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Citizens for Rauner released a new TV ad Wednesday highlighting J.B. Pritzker’s unseemly exchange with disgraced former Governor Rod Blagojevich. In 2008, Pritzker was caught on FBI wiretaps encouraging Blagojevich to engage in a quid pro quo with Mike Madigan, resulting in his own potential appointment to statewide political office.
Take a look at what state and national media are saying about the new ad:
Chicago Tribune: “The new one-minute attack ad features no narrator and uses sepia-toned photographs of Blagojevich and Pritzker with ominous-sounding music beneath their conversation, which authorities recorded on Nov. 6, 2008. Blagojevich opened the possibility of appointing Pritzker as attorney general if he selected Illinois Attorney General Lisa Madigan as U.S. senator to replace then-incoming President Barack Obama.
Blagojevich and House Speaker Michael Madigan, the attorney general’s father, had been feuding for years.
‘OK, so what if, and I’m telling ya’ this could happen … because I know how Madigan is. He says, ‘I’ll give you health care. I’ll give you a capital bill, OK?’ I’ll balance the uh, we’ll work with you to balance the budget the way you want to do it and I’ll raise taxes on people. And, uh, you make Lisa the senator, OK?’ Blagojevich says as Pritzker responds, ‘Uh-huh.’
After Blagojevich calls such a choice a ‘moral dilemma,’ Pritzker says, ‘You should do it. I’d take that in a heartbeat.’ Blagojevich goes on to note that if Lisa Madigan gets the U.S. Senate appointment, ‘There’s an AG that I appoint.’ ‘Oh, that’s interesting,’ says Pritzker, a lawyer.”
Chicago Sun-Times: “The 60-second Rauner ad — called ‘I’d Do It’ — includes audio of the wiretap, images of Blagojevich and Pritzker and a transcript. The wiretap features Blagojevich telling Pritzker about a scenario in which Illinois Attorney General Lisa Madigan could become senator, and Pritzker could become the attorney general.
The Rauner campaign said the ad highlights “the shady insider dealings that continue to haunt J.B. Pritzker in his campaign for governor.” The ad will begin airing on Thursday, the campaign said.”
Capitol Fax’s Rich Miller: “Wow.”
NBC Chicago: “The Rauner ad uses the FBI wiretaps from 2008 of a conversation between JB Pritzker and former Governor Rod Blagojevich. The Rauner campaign says it’s time to show Pritzker’s ‘insider dealings.’ … Clearly with the Pritzker campaign ready to respond as soon as the Rauner attack ad was released, they knew at some point this tape’s conversation with Blagojevich would be a campaign issue.”
Illinois Playbook: “About the ad: It’s ominous sounding and looking, to be sure. The typeface resembles a court document. Just allowing the conversation between Pritzker and Blagojevich to speak for itself grabs your attention. Having the two speaking at all on a wiretapped call isn’t good, much less Pritzker talking about a potential appointment.”
Politico Morning Score: “Citizens for Rauner released a new TV ad that highlights the ‘insider dealings that continue to haunt J.B. Pritzker in his campaign for governor,’ per a statement from the campaign.”