Davis no-show an insult to voters

Davis no-show an insult to voters

U.S. Rep. Rodney Davis' decision to skip joint appearance with his primary opponents is a disservice to the public.

With just six weeks to go before the March 18 primary election, it's time for Republican and Democratic voters to start sizing up candidates running in contested party races.

One good way to do so is to follow the debates. Candidates line up side by side, give their pitch and answer questions. In doing so, they both perform a public service and meet a public obligation.

Unfortunately, incumbent Republican U.S. Rep. Rodney Davis is not participating in joint appearances with his principal opponent, Erika Harold. In following that self-serving course, Davis is ignoring his duty to participate fully in the election process — and shortchanging the voters.

It's no accident that Davis is not participating. He and party bigwigs are miffed that Harold, a local lawyer best known as a former Miss America, is challenging him for the GOP nomination. Having won a U.S. House seat in 2012 after being slated by party leaders to fill a ballot vacancy created when former U.S. Rep. Tim Johnson decided not to seek re-election, Davis expected Republicans in the sprawling 13th District to fall in line behind him.

When Harold decided to run, Davis opted not just to ignore her but to avoid any possibility of giving voters a chance to make a side-by-side comparison. With a presumed lead in the polls, Davis has apparently decided not to take the political risk a joint appearance would present.

Of course, Davis would never be so candid as to acknowledge his approach. Instead, he says he just can't find the time in his schedule to participate in a joint appearance with his primary opponent.

The local League of Women Voters is holding a forum for Democratic and Republican congressional candidates on Feb. 20 at the Champaign City Building. It starts at 7 p.m. Five of the six Democratic and Republican candidates are expected to be there.

Davis won't be because he lacks sufficient respect for his opponent and the public to show up.

Sections (2):Editorials, Opinion
Tags (1):2014 election

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Sid Saltfork wrote on February 07, 2014 at 11:02 am

An interesting article written by a conservative newspaper.  It does address the issue of a party hand picking their candidate versus allowing the voters to form their own opinions on who should be the candidate.  Less face to face, and more media ads leads to electing images rather than people.  Hopefully, the media will keep the voters informed on what PAC's, including non-profit status groups, pump money into the candidates' campaigns including how much money is funneling in.  If the Koch brothers are not involved yet, they will be by this summer. 

Has anyone ever heard Davis say something inpromtu?  Every statement seems scripted, and trite.  Take a closer look at the Farm Bill; and think about Davis' pride in his involvement in it's passage.  It is chock full of big business subsidies.  Use the sugar subsidy as an example.  Davis is an example of the fading GOP.  An open primary without party identification, and debates would put Harold over the top as the candidate.  Imagine a woman of diversity being the GOP candidate for Congress.  Naw... I still cannot imagine it.  The GOP candidate has to be caucasian male who was mentored in politics from an early employment age.  They need to be a Jim Edgar type of guy.  The old days of a pharmacist entering politics is over.  The new candidates have to be groomed for office.  Maybe, cloning is the answer in the future.  Ronald Reagan DNA is needed with a dab of Barry Goldwater.  There could be a problem with that though.  Can clones inherit money?     

Spence wrote on February 07, 2014 at 12:02 pm
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Conservative newspaper???   Hahahahahaha

Nice Davis wrote on February 08, 2014 at 12:02 pm

Do you think it's not a conservative newpaper? Please, go try to find a progressive take on an issue by this newspaper's editorial staff. I'll wait.

johnny wrote on February 08, 2014 at 7:02 pm

Imagine a woman of diversity being the GOP candidate for Congress.

I don't have to imagine it, just look to Mia Love of Utah, favored to win the open seat there.

They need to be a Jim Edgar type of guy.

"Davis is an example of the fading GOP," so instead they should go with a guy who last won twenty years ago.  Got it.

LincolnLounger wrote on February 07, 2014 at 2:02 pm

Gee, I hope the editorial writer also got down on the floor and kicked and screamed during this tantrum.

