`

JB Pritzker

The Straight Dope On Marijuana Legalization

Is there a direct link between marijuana and the likelihood of developing schizophrenia? Is the marijuana being sold legally much stronger than what people think? Is a revenue raiser the least justifiable reason to legalize marijuana? Is violence reduced once marijuana is legalized? Former NYT investigative reporter, Alex Berenson joins Dan and Amy to discuss.

Related Content

IL Electorate: Bring On More Taxes

Why did New England states have to turn to Russia to meet their energy needs even though the U.S. has more energy than any other country in the world? How can the Democrats say they care about the middle class while actively destroying middle class jobs? Are state governments giving out billions of dollars in subsidies to Amazon going to benefit in the long run? Do Illinoisans know all their taxes aren’t going to services but paying for someone else’s pension? CNN Chief economist, Steve Moore joins Dan and Amy to discuss.

Related Content

Implosion Of The Republican Party Under Rauner

Is Rauner going to drag down all Republicans on the ballot? Is he closing the gap at all? Were all Rauner’s political defeats self-inflicted wounds? Did Rauner discount what he was up against and then decide to surrender instead of fight? Dan and Kristen McQueary discuss the future of Illinois and the governor’s race.

Related Content

Two Sides Of Same Fraudulent Coin

How do voters encapsulate the IL gubernatorial race? What do the candidates mean when they say “middle class”? Does JB not want to take a position on anything while Rauner has taken different positions on every issue? Would JB be prosecuted if there was a serious Attorney General? Dan and Lauren Cohn discuss the Illinois governor’s race.

Related Content

War Of Words At IL Gubernatorial Debate

State Sen. Sam McCann, Conservative Party gubernatorial candidate, had some strong words for Gov. Rauner including calling him a failed governor and liar. How is it that Rauner claims he is a Madigan plant? Would he be in the race if weren't for Rauner’s social agenda? How much money has he spent on his race? What are his opinions on the Janus decision? Sen. McCann joins Dan and Amy to discuss the IL gubernatorial debate. 

Related Content

Which Issues Will Drive IL Voters To The Polls?

With just months to go before the 2018 midterm elections – and a Chicago mayoral election shortly thereafter in 2019 – campaign season is in full swing across Illinois. Where do things stand for Bruce Rauner and J.B. Pritzker? For Rahm Emanuel? On this edition of Illinois Rising, Dan Proft and Chicago Tribune Editorial Board Member Kristen McQueary break down how several policy issues could impact the governor's race in November as well as the Chicago mayoral election in February. Chief among them: Rauner's betrayal of social conservatives on publicly-funded abortion, the health of city and state pensions and the ever-increasing property tax burden Illinoisans face.

WATCH THE FULL EPISODE HERE

SEGMENT 1

SEGMENT 2

SEGMENT 3

SEGMENT 4

SEGMENT 5

RELATED CONTENT

Does The "Conservative Party" Have A Chance In IL?

Does State Sen. Sam McCann have a real shot in the governor’s race against the billionaires? Has Madigan and his machine gotten more accomplished under Rauner than any other Democratic governor in the past? What about the rumors that McCann is supported by the unions and a Madigan plant to pull voters from Rauner? "Conservative Party" candidate for governor State Sen. Sam McCann joins Dan and Amy to discuss.

Related Content

A "Conservative" For Governor?

State Sen. Sam McCann is leaving the ILGOP to run as a "Conservative" Party candidate for governor. Is he doing so to win or just to increase JB's margin of victory over Gov. Bruce Rauner? Is a three-way race the only chance a downstate conservative has of winning the governorship? Sen. McCann joins Dan and Amy to discuss why he no longer associates himself with the Illinois Republican Party and what his new “Conservative” Party will campaign on.

