Darin LaHood Campaign Uses Literal Strong-arm Tactics: Manager Assaults Debate Moderator's Colleague, Charges Filed
I posted earlier today about last night's debate between GOP establishment candidate Darin LaHood, and conservative challenger Mike Flynn. During the debate -- which the LaHood team had demanded be conducted with only 90-second answers and absolutely no conversation between the candidates -- Darin LaHood stumbled answering a question about term limits.
Prior to the debate, LaHood had been promoting himself as a strong advocate for term limits, a position advertised on his campaign site:
As a Senator, LaHood fought to increase transparency and promote ethical behavior in Springfield by sponsoring legislation to create term limits for elected officials and establish higher ethical standards for lobbyist and elected officials.
However, LaHood -- in one instance prior to the debate -- refused to commit himself to the term limit legislation he had sponsored. The question came up again during the debate, and LaHood refused to commit himself again. A local paper documented the exchange here:
LaHood, however, pointed out he's pushed for term limits as a state senator but avoided the question. When asked for a third time how many terms he would serve, he said, "I want everybody to serve three terms."
At the debate's conclusion, moderator and radio host Ian Bayne's show reporter approached LaHood and asked the question again.
The reporter was shoved away from LaHood forcefully by LaHood campaign manager James Reis, which was confirmed by witnesses. Today, Bayne filed charges.
James Reis has been campaign manager for Darin LaHood for just a few weeks, after the prior manager was fired.
According to an insider, Reis was hired on the recommendation of Illinois Governor Bruce Rauner, who has endorsed LaHood.
The radio station on which Bayne's show appears has released the following:
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
LaHood Campaign Manager Under Investigation for Aggravated Battery:
Assaulted Reporter Asking LaHood For Answers on Term Limits
(NORMAL, IL - 6/25/2015): Talk Show Host Ian Bayne's morning show reporter on WRPW "Cities" 92.9 FM Talk has filed a police report alleging aggravated battery on James Reis, campaign manager for State Senator Darin LaHood's congressional campaign.
Reis shoved Bayne's reporter yesterday evening at 9:00pm while he was attempting to get a question answered from Senator LaHood. This happened directly after a congressional debate between Mike Flynn and LaHood, sponsored and aired by Cities 92.9.
"LaHood thinks that recent attacks on my program by local government gives him the right to instruct his campaign manager to assault my staff," said Bayne. "We just want Senator LaHood to tell us how many terms he intends to serve in congress, he won't answer, and would rather assualt us than answer the question."
The police report can be read here: http://www.ianbayne.com/Bayne-Lahood-report.pdf
Audio of the incident can be heard here: http://cities929.podbean.com/e/lahood-refuses-to-answer-fistbump/
LaHood has been avoiding answering questions about term limits, but claiming to be supporting them. When pressed, during the debate, LaHood dodged the question, saying that he "supports term limits if made law" but refusing to answer if he personally will serve more than the 3 terms he pledged to support being made into law.
Audio from Bayne's program containing debate audio can be heard here: www.ianbayne.com/Lahood-debateaudio-Bayne.mp3
A story in the local paper about the debate, documenting LaHood's avoidance of the question on term limits, can be read here: http://www.pantagraph.com/news/local/gop-s-house-hopefuls-showcase-conservative-positions/article_df8f1db6-2fd6-5334-9ec9-2b96d4e1a46c.html
The July 9 primary will determine the Republican that will replace US Rep Aaron Schock in congress.
Cities 92.9 is a Limbaugh/Beck/Hannity/Levin affiliate. Bayne's program has been on the air just over one year, and has recently attracted attention for the mayor of Bloomington's refusal to answer questions from the program, opting to file a civil charge to restrain anyone from the program from asking her questions about city government. The civil charge was dropped on June 10. Cities 92.9 is on the web at www.Cities929.com.