Rauner, Pritzker spar in new campaign ads - WSIL-TV 3 Southern Illinois

Rauner, Pritzker spar in new campaign ads

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WSIL -- In what could be a sign of things to come, Illinois Gov. Bruce Rauner's campaign released a new attack ad, going after Democratic frontrunner J.B. Pritzker, who responded with a pair of ads of his own. 

The one minute Rauner ad, called "I'd Do It," is part of a recording from a 2008 FBI phone wiretap of then-governor Rod Blagojevich.

In the recording, Blagojevich is heard talking with Pritzker about filling the U.S. Senate seat left vacant by President-elect Barack Obama.

At one point, Blagojevich wrestled with the idea of appointing Illinois Attorney General Lisa Madigan to the position.

Blagojevich said in that scenario, he could then appoint Pritzker to attorney general.

The Rauner campaign created a website featuring the ad, a downloadable recording of the FBI wiretap and a transcript.

"The conversation sounds like Blagojevich is spit-balling the idea out there," said Jak Tichenor with the Paul Simon Public Policy Institute at Southern Illinois University.

Tichenor said the ad is an effort by Rauner to paint a picture of Pritzker early on.

"It's an attempt to define Pritzker out of the gate as someone who's tied to a now-jailed governor of the state of Illinois," said Tichenor. "The idea of trying to bloody Pritzker's nose at this point really shouldn't come as a surprise to anyone."

Pritzker responded immediately with a pair of ads of his own, attacking Rauner's handling of a Legionnaire's disease outbreak at a veterans home in Quincy.

"It's no surprise Bruce Rauner is already on TV attacking me," Pritzker said in his ad. "He'd rather play politics in the Democratic primary than defend his own record."

Tichenor said the back and forth more than two months before the primaries shows how well organized both campaigns are.

It could also signal a bitter battle to November, should each man win his respective primary.

Although Pritzker's voice is featured in the FBI wiretap, he was never named as a target, or accused by authorities of any criminal wrongdoing.

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