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Rate Jesse Sullivan’s latest TV ad

Tuesday, Jan 25, 2022 - Posted by Rich Miller

* Here you go

* Script

Deployed as a civilian intelligence analyst in Afghanistan, I know corrupt war zones torn apart by violence.

But this isn’t Afghanistan. This is Chicago. Pritzker’s leftist agenda is literally killing us, turning parts of Illinois into a war zone.

But I’ve got a plan. Defend our police, not defund them. And take the cuffs off our cops and put them back on criminals.

My name is Jesse Sullivan, candidate for governor. Join me. Let’s save Illinois.

For a copy of the latest cable TV buys, click here.


  1. - Excitable Boy - Tuesday, Jan 25, 22 @ 8:58 am:

    I figured he’d back away from the whole stolen valor routine, guess not. D minus.

  2. - Candle - Tuesday, Jan 25, 22 @ 8:59 am:

    Ad doesn’t mean much if you don’t have a running mate. B ad. But F campaign.

  3. - Cool Papa Bell - Tuesday, Jan 25, 22 @ 9:02 am:

    Both of these ads look like a rip off of Kimberly Klacik. These folks are watching way too much NewsMax and OAN.

    To right portion of the base its B. To my personal sensibilities this ad is a C-.

  4. - One hand //ing - Tuesday, Jan 25, 22 @ 9:03 am:

    100x more effective than the Irvin ad.

    Between Sullivan’s mission in Iraq and Irvin’s calling in the Guard, the stolen valor primary is officially underway.

  5. - Steve - Tuesday, Jan 25, 22 @ 9:03 am:

    C-. What exactly does JB have to do with running Chicago? I say this as someone who didn’t vote for JB. Does Sullivan want to blame JB for he crime in Milwaukee?

  6. - Pundent - Tuesday, Jan 25, 22 @ 9:05 am:

    I give it a B+. Same message as Irvin’s but toned down a bit. Focusing on crime on Chicago is an interesting strategy and maybe in resonates with the downstate base. I’m not sure why they would care given the desires of many to succeed. Does make you wonder.

    But CPD doesn’t need to be defended and they are in fact very well-funded. They’re just not getting the results and their track record with civil litigation makes that clear as does their 12% clearance rate on crimes. So defending a department that clearly has problems seems like an odd take.

    But hey, at least he’s being honest on what he actually did in Afghanistan so that’s a plus.

  7. - Back to the Future - Tuesday, Jan 25, 22 @ 9:06 am:

    Very impressive spot for TV.
    It makes the point about violence in the city and keeps your attention.

  8. - Three Dimensional Checkers - Tuesday, Jan 25, 22 @ 9:06 am:

    Is this fear mongering the best tactics cryptocurrency can buy? Both ads read like they were written for cartoon character strong men.

  9. - Oswego Willy - Tuesday, Jan 25, 22 @ 9:06 am:

    It’s a C+/“Gentleman’s C”

    “I don’t know this guy and he’s hitting me with big words about a job in Afghanistan and… “

    It’s too busy and too much, and reaching on a bio-thingy not already introduced about him… not a great start.

    As to the running mate…

    I guess you keep rolling like you can, even though he can’t name anyone willing to run with him?

    This is, right now, burning stacks of $20s in a fireplace kind of thing. The consultants got a media payday, so that works.

  10. - Oswego Willy - Tuesday, Jan 25, 22 @ 9:09 am:

    === Very impressive spot for TV.
    It makes the point about violence in the city and keeps your attention.===

    Ok, but who exactly *is* Jesse Sullivan making that pitch?

  11. - Flyin' Elvis'-Utah Chapter - Tuesday, Jan 25, 22 @ 9:13 am:

    Seems oddly familiar.

  12. - Oswego Willy - Tuesday, Jan 25, 22 @ 9:17 am:

    ===My name is Jesse Sullivan, candidate for governor. Join me. Let’s save Illinois.===

    Maybe I’m reading this ad all wrong. That’s on me…

    “My name is Jesse Sullivan, candidate for governor. Join me. Let’s save Illinois.”

    It’s an ad looking for a lieutenant governor running mate.

    See, now it makes sense.

