Capitol - Your Illinois News Radar » *** UPDATED x1 *** Callis unveils first TV ad, GOP says she’s “lived a life of privilege”
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*** UPDATED x1 *** Callis unveils first TV ad, GOP says she’s “lived a life of privilege”

Wednesday, Aug 27, 2014

* From a press release…

Former Chief Judge and Congressional challenger Ann Callis today released the first ad of the general election, “Good Guys.” The ad highlights Callis’ pledge to fight for the people who make our communities stronger and safer, including teachers and soldiers.

“From the beginning, this campaign has been about standing with the men and women in Illinois who are working each day to make our communities stronger and safer. As the mom of a teacher and an Army Ranger, this fight is personal for me. While my opponent is a political insider who hires lobbyists and fights to protect his Congressional perks, I’ll never forget that Congress should work for the people who we have the honor to serve,” said Callis.

As a proven judicial reformer, Callis has made reforming Washington a central focus of her campaign, launching her Congressional Reform Agenda in response to Congressman Davis’ continued defense of taxpayer-funded perks, lobbyists on his payroll, and the “do nothing Congress.”

* [Oops. Somehow the code got left out when I hit the publish button.] The TV ad

* The script…

(CALLIS): It’s easy to spot the good guys. They put others first. Defend us. And teach our kids.
 But these days in Washington, they finish last. Medicare, education and veterans get cuts, but it’s perks for politicians and tax breaks for CEOs. I’m Ann Callis. I approve this message. As the mom of teacher and an Army Ranger, looking out for the good guys isn’t just the right thing to do. For me, it’s personal.

* NRCC Spokeswoman Katie Prill plays the class warfare card…

“Ann Callis is trying to fool Illinois families into thinking she is concerned with helping the middle class. Callis has lived a life of privilege and has benefited from her wealthy father’s status in Democrat politics her entire life. When Callis says she will look out for the good guys, she really means she will fight for the elite of the Democrat party and no one else.”

*** UPDATE *** Coincidentally, this is from today’s Tom Kacich column in the News-Gazette

Davis spokesman Andrew Flach said the Republicans don’t plan to highlight Callis’ wealth.

“If that’s an issue, it will be up to the voters to decide,” he said.

That’s probably a good idea, said David Yepsen, director of the Paul Simon Public Policy Institute at Southern Illinois University-Carbondale, and the former chief political writer at The Des Moines Register. Part of the calculus for the Davis campaign, he noted, is that Bruce Rauner, who is far richer than Callis and her husband, is at the top of the Republican ticket.

“It will be difficult for the Republicans to make that attack because they don’t want to be shooting at her and hitting Rauner. They’d have to be careful how this is done,” Yepsen said. “If the campaign moves in that direction, it could just confuse voters.”

- Posted by Rich Miller        

  1. - Almost the Weekend - Wednesday, Aug 27, 14 @ 9:26 am:

    =President Obama, Majority Leader Reid and Speaker Pelosi had COMPLETE control of D.C. for two entire years (or one Congress). During that time, little-to-nothing was done to address not only this matter but also taxation in general. They had ample time during President Obama’s first year in office to tackle tax issues, and they could have used their own “lame duck” period during November and December of 2010 to work on a solution. Nothing happened. Now it is a big issue. Hmm. I wonder why?!=

    Let’s not forget the worst financial disaster since the Great Depression. But other than that, spot on chap!

  2. - Joe H. - Wednesday, Aug 27, 14 @ 9:28 am:

    Isn’t it a contradiction to chastise someone for conducting class warfare and then turn around and criticize the same person for being wealthy and living a life of privilege?

  3. - Oswego Willy - Wednesday, Aug 27, 14 @ 9:38 am:

    ===Callis has lived a life of privilege and has benefited from her wealthy father’s status in Democrat politics…===

    Pretty embarrassing.

    “Democrat politics”

    Making it too partisan in the rebuff…rebuffs Indies who can’t stand the “Democrat politics” as dog whistle Dopiness.

    The millisecond the DC types get involved, the soul of what you are trying to accomplish is sucked out of the campaign…

    …be they “Democrat” or “GOP”. Both parties DC ignorance always stains the campaigns.

    Davis Crew, you guys are better than that Dopey rebuttal.

  4. - Yellow Dog Democrat - Wednesday, Aug 27, 14 @ 9:39 am:

    @Joe H:

    You completely misread the GOP statement.