View full transcript


Proft: Good morning, Dan and Amy. Who is losing population faster; Illinois, or the Illinois Republican Party? Jacobson: Hey-oh! Proft: Ehhh, it's interesting. We have...speaking of interesting...the governor's race just got a lot more interesting. You have Spalding. You have former... Jacobson: I haven't seen Spalding in a while! *chuckles* My kids asked if he DIED. Because, you know, he's been all over the airwaves for the past two years, and now he's gone and...you know, I mean they're taking a BREAK, obviously... Proft: Two years? It was like...four months. It just SEEMED like two years. Jacobson: It was...no, he started a LONG time ago! Proft: It wasn't TWO YEARS...*chuckling* Jacobson: He was dabbling, you know...him and children taking their food in the cafeteria... Proft: He was tired... Jacobson: ...and then walking down the street... Proft: He's gotta rest. It was physically exhausting for him, to spend...to write all those checks. But, so yes, Spalding, you've got former Governor Bruce Rauner, now you have state Senator Sam McCann, who's run several times, and won. Republican state Senator, downstate, Macoupin County. He has LEFT the Republican Party, and he has launched an independent campaign for Governor. He's gotta get 25,000 signatures to get on the ballot, and the filing is the last...the third week in June, that shouldn't be an issue. Sam McCann, here's a little piece of his announcement video yesterday. McCann (from tape): *slow inspirational trumpet and piano play throughout piece* They have failed us. Rauner and Chicago Democrats have led our state down the wrong path. Higher taxes, backward morals, and disregard for the rule of law is the Illinois they've created. It's time for a REAL transformation for the state of Illinois. I'm Sam McCann, and I'm running for Governor to put Illinois on a path to prosperity and promise. As Conservatives, we know and believe that you can't spend money you don't have, and that opportunity should exist for everyone, not just a chosen few. I'm running to restore what hard-working Illinoisans value the most: liberty, family values, and law and order. Proft: That music in the background... Jacobson: It's such a... Proft: You know what it conjures up to me? Jacobson: What? Proft: The convoy, the team bus and all the parents following... Jacobson: Oh, from "Hoosiers"? Proft: Following Hickory...yes! Game to game as they make their championship run! Jacobson: Well, the French horn is so profound in that piece. Proft: So, now in the interest of full disclosure, in my private life where I run this PAC, and support legislative candidates, and oppose other legislative candidates, in 2016 I allied with Governor Rauner, much to my ever-loving chagrin in retrospect, and backed a primary challenger to Sam McCann...for his state Senate seat, and Sam McCann won, and if I had it to do over again, I'd probably do it differently. But, but...we DO have some disagreements here, it's...but, it's a very interesting approach, and market positioning that Sam McCann is taking, as provided in that announcement video. But, for more specifics, we're pleased to be joined BY state Senator Sam McCann. Sam, thanks for being with us, appreciate it. McCann (Phone): Good morning, guys! Thanks for having me. Proft: So, you know...you kind of lay it out in your three-minute announcement video, but since we have the horse, let's get it right from his mouth. Why have you decided to leave the GOP and run against Rauner and Pritzker? McCann: Well, technically, we're in the PROCESS of leaving. We haven't really left, past tense. (Proft: Okay.) We're looking to form as a new Conservative Party, not running as an independent. (Proft: Okay.) We're looking to cause a paradigm shift, because it seems that the Republican Party has lost its way, it is totally unrecognizable to most of us, I think it's TOTALLY unrecognizable to most of us downstate into a good portion of the folks up in your area as well. So, what we're doing is forming...we're in the process of forming...the third party. I'm still the elected Republican sitting senator for the 50th District, until the...until the middle of January, 2019. (Proft: Right.) But what we are looking to do is be the next Governor of Illinois, move forward, move the state forward, and we're looking to bring people into this movement along the way. So if you're within the sound of my voice, give us a call, reach out, we would like to see you run for State Senate, State Rep, get involved up and down the ballot, across the state of Illinois. Jacobson: What is the name of your Party? McCann: It's the Conservative Party. Jacobson: So it's just the Conservative Party? Okay. Proft: So...so this is interest...I didn't appreciate this...so this is a conservative party, movement party, that you're starting, you're going to run under the Conservative banner for Governor, and you want to recruit people who will run under the Conservative banner for state offices, other than...you know, the legislative offices and the like? McCann: Well, of course, don't...I think that conservatives ought to have a voice in Illinois, and it seems to me that the two options they have now, neither one of those provide an adequate voice for conservatives in Illinois. Jacobson: What is your biggest point of contention with Governor Rauner and what he has done while in office? McCann: ...okay, well...how long do we have? *both laugh* Jacobson: Heh, okay. Proft: Alright, yeah...well...yeah, well... *dead air for a few seconds* Proft: Pick your top FIVE. McCann: Well yeah, okay, well, yes well, we could be here...I don't know how long this interview is scheduled to go, if this is a three-minute interview or a 30-minute interview. But I don't know where to begin, but I bet...I know, we could talk forever. From the transgender birth certificate bill, to a tax fund...taxpayer-funded abortion on demand, to the war on working people. You name it, we could...we could keep going...you revoke the right of conscience for health care providers. I mean, we're talking about a guy with an R after his name! Right? This is not Pat Quinn! This isn't Pritzker! This is a guy with an R after his name! And what's amazing to me is that the majority, albeit a SMALL majority, a small margin between Ives and Rauner, but the majority of Illinois Republicans say "Yeah, we're prepared to...we're prepared to follow this guy." Proft: Yeah, but here's the thing, Sam; it sounds kind of like you're running a Republican primary campaign in a general election, so is your candidacy... McCann: No, I'm...I'm...I'm running for the Conservative Party, because the Republican party has left, in Illinois anyway, I don't think nationally. I think nationally, the Republican Party is doing a pretty good job! I think President Trump is doing a great job, I think the Republican Party nationally...it's morning again in America. But in Ill...but in Illinois...I think... Proft: ...but let me (McCann: ...it's appalling.), let me ask you this though. Is it your estimation that the conservative base of the Republican Party is enough to win a three-way race for governor in a general election? McCann: You know, so...let me answer it this way. I would be the first to admit that a downstate conservative could not win a TWO-way race for governor of Illinois. Probably couldn't win a two-way race for any statewide office in Illinois, but certainly not governor, and I get that, totally. But I would also posit, that a three-way race might be the ONLY way a downstate conservative could. Proft: Now let me...let's go to an area where you know we have a disagreement, and this is on the public sector unions and some of the votes you've taken in particular with respect to collective bargaining rights, and the attempt to strip the governor of his collective bargaining rights with AFSCME a couple years back. And, do you see your apparent alliance with the public sector unions as one potential way to draw in people who may otherwise be considering voting for Pritzker? McCann: I think doing the right thing...shows. I mean, that's what I've heard, I mean that even though you disclosed it, and by the way Dan, I have no problem with you know...you and I have known each other for a number of years, not overly well, but we've known each other. (Proft: Yeah.) And we agree on a lot...I think we agree on the majority of issues. We disagree on a couple, this being one of them, but I did the right thing for my district, and my district responded, right? We won, and if I had not done the right thing, we wouldn't have won. And so, I think doing the right thing is always the right way to show the people that you are there for them, and not there for the party, not there for yourself, not there for a chosen few. And so yeah, I guess... Proft: But then (McCann: ...that still lingers.), I'm sorry, Sam, go ahead. McCann: No, so answering your question, yeah, I did what was best for my district, but ALSO, let's...let's talk about what that vote was, what that particular vote was. Because up until that point, up until that one particular vote, I had been with the Caucus 100%. 