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GOP Gubernatorial Candidates Continue Barrage Of Attack Ads

(CBS) -- GOP frontrunner Bruce Rauner is asking outside political groups to stay out of the Illinois Governor's race.

Rauner is also responding to an organized labor's charge linking him to a convicted influence peddler.

CBS 2 Chief Correspondent Jay Levine reports the attacks and counter-attacks by candidates and their supporters could be one of the most expensive statewide primary campaigns ever.

New ads hitting the air every day, like Wednesday's counter-attack by Rauner to labor's million dollar attack on him.

The Illinois Freedom PAC, which is spending an estimated $1-2 million on ads, says it's not affiliated with any candidate or candidates.

Rauner, whose estimated $4 million Chicago TV budget, says he'd like to "...end (to) all advertisements outside of the campaigns themselves...." Though some suspect he's behind the one, currently blasting his three opponents.

"Running ads against everybody except Bruce Rauner. Now that's not too hard to put together a political dot point," said GOP candidate Dan Rutherford.

CBS 2 tried to contact the Mid-America Fund, which has booked $200,000 worth of ads. When you go to their website, you see an Illinois only homepage. Rauner claims he'd "never even heard of the group until the media started reporting on them."

"I think they all need to get out there and talk about the issues that matter to the people of the state," said Illinois GOP Chairman Jack Dorgan.

Rutherford says he plans to do just that with his ad in which he states, "I'm gonna get up in the morning and go to bed at night focused on how to put more Illinoisans back to work."

But the question is will anyone still be listening when his ads start running in Chicago on March 4th.

That of course assumes Rauner will hold onto what one poll says is a 20 point lead, but the huge amount of money being spent by pro-Quinn, anti-Rauner forces speaks volumes about how worried they are that he will.

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