    They are being sexist, not classist.


  5. - walker - Wednesday, Aug 27, 14 @ 9:41 am:

    Yep. That Army Ranger training sure was a life of privilege.

  6. - LincolnLounger - Wednesday, Aug 27, 14 @ 9:42 am:

    I don’t know why the NRCC didn’t play the trial lawyer card. Everyone hates them.

    All that matters, really, is how many markets and points behind the ad.

  7. - wordslinger - Wednesday, Aug 27, 14 @ 9:57 am:

    “Life of privilege?” Watch the class warfare there NRCC comrades.

    Is Davis running as a New Deal Democrat, like Dold? They’ll be a laugh riot in the House GOP caucus.

  8. - Raising Kane - Wednesday, Aug 27, 14 @ 10:09 am:

    That is just a terrible ad. She doesn’t come of likeable and it is not at all memorable. What a waste of money.

  9. - IL13 Voter - Wednesday, Aug 27, 14 @ 10:10 am:

    In her next ad Callis will boldly come out in favor of puppy dogs and rainbows.

    She’s running a classic DCCC campaign of not saying anything controversial…or meaningful. That occasionally works. But the Democrats I talk to are voting against Davis with no particular interest in Callis. I’m not sure Davis has alienated himself with enough independents for Callis to win that way.

  10. - olddog - Wednesday, Aug 27, 14 @ 10:11 am:

    For small-market TV, it’s a pretty good ad. Reminds downstate Democrats why it’s important to vote in an off-year (even though it looks like it’s way off, this year) …

    The GOP’s “class warfare” response is pitiful, inadvertently reinforces Callis’ message.

  11. - VanillaMan - Wednesday, Aug 27, 14 @ 10:16 am:

    She. is. speaking. right. from. her. heart. and. almost. sounds. sincere.


  12. - IL13 Voter - Wednesday, Aug 27, 14 @ 10:17 am:

    Davis should worry about class warfare backfiring. He wasn’t exactly suffering as the son of a man who owned several McDonald’s restaurants. They weren’t small diners like the one Davis appears in for one of his ads.
    Is that why Davis sponsored a bill attacking a program to promote healthy school lunches? To help his daddy’s company sell food that’s bad for kids?

  13. - Toure's Latte - Wednesday, Aug 27, 14 @ 10:25 am:

    Gonna go to Washington an’ kick some ass. This time it’s personal.

    She forgot the bandoleer of bullets hanging over her shoulder, but the rest is okay.

  14. - Oswego Willy - Wednesday, Aug 27, 14 @ 10:29 am:

    To the Update(s)

    ===Part of the calculus for the Davis campaign, he (Yepsen) noted, is that Bruce Rauner, who is far richer than Callis and her husband, is at the top of the Republican ticket.

    “It will be difficult for the Republicans to make that attack because they don’t want to be shooting at her and hitting Rauner. They’d have to be careful how this is done,”===

    Boy, those DC mouthpieces have the pulse of what is going on in IL. Davis Crew, when you can, don’t let the DC Dopes ruin your narrative.

    To the Ad itself,

    Seeing it and hearing her, the lack of warmth talking about being the “Mom” seems weak. It’s not busting pride or Callis being reserved in her pride, it’s just monotone blather.

    Next time, just have a woman voice over that script, describing Callis, that might “work” better.

    Too busy. You have corporate, anti-DC, teachers, veterans…yikes. Talk about being a Mom. Talk about DC. Talk about Vets. Those are many Ads in one Ad.

    Callis is terrible trying to narrate all these issues, and try to come off engaged and passionate.

    “C-, D+”, passable, over an “F”, but Callis gets such a low grade because SHE is the one selling it. It probably might be a “Gentleman’s C” with the V.O. and not her narrating the 156 different points trying to be made.

  15. - Yellow Dog Democrat - Wednesday, Aug 27, 14 @ 10:30 am:

    Really, really hard to be against moms.

  16. - Toure's Latte - Wednesday, Aug 27, 14 @ 10:31 am:

    PS- Davis’ team will pummel her judicial record and ratings. We should have fielded a better up-and-comer candidate instead of one to the manor born. This is where Frerichs should running.

  17. - Geronimo - Wednesday, Aug 27, 14 @ 10:31 am:

    Running for office and there’s some money available? Is this a joke? Is there someone running for office from the poor folks? In our system, whoever has the most money wins and it takes lots to run. So the privilege thing is stupid.

