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Jim Edgar - Governor Jim Edgar Project

1994 Campaign Ads Don Sipple of Strategic Communications, a messaging and advertising firm, was the creative force behind both of Jim Edgar’s gubernatorial campaigns - 1990 and 1994. The 1994 campaign featured Governor Edgar, buoyed by an improving economy and an aggressive response to the Great Flood of 1993, against the state’s Comptroller, Dawn Clark Netsch, the surprising winner of a tough Democratic primary. The campaign’s pollster, Fred Steeper, in late spring advocated a summer offensive against Netsch in order “to put this one away early.” Sipple produced several ads, and Steeper tested them in focus groups. The most devastating and decisive was “Abolish,” a simple comparison between Edgar and Netsch on the Death Penalty. The campaign and its advertising painted Netsch as out-of-step with Illinoisans on crime, taxes, and spending. Netsch proposed to raise the state’s personal income tax rate from 3% to 4.25%, while calling for a lowering of property taxes. Edgar’s ad campaign hammered home the message that Netsch sought a 42% increase in income taxes, a number that resonated with the public. For two politicians with solid reputations for integrity, the campaign got tough. Netsch was especially critical of the Edgar campaign’s insinuations about her husband’s property tax problems in the ‘Eight Ball’ ad.

Interview Links

Doing it Right - 60 seconds

Edgar takes on the Democrat candidates during the primary

Leadership - 30 seconds

Edgar vs Netsch on Crime

Abolish - 30 seconds

Edgar vs Netsch on the Death Penalty

Nothing New - 30 seconds

Edgar attacks Netsch's proposal to dramatically raise state taxes

Compare - 30 seconds

Compares the two candidates' education proposals

Welfare Reform - 30 seconds

Edgar's record on welfare reform

Glass Houses - 30 seconds

Edgar's response to Netsch's ads on his record and integrity

Children - 30 seconds

Highlights Edgar's commitment to children

Hypocritical - 30 seconds

A response to Netsch's criticisms of Edgar's record on crime

Eight Ball - 30 seconds

Ad claims that Netsch is not shooting straight on taxes, while raising concerns about her husband's property tax issues

Jobs - 30 seconds

Edgar's record on job creation

MOS - 30 seconds

Netsch's record on crime




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