100%. I had voted with the Governor and the Republican Caucus 100%. Now there were a couple of those votes, up until that point, that I didn't really agree with. I thought that the Party, the Caucus, the governor was taking the wrong approach on these issues, you know it was the beginning of the budget stalemate standoff. But, I stuck with the Caucus. I told...I looked the governor in the eye, it's not like I held something, and voted out of left field. They knew it was coming for a couple of months, I looked the governor in the eye TWICE, just he and I, one on one, and told him what I was going to do, and...and said "You know, let's THINK about this. Is this the right approach?". So the vote that I took, it didn't...it didn't strip him of his rights to bargain...it's...when you say it that way, it's almost in a vacuum. You know, he ran on...they planted his platform and his campaign...was calling the AFSCME Union names, he said he would shut the government down if that's what it took to break them, and so on and so forth. So, he hadn't exactly set this jovial tone, he hadn't even really set a moderate tone, he set this tone of "I'm gonna go there and break that union." Proft: No, but I mean, but just getting beyond the tone to the substance of it, he is a proponent of Right to Work, and obviously the public sector unions and the trades are not, and you're not, and so that's a substantive disagreement, and you're not the only one who has that disagreement with him or with the proponents of Right to Work within the Republican Party or the Conservative movement within the state. But I guess my point is to say, so there's a substantive disagreement there on policy, and do you expect, or are you banking on as part of this to serve the interests of the public sector unions or the trade unions (McCann chuckles) or some combination there too on that issue? McCann: You know, I'm for working people, whether you're union, non-union, white collar, blue collar, public sector, private...private sector...I'm for working people, period end of story. I'm for all working people. If it takes a working person forward, if it brings working people up the ladder, I'm for working people. And furthermore, I think all the unions, for the most part, are going to be with the Democratic nominee. (Proft: Yeah, yeah.) I don't...I have...so when I took that vote, when you say AFSCME, and when other pundits were folks who take a different view of all this talk about the unions, you know, it's almost like you envision me up there on a stage with the President of the Union and, you know...I'm doing this for these LETTERS behind me on a billboard. I did...I didn't take that vote for the President of the Union, I didn't take that vote for those letters, AFSCME. I took it for those prison guards who are, for the most part, Veterans, and who are, for the most part quite frankly, downstate Republicans, and conservative independents or conservative Democrats, they were just trying to feed their family. You know, they start out making about $46K a year...I mean, and I could go on, there's all sorts of job descriptions, I'll use that one as a perfect example that there are...I spoke to some...I spoke to some workers from the Hope School, that serves the developmentally disabled in my district last night, before I went to Kingda Key (?), that...those people work for an average of $12, $13 an hour. You know, they're NOT making $100K a year, like Bruce Rauner has led a lot of people to believe, they're not going to make $150K a year in retirement. The people who are going to make $150K a year in retirement are the political cronies he's appointed to lead all the departments...actually, the sweet spot is all the DEPUTY directors, that make almost as much as the directors. Proft: Well let me, let me just explore this a little bit, just in terms of kind of the public sector union policy agenda. I mean, are you support...I know in your video you talk about wanting to repeal the Rauner-Madigan Income Tax hike, which I think is a fair way to describe and I think is a good idea, but what about things like the $15 minimum wage and some of the other agenda items for the Progressive Left, the public sector unions? McCann: Yeah, so...the minimum wage in this country, I think, needs to go up, but I think it needs to be set, you know, by Congress. I think, you know, there are 50 states, each state has the ability, and in there, there...and we...we have one of the higher minimum wages...I do believe the minimum wage needs to go up. BUT, it needs to be done across the board, it should be done at the Federal level, and I've told them that, I've (?) the folks when they come to visit with me...when I talk about the folks, I'm talking about their MEMBERS, I hardly ever see an official from the Union, I think I've met the President of the AFSCME Union...I've never really sat down and MET her. I've been on the same stage with her a couple of times, when they come...have me come to address their membership...I deal with those PEOPLE. Proft: Well then so, Sam, so it...so...so... McCann: So I'm not...yeah, I voted NO on that, I said that it...that needs to happen at the Federal level. Proft: If...but if you're not going to have significant Union backing, and you're up against two oligarchs, how do you put the resources together...I mean, this was the Jeanne Ives challenge, right? You're one of 59 Senators, she was one of 118 State Reps. People don't know who you are outside your district, so you've got to put together resources to market, and now you've got to put together resources to market into the resources being expended by two oligarchs, how do you make that work? McCann: Well, that's one reason I'm on the phone with you right now. (Proft chuckles.) We're looking to cause a paradigm shift. If you're within the sound of my voice, give me a call, text, email...three four...217-341-8524. Jacobson: Do you have (McCann: That's my cell phone number.) a website...oh, you're handing out your CELL PHONE number? McCann: Yeah! Proft: Okay, alright, let's hold on here. Jacobson: Roland Burris was on here, giving out his cell phone number. Proft: Yeah, exactly! Jacobson: And so, do you have a website that people can go to? McCann: And so, yeah, that's my cell phone number! Send me a text, and then I can follow that up with a phone call. I can't take everybody's phone call at once, but I can receive texts, and I will get back with you, because we want to cause a paradigm shift in Illinois, because it needs it. Proft: 217-782...what? McCann: 217-341-8524. Proft: *mumbling* eight five, two four...217-341-8524. Alright, text Sam McCann, all day and all night, BOY you're really gonna get more connected than you ever wanted to be, I bet! McCann: I...you know, a government that's by the people and for the people requires something, and that common denominator is the people. Proft: And do you have a website, or how is the campaign being put together, to even just get the signatures required? McCann: McCannForIllinois.com. McCann for...M-C-C-A-N-N F-O-R Illinois spelled out, dot com. Proft: Well, you mention in your announcement video, and you mentioned at the beginning of our conversation about values, and some of the moral issues where you and former Governor Rauner are at odds. And so, are you going to be somebody that leans into talking about social issues, rather than the approach that the Republican Party has taken, that to try and take Sanctuary State and the life issue, and all these other issues off the table and just pretend they don't exist? McCann: Yes, certainly. I think that's what we did in our announcement video, I think I broached those issues...I think I broached those issues there in State. Right, I think I hit that head on, if you watch the entire three minutes, and I think again, think about this; President Trump won not by running from all that, but by embracing it, right? So I don't think that the national party is having the problem that we're having, they're embracing it, they're pushing it, they're leaning in, and saying "Hey, this is who we are, and this is what...and this is why." You have to explain WHY, right? There's a lot of people who...they aren't like us, they don't pay attention to all of this minutia, this political minutia, and so they don't know WHY they feel the way they do on this issue, and when you have a deep conversation with them, they're like "Hey wait. That, that makes some sense." I mean, I get...that's why President Trump won, right? He didn't win because he converted the entire Republican Party. He won because the party was attempting to do what you just described. He had 16 opponents in the Primary, if he would have started out with one or two, he wouldn't have won, right? What he did by entering that race was the number of people who supported him in relationship to that large number of opponents...he was able to win enough Primaries to become the nominee. (Proft: Yeah.) How did he do that? He did that by getting a TON of conservative Democrats, a TON of Union conservative Democrats and independents and Republicans across the country, much like Ronald Reagan did, to become the next President of the United States. So, the answer to your question is YES, we're leaning in, we're embracing it, that's a big part of what we're talking about here. Proft: How do you...I thought to...Rauner's announcement yesterday was interesting...essentially part of it was to criticize your business background and some of the challenges that you've had in your business background. How do you respond to his response? McCann: You know, well, I would say that I have walked in the footsteps of the average Illinoisan, he has not. I think it's interesting that he is one of these guys who like a lot of politicians will get up there and say "Holy...we gotta make Illinois better for business, these poor businesspeople are going out of business, these poor businesspeople, they're having trouble hanging on!" Well yeah, I KNOW, because I'm one of those first generation "poor businesspeople" who started at the age of 23 with ZERO CAPITAL. I had nothing to invest, zero, right? I came from a broken home, no money, no inheritance, didn't inherit a business, didn't put together a bunch of venture capitalists to go and rate businesses. I started a little construction company because I...because there were...there was no JOBS to be had in the community in which I lived, and I...over the course of 25 years, we turned it into something. We had that little thing called a Correction in the economy back in '08 that caused me and a lot of other people in the construction business a lot of problems. So yeah, I would say to Governor Rauner, you know, I think it's interesting that you stand up there half the day and talk about how we should have pity on these poor little businesspeople, well, I agree! So why are you lambasting ME? Because I have had the same problem that thousands of Illinoisans ave experienced, and you see Illinois? For all those people listening, Governor Rauner has NO CLUE what you've been through, he has no clue what you're going through, and he doesn't really CARE! He just wants your vote, so that he can attain more power for himself and a couple of other people at the top of the pyramid. Proft: He is state Senator Sam McCann, an independent...Conservative Party is that he's starting candidate for governor who will file at least 25K signatures at the third week of June if he's gonna be on the ballot and try and challenge Rauner and Pritzker in the general election. McCannForIllinois.com is the website, Sam McCann thanks so much for joining us, appreciate it. McCann: Thank you guys, thank you Dan, thank you Amy, thank you very much! Jacobson: Good luck! And he joined us on our Turnkey dot Pro Answer Line!

