Rep. Ives: GOP should kick Rauner to the curb

Rep. Ives: GOP should kick Rauner to the curb

MATTOON — Bruce Rauner doesn't deserve a second term as governor, state Rep. Jeanne Ives said Wednesday, and she thinks the Republican base in Illinois should turn him out of office next spring.

"He should not and he cannot win," said Ives, the conservative Republican from Wheaton who is challenging Rauner in the GOP primary. "His base has left him: sanctuary state, taxpayer funding of abortion, his distancing himself from (President Donald) Trump down here in the central and southern parts of the state. He cannot win."

Ives made her remarks Wednesday during a campaign swing through Coles County. While in Mattoon, she met with a handful of county chairmen and other Republicans, including state Rep. Brad Halbrook of Shelbyville. Halbrook declined to offer support for Rauner or Ives in the Republican primary.

But state Rep. Reggie Phillips of Charleston, who did not attend the meeting in Mattoon, said he is staying with Rauner.

"I don't think right now that she has the voice that Rauner has and, let's face it, the governor has the money," Phillips said of Rauner's $65 million-plus campaign fund. "The governor's the one who started this. I think he deserves another four years to fight that battle. That's how I feel.

"Don't get me wrong. I love Jeannie to death. I'd like to see her back in the House of Representatives. And I'd like to see her, after the governor's fought four more years, and we win that Supreme Court case (on the requirement that public union members pay "fair share" dues), in there. To me, it's important that we have a Republican governor to fight back on some of these crazy policies."

But Ives said that Rauner's sudden shift on some issues in the past 13 months has been unsettling.

She said the change began in the fall of 2016, when Rauner backed legislation that gave Exelon Corp. a rate increase to help keep two of its nuclear power plants, including one in DeWitt County, operating for another 10 years.

"He really lost me with that one. I just didn't understand it," Ives said. "The policies that he signed last year are nothing more than cronyism that we've seen from the Democrats and a socially progressive agenda that is of his wife's making and not of the Republican Party's."

She cited his support for taxpayer funding of abortion, for a bill that requires all crisis pregnancy centers to notify patients of all options, including abortion, and for a proposal making it easier for transgender people to change the gender listed on their birth certificates.

"Mike Madigan and the Democrats did not even pass a brand-new funding formula when they had complete control, a bill that bailed out Chicago Public Schools on the backs of taxpayers statewide. No, but Rauner did that all," Ives said.

She said that Rauner should have driven a harder bargain on the school funding rewrite, including an insistence on more school consolidation.

"He never entered the conversation early enough about making the right arguments, and he just got played," she said. "I don't know how we're going to recover from it. They're already making promises that they can't keep.

"Look, Illinois politicians for decades have made promises that they can't keep, whether it's to pensioners or taxpayers, but now they've made it on an education funding bill. We cannot keep that promise. We do not have $350 million over the next 10 years to spend more on education."

Ives said Rauner should have pushed to add state funding "for some of the downstate communities that were only spending $6,000 to $7,000 per pupil, but not do this huge funding rewrite."

And Ives insisted that she could win a general election with her fiscally and socially conservative agenda.

"Yes, I can absolutely win the general election," she said. "Look, the Democrats have destroyed the state and the people know that. And what are all the Democratic candidates selling you? Recreational marijuana, higher taxes, more spending.

"Is anybody buying that shtick? Anybody? No, and that's the entire agenda of those folks."

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scott_tapley wrote on December 21, 2017 at 11:12 pm

Money doesn't buy votes like it used to. The truth is more powerful, especially with social media. You can spend millions spinning a web of lies, but it can all collapse when the truth gets out. Ask Eric Cantor (outspent opponent 30 to 1), Hillary Clinton (outspent Trump 2 to 1) or even our local Democrats who outspent Save CCNH-Vote to Sell 5 to 1.

Jeanne can win by continuing to project her honest voice about Illinois problems that continue to be ignored by the Madigoons and Rauner, who by his own admission isn't really in charge. Rauner should be easy to defeat in the primary just because of his radical pro-abortion and open border/ sanctuary policies. He's not a real Republican and can't possibly win another term with the number of conservatives who won't vote for him again now that he's shown his true leftist colors.