Suburban Democratic congressional candidate Brad Schneider is responding to a rival's attacks with a cable TV ad this week, his campaign announced Tuesday.
The 30-second commercial, called "Bogus," seeks to turn the tables on Democratic hopeful Ilya Sheyman, who has targeted Schneider at forums and in political advertisements recently. It also raises questions about the people and organizations backing Sheyman's campaign in the 10th District race.
Sheyman, of Waukegan, and independent political groups supporting him have criticized Schneider for a handful of donations Schneider made to Republican candidates over the past decade.
One anti-Schneider website labels him a Republican, as does a mailer sent to potential voters. A separate flier focuses on the money Schneider gave to Republicans who have opposed abortion rights, stem-cell research or birth control coverage.
Schneider, a Deerfield management consultant, has repeatedly said he sent checks to a few Republican lawmakers because they support a strong U.S.-Israel relationship.
Schneider also has said he's donated to many more Democratic campaigns than Republican, a claim supported by Federal Election Commission reports.
Schneider's new TV commercial, which was scheduled to start airing Tuesday in the district, immediately goes after Sheyman.
The spot says Sheyman, a professional activist, is funded by "out-of-state special interests" and "can't win on his record." It goes on to promote Schneider's endorsements and ends with Schneider saying he approved the ad.
The commercial doesn't mention the other candidates in the race, John Tree of Long Grove and Vivek Bavda of Mundelein.
In a telephone interview Tuesday afternoon, Sheyman said he's happy to "put up my record against Brad Schneider's any day." Sheyman touted his efforts to promote health care reform, improve schools and promote job training.
Sheyman also defended connecting Schneider to Republican lawmakers he's supported financially.
Among those Republicans is U.S. Sen. Mark Kirk of Highland Park, who received seven donations totaling $3,300 from Schneider between 2002 and 2009 on his way to general-election victories over Democrats in House and Senate races, FEC reports show.
"His contributions do have consequences," Sheyman said.
The commercial is the second this season for Team Schneider. The only other candidate who has put commercials on TV is Sheyman.
In a teleconference with reporters Tuesday, Schneider political strategist Mark Bergman criticized the groups promoting Sheyman's campaign, which include ex-Sheyman employer MoveOn.org.
"These outside groups ... are distorting (Schneider's) record and perpetrating lies," Bergman said.
Sheyman said he respects the right of groups to express political opinions.
The winner of March 20 Democratic primary will face Republican Rep. Robert Dold in the November general election. Dold, a freshman from Kenilworth, is running unopposed in the GOP primary.
The 10th District includes parts of Lake and Cook counties. It stretches from Lake Michigan into the North and Northwest suburbs.