Illinois GOP Chairman Criticizes Controversial Ives Ad

Jeanne Ives aired a controversial new ad on Friday that has conservatives divided and has some groups criticizing the candidate. NBC 5's Patrick Fazio has more. 

(Published Friday, Feb. 2, 2018)

State GOP Chairman Tim Schneider is calling for Republican gubernatorial candidate Jeanne Ives to pull a controversial ad that is set to start airing this weekend.

The advertisement, paid for by the Ives campaign and which criticizes Governor Bruce Rauner for his stances on transgender individuals using their chosen bathrooms and his signing of HB-40, debuted on Friday afternoon:

The advertisement, which began airing this weekend, drew the ire of Schneider as he called for Ives to take the ad down.

"There is no place in the Illinois Republican Party for rhetoric that attacks our fellow Illinoisians based on their race, gender, or humanity," he said. "Representative Ives' campaign ad does not reflect who we are as the Party of Lincoln and as proud residents of our great and diverse state.

"She should pull down the ad and immediately apologize to the Illinoisans who were negatively portrayed in a cowardly attempt to stoke political division," he added.

The advertisement featured a group of actors portraying an illegal immigrant and a transgender woman, among others, and attacked Rauner for support taxpayer funds for abortions and a bill that allowed transgender residents to use their preferred bathroom.

The Ives campaign responded quickly to Schneider's statement, saying that the Illinois Republican Party is "an arm of the campaign of the man who funds it: Bruce Rauner."

Even Attorney General candidates on both sides of the aisle are condemning the ad, with Democrat Nancy Rotering calling it "disgusting racism" and Republican candidate Erika Harold calling for Ives to take down the ad, saying it "denigrates, mocks and marginalizes groups of Illinoisans and can't represent our Republican Party."

A spokeswoman for Planned Parenthood also criticized the ad, saying that they are fighting to protect the rights of people in Illinois.

"The bills mentioned in this ad move Illinois forward to protect Illinoisan's basic human rights -- whether it's the right to access healthcare or use the bathroom that suits their gender identity," the statement read.

The Gay and Lesbian Alliance Against Discrimination also criticized the ad.

"Malicious ads like this one spread dangerous falsehoods about the transgender community that feed into a toxic culture of violence and discrimination that can have deadly ramifications," Zeke Stokes, CP of Programs at GLAAD, said. "This mean-spirited rhetoric has no place in public political discourse."

The video, uploaded to YouTube, generated negative comments as soon as it was posted, with users calling the advertisement “disgusting” and “offensive.”

Rauner's campaign responded to the ad as well, saying that he is the "only candidate in either party who will take on Mike Madigan."

A press release from Ives’ campaign states that the ad is a “fair and accurate representation of the implications of (Rauner’s) policy choices,” and called Rauner’s actions a “betrayal” of conservative values.

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