  18. - Team Sleep - Wednesday, Aug 27, 14 @ 10:35 am:

    Having done some work on races in the Fifth Supreme Court district, I am floored that Ann Callis decided to go through with this and not keep her powder dry for a run at the Fifth District Appellate Court or wait for whenever Justice Karmeier retires and an election is required. Of course, perhaps that is the plan if her Congressional candidacy fails, but her effort and overall bid are lackluster enough to damage her potential future judicial campaigns.

  19. - A guy... - Wednesday, Aug 27, 14 @ 10:46 am:

    I would agree with the comments above that indicate she comes across very stiff and not sincere. In a case like that, it almost doesn’t matter what you’re saying. If you’re going to go the mom and apple pie route, you need to ooze sincerity. She just doesn’t.

  20. - Apocalypse Now - Wednesday, Aug 27, 14 @ 10:48 am:

    Callis sounds and looks like a rookie. Wait! She is a rookie. The privilege Republicans should be talking about is her being picked of no where to become a judge, while in her late 20’s, all with the help of her dad, a very well connected and wealthy trial lawyer. Callis has never had to campaign, with competition, for any elected office. She is way in over her head.

  21. - Truth seeker - Wednesday, Aug 27, 14 @ 10:52 am:

    Let’s be honest here fellas, you don’t like the ad because the candidate has ovaries. Nothing like watching you good ole’ boys stand up for white men all the time.

  22. - 13th Democrat - Wednesday, Aug 27, 14 @ 10:55 am:

    Ann is clearly smart, articulate about the issues and making real waves in the district. Its clear this ad has the chattering class worries because they would hate to see a strong woman win so they’ll buttress the white guy no matter what the truth is. Nice try fellas!

  23. - Anonymous - Wednesday, Aug 27, 14 @ 10:55 am:

    - Truth seeker -,

    I think I laid out, clearly, why I found it poor.

    How about you convince everyone why it’s good?

  24. - Oswego Willy - Wednesday, Aug 27, 14 @ 10:58 am:

    1) that Anonymous above is me, stupid phone recycling.

    2) to the Dopiness of this gender bias straw man, make the case that this is a good Ad, otherwise trying to make it about the commenters and not refuting the comments really makes the point how awful the Ad is on it’s own.

  25. - downstate hack - Wednesday, Aug 27, 14 @ 11:00 am:

    A+ on the Ad. She comes across as genuine.

  26. - Truth seeker - Wednesday, Aug 27, 14 @ 11:02 am:


    You don’t like the ad because it wasn’t designed to appease the good ole boys club that will always rally to the privileged white guy at every turn. Let’s be honest, you don’t like the ad because it shows a successful woman which is a threat to your sexist republican worldview than women belong in the kitchen. Rodney “Hey honeybuns, make me a sandwich” Davis is in real trouble which is why you need to tear Callis down.

  27. - Mcleaniac - Wednesday, Aug 27, 14 @ 11:05 am:

    She needs 10 more ads of similar quality airing profusely and 2 ads showing Davis working a French fry machine or asking “would you like fries with that” etc. Ann needs MONEY - and a ground game and some REAL East St. Louis area GOTV. Otherwise it is all Rodney.

  28. - MadCoTaxpayer - Wednesday, Aug 27, 14 @ 11:07 am:

    When Fred Bathon was ripping us off , Callis was (aguably I suppose) the highest Judicial officer in Madison County. I remember Callis as a friend of the people, right?

  29. - Oswego Willy - Wednesday, Aug 27, 14 @ 11:07 am:


    Ok, - Truth seeker -, what is good in this Ad?

    Callis sounds stilted and lacks warmth.

    How many issues are being discussed in this :30 Ad? Way too many to make any one point resonate.

    It has a repetitive tick list in a close with Callis showing a blank state, with little or no connection to the words she is saying, and making an audience feel she is caring.

    Now your turn, make the case it’s a good Ad…

  30. - Bigtwich - Wednesday, Aug 27, 14 @ 11:21 am:

    –When Fred Bathon was ripping us off , Callis was (aguably I suppose) the highest Judicial officer in Madison County. I remember Callis as a friend of the people, right?–

    There are countries in th world where Judicial officers are prosecutors and run investigations but this is not one of them.

