Rauner attempting to tie Pritzker to corrupt Dem machine in Illinois

The race for Illinois governor has devolved into a real food fight, with Democrat J.D. Pritzker hitting GOP incumbent Bruce Rauner hard for failure and incompetence in office while Rauner is desperately trying to tie Pritzker to Illinois House speaker Mike Madigan and the corrupt Democratic machine in the state.

No polls have been conducted in October, although it is generally believed that Pritzker has a double-digit lead.  But Rauner has spent the last month reminding voters that the mess in Illinois predates his term as governor and his efforts to address the numerous issues caused by high taxes and out-of-control spending have been blocked by Democrats. 

The most hated Democrat in the state is House speaker Michael Madigan, whose legendary hold over Democratic politics in Illinois makes him an easy target.  So in recent weeks, Rauner has come out with a series of blistering ads hinting that Pritzker would be just a puppet of Madigan.

Rauner took that meme to the next level with this eyebrow-raising ad that just came out.

Chicago Tribune:

The 30-second spot is titled "Unholy Union" and it shows, from the back, two men standing at an altar as a clergyman administers the rites of political matrimony.

"Repeat after me," says the officiant, "I, Mike Madigan, take you, J.B. Pritzker, as my unlawful partner in destruction, to raise property taxes, corrupt government and bankrupt Illinois' future."

"Done," says the actor playing Democratic Illinois House Speaker Michael Madigan.  "Deal."

The officiant continues, "And I, J.B .Pritzker, take you, Mike Madigan, to honor and obey till death do us part."

"Always have," says the actor playing the Democratic gubernatorial nominee and Rauner's opponent in the Nov. 6 election.  "Always will."

"By the power vested in me, I now pronounce Illinois – " here the officiant pauses dramatically, looks into the camera and mouths an F-bomb under a bleep on the soundtrack.

Cue the LGBTQ outrage brigades!

"The governor should be ashamed of using the LGBTQ community for comedic value to make a political hit," said a statement by Brian Johnson, CEO of Equality Illinois.  "Our weddings are not a joke. ... We recognize a dog whistle when we hear one."

Not exactly, says columnist Eric Zorn:

Except the joke, such as it is, is not about sexual orientation.  The actors display no physical affection for one another, and nothing about the voices, clothing or mannerisms of characters plays off gay stereotypes.

The commercial features nothing even close to the unsubtle, vicious mockery of transgender people we saw in the commercial aired in February for Rauner's primary opponent, Jeanne Ives.  In that inflammatory spot, a deep-voiced man in a dress thanked Rauner "for signing legislation that lets me use the girls' bathroom" (which Rauner did not do, for the record).

Pritzker has broken all spending records, pouring more than $160 million into his campaign, including an astonishing $80 million in ads.  The billionaire hedge fund manager and heir to the Hilton Hyatt Hotel fortune will most likely buy his way into the governor's mansion.

Rauner is almost as unpopular as Madigan.  Democrats have successfully blocked most of Rauner's promised reforms.  But it is Rauner's own surrender on a variety of conservative issues that's likely to cost him the election.