Illinois GOP chairman calls for Ives to take controversial ad off the air

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Republican gubernatorial candidate Jeanne Ives new ad continued to draw controversy Saturday, but now it's from some in her own party. (WLS)

Republican gubernatorial candidate Jeanne Ives' new ad continued to draw controversy Saturday, but now it's from some in her own party.

Tim Schneider, the chairman of the Illinois GOP, called on the state representative to take the ad off the air immediately.

"I don't care what side of the political spectrum you're on, this is awful. This is awful in anybody's mind. I don't know who could conceive of something like this that was so awful and so divisive," Schneider said.

A full-on attack on Gov. Bruce Rauner's conservative credentials, the commercial, released Friday, has been roundly condemned for its portrayal of undocumented immigrants, the transgender community and others.

"This ad denigrates, mocks and marginalizes groups of Illinoisans and cannot represent our Republican Party," said a statement released on Saturday by Erika Harold, the Republican candidate for attorney general.

Appearing at Saturday's gala for Equality Illinois, Gov. Rauner did not directly address the ad, but his presence and a $25,000 donation to the state's LGBTQ civil rights organization did the talking.

"Diana and I believe that fairness is in the DNA of the state of Illinois. The proof of that is in your work," said Gov. Rauner at the gala.

The governor was just one of nearly 100 elected officials at the event, which has become a veritable who's who of Illinois politics.

"LGBTQ equality is not a partisan issue. What we hope to hear from our speakers and our leaders is 'We stand with you. Your full equality is consistent with the values of Illinois. We won't go back,'" said Brian Johnson, of Equality Illinois.

Ives' campaign stands by the ad, insisting that the commercial represents "a fair and accurate representation" of Rauner's policy choices. It remains to be seen, whether pressure from the state's Republican leaders will change their minds.

For now, a 30-second and 60-second version of the ad continues to run.
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