Johnson is urging Gill and Republican Rodney Davis to stop the attack ads running rampant through their campaigns. Johnson said in a letter to all three candidates in the race, including independent John Hartman, that the Super PAC spenders are not truly independent of the campaigns.
The DCCC and NRCC ads, says Johnson, must end and the candidates have the power to stand against such negativity.
Here's Gill's response:
October 2, 2012
Representative Timothy Johnson
1207 Longworth House Office Building
Washington, DC 20515
Dear Congressman Johnson,
It's good to hear from you. I apologize for my delay in responding to your letter, but I've been campaigning non-stop across the district in recent days.
I too am disappointed by the negative tone of these Super PACs. They started running attack ads against me almost two months ago. Over $1 million had been spent against me on TV and radio as of October 1, 2012. My opponent and various Super PACs and national committees have plans to spend millions more.
I make my own decisions about the campaign and I don't take my cues from politicians or Washington committees. I've been telling my story and talking about who I am and what I care about—and the voters are responding.
Friends of David Gill has not aired a negative TV commercial or radio commercial so far in this race. I would prefer it if the DCCC, the NRCC, the American Action Network, the US Chamber of Commerce, the New Prosperity Foundation, and the Rodney Davis for Congress campaign hadn't chosen to immediately take that approach either.
While I can express my disappointment with this negativity and hope these groups follow my lead, I have no control over the decisions of the DCCC or any other third party group. As you know, the one thing I can control is what my own campaign does.
This fall, my campaign has released exclusively positive TV and radio ads that talk honestly to voters about the issues and about who I am. I have also chosen to not accept a penny from corporate PACS or Wall Street bankers.
On the day he was selected by 14 Republican County Chairmen as your party's candidate for Congress, I challenged Mr. Davis to run an issues based, grassroots campaign and reject all contributions from corporate political action committees and Wall Street bankers and lobbyists. Rodney chose to immediately begin to rake in money from Exxon Mobil, Koch Industries and others while he turned around and promised to protect tax breaks for billionaires and corporations "forever."
When Rodney Davis accepts my challenge and returns the Wall Street and corporate money he has already collected, along with halting his campaign’s negative advertising, I'll stand at a press conference with him and demand an end to all outside spending.
Perhaps you can issue another challenge to Mr. Davis since the tone of the race has disturbed you? I challenged Rodney to repudiate a blatantly false commercial being aired against me right now by the US Chamber of Commerce. It features a businesswoman from Minnesota who outsources jobs to China. It's an insult to the people of central and southwest Illinois who have suffered and lost jobs to foreign countries due to our flawed trade deals. So far, Rodney is hiding behind the US Chamber, corporate funders and former Congressmen and Governors instead of standing up for anything.
You and I both know, the people of the new 13th Congressional District deserve much better than that.
Dr. David Gill
Democrat for Congress