“Betsy Dirksen Londrigan won a hard-fought Democratic primary, which highlighted how strongly her message resonates with Illinois voters,” said DCCC Chairman Ben Ray Luján. “After watching her son fight a life-threatening illness, Betsy understands as well as anyone what is at stake when Washington Republicans slash affordable health care and demand that families like hers pay more for less coverage. As a mother, entrepreneur, and non-profit leader, Betsy is well-positioned to win this race in November.”
To: Interested Parties
From: Jacob Peters, DCCC Regional Press Secretary
Date: March 20, 2018
RE: The Case Against Rep. Rodney Davis
As someone who has never been anything but a political staffer or a politician, Rep. Rodney Davis is at home in the Washington D.C. swamp. In the first year of unified Republican control of Washington, there was hardly a single thing that Rep. Rodney Davis disagreed with Washington Republicans on. Nearly every time that Rodney Davis and Speaker Paul Ryan cast a vote together, they agreed – 95% of the time.
Despite what Rodney Davis may say, or how many times he jams the word bipartisan into a press release, he is a reliable vote for the Washington Republican agenda. Rodney Davis voted to leave 36,000 people in his district without health care and raise premiums, and then he went to the White House to celebrate it. He voted for a tax bill that gives 83% of its benefits to the wealthiest 1% of Americans at the expense of many in the middle class, and then went to the White House to celebrate it. Rodney Davis has clearly lost touch with the needs of families in Illinois, and he’s putting Washington politics and special interests ahead of getting things done for working people at home.
Betsy Dirksen Londrigan is a mother, small business owner and former teacher who stepped up to run for Congress when she saw Rodney Davis and Washington Republicans vote to take health care away from families like hers and raise their costs. After watching her son fight a life-threatening illness, Betsy understands the importance of access to affordable health care, and she will always fight to put middle class jobs and families first.
WHAT THEY’RE SAYING
Champaign News-Gazette: It’s Still Early, But Danger Could Await Davis In ’18. [11/19/17]
The State Journal-Register: ACA repeal inspires Londrigan’s U.S. House run [02/28/2018]
“Calling her ‘our strongest candidate to turn this district over to a Democratic member of Congress,’ U.S. Sen. Dick Durbin on Saturday endorsed Betsy Londrigan of Springfield in the four-way race for Congress in Illinois’ 13th District.” [Champaign News-Gazette, 11/05/2017]
Inside Elections: House Seats You Think Can’t Flip but Might [01/10/2018]
Rep. Rodney Davis: A Cookie Cutter Republican
Sells out in Washington, Disappears in Illinois
Rodney Davis really has this politician thing figured out, and he should, seeing as he’s been doing it his whole life. In Washington, Rodney Davis votes the party line and stands by the special interests that fund his campaigns. But back in Illinois, Davis doesn’t even show up to explain himself. He has called town halls “grandstanding events,” been called out for avoiding holding constituent meetings in certain parts of his district, and for disappearing entirely during a district work period. It’s gotten to the point where Davis’ constituents have replaced him with a cardboard cutout.
Won’t Stop Attacking Health Care
Even after hearing dire concern and seeing widespread protests from his constituents, Rodney Davis went along with Paul Ryan’s health care bill that would have left nearly 36,000 fewer people in his central Illinois district without insurance. It would have also raised their already high health care costs, imposed an age tax on seniors, and taken $40 billion in Medicaid funding from the state of Illinois. But Rodney Davis wasn’t done. The GOP tax scam he supported gutted the Affordable Care Act and could lead to a 19 percent premium increase in Illinois this year. And because of how that bill blew up the deficit, it has opened the door to Washington Republicans gutting Social Security, Medicare, and Medicaid. For as long as Davis is in office, he won’t stop trying to come after Illinois families’ health care.
Put Corporations Ahead of Workers with Tax Bill
Hardworking families in Illinois have always seen this Washington Republican tax scam for what it really is – a giveaway for big corporations and millionaires at the expense of the middle class. But if you thought Rodney Davis was going to buck both party leaders and corporate special interests to side with his constituents, then you don’t know Rodney Davis. This tax scam gives 83% of its benefits to the wealthiest 1% of Americans, while millions of middle class families – especially those in high-tax states like Illinois – pay more over time. Unlike middle class families, corporations, banks, and pharmaceutical companies make out like bandits, and receive increased incentives for companies to move jobs overseas.
THE PATH TO VICTORY
Betsy Dirksen Londrigan has deep roots in central Illinois and raised her family there while working as a self-employed entrepreneur. In an environment where health care is certain to be a defining issue, Londrigan’s personal experience as the mother of a son with a pre-existing condition will resonate with voters of all stripes who are tired of politicians trying to rip away their health insurance. Londigran focused on that message in her paid communications in the primary, laying a strong foundation for the general election. In addition to her persuasive message, Londrigan emerged from a competitive primary by consolidating support from prominent local leaders and outraising the field. Londrigan raised $571,062 through the end of February.
IL-13 is a traditionally Democratic district that hasn’t seen a strong challenger to Rodney Davis since his first election. Almost evenly split between suburban and rural, the district has a powerful and engaged Democratic base in Champaign. It supported President Obama in 2008 with 55.6% of the vote, and 49.8% in 2012. President Trump won IL-13 by just five percentage points, and Senator Tammy Duckworth outperformed Clinton by more than six points to carry nearly 50% of the vote in the district.