A campaign ad featuring a mock wedding officiated by a foul-mouthed clergyman joining Democratic governor candidate J.B. Pritzker and House Speaker Michael Madigan, D-Chicago, in an “unholy alliance” is getting immediate response.
The ad was issued by GOP Gov. Bruce Rauner’s campaign, and includes the black-robed clergyman saying: “By the power invested in me, I now pronounce Illinois (bleeped.)”
On the screen, it is clear that the clergyman is using the f-word to describe the state.
“I thought this ad was so remarkable that I shared I with a couple of listservs – political scientists around the country,” said Chris Mooney, who is a professor at the University of Illinois Chicago and is president of the state politics section of the American Political Science Association. “I’ve received dozens of responses (from) people who can’t believe it. All over the country, they say they’ve never seen anything like it. … It’s an exteme version of a negative ad.”
Mooney said at first blush, he can’t see how the ad will help Rauner. He received lots of snarky comments from colleagues, he said, including one saying the ad belongs in a campaign magazine’s hall of shame.
Brian Johnson, CEO of Equality Illinois, a gay rights organization, issued a statement expressing deep disappointment that the ad mocks marriage equality.
“We remind the governor that the official platform of the party he leads opposes marriage equality,” Johnson said.
“There is still much work to be done to move the hearts and minds of many Republican voters to value the dignity of same sex weddings,” he added. “As someone who has officiated same-sex weddings, Governor Rauner could serve as a model of inclusivity and use his campaign to vigorously promote full acceptance of LGBTQ Illinoisans. Instead, he chooses to raise the spector of gay marriage to turn out the most extreme elements of his base. We recognize a dog whistle when we hear one. The governor should be ashamed of using the LGBTQ community for comedic value to make a political hit. Our weddings are not a joke. Governor Rauner does not represent Illinois’ values with this ad.”
In the ad, actors only shown from behind play Madigan and Pritzker. Madigan is asked if he takes Pritzker as “my unlawful partner in destruction, to raise property taxes, corrupt government, and bankrupt Illinois’ future.”
“Done, deal,” the Madigan character says.
The clergyman then asks the Pritzker character if he takes Madigan “to honor and obey til death do us part.”
“Always have, always will,” the Pritzker character says.
A narrator then says that Madigan and Pritzker are “an unholy union Illinois can’t afford.”
Galia Slayen, spokeswoman for Pritzker, said in a statement that, “It is only fitting that Bruce Rauner would choose to end his campaign by blaming others for his own failures. After four years of seeing their governor more interested in affairs with special interests, badmouthing his own state and refusing to compromise, the people of Illinois are looking forward to their divorce from Bruce Rauner being finalized on Nov. 6.”
Mooney said he doesn’t know if the “dog whistle” of gay marriage is being used on purpose to appeal to a conservative base, as that would require him to know the campaign’s motivation.
But he said that while other ads can be rude, “this one kind of goes a whole ’nother step.
“I don’t know why they did what they did, but I will say that marriage equality is still … an unsettled issue for people on the right. Many of them are not happy with it.”
“Everything in an ad is a choice,” Mooney added, including having a white man play the clergyman, having the marriage and the music.
“I do know they chose to do those things and the fact that marriage equality is still a hot issue, and the fact that the governor continues to really try to shore up his right after sort of devastation in the primary, all that suggests that maybe that’s what’s going on here,” Mooney said.
Rauner only squeaked by a primary challenge from the right in the March primary, with state Rep. Jeanne Ives, R-Wheaton, using issues against him including his actions supporting transgender, immigration and abortion rights.
Mooney said he’s no prude, and the language bleeped out in the ad doesn’t offend him, but he said the clear use of a profane word also goes a step beyond the usual.
“Can you imagine people watching this with their kids, and their kids ask, ‘What is he talking about?’ I think that’s going to be a conversation around dinner tables that’s not going to be super comfortable for a lot of people,” he said.
Rauner has often shied away from ties to President Donald Trump, but Mooney said Rauner may be trying to “pick up on some Trumpisms,” and could also be “trying to be muscular.”
Mooney noted that U.S. Supreme Court Justice Brett Kavanaugh, at his Senate judiciary committee hearing, “turned that around by being tough.
“It certainly turned around Trump’s view of him and gave some cover to Republicans in the Senate, so maybe this is Rauner trying to be tough. I don’t know.”
via State News – Woodford Times – Peoria, IL https://ift.tt/2J5C1uY
October 23, 2018 at 03:07PM