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Ives ad still reverberating

Wednesday, Feb 7, 2018

* Herald & Review

State Rep. Jeanne Ives said Tuesday she’s not concerned about winning over those offended by a controversial TV ad she released last weekend.

“It’s a 50 percent plus one race; of 800,000 primary voters, I need 400,000 plus one. Same thing in the general,” said Ives, who is running in the GOP primary against incumbent Gov. Bruce Rauner.

“The purpose of that ad was to explain who Gov. (Bruce) Rauner has sided with,” she said in a meeting with the Herald & Review Editorial Board. […]

Ives said she wants to be the unifier that Rauner hasn’t been, building coalitions to get her agenda passed. She said he “got nothing done and then only put in a progressive social agenda that is completely against our party platform.”


The running mate of Illinois Republican gubernatorial candidate Jeanne Ives says a controversial ad was created to draw attention to the campaign, but says the content is not racist.

“We knew when we released this it would draw a lot of attention because it’s so in your face,” said Rich Morthland of Cordova, who is running for Lt. Governor with Ives.

“But, I don’t think it’s racist. What I think is wrong is to have an incumbent running away from his own record and he has allies and surrogates trying to defend him and derail this ad,” said Morthland in an interview Monday with WQAD-TV. […]

Morthland says he doubts the controversial will be pulled, and said it has accomplished what it set out to do.

“To draw attention”, he said. “Drastic times, they call for serious measures.”

* Tribune editorial: “Ms. Ives, here is what’s wrong with your ad”

The ad is not subtle. It’s harsh. Several actors appear in the spot, including a young woman in a pink cat protest hat who thanks Rauner for expanding taxpayer-supported abortions, and a man whose face is covered by a kerchief who thanks Rauner for protecting “illegal immigrant criminals.” The portrayals are demeaning. […]

Yes, the ad is directed at Rauner and lampoons his political record. We get that, and we get that campaigns are rough and tumble. “The commercial does not attack people, it tackles issues,” Ives said. That’s where she’s wrong. The Ives campaign created a TV ad with bouncy background music that featured cartoonish liberal characters, and included a man in a dress who claims he can now use the girls bathroom. The ad goes well beyond tweaking Rauner. It mocks and belittles Illinois residents who shouldn’t face derision from a gubernatorial candidate. Ives is punching down, and in a way that strikes many voters as intolerant of people who already face a lot of that. […]

She wants to be governor of all the people, yet she reveals a side of her character that’s unbecoming of an elected leader. Ives disparages the LGBT community to ignite her campaign.

What’s offensive? The ad doesn’t dwell on her policy positions. Its scoffing tone shows that Ives believes people who are different from her are fair game for ridicule. That’s a problem for someone who wants to be governor.

* Sun-Times editorial: “Jeanne Ives goes for the bully vote with her TV ad”

“Thank you for signing legislation that lets me use the girls’ bathroom,” the man in the dress says to Rauner in the ad, referring to a bill Rauner signed. The bill actually said nothing about transgender bathroom rights. Instead, it allowed transgender people to change their gender printed on birth certificates with a doctor’s approval.

Can this kind of stuff get you elected in a Republican primary? Who knows? Donald Trump won the White House by, in part, bashing undocumented immigrants, who are largely law-abiding, as a bunch of killers.

And taking the low road has earned Ives another $2 million campaign donation from the conservative Lake Forest donor Dick Uihlein — the same enlightened guy who bankrolled creepy Judge Roy Moore’s campaign in Alabama.

“What’s the big deal?” Ives asked on Monday, responding to critics of the ad.

Nothing, if you’re going for the bully vote.

* Eric Zorn: “Ives’ poisonous commercial rips a page from the Trump playbook”

Jeanne Ives’ new political attack ad is brilliantly dreadful and dreadfully brilliant.

Dreadful because it trots out ugly stereotypes and peddles brazen lies.

Brilliant because, by provoking an indignant response not only from liberals but also mainstream members of Ives’ own Republican party, the ad is giving her a big shot of what her campaign now needs most: Publicity.

The outrage is a feature, not a bug.

- Posted by Rich Miller        

  1. - Norseman - Wednesday, Feb 7, 18 @ 10:10 am:

    Ives is striving for purity of essence.

  2. - Da Big Bad Wolf - Wednesday, Feb 7, 18 @ 10:11 am:

    Earth to Jeanne. You’re not going to get 400,000 plus one.

  3. - VanillaMan - Wednesday, Feb 7, 18 @ 10:18 am:

    Was that so hard?
    This ad generates controversy because of the silly over the top backlash from voters who’d never vote for anyonw with an (R) next to their name.

    So to defeat its purpose you ignore it and let non hysterical people point out how it is wrong.

    Hysteria doesn’t work. But generating it does.

    Stop giving this juvenile patronizing horse puck oxygen by wailing over it and by collapsing dramatically upon chaise lounge chairs.

    Outrage is so last election.

