'Dear Rodney Davis, Where Are You?'

'Dear Rodney Davis, Where Are You?'

CHAMPAIGN — For Pat Tymchyshyn of Champaign, the ability to immigrate to the United States is a treasured privilege.

"I care about immigrants and worry about them," said the woman whose husband, Roman, immigrated to the United States from the Ukraine after the end of World War II. "Immigrants need to come back and forth for jobs."

Tymchyshyn joined area residents taking part in a letter-writing party Monday at the Champaign Public Library, sponsored by the C-U Immigration Forum.

People sat down at two long tables and wrote letters to their congressman, U.S. Rep. Rodney Davis, R-Taylorville, giving their views on immigration issues.

Diana Mosher of Champaign said she wrote Davis expressing opposition to President Donald Trump's executive order on the subject.

"I was really disappointed with the election results in November," Mosher said. "That really turned me into a political activist. I am learning about politics and see how important it is to reach out to Congressman Davis."

Kevin Sandefur traveled from his hometown of St. Joseph to take part in the letter-writing party.

"We need to tell Congressman Davis how the people in his district feel," he said. "I feel that America was built by immigrants, and they are an essential part of our economy today. Discrimination is not the quality we want to be known for as a country."

Sandefur's wife, Laura, called on Davis to hold a face-to-face town hall event in the district — not a "tele-town hall," as he's planning on holding tonight.

"When you stand up in front of the people and say you want this job, there is an obligation that you will interact with those people, whether you agree with them or not," she said.

The C-U Immigration Forum provided the paper, envelopes, stamps and other supplies for the letters. As each participant completed a letter and dropped it into a box at the library, a bell was rung.

"Immigration and how we treat people who visit our country is very important to me," said Karen Medina of Champaign. "Rodney Davis has not done a very good job of representing his constituents. I would like him to speak out against what President Trump has done with his executive orders banning Muslims from certain countries. I think that's unconstitutional."

"This immigration ban strikes at everything that this country has stood for for an awfully long time," said Frank Chadwick of Rantoul. "It is clearly a religious-based ban. It is based on fear and setting people against other people."

Bernadette Easley of Champaign expressed concern that Trump's proposal to build a wall will draw a damaging divide between the U.S. and Mexico.

"I am opposed to the wall, but I am really opposed to deporting people for non-security reasons," she said.

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chief21 wrote on February 14, 2017 at 8:02 am

Why would you go to a meeting where a bunch of rude, obnoxious people are going to scream at you for 2 hours? I wonder if Mr. Brady from Mahomet would like to attend and give his views on the immigration issue?

moderndaycowboy wrote on February 14, 2017 at 8:02 am

Because it's his job.

mstook423 wrote on February 14, 2017 at 12:02 pm

It is not his job to show up and be shouted down by a bunch of screaming fools.  If people would be civil and allow an intelligent conversations then I imagine he would have a town hall.  Free speech does not mean you can shout people off the podium.  Look at what happened when Governor Rauner was in C-U last year.  He was not allowed speak.  Free speech does not allow someone to interupt an event.

Joe American wrote on February 14, 2017 at 12:02 pm



Not one of these people voted for him. It's not like he's going to lose their vote or anything.

Dread Pirate DNT wrote on February 14, 2017 at 6:02 pm
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Bingo. That's why people like you and Rodney have no place in public office. He only cares about people who vote for him. His constituents include all of his district, not only those who vote for him.

Davis hasn't held a town hall meeting in Champaign County so there is no basis for saying he will be shouted down. As an independent voter it is very clear to me that Rodney is scared to answer the most important questions from the people he is overpaid to represent. Once he saw Trump going nuts on any public official who disagrees with his racist policies, Davis got in line real quick and kissed his master's hand.

Davis will be gone in less than 2 years and Trump will be gone in less than 4.

Let's all hold on for dear life until then.

justthefacts wrote on February 14, 2017 at 8:02 am

You go to those meetings because that is part of your job. It is what you signed up for. If you can't stand the heat get out of the kitchen.

