18 September 2012

Another group to buy ads criticizing Gill

Another group to buy ads criticizing Gill

The News Gazette

Tom Kacich


Another so-called “independent” group has entered the 13th Congressional District race in opposition to Democrat David Gill.

The American Action Network announced it would spend up to $350,000 on anti-Gill television and digital advertising in the congressional district that runs from Champaign-Urbana southwest to the Illinois suburbs of St. Louis.

The Federal Election Commission reported that the American Action Network already has spent $183,748 on television and Internet advertising to oppose Gill. The Bloomington physician is opposed by Republican Rodney Davis and independent John Hartman in the 13th District.

Two other groups — the National Republican Congressional Committee and the New Prosperity Foundation — have spent nearly $225,000 on television commercials against Gill.

But the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee has spent $304,728 on anti-Davis commercials.

Overall, more than $710,000 has been spent, mostly on attack ads, in the 13th District race since early August.

The American Action Network broadcast commercial, called “Radical Ideas,” is to run on St. Louis television stations for two weeks, the group said. It focuses on Gill's support for a single-payer national health care plan.

“It's clear that time after time after time, Illinoisans reject David Gill and his radical policies,” said AAN spokeswoman Brook Hougesen. “The 13th District simply cannot afford a dose of his costly liberal agenda.”

According to the website OpenSecrets.org, the American Action Network has received $4.5 million from the Pharmaceutical Research & Manufacturers of America, and $4 million from the Republican Jewish Coalition. PhRMA represents the country's top pharmaceutical research and biotechnology companies. The latter group is headed by Sheldon G. Adelson, principal owner of the Las Vegas Sands Corp., the parent company of the Sands, The Venetian Resort-Hotel-Casino in Las Vegas, and the Venetian Macao Limited in Macao. Adelson has pledged to spend up to $100 million to defeat President Obama.

Aetna Insurance also is a contributor to the American Action Network.

“Clearly, when Aetna Insurance paid for a barrage of false and deceptive ads against me, they extracted a promise from Davis. The promise is Davis' support for a return to the bad old days, when health insurers could freely deny coverage and impose lifetime caps. Those so-called 'market-based' tactics insure only one thing — the death of patients,” Gill said in a prepared statement Monday.

The AAN also got $500,000 from Crossroads GPS, an independent group affiliated with famed GOP strategist Karl Rove.

Gill is currently the AAN's No. 4 target for 2012, according to OpenSecrets.org.

Courtney Parella

Communications Director