Gill, Davis, Spar Over Ads, Health Care, in Second Debate
By Jeff Bossert
The issue of negative campaign ads quickly made its way into the second debate between two of the candidates for Illinois’ 13th Congressional District.
In Springfield Wednesday night, Bloomington Democrat David Gill was again accused of using funds from the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee. Republican Rodney Davis of Taylorville says Gill broke a campaign pledge, stating there’s no grass roots fund of private donors.
"It’s ironic that in the same commercial, you say you won’t take a penny of corporate PAC money, it’s the same commercial is that’s paid for by corporate PAC money. You broke your pledge, David.”
Gill denied the claim, saying unlike Davis, he’s taken a stand against ‘corporate dominance’, accepting only small, online donations through the DCCC.
“I’ve signed a pledge that I’d like to work toward a constitutional amendment to undo the impact of Citizens United, so that we can get the money out of politics, but this is what happens when all that funding comes in from corporate America and the Wall Street banks," he said.
Independent John Hartman has no campaign ads, saying he prefer the focus of the race shift to foreign policy or the environment.
“I think the media has been caught up in a gladiator sport of negative advertising. And I know that people expect better from us, and this is not the way it’s supposed to be.”
The topic of health care found its way into the conversation Wednesday, even when debate panelists were on other topics.
Davis favors a market-based approach of selling insurance across state lines. He believes that plan would make the market more competitive. Davis says having the ability to choose providers allowed for proper diagnosis of his wife, who’s a colon cancer survivor.
But Gill, an emergency room physician, says a market-based approach doesn’t mean much to people who can’t afford private health insurance.
“What I would ask – I can’t think of anything more hypocritical than watching that save your wife’s life and denying that then to all the American citizens that could use that very thing, and have our country be healthier and wealthier in the process," he said.
Davis responded by saying he wants all Americans to be able to choose their own medical destiny, but refutes the idea that a House measure Gill supports seeks Medicare for all.
“It is not Medicare for all – it would destroy Medicare as we know it," he said. "You’ve even said it in your own words David. This is a plan that would create a bureaucracy that will cost $1.7 trillion per year. And wouldn’t allow new clinics, new doctor’s office to be cited without federal government approval.”
Davis also pledges he’ll vote to repeal the Affordable Care Act, calling it a $2.6 dollar boondoggle.
Hartman simply chose to endorse the legislation, saying it will cover 32-million more Americans.
“After decades of trying to get a comprehensive health care bill in this country, we’ve got one," he said. "I’m afraid if we repeal it, we’ll have nothing again, and we’ll go backwards on those 32-million Americans, and that is unconscionable.”
The debate was hosted by WICS Channel 20 in Springfield, and held at the Hoagland Center for the Arts.
The third and final debate between the 13th district candidates will be Thursday, November 1st at 7 p.m. at WILL TV. It will also be carried live on AM 580, WCIX-TV, and streamed live at will.illinois.edu.