Related Content

Is More Kash The Answer To Illinois’ Fiscal Mess?

Is a third party candidate a viable alternative to the two leftist plutocrats representing the major parties? The Libertarian party fights to maximize freedom and minimize government, but can social conservatives feel comfortable voting for him? Liberals say there should be less money in politics, but should there be more Kash? Libertarian candidate for Illinois Governor Kash Jackson joins Dan and Amy to discuss his campaign platform and what he needs to get on the ballot.

View full transcript


Proft: Top of the morning, Dan and Amy. And, we've got a governor's election in Illinois, obviously other statewide Constitutional offices as well, legislative races. But with two Leftist plutocrats running... Jacobson: Yeah, I don't know which one's more progressive. Proft: Leftist...yeah. Jacobson: Yeah. Governor Rauner and JB. Proft: Well, it's a stiff competition, and that's the only thing stiff between the two of those. Jacobson: Hey-oh! Proft: But...is this an option...a third-party candidacy? Is that something you'll consider this cycle? I mean, this is very much like Gary Johnson's run, when you had two candidates of the two major parties that were not particularly well-liked by the electorate. So the question for Kash Jackson, Libertarian candidate for Illinois...is do you know where Allepo is? Do you know what that is? Because we don't want you to fall prey to the Gary Johnson problem! Jackson (in studio): I think I pinpointed it. Proft: Okay, very good. And the reason you can is because you're somewhat steeped in these geopolitical and national security issues because your background is military. Jackson: Absolutely, yes. Spent 20 years in the United States Navy, retired in 2016 at the ripe old age of 37, and so yeah, I did have the opportunity to travel all around the world, circumnavigate the globe. Albeit, we did cheat inside the submarine, we went to the top of the globe and did the smallest circle we possibly could, but I think it "circumnavigate the globe", yeah. I did my time in the military, and now I'm in politics. Proft: Hotrodding in a nuclear sub. Jackson: Absolutely. Proft: All right, very good. Jacobson: That's the only way to go! The only way to travel. But you were born in Louisiana, but you were stationed up here for a while. And now do you live here, you call this place home? Jackson: Yeah, so right now I live up in Antioch, in Lake County. I'm maybe two miles from the Wisconsin border (Proft: Oh yeah.), and love it up there, live up there around a bunch of big horse farms, and my little three-bedroom, one-bath farmhouse, and I like it up there. Proft: Well so, speaking of that, we did a story in one of my papers about that, talking about the property taxes...Lake County I think has the...is the county...22nd or 23rd ranked county in the NATION in terms of terms of highest property taxes. So you're talking about 4 and 5% of home value up there, HUGE issue. And in Antioch, we compared a couple of house on Cross Lake, one on the Wisconsin side, one on the Illinois side, just about five piers apart. And the BIGGER house on the Wisconsin side had a tax bill, a property tax bill, that was about half of the smaller house on the Wisconsin (sic, meant Illinois) side, and this in part is a way to just sort of crystallize and tell the story about property taxation in Illinois. And I wonder, where you come down on what we should do about the highest property taxes in the nation. Jackson: Well, you know...and it's something that personally affected me. I owned a home there in Lake Villa, purchased it in 2009 whenever I was first stationed up here. My property taxes that year were $4500. I sold that home in 2015, my taxes were just shy of $9000. And it was... Proft: That's almost a doubling in six years, right? Jackson: It did, yeah. It effectively doubled in a six year time frame. And I'm a fan of the Illinois Policy Institute, and the proposals they have made to address property taxes. I would like to see a five-year property tax freeze enacted for (?), to give people's wages time to kind of catch up, but then to work to regress those taxes, they're entirely too much, and they're really hurting Illinois citizens, and we know it's a large part of our out-migration statewide. Jacobson: So, why are you running for Governor? Jackson: Well... Jacobson: Basic question, but I DO want to know! Jackson: Well yes, it is a basic question, but... Proft: Ted Kennedy could answer it! Jacobson: You've had an accomplished career, and you're retired now, and you were a...drill sergeant up here at...? Jackson: Yeah, well so, we're called a Recruit Division Commander, but in layman's terms, a drill instructor. Jacobson: Okay, a drill instructor... Proft: At Great Lakes. Jacobson: Great Lakes! Jackson: Yes. Jacobson: So, why do you want to be governor? Jackson: Well, I want to be governor because I swore an oath to defend the Constitution against all enemies, foreign and domestic, for the better part of two decades. And we can see every single day here in Illinois, where our Constitutional rights are being continuously infringed upon...recently we had...there in Deerfield, where they just passed their Township ordinance where you can't possess semi-automatic firearms, pistols and rifles. And it's things like that that drove me into politics. I'm like, this is absolutely uncalled for in a country that I served for 20 years. Proft: And why the Libertarian Party, as opposed to the other two major parties? Jackson: Well, I believe in maximizing freedom and minimizing government, and I don't think that anyone can argue that the size of government, with 7K local units of government in our state, is entirely too large. That's exactly what I want to do, I want to shrink big government, and I want to maximize personal individual freedoms, and the Libertarian Party is the one that seeks to do that. Jacobson: And you need help still getting on the ballot, correct? Tell us about that. Jackson: Yeah, so ballot access is extremely restricted for third parties and independents, and I have to get 25K minimum good signatures to get onto the ballot. And, it's an uphill climb, but it's something that the Libertarian Party has been successful at in previous election cycles, and it's something we'll be successful at this year as well. Jacobson: And how many signatures do you have so far? Proft: It's only just started, he's been allowed to circulate in the last...week, right? Jackson: Week, yeah. So we just started petition circulation a week ago, and I would venture to say, just guessing here, that we're probably over a thousand right now. Proft: Yeah. So...so, you get the 50K signatures, so you can withstand a challenge, good signatures, you get on the ballot...is the real goal here 5%? And then, because...5%, for those who don't know, means that the Libertarian Party would then be able to run and have the same access as the Republican and Democrat Party, in terms of signature requirements and time frame and that sort of thing. Jackson: Absolutely. So, 5% is absolutely a goal that we have and want to achieve, for us to become an established party in the state, make no mistake, making us competitive in 2020 for local elections. And we can see that in places like McLean County, where we've got 8 individuals running for local seats there, because Gary Johnson had broken 5% in that County whenever he ran. And that's something that I think we need to do, and I think where it really benefits Illinois citizens when we do that is that in areas that are heavily gerrymandered, where it's really not feasible for, say, a Republican to run, a candidate inside a Democratic stronghold, Libertarians can be much more competitive inside that area, and this is an area where it would really benefit Illinois citizens to have third parties like the Libertarian Party have that ballot access to do that, and then take some of those seats. Proft: And...let me suggest that this is your argument, you tell me if I'm right...is that Libertarians...I mean, sometimes people have the perception because of the free market nature of Libertarian