Today, Citizens for Rauner is launching an extended television ad featuring all 11 minutes of the FBI wiretap between JB Pritzker and disgraced former governor Rod Blagojevich. It will air in every major media market in Illinois on Saturday, January 20 and Sunday, January 21.
It is in response to JB Pritzker’s claim that last week’s ad featuring his conversation with Blagojevich, in which his insider dealings were exposed, was “selectively edited.” That ad highlighted 60 unedited seconds taken straight from the Chicago Tribune reporting of the FBI wiretaps.
JB Pritzker cannot simply dismiss his conversations with a convicted former governor in which he lobbied for his own appointment to statewide political office and encouraged him to engage in a quid pro quo — especially in light of their well-documented, decades-long, cozy political friendship. JB Pritzker is part of the corruption and cronyism that has plagued Illinois for decades. The people of Illinois deserve better.
As far as the Blagojevich tape making Pritzker unelectable, the evidence would indicate even Rauner doesn’t necessarily believe so.
If he did, why would he be trying so hard to blow up Pritzker’s candidacy at this early stage before Pritzker is even the Democratic nominee?
At the very least, though, the recording is a significant problem for Pritzker, one that he keeps trying to shrug off in the affable style that is nearly as responsible for his popularity with Democratic insiders as his very deep pockets.
In an otherwise strong presentation to the Sun-Times’ Editorial Board, Pritzker stuck to his usual talking points when asked about his relationship with Blagojevich.
“Gov. Blagojevich broke the trust with the people of the state of Illinois, and he’s in prison where he belongs,” Pritzker said. “Sadly, we have a government and once again a governor that’s focused on themselves and not on doing what’s right for the people of the state of Illinois. I’m proud about doing public service. Any conversations I had were about doing public service, and any suggestion by Gov. Blagojevich of any contribution I rebuffed.” […]
My own take is that it’s less damning in its entirety than portrayed, though hardly reassuring.
By the end of the campaign you won’t hear JB’s name without thinking of Blago and toilets. It won’t necessarily derail the JB train, but he is going to have baggage regardless of the outcome. I guess this is the best we can do.
“He that lieth down with dogs shall rise up with fleas”
- People Over Parties - Thursday, Jan 18, 18 @ 9:37 am:
At this point, IF Pritzker is elected governor, he will be pretty unpopular and seen as the lesser of two evils by voters. No question, his negatives will only go up from here, and the toilets sure won’t help.
They’re going to run an 11-minute version on TV? And who do they expect to sit through all 11 minutes? Sorry, the public is likely to be more interested in the latest (fictional) episode of “Scandal,” tonight on ABC.
Probably depends on if anything else is out there, but certainly the first week of the ad campaign, with Greitens, Duke, and legalizing marijuana dominating the conversation, isn’t a good sign for Rauner.
I tend to avoid ads in general when they come on tv particularly political ones. A person that would sit through an 11 minute ad on JB Pritzker already has a strong opinion. The ad won’t change that opinion it will only reinforce it.
1) How many people will watch an 11-14 minutes of Blago?
Why answer the “play the whole tape” beating drum when continually going after Pritzker in :30 or :60 second Ads makes more of an impression.
What are people going to say… “did you hear at the 7:25 mark?”
Here’s what real in this point… Chance The Rapper talking for 11-14 minutes on the failures of Rauner has more impact, including nationally, than this stunt.
It’s lije the Madigan Documentary. Ok, you aired it, now what?
2) Where is the counter to this to get support?
Rauner is still under water, the worst Republican governor in America, and he has alienated social service providers avd clients, Labor, higher education… Pritzker is in a tape 9 years old, the last three years Rauner devastated the state, and they’re not mutually exclusive.
3) Pritzker Crew could say this…
“Be it 11 seconds or 11 minutes, at no time was J.B. a witness, under investigation and even answered FBI questions which led to the tape never seeing daylight until it was released, and that’s now being investigated. Airing a tape currently being investigated is how a failed governor hides his lack of accomplishments”
4) David Duke and Donald Trump
Just this week, Bruce Rauner couldn’t even agree in real time David Duke is a racist. Just this week, Bruce Rauner is confused to who Donald Trump is, and what he (Rauner) stands for. Governors know racist quite quick and call them out, goverors also know when a President is hurting America (Gov. Kasich knows), so if Rauner wants to play 9 year old possibly illegally released tapes… and not worry what is happening to people now… that’s a choice too.
5) Quinn won. Munger lost. Mendoza won.
