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2018 election

Looking Ahead to 2019

The noise from November's elections has settled a bit and discussions are starting about policies the new General Assembly and Gov-elect Pritzker will pursue next year. Is a gas tax hike coming? How will the state stop losing residents? On this edition of Illinois Rising, Joe Kaiser and Mark Cavers look ahead, with commentary from state Rep. Allen Skillicorn and income state Rep. Blaine Wilhour.

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Recapping the 2018 Election

Republicans fell back into the superminority in the Illinois Statehouse after the Nov. 6 elections. Mike Madigan now has more control. J.B. Pritzker has the governor's mansion. What went wrong? And what can taxpayers do to pushback? On this edition of Illinois Rising, Dan Proft and Brian Timpone discuss what Illinois Republicans missed this election season, and what they must do differently moving forward. State Rep. Mark Batinick, R-Plainfield, and state Rep. Jeanne Ives, R-Wheaton, offer their insights as well.

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The Midterms Won't Change The Left

Potty-mouthed DNC Chairman Tom Perez said bigotry is on the ballot in the midterm election.

True. But it is the Left’s bigotry.

The most enduring takeaway from this election cycle is that the Left has one and only one solution to every policy challenge: bigot-baiting.

Spin the wheel. Pick an issue.

Advocate for border security by using the very real example of an illegal immigrant cop killer and CNN’s Kate Bolduan calls you a racist.

Defend an individual’s Second Amendment right to self-protection and you’re conspiring with white supremacists and “demonizing Jews,” as former DNC Chairman Howard Dean said of President Trump.

Support voter ID laws to protect every American’s franchise and you’re in the business of preventing poor and black people from voting, said CNN legal analyst Jeffrey Toobin.

Exist as a white man and you’re by definition part of the greatest terror threat facing America, per CNN’s Don Lemon, and are likely to be radicalized to commit a hate-inspired crime by President Trump, according to GQ’s Julia Ioffe.

The Democrat Socialists live at the intersection of vacuous identity politics and mindless rage.

It’s a dangerous neighborhood and a terrible place to locate a country.

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Statehouse Closing Arguments

Time is ticking to the Nov. 6 elections. Madigan's Democrats are depending on smear campaigns and character assassinations to try to win House seats. But conservative reformers have a different argument: Lower property taxes to save your home. On this edition of Illinois Rising, hear closing arguments from three reform-minded candidates for state representative in suburban Chicago, and their campaigns to clean up Springfield and rescue Illinoisans from confiscatory property taxes. Dan Proft also gives his final thoughts on the election and what it will mean for Illinois going forward.

WATCH THE FULL EPISODE HERE

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The Madigan Machine vs. Conservative Reformers

Madigan-financed smears against reform lawmakers are hitting mailboxes and airwaves. But even though they lack truth and substance, will they influence voters with just a few weeks to go before election day? On this edition of Illinois Rising, Dan Proft and Brian Timpone discuss how these attacks are being funded, what their aim is and how conservative reformers can fight back. Proft and Timpone also discuss the new discrimination allegations against gubernatorial candidate JB Pritzker.

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An Election Preview With John Kass

Voters in the city of Chicago and across the state of Illinois have major decisions to make at the ballot box in coming months. Between Rauner and Pritzker, a wide open Chicago mayoral field and a fight for control of the Illinois General Assembly, which direction might the state go? On this edition of Against the Current, Dan Proft and Chicago Tribune columnist John Kass forecast the upcoming elections in Illinois, both the midterms in November and the mayoral election in February. Is it time for conservatives to forgive and come back to Bruce Rauner? Do any of the current Chicago mayoral candidates inspire confidence for the future of the city? Why hasn't a center right candidate jumped in the field? And will it be a blue wave or red wave – or something in between – on Nov. 6? All this and more is discussed in the most in-depth conversation available for Illinoisans this election season.

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The Results of Machine Politics

How has the state’s political culture impacted voters’ faith in politicians? How has machine politics affected the way in which political messages are received? Upstream Ideas asked voters in Elmhurst to Follow the Logic.

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GOP’s National Supermajority Will Help Hold Their Congressional Majorities

The dismal TV drones are missing something important in handicapping the midterms.

They obsess about how narrow are the GOP congressional majorities without considering the supermajorities Republicans enjoy in state houses and governors’ mansions across the country.

That’s called political infrastructure and it matters.

Local political officials and operatives have credibility with voters and thus turnout capacity that can’t be bought with Michael Bloomberg’s millions.

Federal races are not national elections. They’re local ones.

Just as local races can be federalized so can federal races be localized.

Popular Republican governors with Republican legislative majorities matter too.

That’s good news for key Senate and House races in Arizona, Florida, Indiana, Nevada, North Dakota, Tennessee and Texas

The state and local Republicans in these states are popular because they’ve made choices in advance of economic liberty that have improved the vitality of life for their constituents, as a report earlier this year by the American Legislative Exchange Council found.

It’s not complicated.

I suspect voters in these states may elect to continue to keep it simple on November 6th by sticking with what’s working.

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Nancy Pelosi’s Humanity

No one sets the bar unrealistically high for the woman who gave us “we have to pass the bill for you to find out what’s in it”—the unintentionally definitive statement on both Obamacare and the legislative process.

This is the same woman who compared persons who chose to come to America illegally to Japanese-Americans who were involuntarily imprisoned during WWII.

Nancy Pelosi’s talent for turning moral indignation into a punchline is as boundless as her bigot-baiting.

So I couldn’t feign surprise when I learned Pelosi has a big heart for those with a predilection for cutting out the hearts of others.

Such is her unyielding allegiance to the Catechism that Pelosi sees the “spark of divinity” where the nonbeliever can see only a muzzle flash.

To label as “animals” professional murderers who hack people to death with machetes, enslave women in the sex trade, and worship Satan is to rob them of their humanity, per Pelosi.

As a visionary, Pelosi understands that those MS-13 rapscallions are but a $15 minimum wage and a free ride to Swarthmore away from one day joining her caucus.

Nancy Pelosi has a big heart indeed. But do you want it two beats away from the Presidency?

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Slavery Of The Mind

Is Kanye West opening up a conversation that’s been long overdue amongst young African Americans? What does Kanye mean when he says “slavery is a choice?” Is the Mueller/Trump interview an impeachment trap? Are Democrats campaigning on impeachment because they have no other message? The Sage of South Central, Larry Elder, joins Dan and Amy to discuss.

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Possible Paul Ryan Replacements

Chinese President Xi signals de-escalation in the “trade war” but should we believe him? Do liberals hate Trump so much that they’re rooting for China? Paul Ryan announces he’s retiring but who can replace him as Speaker? Is Ryan not seeking reelection a bad sign for Republicans in November? CNN Senior Economist, Steve Moore 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.

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Breathless Speculation Over New Mueller Subpoenas

Mueller moves to a new fishing hole but should we be seeing some concrete action within the next month? Has the Trump Team been fully cooperating with the investigation? Who’s gone next and when in the White House shake-ups? How are the Democrats going to position themselves after the Connor Lamb victory in Pennsylvania? Anchor of Special Report on Fox News, Bret Baier joins Dan and Amy to discuss.

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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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Trump’s Conservative Reform Success

According to the Heritage Foundation, President Trump has embraced 64% of their policy agenda. What factors have led to this success despite forces allied against him? Do the Democrats have another strategy besides “resist” in the upcoming midterms? NY Post Columnist and Fox News contributor, Michael Goodwin joins Dan and Amy to discuss.

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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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