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2018 Primary

Win For Cocaine Mitch And Loss For Swamp Creatures

In two states that present Senate GOP pick-up opportunities, Cocaine Mitch, his China family and the China people were too much for Don Blankenship in West Virginia and anti-incumbent mood within the GOP knocks out two Congressmen in Indiana. Senior Political Correspondent for the Washington Examiner, David Drucker joins Dan and Amy to discuss.

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Time Running Out For D.C. Swamp Creatures

Will anti-incumbent mood mean upsets in Indiana and West Virginia? Has the mood of the GOP electorate changed since 2016? Can the Trump Administration try to show they are serious about cutting spending after supporting the omnibus bill? Does the moral character of our leaders matter? Columnist at National Review, David French joins Dan and Amy to discuss. 

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Recapping The 2018 Primaries

Illinois has now moved on to the general election. While the governor's race didn't go as conservatives hoped, several conservative reform legislators prevailed in their primaries and are looking to take on the establishments of both parties. What should voters pay attention to now until November? On this post-election installment of "Illinois Rising," Dan Proft and Local Labs CEO Brian Timpone analyze the March 20 primary results and look ahead to the new campaign season. Conservative state rep candidates Darren Bailey and Jay Kinzler join the show.

WATCH THE FULL EPISODE HERE

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Closing Arguments On Election Day

As you vote Tuesday and get ready to see who prevails in the Republican and Democratic gubernatorial races, hear final thoughts on the races from Dan Proft, Pat Hughes and Republican candidate Jeanne Ives.

WATCH THE FULL EPISODE

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Ives' Closing Argument Against Rauner

Chicago leads the nation in underwater home mortgages. Two words: property taxes. What would GOP candidate for Governor, Jeanne Ives, do about it? Has Rauner lost all credibility with not only his deceptive campaign lies but with his overall record? What does Ives say to people who say she can’t win a general election? State Rep. and conservative candidate for Governor, Jeanne Ives joins Dan and Amy to give her closing arguments as to why she’s a better choice than incumbent Gov. Rauner. 

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Ives Within Striking Distance Of Rauner

Jeanne Ives is within striking distance of Gov. Rauner, and GOP voters are within striking distance of completely changing the political landscape in one election. Is there a turnout issue on the Republican side in the Illinois Primary? Is the progressive income tax on billionaires touted by the Democratic candidates for governor a Trojan Horse for a tax increase on all Illinoisans? Illinois Policy Institute's Marketing Manager, Eric Kohn joins Dan and Amy to discuss.

