Illinois Gov. Bruce Rauner's new television ad touting the state's education reform law drew complaints from Democrats on Thursday that the Republican governor is claiming credit for something he actually opposed for months.
The ad, which is running in the Quad-Cities, points to the reform law signed in August and boasts of record high spending for public education, changes to the school funding formula and help for private schools.
In announcing the ad Wednesday, the campaign said "Improving education was a major reason why Bruce ran for governor."
Democrats, however, pointed to Rauner's opposition to the original reform bill, which he derided for months as a "Chicago bailout." The governor issued an amendatory veto of the legislation, but the bill that eventually came back and was signed into law closely resembled the original version. It did contain language allowing for tax credits for people who donate money to private school scholarships.
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"Apparently Bruce Rauner has decided to run his reelection campaign in an alternate universe,” said Sam Salustro, Illinois communications director for the Democratic Governors Association.
Democrats also noted a part of the ad that referred to the final reform bill as "nothing short of a miracle" was actually a reference in a news story to state Sen. Andy Manar, D-Bunker Hill, a leader in getting the law through.
Justin Giorgio, a spokesman for the campaign responded: "While other governors over the past two decades were unable to pass school funding reform, Governor Rauner made sure it got done. He campaigned on education reform and made it a priority upon taking office."