Joe American wrote on February 14, 2017 at 12:02 pm

Do you have any clue about how government works?

787 wrote on February 14, 2017 at 8:02 am

It might be a little easier to acknowledge and accept what these people are doing, if it wasn't so blatently partisan.

Local Yocal wrote on February 14, 2017 at 8:02 am
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Davis, as part of his job, should meet with constituents who may be blantantly biased in a number of areas. Should not Davis field questions regarding immigration and healthcare, no matter the views of the questioners? Representative government requires the representing to answer to the represented.

sneezingdog wrote on February 14, 2017 at 9:02 am
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A group called IL-13th Congressional District Constituents is organizing Town Hall meetings in various 13th District locations, including CU, Blono, Decatur, and Springfield. The CU Town Hall is scheduled for March 5th at 2 pm in the afternoon, on the 4th floor of the Bus Station in Champaign.  The topic is the ACA. Davis has been officially invited. There will be a panel of local experts to discuss the ACA and repeal, in case Davis doesn't show.


217townie wrote on February 14, 2017 at 9:02 am

What range of so-called experts will be there? Is this going to be a fair and neutral discussion?

Joe American wrote on February 14, 2017 at 12:02 pm

Google their group.  You'll find nothing.  It's likely a newly formed group made up of washed up hippies and millenials, merely for the sake of trying to get him to show up.


They want a face to face so they can shout him down, like that accomplishes anything. 


Let them just call in on their Obama phones.  Oh, wait.

sneezingdog wrote on February 14, 2017 at 4:02 pm
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@Joe American. @217 Townie Yep, the group is newly formed. What's wrong with that? Since Rep Davis refuses to hold face-to-face town halls, we thought we would organize one and invite him. If he comes, the presenters will yield the floor to him. Contrary to what Joe American says, and as stated in the invitation sent to rep Davis, this will be a forum for a civil and informed discussion. we want to get at the facts.  Not all of the presenters are set, but there will be at least one doctor and a representative from the Champaign County Health Care Consumers, which a local not-for-profit that engages in health care education and not political advocacy. Seriously, I don't think this is a blue-red issue. It is an economic issue.  All of the replacement strategies I have looked at indicate that for many people, health insurance is going to cost more and possibly provide less, and leave some people covered now uncovered.  Joe American and 217townie, out of your own self-interest, you should try to figure out whether this will take money out of your pockets.  It will for me (65 and on Medicare)  The same will be true for anyone in you families on Medicare.  I strongly suggest we drop the political rhetoric and figure out the facts here.  You can start here with an article from CNN, hardly a leftist rag.  http://money.cnn.com/2017/01/02/news/economy/repealing-obamacare-health-insurance/

Dread Pirate DNT wrote on February 14, 2017 at 6:02 pm
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They won't read it. They would rather hurt and kill millions of people than to turn off Alex Jones for 5 minutes to understand how bad they will very possibly have it.

Patriot2 wrote on February 14, 2017 at 9:02 am

Its not his job to go to town hall meetings. That his choice. He is elected  and then goes to Washington DC. I can't blame him for not going to townhall meetings when the alt left will only go and start screaming. Their goal is to shut down the meetings and free speech of those they disagee with.  

Also Davis and republicans are not against legal immigration. They are against illegal immigration. Why is that so hard for the left to understand? They are also for vetting of people and yes banning them from the USA if they have the potential to do harm here or don't exept American values. 

217townie wrote on February 14, 2017 at 9:02 am

Cosign. Very, very well said.

sneezingdog wrote on February 14, 2017 at 4:02 pm
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@Patriot2 and @217townie  Here's what you're missing. Not everyone concerned about health care is "alt left" (whatever that means).  Some people, like me, who will shortly be on a fixed income and likely to suffer medical problems as they age (I'm 65)  are worried about what the plans to replace will cost us.  As I've said before, this is an economic issue (not a political issue) and out of your own self-interest, you should try to figure out how this will affect you and your hard earned cash.  You might be unpleasantly surprised, and if that's true, better to know now when you have time to try to influence the result.  So let's stop the political rhetoric (that means you as well) and look at the facts. Here's a place you can start. http://money.cnn.com/2017/01/02/news/economy/repealing-obamacare-health-...