  4. - Retired Educator - Wednesday, Feb 7, 18 @ 10:19 am:

    She won’t win, but the damage to Rauner can be massive. Her name recognition has gone way up. I know people who will vote for anyone but Rauner, she is at least an option. This is all going to hurt him in the long term.

  5. - JoanP - Wednesday, Feb 7, 18 @ 10:19 am:

    Oh, sure, this ad will go a long way towards “be[ing] the unifier that Rauner hasn’t been, building coalitions”. I don’t think.

  6. - Da Big Bad Wolf - Wednesday, Feb 7, 18 @ 10:20 am:

    Republicans hated the ad too.

  7. - Out Here In The Middle - Wednesday, Feb 7, 18 @ 10:20 am:

    The ad says way more about who Ives is as a person than it does about what she would do as Governor. And it doesn’t portray a person that I would associate with, let alone support.

  8. - Anonymous - Wednesday, Feb 7, 18 @ 10:20 am:

    This is so obvious even the Tribune Editorial Board got it right

  9. - Six Degrees of Separation - Wednesday, Feb 7, 18 @ 10:21 am:

    JoanP, she has to burn down the village to save it.

  10. - Oswego Willy - Wednesday, Feb 7, 18 @ 10:24 am:

    Rauner has done what is expected, and frankly what is deserved, and denounced the Ad’s tactic and disgusting way it is making a point.

    Rauner has yet to clarify where, on the ad, Ives is wrong about his positions.


    The positions, even explained correctly, are “seen” as uber-left, costal limousine, Democratically liberal.

    Explaining the positions only reinforce the over arching narrative that is being presented in a very wrong (in presentation and fact) way

  11. - Conn Smythe - Wednesday, Feb 7, 18 @ 10:26 am:

    To Zorn’s point, she’s now gotten almost a full week of earned media for an ad she needs a very specific set of voters to see repeatedly.

  12. - Steve - Wednesday, Feb 7, 18 @ 10:26 am:

    It’s hard to argue with anything VanillaMan said. Many Democrats , in the state of Illinois, would never vote for a Republican. They’d vote for an independent socialist like Comrade Bernie Sanders before voting for a Republican. So, what Ives does in a commercial doesn’t really matter.

  13. - Arsenal - Wednesday, Feb 7, 18 @ 10:26 am:

    ==She won’t win, but the damage to Rauner can be massive.==

    Indeed, especially since, so far, he seems unwilling to respond to the ad as he should. He can paint her as extreme, she just handed him the brush, and set himself up nicely for the General. But he’s still clutching that “Because Madigan” security blanket.

  14. - PJ - Wednesday, Feb 7, 18 @ 10:28 am:

    == she needs a very specific set of voters to see repeatedly.==

    Sure - the hardcore right-wing folks who were already likely to vote for her anyway. This isn’t Alabama. There aren’t nearly enough of those people to win even a Republican primary on their own, and she’s now turned off nearly everyone else.

  15. - NoGifts - Wednesday, Feb 7, 18 @ 10:34 am:

    It’s a little shortsighted, since the election isn’t over until the general election is over.

  16. - IceCoffee - Wednesday, Feb 7, 18 @ 10:36 am:

    Ives was just a Republican ideological purist. She wasn’t going to win anyway. We’re in the home stretch here - time is running out. The Pritzker story is the story. But even his dirty call with Blago will fade from memory..

  17. - Anonymous - Wednesday, Feb 7, 18 @ 10:47 am:

    Ives…..wants Rauner to suffer. Politics ain’t beanbag, but it will be beanball with Jeanne on the mound and Rauner at the plate. She knows her chances are slim I to beat him, but she can bean him. High and tight, and sometimes more than tight.

  18. - SAP - Wednesday, Feb 7, 18 @ 10:50 am:

    Ives seems to think that a majority of Illinoisans think the same way she does, but her ad fired up the people who were already going to vote for her and alienated the people who were thinking about voting for her. Not exactly the politics of addition.

  19. - Stuff Happens - Wednesday, Feb 7, 18 @ 10:55 am:

    The ego and (seeming) narcissism makes me wonder if we’re seeing the conservative counterpart to Rod Blagojevich.

  20. - Anonymous - Wednesday, Feb 7, 18 @ 11:01 am:

    ==Ives said she wants to be the unifier ==

    Wow. She’s trolling herself

  21. - A Jack - Wednesday, Feb 7, 18 @ 11:07 am:

    The ad certainly improved her name recognition.

    And since Rauner won’t debate her over his policy choices, all he can say is that the ad is over the top.

  22. - Soapbox Derby - Wednesday, Feb 7, 18 @ 11:11 am:

    It wasn’t like Ives called one group “more crass” than another.

    That was JB Pritzker. On a wiretap. When he didn’t think anyone could hear him.

    Too bad she isn’t a billionaire too. Democrats would look the other way then too.

  23. - TominChicago - Wednesday, Feb 7, 18 @ 11:16 am:

    Nice try there Soapbox but he called Jones crass, not all African Americans.