Proxy battles or campaigns seem to hurt Rauner more, and while Quinn wasn’t Rod’s choice or Rod’s person or anything Rod, Dems still came home to Quinn. Dems also stayed home enough to retire Leslie Munger.
What Dem(s) is/are going to choose Rauner over Blago?
Run the tapes. Rauner is still a choice… a choice not polling at all well.
I listened to the tapes and nothing is there. This is Rauner grasping at straws.
- Boone's is Back - Thursday, Jan 18, 18 @ 10:09 am:
Does this remind anyone of Trump’s stunt dragging out the Clinton accusers before the debate?
This guy is looking more and more like the Donald every day.
- People Over Parties - Thursday, Jan 18, 18 @ 10:13 am:
If no one will listen to the full tape, as some are suggesting, then if the clips are still aired in 30 or 60-second portions (which I’m sure they will be), won’t the affect be just as harmful? It will be head either way.
==Why answer the “play the whole tape” beating drum when continually going after Pritzker in :30 or :60 second Ads makes more of an impression.==
Because Rauner is chasing it. He’s not controlling the terms of the debate. I’m not sure JB is, either, but he’s closer, with the way he pivoted right from the first Blago ad back to jobs, health care, etc. Rauner’s not making him chase pitches, but now Rauner’s chasing some himself.
The FBI, found nothing worthy of prosecution or even charges. Rauner is trying to manufacture a controversy. If the FBI is good with it so am I. I won’t be listening. I consider this a nonissue. If feels a little like Rauner is in panic/desperation mode already
===But you’d think the original ad would’ve done that.===
… and that’s really the point, and even the chasing, which I agree that Pritzker’s Crew had a response and a half at the ready, but still had to in a quote after the tape came out “again” had to lay down a marker I thought shoulda been down weeks ago… but I digress.
Releasing like this, in its entirety, to reinforce something, which was nothing to the US Attorney… ok, run the tapes, as the USA’s spokesperson seems as confused as anyone how they got released.
OW- I’ve been wondering that since the original ad came out. This could really blow up in Rauner’s face if his campaign or staffers are pulled in for questioning on how they obtained the tape copy. Saying you got it from the Trib is not going to cut it with the US Attorney’s Office. JB may not have been questioned over these tapes, but Rauner may well be. Wouldn’t that be a kicker;)
–Blago or no Blago, I don’t see it happening.
Not in this blue state, in this political environment.–
Slow Down: Bingo. Rauner is desperate. He can only try and trash Pritzker because he has no accomplishments to fall back on. It won’t be nearly enough though because Illinois wants change and deserves change.
I would love to know which Trump ally at the FBI leaked the tape to Rauner and whether that’s a crime. That said I don’t think this will have much if any impact. Rauner will be swept away in the national wave that is coming. The question is just how large the double digit margin will be.
Rauner knows few people will listen to much of the 11 minutes. Thats not the purpose. The purpose is to get print and electronic media talking about it. This is rauner attempting to show blago and pritzker dancing the polka. He has an opening until we shift all attention to the budget.
Ultimately it boils down to policy. What is Rauner actually doing or accomplishing? Lower taxes like Kansas? How did that work out? Pritzker wants progressive ideas like cannabis legalization, progressive income tax, etc. These things will never happen with Rauner in office. Our state needs to move forward on a better path.
I’m confused because he says it’s unedited but it’s clearly edited. Also, not a lot of people are going to listen. And if they do, they’ll find two guys talking about politics and JB rebuffing every suggestion about contributions. And on the treasurer thing, 2009 was the midst of an economic collapse. JB suggested it would make sense to have a treasurer with a financial background. What an outrageous suggestion.
I completely agree with Mark Brown that it’s less damning in its entirety so I don’t know what he’s trying to achieve.
Streator Curmudgeon- I’m betting Sinclair will air this on a 6:30 pm spot on WICS and WICD, and use the rest of the time as “political analysis” with talking heads and tape of the Blago hearings/investigation. Heck, Rauner might even buy additional 30-60 second spots as “commercials” between the “commercial”.
“Maybe the point isn’t to have people watch and listen to an 11 minute tape but to simply make them aware of its existence and draw their own conclusions on what’s on it.”
Pretty sure everyone is aware of its existence. Besides, that would be a very big waste of money. If that’s all they wanted, they would just run it in Springfield - way cheaper. No, they think this is a kill shot. I think they’re mistaken.