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Proft: Good morning, Dan and Amy. Talk a little bit of state and local politics, you know we're five days away from a primary election. Jacobson: How are you feeling? You're really burning the candle at both ends. Are you getting enough sleep, Daniel? Proft: I am...NOT, Mom, but I'm okay. Jacobson: How are your eating habits? Proft: Thanks to you and your little gerbil... Jacobson: Gerbil food packs? Proft: Gerbil food packs here, I'm managing to survive. New survey out yesterday in the governor's race on the Republican side, this was a survey done by Jeanne Ives' campaign....42-35. Jacobson: WHAT? No way, really? Proft: Rauner's down to a 7-point lead. So this is getting really interesting here with five days to go. Here's something else that's interesting. (Jacobson: Yes?) The turnout so far, total ballots cast...or ballots requested and awaiting return...the Democrats...this is from a bit earlier this week but you get the gist of it...the Democrats, as compared to this time four years ago, so an off-Presidential year, the last governor's race...125% of ballots cast from four years ago. So, they're seeing an uptick in turnout, they're at 125% of ballots cast in 2014, as we stand here a couple of days ago. Republicans? FIFTY percent (50%) of ballots cast from four years ago. (Jacobson: WOW.) So, you've got a real turnout issue on the Republican side. Now that can be a lot of things...it can be in part people that are sometimes Republican, sometimes Democrat deciding to play in the Democrat primary because they think that's where more of the action is, that can certainly be part of it. Can be part of Republicans thinking "Oh, well Bruce Rauner is gonna win this race, so I'll go pick the least competitive Democrat," trying to play that game. Or, and it can also be "Because Rauner is so awful, and I'm so fatalistic about this state, 90% of people think it's on the wrong track, that I'm just not gonna participate after Rauner's betrayals, I'm just done with the Republican party." Jacobson: I don't like that option. Proft: Well, I'm just saying, I mean, it could be...it's a multitude of factors, I'm just saying, so now you know that you've got a competitive primary in the Republican side, that Jeanne Ives can win. On March 13th of 1996...this is not a perfect comparison, but it's about the best we have in terms of huge upsets...on March 13th of 1996, Al Salvi was down 14 points to Bob Kustra, and...for the Republican nomination for US Senate...and of course, those of you old enough to remember, Al Salvi ends up winning that race by a couple of points. Jacobson: I remember. Proft: Yeah, me too. So, so...when things break, they break. Jacobson: What about Glen (?), remember him? He was on the Democratic side, but nobody saw that coming. Proft: Right, another good example, right. When, and...when things break, they break, and there seems to be momentum with Ives and... Jacobson: How was her fly-around yesterday? Proft: and...so Conservatives...Conservatives have an opportunity....like they haven't had in my lifetime, and speaking as a Conservative. And this...there's rarely an opportunity that comes along where you can finally change the political landscape in one election, in one night. I mean, change it for generations...and that's the opportunity that's present in the Republican governor's race. That's there for the taking, if Conservatives come out and vote, and vote for a Conservative candidate to be the Republican nominee for governor. That really is, because if you don't, we're going to have Surrender Republicans, Fake Republicans as Tucker Carlson calls Rauner, against Chicago Democrats. It will be the same old same old, and this Going Out of Business Sale for the state of Illinois will continue in its orderly fashion. Ives, and the possibility of stoking the revolt that has been visited upon all of our Midwest neighbors, that is watershed, that is game-changer, so that's the opportunity on Tuesday, and it is right there for the taking. Not my opinion, the NUMBERS say so. And Jeanne Ives was on Chicago Tonight, flying solo, as we talked about yesterday... Jacobson: Oh yeah! Because Governor Rauner was a no-show. Proft: Mmhmm! Jacobson: I LOVE Gubernatorial debates when...when the "Gubernor" doesn't show up! Because it was really...but it gave her another opportunity just to get her policies across to the people...it was good. Proft: John Cass wrote about it, Amanda Vinicky who did the interview of Ives, said on air that Governor Rauner...MONTHS of not responding to TTW whether he'd participate, and then on the day of the interview, his staff told WTTW that he had another commitment. Jacobson: Well, wasn't he down South, vetoing the gun bill? Proft: *chuckles* Yeah. On...so John Cass writes...he compares Rauner to the knight in the Monty Python movie who "bravely ran ran away". He goes on to write, "Rauner is counting on JB's shrieks to cover the sounds of his own footsteps running away from Jeanne Ives. As I keep telling readers, what is not said, what constitutes the negative political space, is often the most important part of a political story, and at the debate that he ran away from, Rauner's silence was excruciatingly loud. He didn't want a confrontation with Ives on those notorious ads he's been running against her, ads alleging that Ives, the conservative Republican state rep from Wheaton, is a creature of Democrat boss Mike Madigan. It's a complete falsehood, of course, and rather ridiculous, but Rauner must think they're effective. But those lies will make it impossible for him to patch the Republican Party back together should he win the March 20 primary, which is still very much in doubt," writes Cass. And he goes on to detail "Brave Sir Robin Rauner's" various betrayals, which have put him in the position he is, which is starting to drop like a stone. Ives addressed the matter, in part, during her Chicago Tonight appearance. Ives (from Tape:) Rauner said nothing, either. He knew all about this too, he never called for the LIG... Proft (cutting the clip off): THAT's about the Inspector General and sexual harassment, but this is her responding to the commercials in question that John Cass writes... Jacobson: Oh, where she's "with Madigan"? Where they're long-lost lovers? Proft: Yes, right. Ives (from Tape): The truth is that I'm...I would be Mike Madigan's worst nightmare, because I actually have the courage to speak up for taxpayers and expose the games that are going on down there, and to put people in uncomfortable conversations where they actually have to explain their policy choices, and that's something that Governor Rauner failed to do. But make no doubt about it (sic), Governor Rauner has lied to everyone about everything over the last three years, and he's now lying about my record, because he can't talk about his, because he has no record to talk about. Proft: "Lying about me because he can't tell the truth about himself", and here's the Ives value proposition. Ives (from Tape): But you know what, when you put these people in a box....look, nobody, NONE of the Democrat governor candidates and not Bruce Rauner, is going to lead the taxpayer revolt that has to happen in this state. Proft: That's it. The taxpayer revolt. That's the choice, ultimately. Ives is a vessel for the revolt, and Rauner is a vessel for surrender. So, that's your choice. For more on this topic and this race, as well as others and the policy implications, we're pleased to be joined by Eric Kohn, who's the marketing manager at the Illinois Policy Institute. Eric, thanks for joining us, appreciate it. Kohn: Good morning, thanks for having me. Proft: Good morning. So, one of the things that was being bandied about, and was talked about again at last night's Democrat debate, Democrat Gubernatorial Debate, is the Graduated State Income Tax, this is something that the Democrats are intent to do, they are openly talking about it, advertising it, because they think it's politically popular and unfortunately, they're right. But this seems to be the case, that if Democrats remain in control of the General Assembly, and Pritzker or Kennedy or Bist is our next governor, that you're going to see a hard move to graduate the state income tax. Kohn: Absolutely. It has been something you've heard from many of the candidates running, that we need a progressive income tax, that billionaires need to pay their fair share. But, we should actually take a look at what is really being proposed. So, you need...first, you need two things to happen. We have to change the Illinois Constitution, first you'd have to get rid of the clause in the Constitution that mandates a flat income tax. And if they were successful in doing that, then it's the same state lawmakers who are responsible for the political culture in this state, who are responsible for the policy choices that have put the state in the situation it's in, to set the new graduated income tax rates. State Representative Robert Martwick was kind enough to file a bill with progressive tax rates, assuming that this constitutional change would happen, and we took a look at 'em. And what we found out is that anyone in Illinois who's making more than $17,300 a year is going to see their taxes go UP under this plan. And if you want to find out exactly how it would affect YOU, you can go to IllinoisPolicy.org and use our Tax Calculator and find out what it would mean for you if this progressive tax was to become a reality. Jacobson: Well, do you...I mean...so, Chris Kennedy, he keeps saying that he's going to reform the income property taxes, income tax and property taxes in Illinois. Do you know, does anybody know about the actual PLAN that he has? Kohn: I haven't seen the actual plan that he has there, but I think it's worth pointing out that if we look at the current situation, Illinois already has higher property taxes than any other state that doesn't even have ANY income tax, we have higher property taxes than Florida and Texas, every other state that does not have an income tax, we have higher property taxes than. Which indicates again that, you know, it's...this is a different-natured problem, and moving to a progressive income tax, while it's being sold as this way to, "We'll tax billionaires and that's the way we'll fix our state," that's not how it works in reality. In reality, it is a Trojan Horse for tax increases on the middle class. The progressive income tax would mean an overall 21% tax hike on most families, and that's just something that Illinois families cannot take, especially after dealing with the impacts of a tax hike in 2011, it did go away, and then the tax hike that happened last year. Proft: Yeah, it's interesting, too, what's happening in New Jersey, Zero Heads reporting on this yesterday. "New Jersey prepares to raise taxes on ALMOST EVERYTHING as it nears financial disaster. New Jersey's fiscal situation so dire that new Governor Phil Murphy is proposing taxing: online room-booking, ride-sharing, marijuana, e-cigarettes, internet transactions, along with raising taxes on millionaires and retail sales to fund their budget, which would do what? Boost spending on schools, pensions, and mass transit." So, again, we're not the only ones...the only state providing a bad example of how to govern, there are others...but we're still the WORST, make no mistake. But this is exactly what Big Government Republicans and Democrats have been doing that makes us the worst governed state in the nation, and you have Democrats in states like Jersey and Connecticut, California, doing the same thing. Kohn: Exactly. You know, in fairness to Illinois, we often take a look at the numbers and compare between different states, a total tax burden, property taxes etc. And in fairness, New Jersey is often the one state that keeps us from being WORST in the country in a handful of categories. But, you can see the philosophy is generally the same there. You take a look at the impact of the tax hike we had in 2011, our chief economist took a look at it and found that it cost the Illinois economy $56B in real GDP and cost about 9.3K jobs. We fully expect the impact of the 2017 tax hike to be similar to that. And now, here we are again, rather than talking about a spending cap, or spending reforms, or fixing a lot of the structural problems that plague the state of Illinois, now we're talking about a supposed tax to make billionaires pay their fair share, that is actually going to make any Illinoisan making more than 17 grand a year toss up more to Springfield. Jacobson: So, is there a possibility to fund our schools without using property taxes? Kohn: Well, I'm sure it's possible. It would require, again, changing the actual structure, the way we operate state government, which is of course a hard conversation that, of course, people in Springfield really don't want to have. So, instead, we get these conversations like "Oh, we just need to raise the income taxes on the flat tax we have, we need a progressive tax." Meanwhile, property taxes continue to go up. Unfortunately, many in Springfield don't want to have that kind of uncomfortable conversation, so we're having on that, as Dan rightly pointed out, plays popularly when you talk about taxing billionaires, when people, if they go to IllinoisPolicy.org, use our Tax Calculator, see what the impact would actually be on their family, they'll find out what the progressive income tax really is about, and it's about raising taxes on almost all Illinoisans. Proft: There's something interesting, and this is really a below the fold if you don'[t live up in McHenry County, you're not aware of this. But there's an interesting binding referendum on the ballot. This is in McHenry Township, where Bob Anderson, who we've spoken to on the show before, he's like an octogenarian barber from Wonder Lake, has been fighting against Township for a long time and he was able to get a referendum placed on the November ballot, I should clarify, that will ask voters whether to abolish the Township's road district. The binding referendum is sort of the first in...first of recent and note of...under the umbrella of consolidation of government. Illinois has more units of government than any other state, as you were just discussing Eric, that's what in part drives the highest property taxes in the nation, because you have all these taxing bodies, and in many cases there are redundancies. So it's not a...it's not an attack on Township government vs. municipal government vs. county government. You know, sometimes Township government is a better, more responsible actor than the municipal government or the county government, and so on and so forth. The issue is the larger issue of we just have larger and larger layers of government with redundancies and inefficiencies and we have to reduce those layers and those numbers if we're going to reduce people's property taxes and give them their homes back, for example. And so I just wonder what you think about this referendum up in McHenry County, how important it is, and how impactful REAL consolidation of local units of government could be in terms of improving the fiscal stability of the state. Kohn: This could have a huge impact, and yeah, that's a great example of what is going on in McHenry County, there. You know, and it would...people look at this and say "Oh, it's never possible, this never happens." It actually...it has happened before. I hail from Belleville, in Metro East, and Belleville eliminated Belleville Township just about a year, year and a half ago. So, this can happen, and it's going to need to happen, as you said, if we're going to reduce the property tax burdens that Illinoisans have. In addition to Townships, another one that we've proposed, and I think should seriously be considered, is reducing the number of school districts. Not the number of schools THEMSELVES (Proft: Yeah.), but the number of districts that oversee them. Because, of course, each district, you have a Superintendent, you have administration, you have that same kind of redundancy that exists. And that...if we could reduce the number of districts by approximately, I believe, 50%, by having the same approximate amount of students per district that California has, so it just shows you just how out of whack we are there, and each one of those districts with the personnel is what is continuing to drive the property tax burden that Illinoisans are paying and increasingly choosing NOT to pay by getting out of the state altogether. Proft: Well right, and just on that score of consolidation of school DISTRICTS, this...Jeanne Ives makes this point all the time, 1/4 of the school districts in the state, 850 school districts...have ONE SCHOOL. So it's just an unnecessary layer of government, as you're...and administrative bloat...as you're suggesting, Eric. So there's opportunities to restructure the way we do things in Illinois, we could do it, if we're so inclined. Eric Kohn, the marketing manager at the Illinois Policy Institute, IllinoisPolicy.org, Eric, thanks for joining us, appreciate it. Kohn: Thanks for having me!

