"We were promised a conservative reform governor. Instead, we got an Ivy League gender studies professor." State Rep. Jeanne Ives (R-Wheaton) formally announced her primary challenge to Governor Rauner last night. Ives said Rauner has already beat himself and is not going to be able to buy back his voters. Ives joins Dan and Amy to discuss her campaign platform and how she is going to save Illinois from further ruin. For more information on the campaign, visit ivesforillinois.com.
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Proft: Good morning, Dan and Amy. Last night in Wheaton, state Representative Jeanne Ives...Republican from Wheaton, announced her candidacy for governor of Illinois. She has launched a primary challenge to Bruce Rauner, saying that this is the choice for Illinois Republican primary voters. Ives (from tape): I choose tax-paying Illinois families. Governor Rauner chose the political ruling class. That's the difference...that's the choice in this election. Proft: And it was a pointed speech that she gave, both directed at Governor Rauner and about the choice for Republican primary voters. Let me give you a little taste. Ives (from tape): My son, the Army Ranger, and my son, the Navy pilot, could teach Rauner a few things about the difference between pretending to be a tough guy and actually being a tough guy. Proft: Zing! Ives also said that we were promised a conservative reform governor, and instead we got an Ivy League gender studies professor. Jacobson: Ooooh! Hello! Proft: Yeah, there were a lot of...a lot of body blows in that speech, but it's time to level with Illinois Republicans, and Illinois in general, if you want to change the course of this woefully mismanaged state. For more on her candidacy, we're pleased to be joined by state Representative Jeanne Ives, Republican candidate for governor. Jeanne, thanks for joining us. Ives: Well, thank you for having me on this exciting day. Proft: And so, you kind of…(we) played that clip, that kind of frames the race a little bit in terms of the choice between who you represent and who Rauner has chosen to represent in his three years as governor. Why don’t you elaborate on that a little bit more, when you say Rauner has chosen to…”betray us”, those were the words you used, and fall in with the ruling class? Ives: Well, you take a look at his record, and what he said on the campaign trail when we all helped to elect him. He said he was going to do something, put in reforms, protect people...he’s failed in every single way, from Sanctuary state, to taxpayer funded abortion, to bailouts of public utility companies, he has failed to deliver on the promises he made to Illinois. And especially on taxpayer funded abortions, where he lied, he betrayed our party and our values. And so, we, the Republicans, take people out of offices when they don’t do what they say they’re going to do, because we can’t trust him anymore. So that’s what this is about. Proft: But Rauner is suggesting, and spending a lot of money to advance this claim, that he’s the guy who’s fought Madigan, and but for Madigan we would have had conservative reform policies in Illinois back on the right track, and it’s kind of all Madigan’s fault, don’t blame Bruce. Ives: Yes, he wants people to believe that he’s been fighting Mike Madigan, but he actually instituted a very social and liberal public agenda, supported by Chicago Democrats like his friend Ron. So you look down at things, look Chicago Democrats and Mike Madigan never implemented Sanctuary State style bills, they never put in attacks on Crisis Pregnancy Centers, they never did junk science on transgenderism, they never did public utility bailouts. So, look, his entire agenda, the things he actually signed into law, were not even proposed by Democrats when they had complete control of the entire process. He hasn’t been fighting Mike Madigan, he’s been doubling down on the things that he’s wanted to do. Jacobson: Yeah, and I think a lot of well-versed voters in Illinois understand that, but the question is...this JUGGERNAUT of Governor Rauner, he has got a lot of personal wealth. How do you fight that, because you know he’s going to throw millions of dollars into his own campaign? Ives: And it’s not gonna matter. Governor Rauner has already beat HIMSELF. He has no base, he has no base, and you cannot BUY back trust after betrayal. And so he talks about his field organization...well I’ll tell you what, here’s what a field organization looks like. It looks like 16,000 signatures in four weeks. That’s a good field organization. So, he’s not going to be elected in the Republican primary, because no Republicans trust him. Proft: And so, one of the arguments is “Jeanne Ives can’t win”, and that argument is both against Rauner because of his money, as Amy was articulating, in the primary, and also against, let’s