  24. - Arsenal - Wednesday, Feb 7, 18 @ 11:19 am:

    That you think African Americans are so interchangeable that insulting Emil Jones equates to insulting all of them…

    …rather shows that Ives’ ad has found its level.

  25. - Soapbox Derby - Wednesday, Feb 7, 18 @ 11:19 am:

    Let’s ask Jones if he thinks JB is a racist.

    From today’s Sun Times:

    Former Senate President Emil Jones not only doesn’t accept J.B. Pritzker’s apology, he says the billionaire has shown “what he really thinks about black folks” and should withdraw from the governor’s race. Pritzker showed his “true colors” when he told Rod Blagojevich in a secretly recorded conversation ..

  26. - TominChicago - Wednesday, Feb 7, 18 @ 11:24 am:

    Couple of things there Soapbox. First Emil is entitled to his opinion but he does not speak for all African Americans. Jessie White accepted the apology. Moreover, Jones is a surrogate for one of Pritzker’s opponents so you might factor that in to your analysis.

  27. - Arsenal - Wednesday, Feb 7, 18 @ 11:24 am:

    ==Let’s ask Jones if he thinks JB is a racist.==

    Jones is a surrogate for a rival campaign. I understand that your argument is so pathetic that you need to stack the deck like that, but…your argument is so pathetic that you need to stack the deck like that.

  28. - Arsenal - Wednesday, Feb 7, 18 @ 11:25 am:

    And again, the fact that you think you only need to get Emil Jones’ opinion says a lot more about you than anything else.

  29. - wordslinger - Wednesday, Feb 7, 18 @ 11:28 am:

    –“To draw attention”, he said. “Drastic times, they call for serious measures.”–

    In no way is it a serious spot. It’s juvenile and vulgar. People are free to associate with that if they choose.

    Are we going to see any more comedy stylings on abortion? I thought that was a serious issue, but I guess it’s all for laughs.

  30. - Roadiepig - Wednesday, Feb 7, 18 @ 11:31 am:

    Soapbox Derby - Wednesday, Feb 7, 18 @ 11:19 am

    SD- I believe it was said here yesterday that Jones is backing Kennedy in the race for governor. He likely wouldn’t have respond kindly to being called names regardless, but if it helps his chosen candidate he was more than likely going to demand that JB drop out of the race. I have a feeling that the Chicago Trib’s editorial board and Gov. Gaslight are burning through all of their edited “good stuff” now, hoping to face a underfunded candidate in the fall. People can defend Rauner all they want in whatever way the want, but I think most of the people living here know what they got with Rauner (both Republicans and Democrats), and would vote for about anyone else to make sure he isn’t around to do more damage for 4 more years.

  31. - Memo From Turner - Wednesday, Feb 7, 18 @ 11:42 am:

    Per the Tribune
    Rauner’s running mate Lt. Gov. Evelyn Sanguinetti separately called the spot “offensive and disgusting.”

    “I was just taken aback. I don’t think it speaks to policies at all, I just think it’s offensive to individuals,” Sanguinetti said.

    Sanguinetti and Ives briefly served together on the Wheaton City Council before Ives entered the Illinois House and Sanguinetti later became lieutenant governor. Sanguinetti said she and Ives are “not friends.”

    “The Jeanne Ives that you folks are seeing in that commercial, that sort of spirit, is the same Jeanne Ives that I have known for the last seven to eight years,” Sanguinetti said. “I saw it from the dais, I’ve seen it in my community and now all of you are getting a taste of it, and I’m hopeful that that will be rejected.”

  32. - @misterjayem - Wednesday, Feb 7, 18 @ 12:50 pm:

    (I never thought I’d say this, but) Good for you, Evelyn Sanguinetti.

    Good for you.

    – MrJM

  33. - Demoralized - Wednesday, Feb 7, 18 @ 3:26 pm:

    ==silly over the top backlash==

    Forgive us VMan for being intolerant of bigotry and racism.

  34. - titan - Wednesday, Feb 7, 18 @ 4:36 pm:

    # Jeanne Ives says … says the content is not racist. #

    Looking back on it, she may be sort of correct (sort of) … but I don’t recall seeing a lot of “racist” criticism. I do recall seeing quite a bit of “xenophobic” and “sexist” and “anti-trans” sorts of comments.

  35. - Suburban Mom - Thursday, Feb 8, 18 @ 8:39 am:

    Everyone I’ve talked to at school pickup/dropoff, in the grocery store, at playdates, at the library, etc., is just FURIOUS about the ad. My circle of liberal friends was of course appalled, but the fury from GOP-voting white North Shore moms has also been running high, especially that the ad ran during post-SuperBowl coverage when some children were still awake and watching.

    The tone of politics right now is miserable enough and you constantly have to turn off the news before your young children hear about “s-hole” countries from the president; it’s awful to have this kind of bigotry on display in state politics, and people are ANGRY about what the GOP is exposing children to.

Sorry, comments for this post are now closed.

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