By Benjamin Yount | Illinois Watchdog
SPRINGFIELD — U.S. Rep. Danny Davis, D-Ill., is a busy, busy man.
That’s why he didn’t stick around last week during a congressional hearing into the Sept. 11, 2012, attack on the U.S. consulate in Benghazi, Libya. He wasn’t disrespecting the families of those killed, he said.
“The hearing had been going on, and it had gone on all morning,” Davis told Illinois Watchdog Monday. “We have things scheduled. Issues forums. I had one coming up.”
Davis’ issue forum was on child welfare.
BETTER THINGS TO DO: Davis left the hearing on Benghazi to attend a child welfare forum.
The congressman also said he was rushing to get to last week’s Annual Legislative Conference of the Congressional Black Caucus.
That conference draws thousands from across the country “to learn about the challenges and opportunities facing black America and the Diaspora.”
The three day event, complete with dinners and exhibitors in some swanky D.C. hotels, began Thurday, the same day as the Benghazi hearings.
“It wasn’t even a matter that all people were there,” Davis said. “There were some (congressmen) who were never there … There are all kind of reasons (why) people left. They may have had to go to the washroom.”
Voters in Illinois did not buy the congressman’s explanation.
Davis’ official Congressional Facebook is filled with comments from angry voters.
“Shame on you” reads one. “You are a disgrace,” reads another.
It is the same for U.S. Rep. Tammy Duckworth. The suburban Illinois Democrat also left the Benghazi hearing.
Duckworth, who is a wounded Iraq war veteran, did not return calls to Illinois Watchdog for comment.
Facebook comments on her official page took her to task.
“As a veteran your display of contempt for these family members was disgraceful but that is too soft of a word. You are not only a disgrace but an insult to all Americans,” wrote one voter.
Davis said most of the comments and calls his office has received did not come from voters in his Chicago district.
“I don’t think any members who were not there, were not there because they were disrespecting the family members,” Davis said. “(We) just had other things to do.”
Contact Benjamin Yount at [email protected] and find him on Twitter @BenYount.
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