say Pritzker in the general because you’re too conservative. Address that. Ives: That’s just not true. 85% of Illinoisans believe Illinois is on the wrong track. And you’ve already got the beginnings of a tax revolt, in of all places Cook County, against the soda tax, and you’ve got an entirely maligned property tax assessment system in Cook County too, which people are onto that scam, and you even have Democrats calling out DEMOCRATS who have been in office for decades about that, and we’re going to highlight the problems there. And people are going to listen to a reform message, because we have no other choice. Illinois is bankrupt, Chicago is bankrupt, and people understand that you cannot tax or spend your way out of this. JB Pritzker is just going to be a super-sizing of all the bad policies we’ve had in the past. Proft: ...that’s a fat joke. Ives: And nobody’s signing on to that agenda. Jacobson: So there were rumblings that you were going to run. Of course, you made the official announcement last night. Prior to last night, has anyone from the Rauner campaign contacted you, to try and persuade you NOT to run for governor? Ives: No they have not. They think that this just going to all blow by the wayside, and that they’ll be fine. And they’re absolutely...that’s a HUGE miscalculation on their part, because we constantly hear from people every day. New people contact us and volunteer to help with our campaign, and they’re excited to have a real choice in the Republican primary. Proft: You said in your announcement speech that Rauner runs FROM his record, and you run towards your record. You want people to assess his record in three years as governor, and your record in five years in the state House, so what is that record, your record? Ives: Well, absolutely. I want people to go back five years and look at the bills I’ve filed, they have all been focused on giving taxpayers relief from this huge tax burden that they have in the state of Illinois. It’s about giving businesses the freedom to do business the way that they see fit. It’s about standing up for the values of social conservatism, as well. So look, my record is I’ve opposed tax increases while proposing spending reform, and I have stood with business on vote after vote after vote, and Rauner has not done that. And also, I would look at my record in terms of what I’ve done in terms of transparency, my votes to take on public corruption, and my votes where I’ve worked across the aisle, with some of the most liberal Democrats, on policy even just this last year. From protecting property rights, to protecting health care networks in the state of Illinois. I’ve worked with Democrats on some of the most far-reaching policy. Jacobson: Are you willing to debate against Governor Rauner, and are you going to suggest that you do so? Ives: I would RELISH the opportunity to debate Governor Rauner. Jacobson: *under breath* I don’t think he’ll take her up on it though. Proft: Well, he’s going to have to do at least some of the debates; the ABC 7, the channel...the TTW, the standard One City Club, I assume he’ll do those. But we’ll see, if he doesn’t, that becomes a campaign issue. Jeanne, so, in the modern context people may have forgotten because it’s relatively recent, you have to have a running mate if you want to run for Governor, it’s no longer the Lieutenant Governor runs independently. So you had to choose a running mate, you chose a former representative from the Quad Cities district named Rich Morthland. Tell us about Rich Morthland, your running mate, part of your team if you were to be elected, and what he brings to the table and how the two of you work together. Ives: So, Rich Morthland is a farmer, he’s a community college professor, he’s a former state rep, he’s currently served in elected office in Rock Island County, and he is the salt of the Earth. He is cut from the same cloth as I am, he is just as determined to stay here in Illinois and build his family and restore opportunity here. And you know, I just couldn’t pick a better running mate, because he serves a forgotten part of Illinois and a forgotten class of people. We are not just the suburbs and Chicago, we have pockets of people that the Chicago Democrats through their policy formation, what we have seen enacted into law, have forgotten to take care of, our smaller communities, our farming communities, and those who really need help. So Rich is going to help me on those issues. He sits on Rock Island, JUST across some of the Iowa border, and he can testify that out migration is happening time and time again, as people just move across the border for better economic climate, and better personal living conditions. So that’s why we picked him, he’s just perfect for this campaign. Proft: And speaking of regions of the state, thinking about the state regionally, it’s always been my contention just based on the numbers and where the majority of the population is that the Republican party cannot be...WILL NOT be...the majority party in this state unless we are the party of suburban Cook County and the collars. And that also goes for candidates running state-wide. So I was wondering if you have a specific message...maybe not one that’s LIMITED to the suburbs, but maybe one that’s particularly pronounced for suburban families. Ives: So, that’s a good point. I would say the population is centered around suburbs in Cook County, but we need to...we’re an entire state. But look, there’s nobody who’s been hurt worse under Democrat policies, and quite frankly Bruce Rauner’s policies, than suburbans, who have the highest property tax burden in the state, and overall Illinoisans have the highest property tax burden in the country. So, suburban voters have been told that Governor Rauner wants to freeze property taxes. That’s the wrong solution! We have to LOWER property taxes in the suburbs. People are getting forced out of their homes, they are leaving simply because of the tax situation, and they’re fleeing the state over it, because they can’t afford the property taxes. You’re renting your home from the government, that has got to stop. And the educat...the 32% tax increase should be put on the back of Governor Rauner, who failed to engage with 15 “Surrender Republicans” who voted for it. He didn’t even talk to them prior to that vote. That is his tax increase, just as much as it is Mike Madigan’s and the 15 Republicans. And all that tax money is going to do is filter back through that horrible education funding bill, that he signed into law, to Chicago Public Schools. Remember, one week that bill was a disaster, the next week he signs it, and Rahm Emanuel is saying “We got everything we wanted, and more.” Well, that “and more” comes out of suburban taxpayers’ wallets, that’s unfair. Jacobson: Jeanne Ives, as a mother of five, how do you think that could help you when you become governor of Illinois? Ives: Well, look, I’ve learned how to say NO. Jacobson: Yep! There ya go! Remember, without rules, there is chaos. Proft: Well, not to mention you’ve got like a family full of intellectual assassins, as well as ACTUAL assassins. You mentioned a few of them in your remarks, but for people who aren’t familiar, your husband, two of your sons, in addition to you, all military. Ives: Well you know, just like most parents everywhere, I am very proud of my children. *Approx. 5 seconds of silence* Proft: Well, okay...give us a little BACKGROUND on your family for those who are not familiar. Jacobson: This is the “We get to know Jeanne Ives” section of the interview! And you’re very humble, every time...that’s what I love about you and I admire, your humility is to be admired! Because you don’t boast and brag about, you know, being a West Point grad, and that you have very successful children. But we’re asking you to brag now, it’s okay. You’re in a safe space. Proft: Yeah, brag now. Yeah, yeah… Ives: Yes, so now, I...okay, I...I came out of a small town in Vermillion, South Dakota and I went to West Point, I graduated there, and my husband did as well. We served in the military, and of course we encouraged our sons to look at that as well. So our oldest son is an ROTC graduate from the University of Illinois in Electrical Engineering, which is probably one of their most difficult majors. I am so proud of that man, and he is currently serving up in Alaska, he’s an Army Infantry officer, and he’s the executive officer in a Striker batal...in a Striker company, and Matt has also got his Ranger tab. He worked enormously hard to earn that tab, and I’m so glad he’s through that because when Winter hits I think about those Rangers out there, you know with two hours sleep, freezing, and making it through training. And our son Nick also graduates from West Point, but Nick is a contrarian, so he cross-commissioned to the Navy, and he is in...he’s going to be a Navy pilot, he’s in training down in Corpus Christi, Texas. So we’re very proud of their service. And actually, I guess I would say that is one thing I’m very happy that President Trump is paying attention to, and that’s actually restoring the military’s capability to defend this country, and that was a long time in coming, because I know first-hand, listening to what my sons have been going through literally for the last four years, how decimated the Army has become in terms of its training resources. Proft: Alright, she is state Representative Jeanne Ives, Republican candidate for governor. Jeanne, where can people get more information about your candidacy? Ives: Sure, they can go to IvesForIllinois.com, that’s our website. Proft: IvesForIllinois.com is the website, Jeanne thanks for joining us, good luck with the campaign. Ives: Thank you!