Gov. Rauner says he's not in charge so his failure is not his fault. Why run for reelection if he’s not able to do anything? Rauner’s campaign message is vote for me because I’m not Madigan since he has no record of his own to run on. Running mate of GOP primary opponent (Jeanne Ives) and former state legislator, Rich Morthland joins Dan and Amy with his reaction to Rauner’s abysmal lack of leadership and the attitudes of fed up voters outside of the Chicagoland area.
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Proft: Good morning, Dan and Amy. So, Governor Rauner yesterday had his anti-Al Haig moment, Amy. Jacobson: Yeah, it’s like his tail was between his legs. He looks disheveled, he seems rattled that Jeanne Ives is challenging him. I gotta tell ya, I watched his press conference on three different stations, just to make sure I had this right but, listen up Dan...he’s not in charge! He’s not. Rauner (from tape): Illinois would be on a great future, we’d have 200,000 more jobs in this state, we would have lower property taxes in this state, we would have term limits in this state, if I was in charge. I am NOT in charge, I’m trying to get to be in charge. Jacobson: This was one of those moments where it was just like “...what?” And this is what he said on Channel 5, that Mike Madigan is a mobster. Rauner (from tape): He has rigged the system, he controls it, it is a mafia protection racket, and until he’s gone, we are not going to fix Illinois, and we’re not going to have a good future. Proft: Yeah, here’s what he’s trying to do. First of all, for a governor, especially the governor of...by the way, governor’s office in Illinois? Powerful office. Bruce Rauner, weak man. That’s the disconnect. For a governor to say “I’m not in charge”... Jacobson: That’s scary. Proft: Is that what he campaigned on in 2014? “I’m not...I’ll turn around Illinois, if Mike Madigan let’s me. I’ll turn around Illinois, with these qualifiers.” Was that the campaign promise? The outsider, no-nonsense business guy, he was going to take on these intractable problems, and the established political order in Springfield, the way that the run-of-the-mill politicians for the last several generations haven’t been able to...wasn’t that his values proposition? So now, as someone retweeted, his response in running for re-election is “I’m not responsible for my failure”? Boy, that’s compelling leadership in these difficult times in Illinois. Jacobson: And Jeanne Ives yesterday, who’s running for governor, introduced herself to the media, you know, we know her here on this program, but a lot of people don’t...and she held her own. Ives (from tape): The decision came when after HB40, that was the last straw, and colleagues and people from around the state started calling me saying “we need somebody to stand up to him, because Republicans hold Republicans accountable. Proft: Yeah, and by the way, with respect to the governor, we wouldn’t have a job killing, Capitol fleeing, massive structural tax increase without 15 House Republicans, HOUSE REPUBLICANS, folding in with Madigan. So where’s the leadership within your own party, such that you keep Republicans in line, Governor? Or are you not going to be in charge until we, what, suspend both parties? And you’re just the...dictator of the state? I mean, the complications presented by the General Assembly, especially the longest-serving speaker at the state level in U.S. history, are obvious. They were obvious going in, and they’re obvious today. And yes, he should be held to account, and yes he is a bulwark against a better Illinois, there’s no question. But, to be a crybaby bed-wetter about it? Jacobson: It’s true. I need a leader. He’s in charge of the national guard, the Illinois National Guard. “I’m not in charge here!” I don’t need to hear that from you! Proft: You were surprised with the possibility that Madigan would be the House speaker, if you’re elected governor. You didn’t contemplate that when you ran? Obviously that’s not true because that question has been asked of Republican candidates for the better part of three decades, “How ya gonna deal with Madigan? How ya gonna deal with Madigan?” Now I don’t assume Madigan is going to be there in 2018, because I think the Republicans have a chance to pick up the nine net seats to depose him, I really do. Jacobson: That’d be wonderful… Proft: But...BUT...the idea that you wouldn’t contemplate it, or four years in, after promising to have the state income tax back down to 3%, pre-Quinn, and having it back up to Quinn levels, with Republicans complicit, and frankly Rauner complicit, because he did a Pontius Pilate on that, “I’m gonna stay out of it, whatever the General Assembly decides, then I’ll make my decision.” That’s leadership? That’s why we have what we have. “My failure is not my fault.” That’s what Rauner is saying. Jacobson: But as Governor, as Republican governor, he needs to get the Republican members in line. He needs to whip them into shape and he did not do that! Proft: (312)642-5600, Turnkey Dot Pro Answer Line. 64636DA, Turnkey Dot Pro Text Line. Are you inspired by Rauner’s Al...or anti-Al Haig moment? Or is that fair for him to just blame Madigan and say “Well I can’t do anything if he’s there.” Well then, why are you running for re-election? Jacobson: Jeanne Ives pretty much called him a liar yesterday. Ives (from tape): He is a traitor to our policies and that’s why I’m challenging him. Proft: They did! He said he would veto HB40...he signed it. He signed sanctuary city, he signed trans birth certificates, bailouts of public utilities like Exelon, increasing health care premiums to support Pat Quinn’s Obamacare Medicaid expansion...it’s not just on the moral issues. He’s a big government Republican. So again, do we want to hold people accountable for their policy choices, and the leadership opportunity they failed to consummate, or are we just gonna say “Ahh, you know...he’s got a big checkbook, and he’ll probably win. Since he’ll probably win, I’ll just go along with the program, you know like we did with Mark Kirk last year when he won re-election. Oh wait.” Jacobson: Well, speaking of the checkbook real quick, Jeanne Ives...well she did a real good job because everybody said “there’s no way you can win, he is a millionaire, he will put millions into his own campaign.” Ives (from tape): It doesn’t matter how much money you have, in the end you cannot buy back your trust after a betrayal. So Rauner is going to spend a lot of money paying high-priced consultants to try and tell people that he is somebody who he is not. Proft: Well, that’s it, and isn’t that what Rauner is doing? “I want you to vote for who I am NOT, not who I am.” Isn’t that what Rauner is doing? “I want you to vote for me because I’m not Madigan. Don’t vote for me because...I don’t want to be judged on what I’ve done, I want to be judged on what Mike Madigan has done.” Is that compelling? For more on this topic, we’re pleased to be joined by the aforesaid Jeanne Ives’ running mate, remember you run as a ticket, Jeanne Ives’ Lieutenant Governor candidate is a former state legislator from the Quad Cities, his name is Rich Morthland, and Rich joins us now. Rich, thanks for being with us, appreciate it. Morthland: Good morning, Dan, it’s good to talk to you. Amy, it’s good to make you acquaintance! Jacobson: Yes! I can’t wait to get to know you. Proft: We heard about you from Jeanne when we had her on the show yesterday, just a quick background. A farmer, college educator, former state legislator, and also a locally elected official as well. You’ve had an interesting and diverse professional and political history, and I wonder how you react to Governor Rauner’s “I’m not in charge” comment? Morthland: Dan, that is SO reflective of the way his administration has done everything! It’s been an abdication, a dereliction, of his Constitutional duty, we’re all constitutional here, we all understand our balances of power, and he has a lot of it. And what he did through his statements was to acknowledge that he does...or not to acknowledge, but acknowledging the fact that he won’t embrace the powers that he has under our Constitution. And he’s advocating it all to Michael Madigan? I know Mr. Madigan! I’ve served under him in his chamber, I understand he’s a powerful man. But this isn’t his state! And I’m sorry, I’m getting a little agitated, just so you know like any good Republican I’m driving to work right now, I’m co-teaching classes this morning at our Galva Kewanee campus at Black Hawk College. But I’m telling...it’s just astonishing that this man is not doing his job, and he hasn’t done since he got in, and now he has once and for all said “It’s not my fault.” Jacobson: Well, what made you decide to join the ticket with Jeanne Ives? Morthland: Jeanne Ives, well...she is SO incredible, she is an amazing leader, she is well-trained, well-versed, I mean we all know the legacy of West Point. I mean, let’s be