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Ives Stoking The Revolt Against The IL Ruling Class

Are you proud of the job Rauner has done? Are you proud of the campaign he's run? Are you happy living in the worst run state in the country? If no, then it's a yes to Ives on March 20th. GOP Primary candidate for Governor, State Rep. Jeanne Ives joins Dan and Amy to discuss Rauner’s dismal record, laughable campaign lies, and potential legal battle for using state resources and employees for political purposes.

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Proft: Good morning, Dan and Amy, and Jeanne Ives is up with her "Closing Argument" ads on television, you hear them on our station too when the breaks. But, a more interesting closing argument I think, or another interesting closing argument was made by Tom Morrison, who's been on the show before, he's a conservative Republican from Palatine, he's also one of the most respected legislators in the General Assembly, on both sides of the aisle, because he's a person of integrity. He's out walking for Jeanne Ives, and he filmed a little impromptu Facebook Live post. Morrison (Tape): Hello everyone, it's Tom Morrison, walking door-to-door here in Palatine. We're not fazed by snow or sleet or any of this...we're trying to elect my friend for Governor, Jeanne Ives. And the information that we're passing out deconstructs all these shameful Rauner TV and radio ads, trying to take her words out of context, distort her record, it's so easy to deconstruct these arguments if you actually know the facts. Look, I'm supporting Jeanne Ives because she's the REAL conservative in this race, she has the endorsements of me and NINE other state legislators from across the state, Republican organizations, conservative organizations, are supporting Jeanne Ives. So many of us trusted Bruce Rauner in 2014 and he really let us down these last three and a half years, and that's why we're supporting her. There has been no greater fighter for taxpayers or families than Jeanne Ives. Proft: Alright. And with that intro, we're pleased to be joined again by state Representative and Republican candidate for Governor, Jeanne Ives. Jeanne, thanks for joining us again, appreciate it. Ives: Thank you for having me on, Dan and Amy. I'm just...Tom Morrison is such a blessing, he's just been a real leader in this campaign. Proft: So what about...he's responding to the sole argument that Rauner has had against you for the past eight weeks, and 20 million dollar backing of that argument, that you're Madigan's favorite Republican? Ives: You don't have to trust my words, trust what everybody else says, who's been watching my work down there. They all know it's laughable, I mean even Greg Hines said, you know, Rauner gets the Oscar award for the most deceptive campaign lie this season. So just listen to what others say, you don't have to depend on my opinion, it's just not flat out right...it's not true. Jacobson: So, yesterday was the last debate before the primary, which is next Tuesday, and Governor Rauner, I noticed, was a no-show, you had the floor all to yourself. Any reason why he wasn't there? Ives: Well, he doesn't want to talk about his record, because he has no record of accomplishment, and quite frankly, he doesn't want to answer policy questions because he'll be embarrassed, just like he was before the Chicago Tribune Editorial Board. That was a pretty scathing debate that I had with him there, and it...you know, the headline that came out from there said that I CRUSHED him. It's because he does not know his policy, and it matters to people. Jacobson: Yeah, well one thing that he did do yesterday, he did veto the state's gun bill, but I noticed that he did it far far away from Chicago Media, he was at a radio station downstate, and said this. Rauner (Tape): That gun dealers are already Federally licensed, that is true. Jacobson: And I mean, obviously I watched you on Channel 7, and you agreed that the gun bill should have been vetoed, but do you think this is all political? Ives: Absolutely. It's just political expediency on his part. He...this campaign, and me specifically, boxed him into a corner on that gun bill. He knew he had to veto it if he was going to even have any chance on March 20th, which we...we think he's done on March 20th, but this is what he's done all the time. He'll never signal to you what he's going to do. So, he refused to fill out the NRA Survey in 2014, he didn't fill it out in 2018. But what you see with me, though, it's like...I will tell you ahead of time exactly how I feel about an issue, and I'm not going to hide behind a downstate radio state, where media can't respond or ask any targeted questions. But this is Governor Rauner, he's just ducking and hiding from the voters at every turn. Never tells you what to do...what he's going to do, and I guarantee you...he WILL sign those other gun bills, so he's getting ready to betray everybody else on the Second Amendment. Proft: Yeah, there was a change, because he said he would deal with the legislation after the primary initially, that was some of his offerings on what he was going to do on the topic of that gun bill, and then yesterday he hastily announced that he was going to veto it, and he vetoed it. So, this to me seems like it's another...because his internal numbers must be wobbly...this is a way for him to try and snow gun owners the way that he initially snowed so many people when he ran for office. Ives: But, Dan...this is a perfect example of who he is, and how we've seen him over the last three years. He's been back and forth on every major political decision. The Caucus, the Republican Caucus, who is closest to him and understands what's going in Springfield...first the Education Bill is a disaster, and then he signs it and his buddy Rahm says "I got everything I wanted, and more!" The Exelon Bill...the morning of, up to TEN AMENDMENTS, because Governor Rauner couldn't signal how he really felt about things and kept waffling and waffling. Finally, they get to the point where he's boxed in, and he signs the darn thing just to say he got something done. So the guy is...he has no CORE, so you don't know where he's ever gonna go on policy. He's just a transactional politician...just like Democrats have been. Jacobson: Yep. So you're on the driveway home, this is the last weekend before the election. What are your plans, where are you travelling, where are you trying to get the vote out? Ives: We're going down south today, I'm so excited, we're headed to the Metro East area, just outside of St. Louis so we're flying into Cahokia. We have a meeting there at 11:30, then we're headed to Marion right afterwards, meeting with some voters there at about 3:30, then we're flying up to Champaign, and we'll be there from 6:00 to 7:30 at the airport there, the finally we'll end up in Rockford at about 8:30, just connecting with voters outside of the Chicago area, just because we did Chicago media for the past two days, just trying to let people know who we are and where this campaign is headed. Proft: Story out yesterday, there's been a number of stories by the Edgar County Watchdogs, that we talked about on this show but hasn't really been picked up in any significant way, Capital Facts picked it up yesterday, but it's about emails they have from Diana Rauner, and the latest is perhaps the most damaging, it prompted the Edgar County Watchdogs to file a complaint with the Office of the Inspector General, the Executive...the Executive Office of the Inspector General, against