CHICAGO – One by one, candidates seeking the Republican Party's nomination for attorney general, comptroller and treasurer released statements attacking gubernatorial primary challenger Jeanne Ives – and by extension the IL GOP's conservative base.
The orchestrated statements from what is being called the "Rauner Slate" blasted Ives for airing an ad as "insulting" and "wrong," and "denigrates, mocks and marginalizes groups of Illinoisans."
The Ives campaign ignored the slate's calls to pull the ads over the weekend. The campaign ad was boosted in key state population areas during Super Bowl pre-games, with the help of a $2 Million donation from conservative Dick Uihlein.
The IL GOP base has made it clear that they oppose Governor Rauner signing into law measures forcing taxpayers to fund abortions and providing protection from the law for illegal aliens – two hot topics the Ives ad mentions.
Republican Attorney General Candidate Erika Harold, who has historically held a pro-life position, called for Ives to pull the ad immediately. Harold is heavily financed by the IL GOP, of which Governor Rauner is the key funder. Harold has an opponent in the race, conservative DuPage County attorney Gary Grasso. Harold's statement said:
This ad denigrates, mocks and marginalizes groups of Illinoisans and cannot represent our Republican Party. I call on the Ives campaign to immediately take it off the air. The Republican Party must be about fighting for the ideals and values that have made our country the envy of the world and promoting the dignity and value of every Illinoisan.
Republican Candidate for Treasurer Jim Dodge, who has thus far received little notice in the primary as he is unopposed, issued the following statement on State Representative Jeanne Ives' campaign ad:
Our nation's collective diversity gives us our strength and makes us a beacon of freedom to the world. Illinois is a strong and diverse state – a microcosm of America. Representative Ives' campaign advertisement is wrong on so many levels and an insult to everything that makes us Illinoisans and Americans. I believe this advertisement does not represent the Republican Party or our shared American values, and should never again see the light of day.
Republican Candidate for Comptroller Darlene Senger – who is also unopposed in the IL GOP Primary – said:
Illinois is facing real challenges that require common-sense, bi-partisan solutions. Hyper-partisan attacks that focus on our fellow Illinoisans do little to advance debate nor reach consensus. The Republican Party — The Party of Lincoln — has always served as a beacon of freedom and individual rights. Now more than ever, we need to demonstrate our commitment to that standard.
Earlier, IL GOP State Chairman Tim Schneider defended his party's main contributor – Governor Bruce Rauner and called on Ives to pull down the ad, as well.
The ad the Rauner slate is condemning now has over 50,000 views on YouTube: