SPRINGFIELD — The advertising battle over the 2014 governor’s race intensified Tuesday with Republican Bruce Rauner launching two new television ads attacking Gov. Pat Quinn after a labor-supported group unleashed a counterpunch of its own in support of the incumbent Democrat.
A common theme in Rauner’s ads focused on Quinn’s support for making a 2011 temporary income tax hike permanent but doing little to corral increasing property taxes, a key issue for suburban voters who may well dictate which candidate wins in the fall.
“The second highest property taxes in America. And Pat Quinn wants to make his 67 percent tax increase permanent. Pat Quinn. He just doesn’t get it,” one of Rauner’s ads begins.
Rauner’s commercials, titled “Ever” and “It’s Time” and produced by Easley, S.C.-based Something Else Stategies, feature Rauner saying he wants to repeal the income tax hike due to expire in January, stop “corporate welfare giveaways,” avoid taxing Social Security income, and “freeze runaway property taxes,” though the state does not levy a property tax.
A Rauner spokesman wouldn’t divulge the money behind the ads or their duration but said the Winnetka Republican made a “substantial buy in media markets throughout the state.”
Earlier this year, Quinn proposed giving homeowners a $500 property-tax rebate, but the plan languished in the Democratic-led General Assembly, in part, because of its $715 million pricetag and its exclusion of renters.
Likewise, Quinn’s springtime push to permanently extend the 2011 temporary income-tax increase faltered amid bi-partisan opposition.
Quinn’s camp fired back at what it called Rauner’s “new batch of false ads,” mocking Rauner as a “corporate welfare freeloader” because PrivateBancorp received $244 million in federal bailout funds.
PrivateBancorp is a publicly traded banking company in which GTCR, the Chicago investment firm Rauner founded and headed until 2012, invested $100 million in 2007 and held a nearly 12-percent ownership stake as of then. GTCR’s stock position in PrivateBancorp now stands at about 7 percent, a PrivateBancorp spokeswoman said.
Quinn’s campaign also characterized Rauner’s vow not to tax Social Security as “misleading” since he was unwilling in the GOP primary to commit against taxing Social Security or pension income.
Rauner’s ads come after the union-backed Illinois Freedom PAC debuted its own 30-second ad in support of Quinn last week. Titled “No Way,” the ad targeted Rauner for paying “a lower tax rate than many of us” and using “loopholes to avoid paying into Social Security and Medicare for two straight years.”
The ad featuring what a group spokesman described as a Chicago Realtor named Ellen also hit Rauner for not being decisive in the spring primary debate sponsored by WTTW-Channel 11 about ruling out a tax on Social Security and pension income for senior citizens, another key constituency in the fall election.
Here are all three ads: