Oberweis, 57, unsuccessfully sought the 2002 GOP nomination for U.S. Senate. Stacey Zolt, a spokeswoman for the Democratic committee, said the ads run afoul of federal campaign finance law, which prohibits corporations from making contributions or expenditures in connection with federal elections.
"The timing of this ad buy just screams dirty politics," she said, adding that the 76-year-old dairy company never before ran a television ad. "I think that is a huge (public relations) stunt, and an illegal one at that."
Oberweis, however, said he had been encouraging the dairy's management team to run television ads for five years, but those officials "felt we were not yet at the critical mass."
The TV ads are "nothing political in any way," Oberweis said, describing one that features a high-school-age couple. "I'm in the background saying something about 'Love comes in unusual ways. You never know when or how it's going to happen. But sometimes, it's just the ice cream."'