Governor Rauner, accusing him of essentially using state resources for political purposes, which is the bases on which a couple of former Governors went to prison. And I wonder if you have a comment on what Rauner's...Rauner's response is "Oh yeah, any OIG investigation we will comply with, but there's no merit to this." Based on what the Edgar County Watchdogs have from these emails, where you have political people directing state people, it would appear...what comment do you have in terms of what the Governor should do? ...or not do? Ives: Every single email that has both a political staffer of Governor Rauner's and a paid state employee on the same email chain should be released immediately. I'm alarmed the fact that he would even put the same political staff in the same meeting room with state employees. That's alarming to begin with...I mean,as a state Rep, I would NEVER do that! I would never do it, I can't believe the Governor is open about doing it. And the emails, you know, and obviously they're also coming from his wife, I mean, she's even the one propagating some of this. Proft: Well, and the interesting thing (Ives: It's very alarming!) thing...and the interesting thing about the email that the Edgar County Watchdogs used as the frame for their most recent story is that you have Diana Rauner as the emailER, and the recipients include both political consultants and state employees, but they're using state employees' private email. So this is a way they were trying to essentially end run a FOIA and discoverability, but the Edgar County Watchdogs got the email anyway, and if there's...if there's a handful of those, as has been reported, you know there are many more. Ives: No doubt. And just the handful that we have already is actually cause enough for the complaint that the Edgar County Watchdogs put forward, and you know, even after Marasco wrote his memo saying "Look, you are really crossing the line here, potentially violating ethics laws in the state of Illinois," even after that, you find out when you look at the timeline, there's a report in the complaint that, sure enough, Rauner is officially signing the K-12 School Funding Bill, which is definitely something that Diana and political consultants weighed in on, to help save the Governor on that bill. And then he signs the Abortion Bill. And then he makes a comment about Repeal and Replace Obamacare, which for him is politically advantageous on HOW he responds to that. Proft: He didn't want...he didn't...he didn't want... Ives: So you see, even after he's warned, you see actions being taken. So there's a lot of missing emails there on what happened. Proft: And on the Obamacare, he didn't WANT Obamacare repealed and replaced? Ives: That's right. (Proft and Jacobson react with stunned surprise.) That's right. Jacobson: So when you travel, and when you meet people throughout the state of Illinois, and DuPage County and Cook County, what's their number one concern, what's their point of contention? Ives: Well, for Republicans it's largely the Sanctuary State bill, taxpayer funding of abortion, and just...people don't trust Rauner anymore. He's not somebody that he said he was going to be, and...you know, this wholesale disregard for what he's been doing to the state. So, it's a trust issue for Republican voters on March 20th. Proft: You mentioned the Education Funding Bill, and how Diana Rauner intervened to help prop him up. But that was a bill you voted against, why is that? Explain to people your perspective on that Ed funding bill that he counts as a success. Ives: Well, there's a couple things. One, Chicago got a massive bailout, and they have $17B in debt. And what's going to happen over time, really, is downstate schools, suburban schools, are gonna see their school money actually siphoned off through the state funding formula, and it's gonna go to Chicago to bail out their massive debt. The other two...the other thing is they never corrected the assessment problem. Chicago is hiding massive amounts of property wealth from the Education Funding Bill, and we told Rauner three years ago, you have to fix this assessment system. It's foundational to a fair education funding formula, and if you don't fix it, you fix NOTHING with Education. And he didn't do it. He didn't lead on the issue even though we gave him a PROGRAM to do so, and he hasn't fixed anything in Education, he just basically bailed out Chicago. Proft: What...one of the political arguments that Rauner and the kind of defenseless Rauner supporter makes against you is that Rauner is the only one that can beat JB Pritzker, because he's the only one with the big checkbook. How do you respond to, you know, you...Jeanne Ives can't win a general election. Ives: Well, first of all, we're gonna win March 20th, and Rauner had a big checkbook, and we're gonna spend a fraction of what he has in his war chest. So, I think that people are ready for the truth, and when it comes to JB Pritzker, and what he's selling, and what the Democrats all want, which is higher taxes, more spending, and they're gonna continue the corrupt nature of Illinois politics as it's been for years, we're gonna message that past their money and past their money spend. And people are just gonna look past the fact that...you know, here's the deal. With me, you know where I stand on every issue...with JB Pritzker, you have no idea. You know, all you know is that he likes to pull the toilets out of his second mansion to get a property tax break. And he's buddies with Blagojevich and he's got all these other nefarious contacts with state government that has destroyed the Illinois economy. So, we think we can message that, you don't...we're going to prove that the grassroots can actually take back the state, and it's not gonna take a billionaire to do so. Proft: Tell me, so this is what...something like I want to say...and this...this is about stoking the revolt against the ruling class, like we've seen throughout the Midwest. Ives: Precisely, and if you...nobody believes that any of the Democrats, or Rauner for that matter, is really going to transform Illinois the way that we need to, look. Worst run state in the country, second year in a row. Largest outmigration, second year in a row. And you know, look at the Florida job creation. Florida has gained, since 2000, well over a million jobs. Illinois' growth in that time? 21K jobs. That's pathetic for the 5th largest economy in the United States. So, you know, people are leaving Illinois, and nobody's talking about the real issues except for this campaign, except for me. And nobody, and nobody believes that any of the other candidates are going to actually transform Illinois and really lead the revolt, like you talked about, against the political ruling class. I've already done that. Proft: So, what's the question you want to implant in Republican voters minds when they go to the polls on March 20th? What do you want them to be asking themselves and answering affirmatively, Jeanne Ives. Ives: They should ask themselves "Are you proud of this Republican governor? Are you proud of the job that he's done?" And then, "Are you proud of the way he's run his campaign, with lies and deception?" Those are two important questions for Republican voters to answer. And I think on March 20th when they go into the ballot box...go to the ballot box, they're going to vote for Jeanne Ives. Proft: Alright, she is Jeanne Ives, Republican candidate for Governor, state Rep from Wheaton, Jeanne thanks so much for joining us, appreciate it. Ives: Thank you!

