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Outside Groups Spending Big Bucks in Governor's Race

Updated: Friday, February 14 2014, 04:55 PM CST
With the primary just weeks away, campaign season is heating up.
Probably the biggest race in Illinois right now is for the Republican nomination for governor.

That race is getting plenty of television exposure as candidates take their messages to voters.

But you might be surprised who is paying for the commercials.

"More pay for them, higher taxes for you", begins one of the ads.
We showed that commercial and one other to voters to get their reactions.

"I thought that was pretty good," said Jack Mariner.

"I particularly like the Blagojevich puppet with the stripes down him," said Michelle Ryan.

We asked if the messages are hitting home

"I think so, at this time," said Mariner, "that's where I'm leaning."

"No," said Michelle Ryan, "but I thought it was entertaining at least."

It turns out these 2 ads aren't from any of the GOP gubernatorial campaigns.

One,
attacking Bruce Rauner, is from Illinois Freedom PAC, and has typically
Democratic union money behind it, $1,250,000 from AFSCME, IEA, and IFT.

The
other, attacking Bill Brady, Kirk Dillard, and Dan Rutherford, is from
an out of state group, the Mid America Fund, that doesn't list donors.

"I think all politics is involved with money," said Ryan, "and so where the money comes from doesn't make any difference to me."

"I
don't know that I like that too well," said Mariner, "I like our own
local people to do our own choosing, and nominating, whatever."

"I think Democrats should have an opinion on the Republican race," said Maureen WOzniak, "just like Republicans do."

"All
these little groups, and all the political backstabbing is the usual
political intrigue," said Pam Good, "but I'm kind of tired of it."

But advertisements paid for with money outside the race isn't necessarily anything new.

"Four
years ago was hugely expensive," said UIS Political Science Professor
Kent Redfield, "it was about 34 million dollars, between Brady and
Quinn, some of that, a lot of that, was outside money."

Redfield says that money will be back, and the ads on the air may likely be just the tip of the iceberg.

"I
think 50 million dollars is probably a lowball estimate in terms of the
general," said Redfield, "so if you're sick of ads now, you're going to
be a lot sicker of them when you get to November."Outside Groups Spending Big Bucks in Governor's Race


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