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Government

SPRINGFIELD — The filing by U.S. Rep. RODNEY DAVIS, R-Taylorville, of his campaign finance report for the quarter ending Sept. 30 has regenerated arguments in his potential rematch with Democrat BETSY DIRKSEN LONDRIGAN of Springfield as to where the money comes from.

Davis started the three months with nearly $533,000 in the fund, raised more than $542,000, spent about $169,400, and ended September with more than $905,000 on hand.

Of his total raised, nearly $176,000 came from individuals and more than $351,000 came from political action committees and similar groups.

End Citizens United, a Washington, D.C.-based organization that has endorsed Londrigan, pounced with a news release, saying that more than $100,000 that Davis received was from corporate PACs. And in its own fundraising letter, the Londrigan campaign said that 64.7 percent of Davis' contributions in the quarter came from "corporate PACs and Washington, D.C. special interests."

Londrigan has said she won't take corporate PAC money this cycle, but she does take money from some PACS, like $1,000 in the quarter from the League of Conservation Voters, Washington, D.C., and $5,000 from a Machinists Union PAC in Marlboro, Maryland. And she also took, in the quarter, money from other campaign committees, including $2,000 from that of U.S. House Speaker NANCY PELOSI.

Londrigan's quarter began with more than $453,000 on hand. She raised more than $380,000, including more than $304,000 from individuals.

Among contributions received by Davis in the quarter were Wine and Spirits Wholesalers of America, Washington, D.C., $2,000; International Association of Fire Fighters committee, Washington, D.C., $1,500; a MetLife Inc. employee political fund, New York, $1,000; $5,000 from a Peoria-based Caterpillar employee committee; $1,000 from a San Francisco-based Pacific Gas & Electric employee PAC; and $5,000 from Koch Industries Inc. PAC, Washington, D.C.

As in the past, Davis spokeswoman ASHLEY PHELPS said it is disingenuous for Londrigan to say her campaign doesn't benefit from corporate PACs in part because she accepts support from the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee, which takes such donations. Phelps also said corporate PACs are funded by employees, and Davis is "proud to be supported by employees at companies, like ADM, State Farm, AbbVie Pharmaceuticals, and others, who have deep roots in the 13th District and are committed to making our communities better." She also said that in the 2018 election cycle (when Davis defeated Londrigan by a slim margin) Londrigan got more than $1 million of her itemized donations from outside Illinois.

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Londrigan campaign manager JACOB PLOTNICK said Davis, over time, has received more than $2.6 million from corporate PACs, including hundreds of thousands from "big drug and insurance companies," and his votes reflect interests of those companies.

Another Democrat seeking the nomination in the 13th in the March primary, STEFANIE SMITH of Urbana, hadn't raised $5,000 as of the third quarter.

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In the 18th Congressional District, which includes part of Springfield as does the 13th, Rep. DARIN LaHOOD, R-Peoria, had nearly $1.9 million in his campaign fund as of July 1, and over the next three months, raised nearly $411,000, spent nearly $185,000 and ended the period with more than $2.1 million.

Meanwhile, LaHood and Davis have used online polls to ask people what they think of impeachment. In an emailed message in late September, LaHood asked: "This week, Speaker Pelosi opened an impeachment inquiry into President Trump. Do you support this impeachment inquiry?"

That message was from LaHood's government office. Also a government function was a similar, but more pointed, question posted by Davis on his official website -- RodneyDavis.House.gov.

"Democrats are impeaching President Trump," the statement said. "They will keep pushing it regardless of the facts. Do you support impeachment?"

After people fill in blanks giving contact information, people are informed by Davis that by taking the survey, they will "automatically be opted-in to receive my e-newsletter."

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Schoenburg is a political columnist for the Journal-Register.

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