BTW, @Patriot2, I respectfully disagree that it is not part of Rep Davis' job to talk to us.  In a very real sense, we are his boss. Each of us is footing part of the $174K he makes per year, and his health care (a Cadillac plan) and his pension.

Brad Cortright wrote on February 20, 2017 at 9:02 pm

Sens. Tom Cotton, R-Ark., and David Perdue, R-Ga recently introduced a bill that would reduce legal immigration to the USA by 50%.  This is not a temporary reduction.  So explain again how the Republicans are not against legal immigration?

cjw61822@hotmail.com wrote on February 14, 2017 at 9:02 am

When was the last time Durbin, Kirk, Duckworth, Bennett, Ammons, Rose, Brown and Hays scheduled a town hall meeting.  You wanna hate on Davis, yoiu need to hate on all of them.

Joe American wrote on February 14, 2017 at 12:02 pm

"Diana Mosher of Champaign said she wrote Davis expressing opposition to President Donald Trump's executive order on the subject. 'I was really disappointed with the election results in November,' Mosher said. "That really turned me into a political activist. I am learning about politics and see how important it is to reach out to Congressman Davis."

Oh, bless her heart.  Isnt' that cute?  She sat back all happy and cute and stuff for the past eight years while the country fell to pieces, but now that we've got the "mean parent" in office who has to tell all of his spoiled brat kids that things are changing, now she gets involved in politics.

CallSaul wrote on February 14, 2017 at 2:02 pm

'Tea party' bigots said Obama wasn't an American and called him a 'secret Muslim.'

They spat on John Lewis and called him the n-word.

And now right wingers are falling into their fainting couches because people express disagreement with extreme rightwing Trump Republicans...?

I guess we shouldn't be surprised. They've always exhibited such double standards...

Patriot2 wrote on February 14, 2017 at 3:02 pm

No one spit or called John Lewis anything. That was made up. I remember at the time people were offering money to anyone who could produce a video of that happening. They just made it up to raise money.

217townie wrote on February 14, 2017 at 3:02 pm

That sounds about right, I don't remember this and certainly sounds made up. Hey, did the above really just compare "calling" BHO unamerican to literal riots in the streets of major cities? Seems legit. Again, I personally don't love Trump but I respect him as our current POTUS. Just like I respected the office while BHO held it. But due to the last POTUS and the situations HE created, the American people elected someone they thought would have a good chance in cleaning it up. Guess what? The transition of power has come and gone. I don't think that enforcing the laws of our land is far-right, alt-right or bigoted.

CallSaul wrote on February 14, 2017 at 4:02 pm

Rightwingers just deny this as a matter of faith. 

The fact that no one has made any video of it public is in no way proof that it didn't happen. 

Given Lewis's record and repuation as a truth teller and a person of great integrity, I tend to doubt very much that he'd make up such a thing.

Especially when taken together with the many, many pieces of evidence of racism and bigotry being espoused by so many 'tea party' rally goers.

Even former mayor Schwighart spouted the racist birther conspiracy theory at a local tea party rally and he was voted out of office for his blatant racism.

But now rightwiingers get the vaoprs when voters express disagreement with a rightwing Republican who is sucking up to Trump at a furious rate.

No doubt Davis will join other Republicans in covering up Putin's reach into Trump's administration.

That's fine. 2018 will be here soon...

Truth Squad wrote on February 14, 2017 at 2:02 pm

Funny the hypocrisy of the left who all praised Rep. Davis when he stood up to Donald Trump's crude statements toward women, but now want to call him the worst person in the world because he disagrees with them. 

He doesn't owe anyone a town hall. And for paid union and sjw's to show up to a library and scream at him for two hours is unproductive. 

If you want to influence him, sit down, hand write him a letter, and send it to his office in DC. Guaranteed he'll see the good ones. Don't spam him with phone calls (they're getting inundated by out of district phone calls), and email doesn't help you AT ALL. 