- Forgetting Robert Marshall - Thursday, Jan 18, 18 @ 11:07 am:
The tape is disqualifying. Anyone can see that, and all the JB volunteers posting anonymous comments here blaming imaginary FBI leakers or the “deep state” are just as delirious as Trump himself. Own it. Your candidate is corrupt. The original ad is eye-popping. People who don’t normally care about politics are shocked. They’re paying attention for the first time this campaign and their first impression will last the longest. This is damaging, and all the excuses posted here make that obvious. Nominate someone else or lose in November. JB can’t win.
I don’t think that’s the case, either. I think they’re desperate. We know that before Christmas a consensus of polls had Rauner down double digits. That was *before* Quincy. Rauner may have needed to do something big just to get back into this thing. He can do the kill shot later.
I don’t think Rauner releasing this now necessarily means he is on the defensive. Would he lose today in a head to head match up against Pritzker? Probably. But as Rich mentioned the other day, the other Dems don’t have the money to go after JB, and he’s been going after Rauner for months now. Calendar changed, it’s now an election year for what will be one of the most expensive elections in U.S. history, seems about the right time to start spending down the $55 mil.
How so? No charges, nothing that was on the tape warrented anything but a Q & A by the FBI which led to the tape never to be used in court, or Pritzker as a witness, deposed, or defendant. Yikes.
===Anyone can see that===
… including the USAO, which thought so little of it, they never used it in any of the trials. You want it disqualifying but that’s up to voters who never shoulda heard the tape, but will because of a leak… and let’s visit this…
===…and all the JB volunteers posting anonymous comments here…===
I’m not a J.B. volunteer, and I’m pretty doggone sure they’re glad I’m nowhere near them.
===…blaming imaginary FBI leakers or the “deep state” are just as delirious as Trump himself..===
…’cept for that pesky USAO Spokesman quote wondering aloud about the leak.
If I ignore that… LOL
===Your candidate is corrupt.===
If you say it enough kinda hope there with the tape… ok, lol
===The original ad is eye-popping. People who don’t normally care about politics are shocked.===
Really? How many people you speaking for?
If you believe even 16% of your comment, you’d want Pritzker to run and lose.
==seems about the right time to start spending down the $55 mil==
Start? Rauner’s been on the air for months now. We had the duct tape ad, the school funding ad, the “Madigan is Robot” ad, the Greitens ad (which I guess could also be called a duct tape ad). If he’s still trailing JB- and I believe you that he is- then all those previous ads weren’t working. Maybe that’s not “desperate” but it’s clearly resorting to Plan D or E, and your brow gets a little sweaty when you hit that point.
As to Rauner’s strategy - he is in a bad spot & his General Election polling shows that.
I think his only hope of winning is facing a brutally bloodied Pritzker in November. I don’t think he can tar & feather Kennedy or Biss enough to overcome his negatives.
Since Pritzker needs to be bloodied, he is starting to attack him heavy now, and he is taking a risk that he might dirty up Pritzker so much that Kennedy or Biss wins the primary.
But when you are as upside down as Rauner is, you have to take risks like this. It’s like a football team taking a late onside kick - you don’t want to be in that position, but if you are it’s the only thing you can do to even have a shot of winning.
Maybe the tape contains nothing that is actually illegal. However, it has real impact. Why spend the money to run this if the 60 second spot was not having an impact? Also, the lack of public polling in a contested primary to take on the most vulnerable governor in the country also says to me JB is still trailing Kennedy or it is much closer than he would like.
===Also, the lack of public polling in a contested primary to take on the most vulnerable governor in the country also says to me JB is still trailing Kennedy or it is much closer than he would like.===
Last public poll had Pritzker up by a healthy double-digit lead.
—Since Pritzker needs to be bloodied, he is starting to attack him heavy now, and he is taking a risk that he might dirty up Pritzker so much that Kennedy or Biss wins the primary.—
Kennedy or Biss don’t have a chance at beating Pritzker, IMO. Rauner is going after Pritzker because he will soon be facing him the the GE. And Pritzker can match the money that Rauner has. Rauner is fighting a losing battle. And I am enjoying every minute of it. Ultimately it comes down to policy and the direction you want our state to go.
The Gentleman from Oswego can sit here and deny all the live-long-day that this tape means anything. But I suspect that must mean he doesn’t talk to too many regular people outside of this blog. And I predict he’ll have another heaping mouthful of crow to apologize for come November should JB prevail in March.
===The Gentleman from Oswego can sit here and deny all the live-long-day that this tape means anything===
No, I’ve asked how are they disqualifying, how do they help Rauner when Rauner needs to get voters, or try to suppress voters and the tapes do neither to rehabilitate Rauner, and question the use of 11-14 minutes of time, time people may not be willing to give… but you live in your world, it seems more fun.
