On March 20, Illinois state Rep. Jeanne Ives will challenge Gov. Bruce Rauner in the GOP primary for his seat, but the most highly charged night in the race may not be that one. Ives is under fire for a campaign ad, one that the state's GOP chair says "does not reflect who we are as the Party of Lincoln," per the Chicago Tribune. In the video ad, which was produced by the Ives campaign, a series of people sarcastically and mockingly thank Rauner for his expansion of transgender, abortion, and immigration rights in Illinois. "Thank you for signing legislation that lets me use the girl's bathroom," says an actor with a deep voice, described by the Washington Post as dressed as a woman but bearing a "faint five o'clock shadow."
A woman in a pink Women's March hat next cheerfully thanks Rauner "for making all Illinois families pay for my abortions," while a man cloaked in a hoodie and face-covering bandanna thanks him for making Illinois "a sanctuary state for illegal immigrant criminals." Republicans as well as Democrats were quick to call for the ad to be pulled, but Politico reports Ives has dug her heels in, saying it wouldn't come down and that it shines a light on Rauner's "real agenda." The Tribune reports her campaign calls the ad a "fair and accurate representation of the implications" of Rauner's policies, but the paper notes the transgender claim in the ad isn't accurate, in that the legislation Rauner signed affects not bathrooms but birth certificate alterations. (Read more Illinois stories.)