Independent expenditure ads from a new group called Illinois Freedom PAC have begun to hit the airwaves. According to Greg Hinz, the PAC says it's spending roughly $2 million, much of it from the government workers union AFSCME. The spots try to tie Rauner to Stuart Levine, a convicted political fixer active in the Rod Blagojevich days.
Rauner responded to the ad, calling it factually wrong and saying the ad's singular focus on him is proof his opponents Bill Brady, Kirk Dillard, and Dan Rutherford are in the pocket of the labor unions and therefore not a target.
“This ad is irresponsible and shortchanges the truth in a desperate attempt to smear Bruce Rauner,” said Chip Englander, Rauner's campaign manager. “Pat Quinn’s special interest allies will say anything to try to stop Bruce, even peddling allegations that have been debunked by the media and they know aren’t true.”
Last month, the Democratic Governors Association (DGA) funneled more than $103,500 into another state PAC to be used against Republicans gubernatorial candidates. According to records with the Illinois State Board of Elections, they've since doubled down with an additional $96,500, bringing the total to $200,000 - so far.