  31. - Truth seeker - Wednesday, Aug 27, 14 @ 11:21 am:


    We get it. You don’t like her because she has ovaries. But this isn’t the 50s anymore and women’s suffrage is here to stay.

  32. - Oswego Willy - Wednesday, Aug 27, 14 @ 11:23 am:

    - Truth seeker -,

    So…you CAN’T see anything good in the Ad. Got it.

    Making it about me, isn’t helping.

    I wonder if Callis has a twitter?

  33. - North Shore Joe - Wednesday, Aug 27, 14 @ 11:52 am:

    Son being a Ranger will be well received.

    Other than that this commercial’s so cliche it makes my skin crawl.

  34. - Big Debbie - Wednesday, Aug 27, 14 @ 12:21 pm:

    @OW: I think they are being a little unfair to you, but you have to understand where it is coming from. Local republicans in the 13th (I know you aren’t one of them) have been saying the most sexist and mysoginst things about Callis. The owner and publisher of the NG went on the radio that he also owns and said that the only thing Callis has going for her is that “she’s pretty.” So, when you say that you don’t like the ad because she “lacks warmth” and doesn’t seem motherly. Be fair, you wouldn’t say the same thing about a male candidate.

    It’s an intro Ad for Callis to people who don’t know her. It touches on her main them, which is public service and helping others. She ties that in with the fact that she has a daughter who is a public school teacher and a son who is in the army. That doesn’t sound like a family that is taking advantage of a life of privilege, but of a family that understands they are privileged and want to use their fortune to serve others. That’s a stark contrast to Rodney Davis, who also comes from a life of privilege, and decided to dedicate that to being a political operative until he was anointed to congress in a closed-door meeting of the GOP power brokers - something subtly touched on in the ad. I think it is a good introduction to the voters of the 13th to Ann, at least slightly before the hail of Koch Brothers funded false ads sweep into town.

    Let the fun begin.

  35. - Demoralized - Wednesday, Aug 27, 14 @ 12:23 pm:

    ==Let’s be honest here fellas, you don’t like the ad because the candidate has ovaries.==

    Another victim heard from.

    Basically what you’re saying is that any criticism of a woman candidate is sexist. That’s just dopey.

  36. - Oswego Willy - Wednesday, Aug 27, 14 @ 12:36 pm:

    ===Be fair, you wouldn’t say the same thing about a male candidate.===

    I think I have.

    I think I have addressed the warm and fuzzy about Bill Brady and Bruce Rauner. It’s an Ad thing, not a gender thing.

    If y’all want to make it about me…

    ===Rodney Davis, who also comes from a life of privilege, and decided to dedicate that to being a political operative until he was anointed to congress in a closed-door meeting of the GOP power brokers - ===

    Did you forget he won his seat in November? I didn’t.

    Rodney Davis won the General Election. Period.

  37. - Bemused - Wednesday, Aug 27, 14 @ 2:05 pm:

    Caught the ad on TV, not great but okay. From a warmth and sincerity standpoint yes the woman could use some coaching. Thing is from the ads I’ve seen our boy Rodney comes off no better, so let’s call it a push and move on.

  38. - Apocalypse Now - Wednesday, Aug 27, 14 @ 3:00 pm:

    =It’s an intro Ad for Callis to people who don’t know her. It touches on her main them, which is public service and helping others=
    Public service! Sure appointed to be a judge in her 20’s making $175,000 a year. I think, most of us would take that public service job tomorrow. Of course, most of us don’t have a wealthy trial lawyer Dad pulling strings behind closed doors to get that public service job.
    Callis is way in over her head and it has nothing to do with her being a female.

  39. - Rich Miller - Wednesday, Aug 27, 14 @ 3:02 pm:

    === it has nothing to do with her being a female.===


  40. - Big Debbie - Wednesday, Aug 27, 14 @ 4:16 pm:

    ===Rodney Davis won the General Election===

    @OW: Against David Gill. Period.

    @AN: Yes, being a judge is public service. That doesn’t mean it is a bum gig, I’m sure there are a lot of people who would take that job. But you need to be an attorney and the fact is most attorneys can make more money in private practice than by being a judge. Either way, I was talking mostly about her children who were also born into a “life of privilege,” even more so than Ann. And one is a public elementary school teacher, the other is an army ranger. I probably would have been a tiki-bar entrepreneur somewhere in the Caribbean, so props to her kids and Ann for raising them to value public service. Unprops to the NG for never mentioning that fact. I have a feeling they knew about it, too.

