Betsy Londrigan Again Called Out By Media for False Attack Ads Against Rodney Davis

November 2nd, 2020

News-Gazette opinion column: “Betsy Londrigan ran off the rails in a recent attack ad” and “twisted the facts beyond recognition”

Taylorville, IL — Betsy Londrigan has again been called out by yet another media outlet for her false attack ad featuring the former owner of the Feed Store in Springfield.

From Jim Dey’s column in The News-Gazette:

The trick is to mislead — even lie — without being seen doing so.

That’s where Democratic congressional candidate Betsy Londrigan ran off the rails in a recent attack ad against her opponent, Republican U.S. Rep. Rodney Davis.

She twisted the facts beyond recognition in an advertisement and got caught doing so by two media outlets, Illinois Times in Springfield and KMOV-TV in St. Louis.

Londrigan ran a TV ad that, if true, could be effective.

Unfortunately, the Springfield restaurant owner who claimed in the recent ad that he was forced out of business by Davis’ skullduggery gave an interview with Illinois Times this past summer saying that he and his wife voluntarily decided to close their restaurant and retire.

In the ad, Ross Richardson, the 69-year-old owner of The Feed Store restaurant with his wife, Ann Laurence, claims he wanted to get a federal PPP loan to remain in business, “but we got the runaround while political insiders got the money first.”

“Then funds ran out. Rodney Davis’ family got to the front of the line for a million-dollar payout, and he voted to keep it secret while businesses like ours suffered,” he said in Londrigan’s ad.

But in July, Richardson’s 72-year-old wife told Illinois Times that they decided to close the restaurant because of a combination of circumstances, including their age and the coronavirus pandemic.

“We’ve been talking about retiring for a while, but the pandemic just tipped the scale,” said Laurence.

Further, Richardson told the Times that he had “thought about” applying for a PPP loan but decided against doing so.

…The obvious misrepresentation of facts in Londrigan’s ad involving the restaurateur prompted Illinois Times to ask, “Why is Londrigan attacking Davis on the PPP program when her poster child is a business owner who never applied for a PPP loan and was near retirement when pandemic hit?

The answer is simple. Londrigan and members of her campaign team didn’t realize or didn’t care there was a public paper trail that contradicted the emotional story they were using to discredit Davis. In other words, they didn’t plan on getting caught.

But being caught in one or two corners of a sprawling congressional district hasn’t made much difference. The ad is still running, and it’ll be hard for the truth to catch up with the facts by Election Day on Nov. 3.

In recent days, WCIA, the Illinois Times, and KMOV all featured news stories on the false Londrigan campaign ad.