And, Tim Mitchell, do we really need to praise Kevin Sandefur for traveling ALL THE WAY from St. Joe? Do they still get around by horse and buggy in eastern Champaign County? Let's write like it's 2017, please.

Sid Saltfork wrote on February 17, 2017 at 12:02 pm

Kinda like letters to Santa Claus...?  Sad that in the Digital Age, letters still must be used.  At least, Davis is helping out the US Postal Service.

"He doesn't owe anyone a town hall" is partially correct.  It will affect his future campaign, and career though.  Davis anxiously kissed the ring while other republicans kept their distance.  Davis has tied his political career to Trump's political career.  SAD.....

Correction:  Union members are not paid to demonstrate, or ask questions.  Davis does receive pay for travel, and answering questions.  I am sorry, but I have no idea what is a "sjw" means.  What does it mean?

wykhb wrote on February 18, 2017 at 12:02 pm

I don't elect or pay politicians to pout and not work, so it's far more likely I will vote once again for Rodney Davis and Governor Rauner.  You really haven't played a game until you have an actual opposing team, welcome to the big leagues, all your teams are losing, I understand it's frustrating, but victory dancing without bothering to pick up the ball and try to run with it was a bad strategy. 

Sid Saltfork wrote on February 19, 2017 at 1:02 pm

As much as I expected.....  Keep the blinders on, or you will miss the world happening around you.

Sid Saltfork wrote on February 16, 2017 at 2:02 pm

Enough of the Dems Versus the Repubs junk. 

People, not political parties, want to know our Congress member's plans for representing them on important issues.  Health Care, Education, Infrastructure, Immigration, Investigative Congressional plans, EPA, and state Economic Improvement.  People want to know how the Congress member's planned action on issues will affect them.  Whether they be members of political parties, independents, parents, farmers, small business owners, aged, women, men, and employees; they want transparency.  They do not want a Congress member hiding under his desk.  If he is working, let the people know what he is working on.


wykhb wrote on February 18, 2017 at 12:02 pm

If we had an honest press perhaps we could reliably get that information.   No one has time to personally brief you on everything that occurs, you as a citizen can freely look that information up.  It is after all what you pay the cable company, internet company, and newspapers for.    

CallSaul wrote on February 18, 2017 at 7:02 pm

And of course the trumpkins lap up Trump's lies about 'fake news.'

Polls show tha majority of Republicans love and support Trump and the insanity he's neck deep in already.

The rest of the country is delivering record disapproval rates for the insane clown.

But Republicans --- who are now nothing more than the party of Trump --- close their eyes and dismiss the majority's loathing of Trump as fake news.

Just as the majority of Republicans believe Obama isn't really American and that he's a secret Muslim.

They put their party of Trump and their partisan tribal loyalty ahead not just of the country and humanity at large, but even ahead of reality and facts.

They retreat to their comfortable delusional bubble and convince themselves that Trump helms a 'finely tuned machine' and they're already sick of so much winning.

This is how authoritarians get and maintain power. We all know what the majority of the trumpkins would be doing and wearing had they been around in Germany in the 30s and early 40s...

Sid Saltfork wrote on February 19, 2017 at 2:02 pm

Well, you have to go sort of easy on them though.  Elections are local, state, and federal intelligence tests. 

The 4 Year Presidential test gives insight into the mentality of the voters.  Add the increase in digital media, unverified news, loss of a verified news media, and cartoons to the mix.  I expect, at some point in time, the right-wingers will elect Max Headroom as president.

Sid Saltfork wrote on February 19, 2017 at 2:02 pm

"An honest press"?  For goodness sake, the News Gazette is running the articles locally while other newspapers, radio stations, and television stations across the state are doing the same.  Do you really believe that Rodney cannot respond to an "honest press"?  Come on, Kelly Ann...........

Glock21 wrote on February 17, 2017 at 10:02 am

N-G didn't even cover it... or any of the problems with the access to it. 


