13th Congressional District Race: Fact Checking the Ads
The ads and the allegations in one of the area's hotly contested Congressional races are heating up with just seven weeks before voters head to the polls.
The campaigns for the candidates in the 13th Congressional districtare spending hundreds of thousands of dollars on television ads.
But, behind all of the negativity and name-calling, is any of the information true?
Republican and Democratic organizations at the national level are the ones behind the negative ads. The television spots tend to be more aggressive because a candidate isn't associated with them or shown approving the message.
AD: "End run around the law. Insider rodney davis. George Ryan got him started, now davis supports the Paul Ryan plan to end the Medicare guarantee."
Davis worked for former governor George Ryan.
But, it was during Ryan's term as Secretary of State from 1992 to 1997.
AD: "For Rodney Davis, it wasn't enough to be on George Ryan's secret clout list of political insiders. Davis also admitted his role in a scheme that skirted campaign contribution limits."
Davis' name was added to what his campaign calls a "master list" of a number of Republicans and Democrats by Ryan's chief of staff.
But, his campaign says it was done without his consent or knowledge. And he never asked for political help.
"You've got both sides essentially hoping they can fool the voters," said UIS Political Studies Professor Kent Redfiield.
AD: "David Gill supports keeping the new healthcare law, gutting medicare. But Gill wanted to go farther, forcing each American into government-run healthcare. And to pay for it, Gill supported a new income tax. "
He wants to give all Americans the choice to buy in to Medicare.
He's on record saying he'd allow tax cuts for people making more than $250,000 a year to expire.
AD: "It would be a 2 percent tax, it'd do away with your Medicare, because Medicare would no longer exist. David Gill. His plan would end Medicare."
Gill opposes cuts to Medicare.
His campaign says expanding the program to include everyone would mean Medicare would no longer exist in its current form.
They say the ad misrepresents what Gill said during a debate.
"If you don't know who Rodney Davis or David Gill are, and the first thing you hear about them is negative, that's hard to overcome," Redfield said.
That's exactly why the parties spend big money on the negative ads.
Redfield says shaping first impressions and manipulating opinions can make a difference.Davis and Gill aren't the only candidates in the race. John Hartman, an independent, is also running for the seat.
The newly-drawn 13th Congressional district stretches from Collinsville to Bloomington, and Springfield to Champaign