economic thought, that...well, that "Libertarians? Well, they just take votes away from Republicans!", and in point of fact, if you look at some Libertarian candidates, they pull...now, it's not big numbers at this point...they pull in from both parties. So, they can pull in some Bernie Sanders types, and then they can pull in some Friedman-ites on the...that would otherwise vote Republican. Jackson: Absolutely. You know, generally speaking, we do pull about an even number from Republicans and Democrats. And it's not uncommon for me to hear "Well, you're going to steal votes!" Well, I'm not stealing anything, I'm EARNING people's votes by getting my voice out there, and campaigning, and putting the work in to earn those votes. That's what I'm doing, and if a Republican or Democrat loses the election, and they feel it's because of that, I'm gonna tell 'em "Well, you didn't WORK hard enough, and you should have earned those votes the same way that I did." Jacobson: So, what are you hearing about people's concerns as you travel, you know, through the Counties, and...besides property taxes, I know, is there anything else? Jackson: Absolutely. The pension system is, of course, a looming issue, when we have between $130B to $200B in unfunded pensions, and again I'm going to sort of revert back to the pragmatic point of view from the Illinois Policy Institute, to incorporate the 401(k) system in the state of Illinois, and those are the two largest issues I run into is just the pensions and property taxes. And third, of course, is jobs, and if we can address those two, the two large issues, then of course we can start working towards bringing jobs back in Illinois as well. So, those are kind of the three big ones. Proft: Where are you on some of the other contentious, in some respects, emotional issues, but also moral issues. Because, you've got two people who are on the same side on so many issues; sanctuary state, taxpayer funding of abortion...not so much on guns, you know...junk science, I would say, on gender and so...it provides an opportunity, maybe, for social conservatives to feel comfortable voting Libertarian, but that requires that your positions would be different than Rauner's or Pritzker's. Jackson: Right, well I will say this...just as an individual, I am personally pro-life, whereas the Libertarian Party itself doesn't take a position, and says that the government should not be involved in any regard, I am personally pro-life and that's something that I will espouse very readily. And that's something that differentiates myself between Bruce Rauner and JB Pritzker. Uh...immigration is another big issue, and that's one where I'll probably align more with on Conservatives, because I don't believe that individuals that are here, that are honestly working, that have jobs, many of them are entrepreneurs, I think I've read in the Harvard Business Review that about 15% of immigrants have their own businesses, and they account for about 25% of the entrepreneurial market, and so those people who are here, and they are working and contributing, I would like to see it streamlined so those people that are working and contributing, that we could help ease that process to transition them into naturalized citizens. But those that are violent criminals, those that cannot conform to American ideals and values, I would definitely be an advocate of immediately deporting, especially any violent criminals. Proft: What about Sanctuary City and Sanctuary State designations? Jackson: I am...you know, because I'm a Libertarian, I'm not a fan of helping out the Federal government to do THEIR job. It is the Federal Government's job to enforce immigration. It is not the state's job to enforce immigration. My job is to find real viable solutions to issues, very complex issues, that we're facing, and one of the most complex issues that our state is facing is out-migration, and if we have people here that are working, and they're willing to work, I would much rather find a more fiscally and morally responsible approach to help naturalize those people that WANT to be American citizens and uphold those values. Proft: Well, you can't have it both ways. You can't say on the one hand, there's a naturalization issue and that's a Federal policy issue and I want to get involved in that, but when it comes to Federal immigration law enforcement, I don't want to get involved, because that's a Federal issue. So if you want to be involved as an advocate, you have to be willing to weigh in on the range of issues. So the question is, if you were Governor, and it got to your desk, would you repeal Sanctuary State or would you veto that legislation? Jackson: Umm...that would be a decision that I would have to come to with my policy team, to really find out whether or not that is something that is a moral...morally responsible thing to do, is it fiscally responsible? Because immigrants ARE providing a tremendous amount of revenue to our state. They do help to lower costs in a variety of areas. They are paying, when they rent places, into property taxes. So, in all honesty, that could potentially hurt our state, and so that's something that we have to take a very very close look at, and it's not something that I would just jump to and make a decision on. Jacobson: On a lighter note, besides your parents giving you the name "Kash"...is it a family name? Jackson: No, it's actually a chosen name. So it's Grayson Kash Jackson, and I actually went through a formal name change about a year ago, and I did so because I was raised by maternal grandparents, I was not raised by the paternal side of my family. And I wanted to pay tribute to both sides of my family, so I chose the name Grayson Kash Jackson. Proft: Interesting. And then you've got the AG candidate, on the Libertarian slate...named Bubba. So you got Bubba and Kash, which sounds like a buddy cop film. Jackson: "Bubba and Kash", yep! Jacobson: And then also too, in the governor's race, they can say "They may have millions, but we have the Kash!" Jackson: "But we have the Kash!", right! Jacobson: Get it? Proft: No, I don't get it. Right, so how many hundreds of millions of dollars of your own money are you going to put into this race? (Jacobson: Yeah!) Jackson: Well, you know I think I still have $5 in change in my truck right now, (both laugh) but I'm probably gonna have to use that on tolls on the way back home. Proft: Mmm...what about that? What about, you know, as a candidate, even if they're, you know, there are more modest and attainable goals, and there's nothing wrong with that, thinking long-term about the party, I wish REPUBLICANS would do the same thing in this state but they don't, but what about getting your message out and maximize your opportunity with the prospect of two candidates that are going to slug it out with hundreds of millions of dollars, and both probably end up not being particularly popular among the general electorate? Jackson: Right, well you know what? I was really impressed with Jeanne Ives' campaign, the fact that they ran such a strong grassroots effort, I think they spent on average $12 per vote, as opposed to Bruce Rauner's $250 per vote, which just goes to show you that money doesn't always equate to success. She was very very successful in that campaign, and that's something we want to seek to duplicate in our campaign. Jacobson: All right. Proft: All right. Jacobson: Now, where can people learn more information about you? Jackson: They can go to Kash2018.com, Kash with a K, and they can also...I'm on Facebook, I'm on Twitter, I'm on Instagram, so if you just search Kash Jackson, Kash with a K, it's not gonna be too hard to find me. Jacobson: "Kash...Kash Jackson!" Proft: Yeah, you gotta just gotta do some fun videos, just with the circus name, get Carl Weathers to endorse you, or "Action Jackson" to endorse Kash Jackson, something to make this indelible. Kash Jackson, Libertarian candidate for governor. You can follow him on Twitter at Kash, with a K, @KashJackson2018, you just heard the website. Kash, thanks so much for joining us, appreciate it. Jackson: Thank you guys for having me on!

