davis Pretends An IL-13 Constituent Does Not Exist!”

To paraphrase your remark:  Get an easy, highly relevant question from a future constituent?  No problem, just ignore that she even exists, and walk away, until a bodyguard can tell her to get lost.  Is that the kind of representative you and I both deserve?

bluegrass wrote on October 22, 2012 at 9:10 am

I think most would agree that these two situations are quite different.  David Gill knew he was actually talking to a reporter about a campaign issue who was asking real questions about where this money came from.  The video you refer to has someone running after Davis on the street as he's walking into a meeting or a restaurant, asking Rodney Davis, in effect, a "do you still beat your wife?" question.  The "IL-13 Constituent" starts off the question with the premise that the Ryan budget is a "death sentence" for senior citizens, and wants to know if he supports it.  I would have done the exact same thing, ignore her.  She does not give respect, so she doesn't deserve respect.


You may ask any question you like, but the bottom line is that David Gill is as far left in his politics as any in congress, and well farther than most democrats.  He may well be a smart guy, and a good physician, and just a really swell fella, but that doesn't mean he represents me.


This country is spending itself into an abyss, and the only solution dems can come up with is to step on the gas.  There are serious people who are trying to come up with real solutions to this matter, and David Gill ranks at the bottom of that list. 

poudresteve wrote on October 19, 2012 at 1:10 pm

I sure am glad that we have such a "fair and balanced" newspaper here in Champaign-Urbana.

Sid Saltfork wrote on October 21, 2012 at 1:10 pm

It is interesting that the News Gazette hangs on to propagandizing for Davis.  The State Journal Register, Springfield's one and only newspaper, is conservative in it's opinions.  They endorsed Gill today due to Gill's independent viewpoint as opposed to the appointed GOP candidate, Davis, who has not expressed his his views.  Two politically conservative newspapers; yet, one is more concerned about who represents Illinois than the other.

The ex-Miss America would have been the better choice for the GOP pols to appoint.

rsp wrote on October 21, 2012 at 1:10 pm

Having been involved with several non-profit organizations, Gill's ad would have been treated like a special expense and they would have called supporters to pay for that line item. They also are getting checks from individuals that are designated for Dr. Gill, just like I'm sure the other side is getting the same for Davis. 

Mark Taylor wrote on October 21, 2012 at 8:10 pm

Great article!!

Whatever the GOP is paying Kacich, it ain't enough.

Political Observer wrote on October 22, 2012 at 1:10 am

Yeah, you're probably right...They probably pay him an extra special bonus, that's paid for by the RNC!

mankind wrote on October 22, 2012 at 12:10 pm

If I'm feeling kind I'll say this is just a confusing article. Otherwise I'll call it a hatchet job. Mr. Kacich should have explained the issue first before throwing in all the GOP spin and gotcha details. Instead we have the GOP quote and the image of Gill fleeing the call before we even know what's going on. And by the end the "problem" still isn't clearly defined, leaving readers only with a vague sense that something bad has occurred but no clear idea what it is. Very disappointing. I thought the News-Gazette was starting to get over this kind of "journalism."

mankind wrote on October 22, 2012 at 12:10 pm

.

STM wrote on October 22, 2012 at 1:10 pm

Excuse me Blue, what's wrong with being to the left?  I never have figured out how this new-type religious/right-wing hybrid form of fantasy conservatism is helping any of us.  Personally, I like to pick and choose my issues and leave ideology to those who can't think for themselves. 

If Gill's politics are a little to the left, so be it.  I'm okay with that.  Any politician who claims they're "more conservative" than the next guy is just blowing smoke. If they point the finger and call someone a liberal, it's like "okay, so he's a liberal—why is that not a reason to vote for him?"  Liberals have brought this society many improvements.  Liberals have been for the average person and the downtrodden.   I'm so tired of blow-hard conservative ideologues, I'm going out of my way to vote against them.

...and I'm still voting for Gill.

rsp wrote on October 22, 2012 at 3:10 pm

These days anybody in the center is an extreme liberal.

dw wrote on October 22, 2012 at 4:10 pm

+1

In order to find a true liberal politician a US Citizen must look outside the box... i.e. the US border...