Campaign 2010

Feb 25, 2013

Congressman Rodney Davis Won’t Explain Role in Ethics Investigation

Nearly one month after news reports emerged that Congressman Rodney Davis refused to cooperate with a Federal ethics investigation, Davis, who has an ethically troubled history dating back years, still won't come clean and explain his role in helping Congressman Aaron Schock raise $120,000 that may have violated campaign finance laws. Davis refused to cooperate with an Office of Congressional Ethics investigation and the House Ethics Committee may subpoena Davis, according to media reports.


"If Congressman Davis has done nothing wrong, why won't he cooperate with investigators, or even explain to the people of Illinois his role in raising thousands in campaign cash for a friend?" said Brandon Lorenz of the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee. "Congressman Davis is playing the same old Washington games, looking out for himself and covering for his cronies when he should be working to protect Illinois jobs and strengthen middle class families.”


Davis's ethical troubles go back years. Similar to the current Office of Congressional Ethics investigation, Davis once admitted he helped raise more than $200,000 which one expert said served as an “end run” around campaign limits. He was also named on the notorious “Favors List” kept by a close friend of disgraced Gov. George Ryan.




Davis admitted he helped raise hundreds of thousands that an expert called an “end run” around contribution limits. In 2011, wealthy Chicago couple Ken Griffin and his wife, Anne, donated more than $200,000 to more than 10 GOP organizations, including GOP committees. These groups then combined to donate more than $120,000 to the Illinois Republican Party in the first three months of 2012. “KENT REDFIELD, professor emeritus of political science at the University of Illinois Springfield and a longtime student of campaign finance, said the money flow looks like “an end run around contribution limits.” [Galesburg Register-Mail, 5/9/12]


Listed on “Favors List” for Gov. George Ryan, who was convicted of racketeering, conspiracy and fraud. In 1995, Davis was described as working in the personnel office of Secretary of State George Ryan. Davis is twice listed on Ryan’s “priority list” of individuals that his key advisor Scott Fawell kept in tracking politically connected people who allegedly sought favors from Ryan while he was serving as Illinois’s Secretary of State.  [ State Journal-Register, 7/27/95; Priority List, Page 208; Chicago Tribune, 1/28/03; Priority List, Page 106; Chicago Tribune, 1/28/03; State Journal-Register, 8/10/95]


The State Journal-Register reported in February:


Freshman U.S. Rep. Rodney Davis, R-Taylorville, did not cooperate with the Office of Congressional Ethics in its initial probe of alleged campaign finance violations by U.S. Rep. Aaron Schock, R-Peoria…The investigation, now before the House Ethics Committee, deals with allegations that Schock solicited donations of more than $5,000 per donor for a super political action committee. The OCE report says Davis, then an aide to U.S. Rep. John Shimkus, R-Collinsville, was identified by the super PAC’s managing director as the contact person for five potential donors before the 2012 primary election. (State Journal-Register, 2/13/13)