Didn't even bother. This is my last comment on N-G... even blogs at least had information about the failures and the summary. I've canceled my subscription and this is my last comment. You're a joke and I honestly feel like an idiot for subscribing in the first place. You aren't even journalists anymore. You're a crime blotter and wire news and racists letter to the editors.


Shame on you. I gave you a chance... you failed my lowest of expectations. Shame on you.

David Prochaska wrote on February 20, 2017 at 3:02 pm

I respect conservatives, and Republicans, who may support Trump, but who have the honesty to at least disagree with him on some things.

Rodney Davis is not one of those.

A Republican, and a conservative, David Brooks says, ”Even after these horrible four weeks, Republicans on Capitol Hill are not close to abandoning their man.” https://www.nytimes.com/2017/02/17/opinion/what-a-failed-trump-administration-looks-like.html?ribbon-ad-idx=3&rref=opinion&module=Ribbon&version=context®ion=Header&action=click&contentCollection=Opinion&pgtype=article

Where’s Rodney Davis?

Doubling down. Ducking for cover holding a 45 minute ‘tele-townhall’ with 7,500 people. Disparaging constituents who want a real town meeting.

Acting un-American. Anti-democratic.

Like the Trumps and Ryans, whom he shills for, he is deeply, deeply dishonest.

On the behind-closed-doors Republican caucus vote to eliminate the Office of Congressional Ethics – later called off after Trump’s critical tweet -- Davis refused to say that he voted in favor (even Shimkus had the courage of his ultraconservative convictions to say that he had voted yes http://www.news-gazette.com/news/local/2017-01-03/shimkus-favors-changes...).

On Trump’s Muslim ban, Davis demagoued the issue. “…to call this a Muslim ban is completely false and frankly is dangerous because it fuels the terrorist rhetoric.” http://www.news-gazette.com/news/local/2017-01-30/davis-throws-support-b...

This is demagoguery, because Davis denies that a Muslim ban is a Muslim ban – whether it is of seven countries or every country with Muslims. And then he attacks those who call it a Muslim ban “because it fuels the terrorist rhetoric,” which is precisely what Davis -- not his critics -- is doing. Here Davis demonstrates that he can lie with the worst.

On repealing and replacing Obamacare with something good, if not better, Davis wants us to trust him. To believe on the basis of no facts whatsoever that because he is compassionate -- “one of the most important parts to me, as the husband of a cancer survivor,…” -- the new plan will be good.

Below compare what Davis says, first, with what the New York Times says, second.

Where’s Rodney? Making America Sick Again


Davis Speaks About Repealing and Replacing Obamacare Washington, DC, January 13, 2017
U.S. Rep. Rodney Davis (R-Ill.) today spoke on the House floor about repealing and replacing Obamacare…

Text of Davis’ prepared remarks:

Mr. Speaker, Obamacare is not working…

We know this because the average increase for plans in Illinois were between 45 and 55 percent this year, and in some states reaching more than a hundred-percent increase.

We know it’s not working because 31 million people are underinsured, meaning they can’t afford to use the insurance they have – deductibles are simply too high.

It’s not enough to judge this law simply by the number of people who are insured, since it mandates them to buy insurance anyway…

We know it’s not working because insurance companies now have a monopoly in many parts of the country where people only have one provider to choose from.

Obamacare is collapsing on itself.

Some say, “then why not work to fix it?”

But it doesn’t work like that.

To know why it’s not that simple, let’s remember how we got here – how Obamacare was passed…

The 27-hundred-page law was rushed through Congress – remember the line, “we have to pass the bill so that you can find out what’s in it?”

And then that led to 20,000 pages of regulations for that ONE bill.

It’s going to take time to untangle this complicated law and we want to do it in a way that is least disruptive to the American people.

The last thing we want to do is repeat history and force a bill on the American people that doesn’t lower costs or increase coverage.

But taking this first step to repeal should NOT be mistaken for supporting the status quo or for not having a replacement plan.

We have a plan for fixing our health care system – it’s laid out in “A Better Way.”