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An Inside Look At Diana Rauner's Political Influence

Newly leaked emails show just how influential First Lady Diana Rauner was in moving the governor's office to the left, and making political calculations to try and improve the governor's image despite policy failures. On this week's "Illinois Rising" Pat Hughes and Brian Timpone talk to Edgar County Watchdogs' Kirk Allen about the newly obtained info, and what it tells Illinoisans about the inner workings of the governor's office. Hughes and Timpone also talk to Joshua Griffith, who is challenging sitting Republican state Rep. Norine Hammond, about his race railing against tax hikes. Also this week – what would a progressive tax mean for your family? A new proposal in Springfield shows income taxes going up on just about everyone.

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Choose Your Candidates Carefully

Both Paul Jacobs and Dan Caulkins are small business owners who understand what it takes to create jobs, create value, and grow the economy. Both men are also veterans who bravely served our country. In this week's Two Minute Warning, Pat Hughes cautions that when you’re deciding who to vote for on March 20th, remember which candidates really have your best interests at heart.

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Conservatives Griffith And Kay Call For Madigan To Resign

Joshua Griffith and Dwight Kay are conservative candidates who will be part of the solution - not part of the problem. Unlike their opponents, they have both pledged not to take a legislative pension when they are elected.

Both Griffith and Kay have called for Mike Madigan to resign or be removed from his position as Speaker of the House. Both will work to repeal the income tax hike that their opponents helped to pass last year.

In this week's Two Minute Warning, Pat Hughes warns that we need reform candidates who will side with the people - not the politicians.

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Meier Has Failed To Deliver

There are two Republicans competing for state representative in the 108th district. They were both raised in the Metro East, and they have both worked as farmers. They might appear to be similar at first glance, but in terms of policy, there are clear differences between these two candidates. Pat Hughes lays out why Don Moore is the right choice in this week's Two Minute Warning.

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Rich Morthland On The Republican Gov Race

A Bruce Rauner vs. J.B. Pritzker race seemed like a forgone conclusion for a while, but with voters on both sides of the aisle unhappy with those choices, the gubernatorial primaries are up for grabs. On this edition of Illinois Rising, Pat Hughes and Joe Kaiser discuss how and why the races have been shaken up, and what Illinoisans – the most overburdened taxpayers in the country – might be taking into consideration this election season. They also hear from Rich Morthland, Jeanne Ives' running mate, on their race, and hear from Chris Miller, a candidate for state representative downstate, on his campaign for lower taxes and a friendlier business climate.