===But I suspect that must mean he doesn’t talk to too many regular people outside of this blog.===
People in Labor, Union workers who usually vote Republican, or social service administrators, or families sending their kids out of state because of funding and scholarships… really other than the guy who sells me my Slim Jim’s and Slurpees… not too many people… lol
===And I predict he’ll have another heaping mouthful of crow to apologize for come November should JB prevail in March.===
“Also, the lack of public polling in a contested primary to take on the most vulnerable governor in the country also says to me JB is still trailing Kennedy or it is much closer than he would like.”
Wishing doesn’t make it true. I recently saw a Cook County poll that showed Pritzker with a healthy double digit lead (bigger than the previous poll). Since he’s the only one on downstate, I suspect his lead is bigger there. Since there’s no public data, if I had to guess, I’d say Pritzker has expanded his lead. The only real mystery is whether Biss has finally broken single digits now that he’s been on the air.
–He would not, were the first one having the profound effect–
Arsenal, I beg to differ. I’ve been hearing a lot about this ad from friends and family who don’t otherwise care much about politics. Sure, it’s anecdotal. But my sense is that this first ad is working. It’s certainly a lot more interesting than JB’s vanilla ads over elevator music dressing up his for-profit scheme to feed people as some sort of altruism.
And to your point, do you really think they would waste money on such a big ad if they thought the first one didn’t catch fire? When they see something spark, they pour gas on it and watch what burns. You don’t throw this kind of money at something if the polling comes back “Meh.”
Only we insiders pay much attention to whether there is any “there” there.
Most voters won’t retain any specific details, but will link three ideas: Pritzker, Blago, and FBI. That can hurt. It will be reinforced until folks are sick of it — especially if Rauner has unlimited funds.
What Walker said. It sticks with people. It’s easy to understand. Looks and smells like insider pay to play politics. Blago = bad. Maybe you can say those kinds of folks won’t vote in a primary. Fair point, I guess. But people who are downplaying the damage of this ad are probably just uncomfortable having a conversation about the content of JBs character. People vote against what they despise just as much as they vote for something they love these days, and this gives voters a lot to despise in JB.
==It’s certainly a lot more interesting than JB’s vanilla ads over elevator music dressing up his for-profit scheme to feed people as some sort of altruism.==
Not exactly convincing me of your ability to impartially assess the state of play, there, Nameless Numbers.
==do you really think they would waste money on such a big ad if they thought the first one didn’t catch fire?==
Absolutely. The Blago tape is still the best piece of oppo on JB, so if the first ad with it didn’t do what you wanted it to do, try a different one. And we have a lot of data points on advertising for statewide races, we know that 15 minute commercials are…let’s call it “unique”. And given everything else we know about this race- internal polls from late last year, Rauner’s approval ratings, the general mood of the country and partisan lean of the state- yes, I’m quite confident in saying that Rauner is not making such a unique move from a position of strength.
Maybe someone here can answer questions about the tapes…
1. If the tapes belong to the FBI and were subsequently sealed by the Federal Court; Isn’t it a crime acquire and then release them and/or make use of them for political gain?
2. Can anyone speculate as to why the recordings haven’t been seized if they were, in fact, illegally acquired & possession of the tapes is not authorized by the court?
I wonder if the assumption in releasing the whole thing is precisely that no one is going to sit through 11 minutes of pretty inconclusive innuendo.
Maybe the point is just to drive home that a) Pritzker is tied to Blago and b) Pritzker was investigated by the FBI because of it. Most people aren’t gonna sit through the whole thing and conclude that the connections are tenuous and that Pritzker didn’t really do anything disqualifying. There just going to make that association and move on.
Pritzker’s biggest issue was always going to be that he’s an ultra-wealthy political insider. Many people don’t really care about that, or are willing to look past it because of policy, but this certainly adds to that narrative. I don’t think there’s anything here that sinks JB, but it’s not nothing either.
Pritzker wants voters to think he’s an outsider, a do-gooder who’s just doing this to help them. This puts in voters minds that he’s just another part of the Blago clan, in it for himself, and will be more of the same. It’s about framing the candidate.
This move tells me two things: 1. The Rauner campaign wants to tighten things up for Pritzker in the primary and make him spend even more $$, and 2. They have a lot more dirt that they can dump on him later…this is just the beginning. Get ready for the ugliest general election any of us have ever experienced.