In a dig at a Gov. Bruce Rauner campaign ad that featured neighboring governors sarcastically thanking House Speaker Mike Madigan for sending jobs their way, Democratic gubernatorial candidate J.B. Pritzker on Friday sent back his own thank you card.
Pritzker’s “Thanks Gov” TV ad features out-of-state residents thanking Rauner for creating jobs in their neighboring states by talking “trash about his own state.”
“Because when Bruce Rauner calls Illinois ‘a horrible place to do business,’ guess where the jobs go?” one man asks in the new spot.
The 30-second ad, which begins airing statewide on Friday, features people from Wisconsin, Indiana and Missouri.
“What governor talks trash about his own state,” a man from Wisconsin asks.
It ends with a chorus of “Thank you’s” from the out-of-towners.
The ad is intended to answer a TV ad Rauner’s campaign launched last fall, featuring essentially the same message. Rauner’s commercial featured a trio of Republican governors thanking Madigan for “raising Illinois taxes” and helping to send jobs to their states.
The Rauner ad didn’t go as smoothly as he would have liked. The campaign took it down in January, a day after Missouri Gov. Eric Greitens — who was featured offering “bigtime” thanks to Madigan — admitted to an extramarital affair with a hairstylist.
Rauner in April called the findings of a bipartisan legislative report into Greitens “disturbing” while urging him to resign. Greitens resigned last month amid the scandal, including claims he took an explicit photograph of a woman without her permission.
In response to the ad, Rauner’s campaign on Friday turned the tables on Pritzker, saying he’s using his wealth to benefit a “broken political system.”
“Pritzker won’t admit the damage that’s been done to Illinois by decades of corrupt politicians because he’s used his wealth and influence to benefit from a broken political system,” Rauner campaign spokesman Will Allison said. “Governor Rauner is working every day to clean up a state government and build a better future for the hardworking people of this state.”
Pritzker has now released three TV ads since the March primary, with the first one airing on June 5 — the same day Rauner launched one featuring FBI wiretapped conversations between Pritzker and imprisoned former Gov. Rod Blagojevich.
Rauner’s campaign this week launched a “Porcelain Prince” TV ad to remind voters of a hefty property tax break the billionaire received by disabling toilets in a Gold Coast mansion he bought next door to his own $14.5 million home. Pritzker fired back soon after with a TV ad reminding voters that Rauner owns nine homes and has appealed his property taxes 22 times. But Rauner this week publicly denied that he personally appealed his property taxes.
There’s no end in sight for the rapid-fire TV ad war between Pritzker, a billionaire entrepreneur and philanthropist, and Rauner. Rauner still has about $39.1 million cash on hand in his campaign fund, while Pritzker has $38.1 million, contribution filings show.
But both men can replenish those funds from their personal fortunes whenever they wish.