Congressman sick of negative ads

Published 10/02 2012 10:22PM

Updated 10/03 2012 09:34AM

CHAMPAIGN -- Negative campaign ads might be considered politics as usual. But one soon-to-be retired congressman says they need to stop, specifically in the 13th Congressional District.

This is congressman Tim Johnson's first time in 40-years experiencing an election he isn't running in. He says watching the mudslinging between the candidates vying for his seat is out of control.

That's why he personally asked both parties to give the negativity a rest and focus on the issues. You might be used to hearing ads like these, Democrat David gill and Republican Rodney Davis demeaning each other to win the 13th congressional district. But Tim Johnson says had he been running, things would be different.

"I've never run a negative ad, I've never attacked my opponents, I've never engaged in mudslinging, and I won every election," Johnson said.

It's the style he wishes both candidates would adopt.

"It would be difficult for me to endorse somebody with the tone that's been set here. It flies in the face of everything I've stood for," he said.

Which is why rather than supporting one, he's calling them both out. Johnson wrote both men and their parties a letter asking them to pull their negative ads for the campaign's final weeks. Voters want it too.

"I think the negative ads hurt the whole campaign because they are putting negative thoughts in people's minds," said Cynthia Owens.

"If someone is campaigning for a political office they should be advertising their own strengths, why they would be good for the job, not what the other person's doing wrong," said Rhonda Peek.

Johnson says all he can do is ask. It's just a matter of if the candidates will listen.

"If anyone in here really believes that they don't have any control or at least effective control over the ads that are run on their behalf then I would sell them the Brooklyn Bridge," he said.

Gill responded to the letter saying that the "Friends of David Gill" has never aired a negative ad on TV or radio, but that he has no control over what the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee puts out.

Former congressman Tom Ewing responded on Davis' behalf. He says he's "proud of the way Rodney has conducted himself during an onslaught of false and negative ads."

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