  13. - Arsenal - Tuesday, Jan 25, 22 @ 9:19 am:

    ==To right portion of the base its B. To my personal sensibilities this ad is a C-. ==

    Well, they need to win over that base first, and that base has deep suspicions about both Sullivan and Irvin. Crime is one of the few safe things for them to talk about. These are probably over the top, but its their best issue to run with.

  14. - TheInvisibleMan - Tuesday, Jan 25, 22 @ 9:20 am:


    Every time I hear the trope about crime in Chicago, I find myself wondering why these politicians who want to be governor of the whole state don’t seem to care about the much higher rates of violence taking place in many parts of rural Illinois cities and towns.

    Caring about violence is a good thing. Caring about violence only in one specific area isn’t.

    He’s basically telling people he only cares about Chicago - which is more than a bit ironic.

  15. - Ron Burgundy - Tuesday, Jan 25, 22 @ 9:20 am:

    The ad is OK, but this is how you introduce yourself?

    No. One. Knows. You.

  16. - Bruce( no not him) - Tuesday, Jan 25, 22 @ 9:20 am:

    I think it will play well downstate.
    Everyone here hates Chicago anyway. S/
    North of I80 I give it a D
    South of I74 I give it a B

  17. - Rich Miller - Tuesday, Jan 25, 22 @ 9:20 am:

    ===but this is how you introduce yourself?===

    It’s not his first ad.

  18. - Back to the Future - Tuesday, Jan 25, 22 @ 9:21 am:

    “Who is Jesse Sullivan”
    Not sure I know the answer to that question.
    Your guess is as good as mine.
    I was just rating the Ad.

  19. - Arsenal - Tuesday, Jan 25, 22 @ 9:21 am:

    I’d say Sullivan is going to regret doing the “Chi-raq” routine come July, but since he’ll be watching the rest of the race from home at that point it probably won’t matter.

  20. - Oswego Willy - Tuesday, Jan 25, 22 @ 9:23 am:

    === Not sure I know the answer to that question.
    Your guess is as good as mine.
    I was just rating the Ad.===

    Then doesn’t the ad fail, because in the end, it needs to be about the candidate?

    With respect.

  21. - Ron Burgundy - Tuesday, Jan 25, 22 @ 9:28 am:

    -It’s not his first ad.-

    Yes, but this is the first one I’ve seen in the Chicago market.

  22. - Back to the Future - Tuesday, Jan 25, 22 @ 9:32 am:

    Good point.
    I like the Ad because it gives a bit of the candidate’s background, moves along in away that keeps your attention and highlights the crime issue.
    Not sure you can do more in 30 seconds.

  23. - Grandson of Man - Tuesday, Jan 25, 22 @ 9:34 am:

    Better ad than Irvin’s because it’s relevant to today’s violence spike and not the 2020 riots. But it’s more fear-peddling to the base. Does the GOP voter exist in any mental states other than fear and outrage? Are there not other themes that Republican primary voters would accept than extreme negativity?

  24. - Arsenal - Tuesday, Jan 25, 22 @ 9:35 am:

    ==Yes, but this is the first one I’ve seen in the Chicago market. ==

    He’s been up on the Chicago market, too. Saw his “Merry Christmas” ad several times during Bulls games.

    But I think the data is clear that it didn’t make much of an impression on anyone.

  25. - Oswego Willy - Tuesday, Jan 25, 22 @ 9:37 am:

    ===it gives a bit of the candidate’s background===

    “…civilian intelligence analyst in Afghanistan…”

    What exactly is that, lol

    ===Not sure you can do more in 30 seconds.===

    Yeah. You can. Many examples.

    Here’s my point;

    If you like him, that’s cool, having a candidate one likes, part of why we all are here, but to a critical eye, it misses quite a few boxes, it has obvious holes. With respect.

  26. - Cheryl44 - Tuesday, Jan 25, 22 @ 9:38 am:

    Actual Chicagoan here. This guy can bite me. What we need is better education and more jobs that pay better than minimum wage. Tell me how this bozo is going to accomplish those goals and I might listen.

  27. - Jibba - Tuesday, Jan 25, 22 @ 9:47 am:

    C. I know it is a 30 second ad, but I really dislike it when people say they have a plan and follow it with platitudes or content-free slogans. Putting cuffs on criminals is not a plan.