honest...Jeanne Ives knows the MEANING of the word “retreat”, but it was only a vocabulary word they made her study. I mean, come on! That woman is going to march forward, she knows how to create coalitions, she knows how to assert authority, everything that “Benedict Rauner” has NOT done. And she is going to do it and I am just absolutely honored that she has chosen to place me on the ticket. Proft: Give us a little bit of on-the-ground perspective as a downstater, or as somebody from the Quad Cities, or as somebody right next to Iowa there, a border community, a border region, what the attitude of Republicans in your neck of the woods and as you travel around the state, particularly downstate, what the attitudes you hear about Governor Rauner from Republicans? Morthland: Well, you’re right, Dan. I do live in a border area, you know I used to say when I was running for my state rep district, that the biggest problem with my district is that it has five bridges out, and people are using them. You know, what I hear from people as I go around the state and I am going to continue to go around the state, because obviously Jeanne chose me because I am neither from Cook, nor the collars, to reflect the geography of the state of Illinois and the views of the state of Illinois….it’s betrayal, day-in, day-out, and everyone has their own straw that broke their camel’s back of support, and they’ve turned away, and they’ve turned away irreparably. When Jeanne says we know, that we have the polling data that says he can’t win, if he were re-nominated...she’s not kidding. We hear it every day on the ground. Jacobson: So when’re you gonna come to Chicago and introduce yourself? When’s your coming out party? Morthland: It would be wonderful. I would love to come up to the city! We were there, obviously, just last weekend, for various events including Farm Bureau, it was, it was kind of...it’s always fun to go to the Farm Bureau Convention, because I’m a lifelong member, and when I was first a legislator, the Farm Bureau had a program, they’ve since abandoned it, because it doesn’t work on Chicago Democrats. They had a program where they would adopt legislators, and I remember walking away from the event where they did adoptions with a bunch of Chicago Democrats, and they said “Rich, Rich! Did the Farm Bureau adopt you?” And I said “It’s kind of hard to adopt MYSELF.” Proft: Yeah, right. So that perspective too, because sometimes we forget north of I-80 that agribusiness is the number one business sector in Illinois. Obviously you’ve got John Deere in your neck of the woods, and Caterpillar in Peoria and thousands of family farmers across the state. There’s this stat that I love, and correct me if I’m wrong on this, but every Illinois farmer feeds 52 families. Just to give you kind of the impact of not just the economics at the macro level but also at the micro level in terms of, you know, feeding people, feeding people the world over. Proft: Great job with numbers as usual, Dan. But we don’t just feed people, we also provide...all sorts of...food, fabrics, fuel, we do on Illinois agriculture, and now with the advancements, amazing...soybean acres nationally are about to exceed corn acres because the soybean is such a versatile plant that we can do so much with it. But, Illinois is the breadbasket of America, and agriculture...you’re right. If I were headed to our Moline campus, it’s next door...not by accident...to the world headquarters of John Deere. And that’s something that I never take for granted when I’m doing my job of educating Illinois’ young people. By the way, it’s...don’t forget, I’m a community college professor, and like about half of all community college professors, I’ve had real jobs. And my...oh I’m really gonna get in trouble for this one...and my full-time teaching job really isn’t among them, I love it, but it’s not the real job that I’ve done. I’ve just...when you’re raised on a farm, and you’re a farm kid...it makes something out of you that can never be removed. And it’s just a real honor that Jeanne’s sought that out in a running mate. Proft: Alright, he is Rich Morthland, former state legislator from the Quad Cities area, as well as you heard, farmer, community college professor, and running mate to state representative Jeanne Ives, they are the ticket challenging Governor Rauner and Evelyn Sanguenetti in the Republican primary for governor. Rich, thanks so much for joining us, appreciate it. Morthland: Thanks for having me, folks.