Related Content

Politicians’ Get Rich Schemes Exposed

How did Penny Pritzker, sister of IL gubernatorial candidate J.B., advance her family’s financial interests through the rise of Barack Obama when she was Secretary of Commerce? What other of Obama’s Chicago buddies benefited during his administration? "Clinton Cash" author, Peter Schweizer, joins Dan and Amy to discuss his new book, "Secret Empires".

View full transcript


Proft: Top of the morning, Dan and Amy, and let's get right to it, because we've got a guy whose book in 2016 really changed the nature of the 2016 Presidential Election, of course the New York Times Best Seller "Clinton Cash" is the book I'm referring to. We're STILL litigating and talking about the cases, the business dealings that Peter Schweizer documented in "Clinton Cash"; think, for example, Uranium One. We're still asking questions, the American people are still asking questions, about whether Federal law enforcement will start getting answers to some of the questions that were raised in Peter Schweizer's book. He's got a new book out that's equally compelling, and it's bipartisan in nature, the political ruling class. It's called "Secret Empires: How the American Political Class Hides Corruption and Enriches Family and Friends", and there are some particularly interesting stories of business dealings from some household names in politics, how you go in with a certain amount of cash and you come out of office with exponentially more, or even you continue to accrue it while in office and it goes largely unreported...but not by Peter Schweizer. Also, he's got a very interesting case study that's particularly relevant to Illinois...and we'll start there. Peter Schweizer, thanks so much for joining us, appreciate it. Schweizer: Hey, it's great to be back on with you, thanks for having me! Proft: Really fascinated by your book, this is some really good reporting, investigating and then reporting, and translating it into a format that's very accessible. I want to start with "A real estate mogul goes to Washington", and we're not talking about Trump, we're talking about Penny Pritzker. And as you undoubtedly know, Peter, we've got another heir to the Hyatt fortune running for office in Illinois, named JB Pritzker, and so Penny's experience as Secretary of Commerce, and her relationship with Barack Obama, it couldn't be more TIMELY for our gubernatorial election this year. But, help us distill how Penny Pritzker advanced her family's financial interests, and her financial interests, throughout the rise of Barack Obama and then including when she was Secretary of Commerce. Schweizer: Well I tell you, it's massive conflicts of interest, and sort of things that if Trump were to engage in, there would be massive outrage. That's not to say that we shouldn't watch what Trump is doing, but in the case of Pritzker, it was so overt and obvious! Just to pick a very simple one, she started a real estate investment firm, PSP, while she was in Washington DC in the Obama Administration, and one of their key business fixtures was leasing office properties to the Federal government, including the Commerce Department when she was Commerce Secretary! That's a huge conflict of interest. Some of the real estate investments, buildings, that she purchased were then leased by entities like the National League of Cities, National League of Counties, who were actively lobbying the Commerce Department, and were also receiving grants from the Commerce Department. So, this is Ethics 101, and you know, you have these tentacles of financial ties and government power that overlapped, that really went largely undetected during her tenure as Commerce Secretary. Proft: The other thing about this, too, is this whole big show that politicians, particularly those that come to the table with a lot of wealth like Penny Pritzker did, make of divesting themselves from their financial interests. You report that, really, it was a little bit of...of kind of press release politics. It was a show of divesting from some companies that were not as material to her financial interests as some of the big ones. Schweizer: That's exactly right, and then there were just really simple...you know, breaches of what I would call the Ethical Code. I mean, for example, one of the things that was claimed in her Ethics filings is that she was not going to be involved AT ALL with her businesses, she was going to have an arms'-length relationship and not manage it. And yet there are accounts of her as Commerce Secretary going and having "brown bag lunches" at the companies that she was supposed to be having nothing to do with. And conducting, you know, meetings and seminars and things, actually at those companies. You know, another overt thing that was very troubling while she was Commerce Secretary, her company, PSP, actually gets the head of the real estate arm of the government's General Services Administration to quit his job and come work for HER, again raising all kinds of questions. So, you know, this is...this is a problem, an issue...certainly in the Era of Trump, but it didn't start with Trump, and the bottom line is that we have to sort of get rid of the notion that people who are very wealthy, are NOT going to be interested in cutting corners while they're in office (Proft: Absolutely!). It's ultimately not an issue, it's ultimately not an issue of money, they don't do it because of the money. They do it because they feel entitled, they do it because they feel that they can get away with it, and they do it because they feel like the rules shouldn't apply to them. Just because somebody has money, doesn't mean that they're not going to do things to cut corners and violate ethics rules. Proft: Such a great point. SUCH a great point. Jacobson: Yeah. And JB Pritzker was jealous that his sister Penny rose to the level of, you know, Secretary of Commerce, but what other friends did President Barack Obama help out? Schweizer: That's a great question! There's a friend, that a lot of people in the country don't know, he's better known in Chicago, and that's Marty Nesbitt. (Proft: Oh yeah. Jacobson: Oh yeah, Marty!) And so, you know, when Barack Obama is re-elected in 2012, Marty Nesbitt starts an investment fund called Vistria, and it has in the corporate documents the purpose of Vistria is to invest in, quote unquote, "Highly regulated industries". Now, that's a great business model...if you happen to be best friends with the "Regulator in Chief", which would be the President of the United States, and what you find with Vistria, you find with other entities as well, with people that are close to Barack Obama, that they engage in what I call "Smash and Grab". Barack Obama would go in and Smash a company, say that he didn't think it was a good company that's serving customers well, Smash it with regulations, that would drive down the valuations, down to pennies on the dollar. And then, a friend would swoop in and buy it on the cheap, only to then have the regulatory wait-listed. And in the case of Marty Nesbitt and Vistria, the classic example is the University of Phoenix, which is, you know, a for-profit college. The Obama