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Tonia Khouri: An Experienced, Principled, Conservative Leader

In a Republican primary one candidate is being supported by Alderman Ed Burke and the Chicago Machine. We can’t afford to elect another Republican who will side with the Democrats and surrender on the reforms our state so desperately needs. In this week's Two Minute Warning, Pat Hughes explains whose behind Nic Zito's campaign, and why you should vote for Tonia Khouri.

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Why Conservative Lawmakers Are Picking Ives Over Rauner

The gubernatorial race between Bruce Rauner and Jeanne Ives is intensifying, and now, more and more conservative lawmakers are coming forward in supporting Ives over the incumbent governor. On this edition of Illinois Rising, Dan Proft and Pat Hughes talk to one of Ives' statehouse endorsers, state Rep. Tom Morrison, R-Palatine, about the campaign's growing support and momentum. They also talk to Ken Idstein, a Republican candidate for state representative, about his focus on lowering the tax burden Lake County residents face. And Proft and Hughes cover all the salient topics in a busy week in Illinois politics, from the Democratic gubernatorial race tightening to sexual misconduct allegations in Springfield being ignored.

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Chris Miller: Leaving Things Better For Your Children

Chris Miller is a vocal Christian conservative leader in his community and Church who has demonstrated his Christian values and his dedication to service through the overnight father-and-son camp he founded to help fathers mentor their sons. Chris is a father of seven and a third-generation farmer who believes the best way to show respect for your blessings is to grow them and leave things better for your children. Pat Hughes explains why we need more people like Chris in Springfield in this week's Two Minute Warning.

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Ives Crushes Rauner

Is Rauner on the path to get “Mark Kirk’d” out of office? Rauner has a checkered conservative record, but the debate was more of an evaluation of his character. Ives was direct and forthright as all Rauner could do was repeat Madigan’s name more times than anyone could count. Should we expect another debate between the two soon? Chicago Tribune columnist, John Kass joins Dan and Amy to discuss his column, Ives crushes Rauner in Tribune governor debate.

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Darren Bailey On Putting An End to Punishing Tax Hikes

In 2017, Illinois lawmakers passed the largest permanent income tax hike in state history. Months later, the state is already feeling the negative effects. On this edition of Illinois Rising, Dan Proft and Pat Hughes break down how the income tax hike has hurt jobs growth in the state, and they talk to Darren Bailey who is looking to defeat a state representative who voted for the tax hike. And while the income tax hike hit Illinois families hard, that isn't enough for some in the Rauner administration. Proft and Hughes discuss a massive $7 billion tax hike Rauner's school superintendent is pushing. They also react to the first Democratic gubernatorial debate, and what to make of that race moving forward.

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Who will stay and fight for Illinois?

A Gallup poll that is circulating online shows Illinois' bleak reality: Nearly a quarter of the state's population believes they live in the “worst possible state.” Despite that, Ken Idstein is committed to turning the tide in Illinois. As a candidate for state representative in District 62, Ken is running on a fiscally conservative platform, with plans to get property taxes and other state taxes back under control. Pat Hughes introduces Ken Idstein in this week's Two Minute Warning

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Pelosi Says Republicans Already Conceding In 2018

Can Republicans find a way to bring both Trump supporters and anti-Trumpers together for the 2018 midterms? Are Republicans no longer giving Trump the benefit of the doubt with some of his comments? Are results more important to voters than name calling and political banter? Are some incumbent Democratic Senators up for reelection in red states posturing for donors on the left rather than working for voters? Former Campaign Manager for Howard Dean and CNN contributor, Joe Trippi joins Dan and Amy to discuss.

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A Village's Fight With Jim Durkin

House Minority Leader Jim Durkin, R-Western Springs, is attacking the Chicago suburb of Burr Ridge to try and score political points. Now, the village is pushing back. On this edition of Illinois Rising, Dan Proft and Pat Hughes talk to a Burr Ridge trustee who is starting to question Durkin's record and priorities. Proft and Hughes also talk to state Rep. David McSweeney, R-Barrington Hills, about his efforts to save taxpayer money through government consolidation. And they cover Gov. Bruce Rauner's stay at the Illinois Veterans' Home in Quincy, as well as recent developments in the Republican gubernatorial primary.

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