Ward Room's Campaign Round-Up is a weekly column dedicated to keeping you in the know about the upcoming 2016 elections. Check the Ward Room blog for continued coverage every Wednesday.
Comptroller Leslie Munger released an ad Wednesday tying her opponent, Chicago City Clerk Susana Mendoza, to Illinois House Speaker Mike Madigan.
The 30-second spot calls Mendoza Madigan’s “political sidekick” and faults the Democrat for collecting two public salaries at the same time and raking in $2 million in taxpayer money while building two pensions. Mendoza’s campaign disputed these claims.
“Leslie Munger’s false, negative ads, including her lie about double dipping — previously debunked by documented proof — are almost entirely bankrolled by just two of Bruce Rauner’s billionaire friends,” Mendoza spokeswoman Lauren Peters said in a statement. “You can make up a lot of lies with that kind of money, but it doesn’t change that fact that Leslie Munger, Rauner’s self-described 'wingman,' is a wholly-owned subsidiary of Governor Rauner, not the independent watchdog Illinois taxpayers desperately need."
The ad goes on to ask how Mendoza pays for her “double dipping,” claiming she voted for unbalanced budgets, tax increases and pension holidays during her time in the General Assembly, from 2001-2011. The narrator claims these moves “forced Illinois into a fiscal crisis.”
“She even voted for the largest tax hike in state history,” the ad's narrator says. “Mendoza, Madigan: Putting politics above people and Illinois just can’t afford her.”
Additonally, Munger received an endorsement from the Chicago Sun-Times Tuesday. The paper noted that throughout the “proxy war between Rauner and Madigan," Munger has done “a commendable job of remaining noncombatant."
“We see no good argument for a change at the top in that office at a time when so much else in state government is dysfunctional,” the Sun-Times editorial board wrote. “Mendoza, too, might make a fine comptroller; as city clerk, she has done a terrific job of finding ways to save the city money. But Munger has earned the job.”
10th Congressional District
A new ad paid for by the House Majority PAC looks to frame Rep. Bob Dold as a politician beholden to special interest groups.
“Special interests spent $7 million to elect Dold and he repeatedly voted their way,” the ad’s narrator says. “Like taking half a million from the insurance industry and voting to privatize Medicare and charging women more for healthcare.”
The narrator urges viewers to visit a website paid for by the group that includes negative reviews of the congressman. The ad also claims "Bob Dold does not work for us.”
Dold will face Democratic nominee Brad Schneider in November.
"This roll-on-the-floor, laughably dishonest ad against Bob Dold -who has been overwhelmingly rated by nonpartisan groups as one of the most effective, independent and bipartisan leaders in all of Congress - is yet another example of the extreme lies and bitter partisanship that voters have come to expect from Nancy Pelosi's puppet Brad Schneider and his allies in Washington," Dold spokeswoman Danielle Hagen said in a statement.
17th Congressional District
Rep. Cheri Bustos released a campaign ad Monday stressing what Illinoisans are “looking for.”
"In Illinois, all anyone’s really looking for is a fair shot,” Bustos says in the 30-second spot. “That means holding the powerful accountable to keep our drinking water safe, cutting government waste so we can protect social security and Medicare, and demanding our tax dollars are spent on American-made products to create jobs here.”
The ad features clips of Bustos jogging and playing basketball with her family as citations flash across the screen owing to the congresswoman's commitment to the aforementioned issues.
Bustos is facing Republican newcomer Patrick Harlan in her bid for reelection.
Billionaire Ken Griffin, a close ally to Gov. Bruce Rauner, dumped $2 million into the campaign account of Republican House minority leader Jim Durkin. The move is part of a larger effort to bolster Republicans throughout the state, according to Politico.
Additionally, Griffin donated $3 million to Comptroller Leslie Munger’s campaign last month.
Speaker Madigan’s Democratic Party of Illinois fund reported $160,000 in donations Tuesday. This includes a $32,000 contribution from state Rep. John D’Amico. The Friends of Michael J Madigan fund also reported $96,400 in donations Tuesday, $40,000 of which came from D’Amico.