It is Erika Harold who is demonstrating "great expectations."  She is an attractive, well spoken individual who would be a marvelous standard-bearer for the GOP.  Most individuals -- take Congressman John Shimkus, for example -- start at the local level and work themselves up.  Not Erika.  This Harvard-trained, former Miss America, is ENTITLED to go directly to Congress.  Run for county office?  Nope, too important.  Run for Naomi Jakobbsen's seat?  Nope, not big enough.  Run for what could very well be a vacant senate seat if Frerichs is elected treasurer?  Certainly not!

Erika has a decided case of Potomac Fever.  The bright lights of our nation's capital beckon her like a pageant runway.

Will she be more conservative than Rodney?  Doubtful (very marginal at best.)  Will she work harder?  Probably not -- like him or loathe him, Davis is everywhere.  Does she offer better ideas?  Who knows -- she and her principal backers rely on the fact that she will be an "exciting new face" for the GOP.  Conveniently, she has ganged up with the Champaign County "temper tantrum" crowd --  "This is OUR seat, and we deserve jobs working for the federal government!!" the Shelden and Champaign GOP crowd chants.

Davis will beat her like a drum, and, trust me, I am not a fan.  That being said, I hate to see Erika's future damaged by this hubris.


BruckJr wrote on February 07, 2014 at 2:02 pm

Don't we have enough Chicago lawyers in Washington?

lovemahomet wrote on February 07, 2014 at 5:02 pm

The Republican Party in this district has certainly treated Erika unfairly, but the way she looks at the situation, if elected, she will happily answer ONLY to those who put her in office- the voters. Not party politics or special interest groups. She is a person of great intelligence and highly principled, and not likely to be pushed into "owing favors" anyway. Her campaign has been run honestly, just the way we all dream a candidate will do, but have nearly lost hope of. She is NOT just a Chicago lawyer, though she did work there for several years. She us NOT just a former Miss America or a pretty face, though she is both of those things! She is a hometown girl who wants to serve the people of this district. She does not have an "entitlement" mentality. You should really look into who she is, what she stands for, and what she wants to do for this district. After hearing her speak and answer questions ("ask me whatever you want", she said), I am in full support of her candidacy. Be an informed voter! Don't just go with the flow. Btw, News-Gazette, I'm sure you have it right! I think Rodney Davis is either hoping if he ignores Erika she'll go away, or afraid to be in the same room with her because he knows she's the better candidate in every way. Possibly, he is just so arrogant that he feels he is above such things. Regardless, it is an insult to the voters and to his opponent. I'll be voting for Erika Harold in the upcoming primary, and hopefully in the next election. 

C in Champaign wrote on February 07, 2014 at 8:02 pm

If Erika weren't the hand picked selection of Tim Johnson, she might be able to gather more support, both real and financial, outside of Champaign Urbana. The fact is that she zero, almost literally zero, financial support from inside the 13th district outside of a handful of max donors from CU. Unfortunately for her local supporters, the district is very large, and republican voters across the district do not appear to want to be dominated by a CU based and biased candidate. I do believe Erika would have been a great candidate for any one of many open races in the area, she would have been a runaway favorite for Naomi's seat given the democrat offerings. If Davis was doing a poor job, then her campaign might well have been a welcome one, but from all accounts, he is doing exactly what his supporters, including the ones from Champaign, sent him to do.

Lance Dixon wrote on February 08, 2014 at 10:02 am

A strong leader welcomes challenges. Rodney "One Term" Davis is a weak candidate, not to mention a coward. I am embarrased to be represented by such a wimp. Ann Callis will represent the working people of central illinois. Can't wait to be proud of my Congresswoman. 

Mr Dreamy wrote on February 08, 2014 at 10:02 am

Erika Harold is a fraud. From her fake being bullied at Uni High to her step on anyone at Urbana High to her coquettish act to her saying whatever she thinks the local electorate wants to hear, she has been mean, vindictive, dishonest, and pandering to get what she has wanted. Her hubris and false sense of entitlement are a recipe for disaster. We don't need politically clueless pretty faces, we need hard nosed people with proven track records of acumen and ability. Davis is little better, but he has more respect among his peers than a representative who will be more ogled than listened to by her caucus. 

If I was going to vote for a dishonest politician, I'd sooner vote for George Ryan.