Our plan includes providing refundable tax credits for families to purchase health insurance, increasing competition to lower premiums, allowing people to stay on their parents’ health plans until age 26…

And one of the most important parts to me, as the husband of a cancer survivor, is our plan protects those with pre-existing conditions and will help them find truly affordable care.

And the list goes on.

But today’s vote simply sets in motion a process that will allow us to both repeal and replace Obamacare with reforms that will actually drive down costs, a promise the Affordable Care Act was not able to deliver.


Ryancare: You Can Pay More for Less!


President Trump promised to replace the Affordable Care Act with something that is better, is cheaper and covers more people. Scratch that. Republican leaders in the House and Mr. Trump’s secretary of health and human services released a plan last week that would provide insurance that is far inferior, shift more medical costs onto families and cover far fewer people.

In a half-baked policy paper released on Thursday, the House speaker, Paul Ryan, trotted out washed-up ideas for “improving” the country’s health care system that would do anything but. For example, the paper calls for reducing spending on Medicaid, which now provides insurance to more than 74 million poor, disabled and older people. Many millions of them would be cast out of the program. The Republican plan would also force most people who don’t get their health insurance through an employer to pay more by slashing subsidies that the A.C.A., or Obamacare, now provides. The proposal would allow families to sock away more money in health savings accounts, which may sound good at first but would primarily benefit affluent people who can afford to save more.

The paper is Mr. Ryan’s blueprint for effectively repealing and replacing Obamacare. Unsurprisingly, he and his colleagues offered no estimates of how many people would lose coverage or how much premiums and deductibles would rise for middle-class and poor families. Yet those missing details did not stop the Trump administration’s top health official from embracing the proposal. Tom Price, the secretary of health and human services and a former Ryan lieutenant in the House, said the president “is all in on this.”

To understand how far out of the mainstream the House Republican plan is, consider its ideas for Medicaid. It would roll back the A.C.A. provisions that helped more than 11 million people gain Medicaid coverage. Republican governors like John Kasich of Ohio and Rick Snyder of Michigan have praised the expansion because it has helped reduce uncompensated care at hospitals and provided addiction treatment to people suffering from the opioid epidemic. “Thank God we expanded Medicaid, because that Medicaid money is helping to rehab people,” Mr. Kasich said last month.

Next, the Republicans want to slash spending on Medicaid over all by giving states the option of a block grant or a per capita allotment. The current program pays for the health care of everyone who is eligible. During recessions, when the number of people in poverty increases, the government spends more. Without the flexibility that was built into Medicaid, Congress would have to vote to give states more money when health care costs rise. Politically, that is in the “impossible dream” category, which is why most experts believe that, over time, states would cover fewer people and cut benefits.

Another pillar of the Republican proposal scraps the income-based Obamacare subsidies that help families buy affordable insurance. Instead, Mr. Ryan wants to offer a flat subsidy that would be the same whether families earn $500,000 or $50,000. Residents of Minnesota would get the same support as residents of Alaska, where premiums on average are three times as high. The subsidies would vary by age to give older people more support, but the Republicans have not said how much more.

The House proposal is part of a broader attack on the A.C.A. Last week, the Department of Health and Human Services proposed regulatory changes to the law, one of which would allow insurers to reduce benefits and force people to pay higher deductibles on future policies. And the Internal Revenue Service said it would no longer require people to answer a question on their tax returns about whether they had insurance the previous year. The question remains on the form, but filers can chose not to answer it. Under Obamacare, people must buy insurance or pay a penalty enforced by the I.R.S. By backing off, the I.R.S. will encourage people to forgo insurance and take a chance that it will not seek more information or penalize them. When fewer people, especially the young and healthy, buy insurance, overall costs go up, because the people who do sign up tend to need more medical care.

Congress is in recess this week. If people can reach their representatives and senators — many lawmakers have cowardly canceled town halls to avoid angry constituents — they can send a strong message that Americans want legislation that improves health care and makes it more affordable for everyone, not the opposite.