Administration said "We don't like this school, so we're going to not allow the Pentagon to use GI Bill money to let soldiers attend that school." You can imagine what happened to the stock price, it went down from something like $100 a share down to like $3 a share, at which point Marty Nesbitt swooped in and bought it, bought it for pennies on the dollar. Only after that did the Obama Administration say "You know what? We think that we WILL allow GI dollars to flow back to that school." (Jacobson: It's criminal!) You see that pattern, you see that pattern over and over again. Proft: Wow, yeah and even when they don't swoop in and buy it, they swoop in as consultants to, you know, to...help, yes, fix it, to get regulatory relief...I mean, so it's the same...that, this is like...that, that trick is as old as Chicago Lobbyists. But, I mean, it's great to document specific examples of this. I also want to get to this story...tell us the story of "Scranton Joe"! His son, Hunter Biden, and John Kerry's stepson, Christopher Hines, get together and partner with a Ukrainian natural gas company! Schweizer: Yeah, this is one of the reasons I call the book "Secret Empires", is that you look at a guy like Joe Biden, he'll say "Well look, you know, my family doesn't have any money, look at my financial disclosure!" But what's done is the deals are funneled through your adult kids, and you don't have to disclose the assets and income of your adult kids. So, in the case of Joe Biden, and his son Hunter Biden, and Chris Hines, and a guy named Devin Archer, who is a longtime Kerry aide, they're doing deals with people from Ukraine to China. In the case of Ukraine, there's an oligarch named Igor Kolomoisky, who is a notorious oligarch. Now, you know, if you know anything about Ukraine, oligarchs can be bad enough, but if you're the most NOTORIOUS of the oligarchs, that's saying something! And that's who Igor Kolomoisky is. This guy puts Hunter Biden on the payroll of his energy company, to help him on "Compliance Matters", whatever that means. And of course, we don't know how much he made, but you can imagine it was a pretty penny for, you know, Hunter Biden to take a job like this. But, here's where it gets interesting! So, Kolomoisky, among owning an energy company, also owns a bank. Joe Biden, Hunter's father, Vice President of the United States, is responsible for the flow of US aid dollars to the Ukraine, and that aid is funneled through PrivatBank, which is owned by Kolomoysky, who again, is paying Hunter Biden large sums of money. US taxpayer dollars disappear in Kolomoysky's bank, more than a billion dollars, and a lot of people in the Ukraine believe that Kolomoysky himself siphoned that money off. Now here's where it gets interesting. When Donald Trump was inaugurated in January of 2017, in the last days of the Obama Administration, where was Joe Biden? He wasn't in Washington DC, he wasn't in Scranton, PA. He was in the Ukraine, and he was working to eliminate an investigation of Igor Kolomoysky, who of course is the oligarch that was paying his son. (Proft: Unbelievable!) Dirty dirty stuff, just dirty dirty stuff! Proft: So, the Vice President's son, at the time he's Vice President...the Secretary of State's son...at least in part of the time that he was the Secretary of State, John's stepson, John Kerry...and they're in bed with this Ukrainian...corrupt Ukrainian oligarch and sending billions of dollars of American money, taxpayer money, to cement the relations...I mean, this is the kind of remarkable stuff in this book, you almost think this is like a John LeCarre novel, but it's not, and it's well-documented. I want to get to another example, let's go to the Republican side; Mitch McConnell and Elaine Chao...of course, a Cabinet Secretary before, a Cabinet Secretary again...and how their net worth has gone from as little as $3M 15 years ago to as much as $36.5M today, (Jacobson: How did that happen?) well part of it I know is Elaine Chao comes from wealth, a family shipping company, but connect the dots for us on that explosion in net worth. Schweizer: Yeah, I mean, China figures large in this book, because China has basically embarked on a strategy, and they'll say this openly; a strategy of seeking favors from American political leaders by doing lucrative deals with their families. And that's certainly the case with Mitch McConnell. Mitch McConnell, as you said, married to Elaine Chao, the Transportation Secretary in the Trump Administration...her father launched a shipping business, but the shipping business didn't really take off until 1993, when then-Senator Mitch McConnell, who had just married Elaine, and his father-in-law go to Beijing, China. The trip is not an official government trip, it's not a government delegation...they are there as guests of the China State Shipbuilding Corporation, CSSC, which as the name implies, is wholly owned by the Chinese government. And they basically say to McConnell and Chao "We will set you up in a major way in the shipping business...we will build your ships, we will finance the construction of those ships, we will provide crews for those ships, we will provide contracts for you to ship government-owned companies' goods around the Pacific." And they say they're in, and of course the rest is history. They make a fortune, the relationship is so close between this family and the Chinese government that Elaine Chao's father and sister joined the Board of Directors of CSSC Holdings, which is one of the largest military contractors in Beijing, China. And so, they're getting rich courtesy of the help of the Chinese government. Mitch McConnell's Senate career...something very interesting happens. He was a very critical voice against China when it came to human rights, military expansion, trade issues. Then when the deal was struck, he started to change, and today, he nary has a bad word to say about the Chinese Government, and I would argue it's precisely because he knows that the family fortunes are tied up with the good graces of the Chinese Government. And that net worth increase you mentioned comes almost entirely because James Chao, the father-in-law, made a gift of between $5M and $25M to Senator Mitch McConnell, so you know, who wouldn't wish to have in-laws like THAT, right? Proft: Yeah, and you know, McConnell's been very skeptical, openly, of Trump's, you know, trade policy with respect to China, and the point is, even if Mitch McConnell was a free marketeer, it doesn't matter because of this relationship and his financial interests, he's hopelessly conflicted in his pronouncements in this area. I mean, if we could, if we...I mean, this is why this is so great, we didn't even have time to get to "The Princelings of Chicago" and Mayor Daley, former Mayor Daley's deals with the Russians and the Chinese, which is why you need to get this book. "Secret Empires: How the American Political Class Hides Corruption and Enriches Family and Friends", this is just great stuff, important stuff. Peter Schweizer, the author of "Clinton Cash" is the author of this book. Peter, thanks so much for joining us, appreciate it. Schweizer: I enjoyed it, thanks a lot.