  28. - workingfromhome - Tuesday, Jan 25, 22 @ 9:51 am:

    Sorry, once you mention the word “leftist,” I’m out. You’re just playing to your base and have zero interest in attracting any moderates to you cause. See ya-

  29. - John Lopez - Tuesday, Jan 25, 22 @ 9:51 am:

    The ad uses a little too much Arsenal Media music, which makes me think of Kim Klacik and Catalina Lauf. Cut out the heavy metal guitars and Arsenal-style graphics.

    Good at very start, Sully makes clear he was a civilian in Afghanistan.

    Nice touch with transforming the green screen to streets of Illinois, making war game connection with voters.

    I’d rate it a “B”.

  30. - Mischievous - Tuesday, Jan 25, 22 @ 9:57 am:

    It is rich that Chicago crime is the number one issue in a primary whose voters are barely affected by it. Maybe nutrient loss reduction will become a big issue in Dem primaries this year.

  31. - Amalia - Tuesday, Jan 25, 22 @ 9:58 am:

    B. only because of his phony record. otherwise would be more. and yes, he can bite me because of the need for more good things for people but the fact is the crime burns now.

  32. - Back to the Future - Tuesday, Jan 25, 22 @ 10:00 am:

    Agree with Cheryl44 that “we need better education and more jobs that pay better than the minimum wage”.
    Hopefully all the candidates will spend some time talking about those issues.
    I live in an area that has a squad car parked a block or so away just about 24 hours a day and the local commander has patrol cars on patrol going by every 5 minutes. We still have crime problems, but they have gone down; however, I still don’t feel safe walking around after 9:30.

  33. - Candy Dogood - Tuesday, Jan 25, 22 @ 10:06 am:

    I do not believe it is accurate to refer to a civilian contractor working as a Human Terrain System component as a “civilian intelligence analyst.” I think I would let others decide if it is dishonest, but we’ve had intelligence analysts for decades. Human Terrain System only existed long enough to demonstrate its failures. It is specifically referred to as “intelligence enabling capability” or “intelligence support activity.”

    It covered a focus that is not what people usually describe as military intelligence. No one refers to anthropologists as “intelligence professionals.”

    Based off of what I know about Human Terrain Teams, I am not certain that Jesse Sullivan is being honest about what his actual role was with the HTT, but an HTT would typically have at least one “human terrain analyst” which, again, is a different term than intelligence analyst.

  34. - DuPage - Tuesday, Jan 25, 22 @ 10:07 am:

    Pritzker is not being helped by Kim “let them go” Foxx. Some of the violent criminals she lets out go on to commit more violent crimes.

  35. - walker - Tuesday, Jan 25, 22 @ 10:22 am:

    Solid ad. Good production. Sticks to the intended points well.

    The people who know what’s actually going on in Chicago and the state overall, will hate it — but they aren’t the target for this Primary.

  36. - Huh? - Tuesday, Jan 25, 22 @ 10:34 am:

    “Let’s save Illinois.”

    What about Illinois needs saving? Seems pretty good with Pritzker as governor.

  37. - froganon - Tuesday, Jan 25, 22 @ 10:47 am:

    C, it’s aimed at the true believers but will it draw moderates and suburban voters who aren’t directly affected by crime in Chicago? The corruption angle is so tired. It was tedious to watch/listen.

  38. - Dr. M - Tuesday, Jan 25, 22 @ 10:50 am:

    Sullivan’s ads will be best received with the sound off, which is how most people engage with them anyway. Sound on it’s a B-, sound off it’s an A-. He is classically handsome and the Black Carhartt jacket does him huge favors in style and symbolism. The large print phrases highlighting his key issues and positions are informative and to-the-point. Absent are his qualifications to address the serious issues confronting the state, but who cares? Voters arguably do not.

  39. - Pundent - Tuesday, Jan 25, 22 @ 10:51 am:

    =What we need is better education and more jobs that pay better than minimum wage.=

    Whether it’s Irvin or Sullivan’s message the irony is that they aren’t targeted towards the voters that would presumably be most effected by this. It’s simply a dog whistle for those looking to hear it.

  40. - Steve Rogers - Tuesday, Jan 25, 22 @ 10:53 am:

    Is it me or did I hear “leftist azhenda”?

    Why can’t Republicans understand how the letter “g” works? /s

  41. - Disappointed Voter - Tuesday, Jan 25, 22 @ 10:55 am:

    Great ad. Straight to the point. Sullivan is a good looking candidate as well. I know people don’t like to mention that, but it matters in these things and likely why he’s scared Pritzker.

