SEIU Healthcare launches TV ads targeting Rauner’s cuts

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Illinois Gov. Bruce Rauner speaks to members of the Greater Belleville Chamber of Commerce on May 1, 2015. | Derik Holtmann/Belleville News-Democrat, via AP

A health care workers union is spinning its online social media campaign into TV ads starting Monday. The ads take aim at Gov. Bruce Rauner’s proposed budget cuts.

SEIU Healthcare Illinois Indianarepresents thousands of nurses, doctors, lab technicians, nursing home workers and home care workers. They are in the midst of contract talks with the governor’s office, with a contract that expires June 30.

The union intends to rotate two ads that tell personal stories of disabled and elderly Illinois residents who want to remain in their homes.

“I don’t think it’s fair at all that the big corporations don’t pay their fair share, yet the governor wants to cut programs that benefit people like Betty,” says one health care worker on the screen. Betty, who is elderly, closes by saying: “The rich is just getting richer and the poor getting poorer,” and a shot of Rauner then appears on the screen.

“The ads will be visible into the heart of the budget ‘crisis’ that Gov. Rauner has created, with the possibility of extending the run as we deem fit,”James Muhammad, an SEIU Healthcare Illinois vice president said in a statement.

The union also contends that the governor has made “demands and proposed budget cuts that would lead to massive layoffs and lead to enormous damage to our low-income workforce.”

Rauner has been running his own TV ads targeting Illinois House Speaker Mike Madigan.

On Monday, Rauner’s office offered a response to SEIU ads.

“Illinois’ fiscal crisis is due to Speaker Madigan and the legislators he controls overspending taxpayer dollars for years, while catering to government insiders and the political class,” said Rauner spokeswoman Catherine Kelly. “Governor Rauner’s Turnaround Agenda will free up resources and help grow the economy to protect middle class families and the most vulnerable.”

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