Related Content

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.

WATCH THE FULL EPISODE

SEGMENT 1

SEGMENT 2

SEGMENT 3

SEGMENT 4

SEGMENT 5

RELATED CONTENT

Getting The Facts On Soda Taxes

On this edition of Illinois Rising, Dan Proft and Pat Hughes talk to Tax Foundation expert Scott Drenkard about the failures of Philadelphia's sugary drinks tax, and how it serves as an example for Cook County. They also talk to a state legislative candidate trying to win in Chicago as a Republican, and they discuss the legislative turnover in the General Assembly for this upcoming election. Proft and Hughes also discuss questions surrounding Democratic gubernatorial candidate J.B. Pritzker's links to former Gov. Rod Blagojevich, and how the Democratic race for governor is shaping up.

WATCH THE FULL EPISODE

SEGMENT 1

SEGMENT 2

SEGMENT 3

SEGMENT 4

SEGMENT 5

RELATED CONTENT

Pritzker Attacks

Late last week, JB Pritzker held a press conference to launch a vicious and deceptive attack on Brittany Carl, a staffer in the Governor’s office, for an opinion piece that she had written before her employment with the Rauner Administration. Pat Hughes pushes back on Pritzker for his latest attack on Brittany Carl in this week's Two Minute Warning.

RELATED CONTENT

Pritzker's Problems

It's safe to say that a problem for wanna-Be governor JB Pritzker is considerably different than a problem for the average family in Illinois. The response from government to those problems is remarkably different, as well. IOP Co-Founder Pat Hughes addresses the disparity in this week's Two Minute Warning.

Related Content

Lawmakers' Mad Dash To Pass A Budget

With Spring legislative session ending, Springfield lawmakers are in a hurry to pass a budget – regardless of what's in it or how it affects taxpayers. On this edition of Illinois Rising, Pat Hughes and Illinois Policy writer Joe Kaiser talk to Wirepoints.com founder Mark Glennon about what to expect from the General Assembly in the next few days. They also talk to Manhattan Institute Senior Fellow Dan DiSalvo about how pension costs are making higher education unaffordable for students and families.

And they discuss how two Democratic frontrunners for governor – J.B. Pritzker and Chris Kennedy – are cheating the property tax system in Illinois.

WATCH THE FULL EPISODE

SEGMENT 1

SEGMENT 2

SEGMENT 3

SEGMENT 4

SEGMENT 5

RELATED CONTENT