  42. - Hmm - Tuesday, Jan 25, 22 @ 10:57 am:

    I think he described Chicago as a war zone. then I notice he chose to shoot his ad in Chicago. seems like the war zone was safe enough to shoot his ad. Odd.

  43. - Frank talks - Tuesday, Jan 25, 22 @ 11:01 am:

    This ad is saying the quite part out loud. No more cuffs on cops? So VanDyke made a justified shooting? Timing pretty bad overall or maybe it’s exactly the timing they want?

  44. - Roadrager - Tuesday, Jan 25, 22 @ 11:42 am:

    ==But I’ve got a plan. Defend our police, not defund them.==

    If candidate Sullivan can point to one Illinois municipality that is defunding its police department, or an Illinois politician who has run successfully on a “defund the police” platform, I am all ears. Of course, there is a robust media economy of telling people things that aren’t actually happening are, so this has an audience regardless. Maybe Irvin and Sullivan can ratchet up about the widespread anti-straight white Christian male indoctrination of public schooling for a local access Super Bowl slot.

  45. - JoanP - Tuesday, Jan 25, 22 @ 12:13 pm:

    = But I’ve got a plan. Defend our police, not defund them. =

    That’s not a plan. That’s a sound bite.

  46. - Sharia Capo - Tuesday, Jan 25, 22 @ 12:16 pm:

    That jawline alone is worth several hundred thousand votes.

  47. - Uptown Progressive - Tuesday, Jan 25, 22 @ 12:18 pm:

    Not sure I would want to invoke a connection to the failed U.S. policing strategy in Afghanistan.

  48. - The Old Man - Tuesday, Jan 25, 22 @ 12:47 pm:

    Would rather watch an old Ed Sullivan, a really BIG SHOW for you tonight folks than hear Jesse’s platitudes. What is HIS PLAN???

  49. - hisgirlfriday - Tuesday, Jan 25, 22 @ 12:49 pm:

    Is the Menard County Sheriff his running mate?

  50. - Oswego Willy - Tuesday, Jan 25, 22 @ 12:50 pm:

    === and Catalina Lauf===

    Seriously, - John Lopez -, do you get a cash for every Catalina Lauf mention?

    If not, you should charge by the mention. lol

  51. - Correcting - Tuesday, Jan 25, 22 @ 1:19 pm:

    I agree with comments from Jibba and JoanP but give it a D-.

    * Points deducted for late announcement on running mate.
    * Doesn’t tell us much of anything other than he supports the police.

  52. - Pundent - Tuesday, Jan 25, 22 @ 1:43 pm:

    =Defend our police, not defund them.=

    The police in question are clearing about 12% of their crimes. And the city has paid north of $100M to settle civil suits brought against the department. I’m not advocating that we defund them. But I might not be as quick to defend them.

  53. - JoanD - Tuesday, Jan 25, 22 @ 1:49 pm:

    Rating: B+. The broad message seems obvious, and reflects whatever the polling is. It’s a creative ad. If the CapitolFax devotees dislikes it (left-leaning insiders), then there is a chance this will appeal to gop primary voters.

  54. - Back to the Future - Tuesday, Jan 25, 22 @ 2:05 pm:

    It does seem a bit late in the game to not have a running mate.

  55. - Opening Date - Tuesday, Jan 25, 22 @ 2:25 pm:

    This ad is better than Irvin’s.

  56. - Jovial - Tuesday, Jan 25, 22 @ 6:07 pm:

    Let the “I’m tougher on crime than you are” jousting begin.

  57. - NonAFSCMEStateEmployeeFromChatham - Tuesday, Jan 25, 22 @ 8:16 pm:

    He would be better off moving back to central Illinois and to Springfield, and challenging Jim Langfelder for mayor next spring. Unless that’s his fallback position if he doesn’t win the primary.

  58. - Flapdoodle - Tuesday, Jan 25, 22 @ 11:27 pm:

    Once again Sullivan fudges his activities in Afghanistan — he claims to have been a civilian intelligence analyst, but “intelligence analyst” is a Military Occupational Specialty (MOS), specifically 35F,

    Just admit you were a civilian DOD employee and get on with it.

Sorry, comments for this post are now closed.

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