    So, the Davis campaign says they are not making an issue out of Ann’s wealth - but the NRCC campaign (as if it is truly any different) has no problem doing so. I see we have a failure at communication (snark, it’s obvious that was a coordinated response).

  41. - Big Debbie - Wednesday, Aug 27, 14 @ 4:18 pm:

    @OW: I also think that Bill Brady lost because he didn’t come off as a warm motherly figure.

  42. - Oswego Willy - Wednesday, Aug 27, 14 @ 4:31 pm:

    ===@OW: Against David Gill. Period.===

    What do you call a person who beats Dr. Gill in the General Election of 2012…

    Congressman. A win…is a win

    ===@OW: I also think that Bill Brady lost because he didn’t come off as a warm motherly figure.===

    You and Suburban Chicago women too…

  43. - Madison - Wednesday, Aug 27, 14 @ 5:38 pm:

    Willy we have looked for Jason’s long lost sister for a long time. i think we found her. I’d say their peas in a pod.
    This is gonna be fun.

  44. - Oswego Willy - Wednesday, Aug 27, 14 @ 6:07 pm:

    - Madison -,

    It’s like Christmas all over again. The idea that some bay but see that could make this just as delicious.

    I got a few on the back-burner, let’s see how far the push back goes…

  45. - Oswego Willy - Wednesday, Aug 27, 14 @ 6:08 pm:

    “The idea that some may not see that”

    Stupid phone or “user error”, either is correct.

  46. - Madison - Wednesday, Aug 27, 14 @ 6:39 pm:

    The idea that two long lost siblings are reunited?
    I’m touched and…now that I think about it a bit…
    How we ever missed it…
    Different parties, same person. Sibling candidates but different districts. Dads little deduction.
    How did we miss it until two months before the election?

    It cant be

  47. - Oswego Willy - Wednesday, Aug 27, 14 @ 6:46 pm:

    - Madison -,

    If anything, the Plummer rollout taught others that keeping the touting and the boasting within the bubble is better than, from Primary Day and beyond, being a possible caricature instead of a candidate.

    Jason refused to see liability, and self funding the exposure, exposed the caricature and not the candidate.

    Sound fair?

  48. - Big Debbie - Wednesday, Aug 27, 14 @ 7:16 pm:

    Yup! Went to law school and graduated in top of her class. Youngest judge in Illinois at time of appointment (something that needs to be approved by the Illinois Supreme Court). Judge for 18 years. Chief judge for 7 years. Puts in place the nation’s first veterans’ court to help get returning vets mental health help instead of jail time when they get in trouble. Program is copied around the country.

    Those are facts. The continuous spin that she’s nothing but a dumb blonde who has accomplished nothing is not.

    You are being sexist and very insulting to accomplished women like Judge Callis, even more so because you don’t even realize it.

  49. - Oswego Willy - Wednesday, Aug 27, 14 @ 7:32 pm:

    - Big Debbie -,

    I am sure Callus will tout that Madison

    ===Youngest judge in Illinois at time of appointment===


    ===until he was anointed====

    Anointed v. Appointed? I guess your critiques are “unbiased”?

    Words matter.

    I never said she was a dumb blonde. Not once.

    I gave an honest critique of her Ad, and in it she was not very good. You, and others keep bringing up gender as the genesis of critiques. They aren’t gender based.

    I guess I could take more of an interest now in Callis…

  50. - Madison - Wednesday, Aug 27, 14 @ 10:36 pm:

    Debbie’s message is that Callis earned her stripes.
    I contend that had she not had the last name “Callis” she would still be a middle echelon attorney in a crowded Madison County bar. “At the top of her class in law school” there’s no shortage of them in Madison County, although few are judges.
    Anne Callis presided over one of the most notorius legal hellholes in America. Now she wants to bring that to Washington? Rodney Davis is no great candidate, but this Callis campaign is a fool’s errand.

  51. - Madison - Wednesday, Aug 27, 14 @ 10:43 pm:

    She also “presided” over Fred Bathon running wild. had she acted, Bill Mudge would have put a stop to the tax sale scandal. Thats a ” top of the class” legal act I’m telling ya.

Sorry, comments for this post are now closed.

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