Rep. Jeanne Ives Defends Controversial Campaign Ad

CHICAGO (CBS) — Republican State Rep. Jeanne Ives is refusing to take down a controversial campaign ad, despite many denouncing it as “offensive” and “divisive.”

“Now I know there are people here chomping at the bit to chomp me to bits,” Ives said at a City Club of Chicago luncheon Monday, where she arrived expecting to defend her commercial against incumbent Gov. Bruce Rauner.

The ad shows depictions of constituencies Ives says Rauner has helped, including undocumented immigrants, transgender people and Chicago teachers. As a result, various interest groups are now thanking the governor for standing up for them.

“Thank you for making all Illinois families pay for my abortions. Thank you for signing legislation that lets me use the girl’s bathroom,” the ad says.

Ives says she doesn’t know why people are upset, saying, “I want to know why people are so offended by it? The commercial does not attack people, it tackles issues by truthfully illustrating the constituencies Rauner has chosen to serve to the exclusion of others.”

Still, she admits the commercial was provocative.

State GOP Chairman Tim Schneider said “she needs to pull down the ad,” and apologize to those who “were negatively portrayed in a cowardly attempt to stoke political division.”

Ives maintains the ad focuses on policy, and is not meant to be offensive to any person or group.

Over the weekend, Ives received an additional $2 million donation from conservative businessman Richard Uihlein, who gave her $500,000 last week. Her consultant, Dan Proft, says that money will enable Ives to introduce herself to voters and expose Rauner’s record through TV ads.

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