A new ad from Republican gubernatorial candidate Jeanne Ives is set to start airing in Illinois this weekend, and it’s already generating controversy.
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:
“Thank you Bruce Rauner for opposing law enforcement and making Illinois a sanctuary state for illegal immigrant criminals,” one of the actors said in criticizing Rauner’s immigration policies.
The ad also criticized Rauner for “bailing out Chicago,” and even used the governor’s own words, with video of him famously saying he’s “not in charge” playing in the minute-long advertisement.
In the ad, an actress "thanks" Illinois taxpayers for paying for an abortion, a reference to the controversial HB-40 bill that provides state health insurance and Medicaid coverage for abortions.
A spokeswoman for Planned Parenthood 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, VP 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.