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Rauner brushes off possible Ives primary challenge

Tuesday, Oct 10, 2017

* He doesn’t seem too worried…

* But it’s more likely than you might think

Republican Gov. Bruce Rauner, despite buckets of campaign cash, may be in for a primary fight in his 2018 re-election battle for governor.

Suburban Republican lawmaker Jeanne Ives (Wheaton) is considering getting in the race, citing her frustration with the governor’s signing of HB40, a law that will increase access to abortion for state Medicaid recipients and would continue to make abortion legal in Illinois should the U.S. Supreme Court choose to overturn it.

“Our team is having important conversations around the state about challenging the unprincipled and morally bankrupt politicians who have failed to deliver reforms demanded by taxpayers, businesses and ordinary citizens that have played by the rules and yet, find themselves ignored by both parties,” Ives said.

Rauner is facing a revolt from the grassroots of his party, with several Republican lawmakers saying they can’t support him for re-election and are actively looking for an alternative. Former ally John Tillman, head of the libertarian think tank The Illinois Policy Institute, referred to him as “Benedict Rauner” for allegedly “going back on his word” and signing HB40.

Ives would appear to be at a significant financial disadvantage, but could level the playing field if she garners the support of political operatives like Dan Proft and uber-funder Dick Uihlein.

* More

“Certainly, the party’s fractured, but when I talk to my colleagues, they’re not supporting Rauner, not passing his petitions,” Ives says. “We actually seem to be uniting against the signing of this bill.”

- Posted by Rich Miller        

56 Comments
  1. - Chicago Cynic - Tuesday, Oct 10, 17 @ 9:50 am:

    Jeanne is a far right winger. On the one hand, I like the idea of beating him up and keeping him occupied. On the other, it could make him look sane by comparison. And yet if she won, the D would get 65%. So hmmm…choices…


  2. - BIG R. Ph. - Tuesday, Oct 10, 17 @ 9:50 am:

    You go girl!

    How many times do I get to vote? Where do I send my contribution? Haven’t had to contribute because Rauner has been doing it for me.


  3. - Iggy - Tuesday, Oct 10, 17 @ 9:52 am:

    if the IPI wishes to bill itself as a Libertarian think tank then why is it that HB40 is the bill that puts mr. Tillman over the edge? is it because this is not truly a libertarian organization or is it because he personally identifies as a conservative? If anyone has more insight I would love to know why this is the sticking point for a libertarian group that often shuns the conversation of abortion much like Rauner used to do in 2014.


  4. - A Jack - Tuesday, Oct 10, 17 @ 9:52 am:

    I thought Rauner’s response of “Whatever” was a bit arrogant. Is he dismissing her like that because she is a woman or just because she is not as wealthy as he is?


  5. - Freeport Salty Pretzel - Tuesday, Oct 10, 17 @ 9:54 am:

    Iggy: I presume the use of taxpayer funds for abortions.


  6. - Oswego Willy - Tuesday, Oct 10, 17 @ 9:54 am:

    Rep. Ives is the perfect foil to have Rauner win with over/under 62.5% and allow Rauner to seem reasonable and fighting to defeat Madigan, which is all Rauner really has going right now, as press releases with 19 “Madigan” references continue to churn out.


  7. - 47th Ward - Tuesday, Oct 10, 17 @ 9:55 am:

    A primary challenge by Ives or someone else merely offers conservatives a protest vote. If they are serious about taking out Rauner, a conservative should mount a 3rd party race against him and the Democratic nominee.

    That would rid Illinois of Governor Rauner.


  8. - Ravenswood Right Winger - Tuesday, Oct 10, 17 @ 9:56 am:

    my neighbor 47th Ward is on to something. Maybe a credible 3rd party candidate in the fall? Greens or Libertarians or someone else? Rich Whitney got 10-11% back in 2006?


  9. - PJ - Tuesday, Oct 10, 17 @ 9:57 am:

    ===Is he dismissing her like that because she is a woman or just because she is not as wealthy as he is?===

    I’m about as anti-Rauner as anyone, but this is silly. What’s he supposed to say? “I’m terrified”?

    He could have come up with something more diplomatic, but frankly Ives merits abrupt dismissal because she’s absurd, not because she’s a woman. Her fact-free bloviating is one of the worst parts of listening to floor debates.


  10. - Anonymous - Tuesday, Oct 10, 17 @ 9:58 am:

    I hope she gets heavy coin from big donors and makes Rauner spend loads of $, then become a loser in the end. Anything to take that ‘happiest I’ve been in 20 years’ smirk off his mug.


  11. - Macbeth - Tuesday, Oct 10, 17 @ 9:59 am:

    As much as I think Ives a wingnut — there is the stark reality that now, more than ever, wingnuts have a chance to shine brightly. Folks seem to want wingnuts.

    If there was ever a chance for Ives to run, now would definitely be the time.


  12. - Flynn's Mom - Tuesday, Oct 10, 17 @ 10:00 am:

    I cannot wait until he loses the primary. His arrogance grows by the day. It’s almost like he’s in another world and does not understand that he has lost most of his supporters. His money can’t buy everything.


  13. - Anon221 - Tuesday, Oct 10, 17 @ 10:01 am:

    He might want to re-think the “Whatever” response if she does run and there are live debates. Trying to debate during a Jeanne tirade will make him look: a. condescending; b. arrogant; c. chauvinistic; d. indifferent; e. privileged; f. all of the above and then some. Hud and Company better be up to the task and have some serious debate training. Don’t get me wrong, I’m just waiting to pop the popcorn and watch such a spectacle. If Rauner thought he was uncomfortable during the HB40 signing, he ain’t seen nuthin’ yet if he gets on the other side of a full-out Ives attack.


  14. - Oswego Willy - Tuesday, Oct 10, 17 @ 10:04 am:

    ===He might want to re-think the “Whatever” response if she does run and there are live debates. Trying to debate during a Jeanne tirade will make him look: a. condescending; b. arrogant; c. chauvinistic; d. indifferent; e. privileged; f. all of the above and then some===

    That only applies is Ives looks thoughtful, knowledgeable, welcoming, even-keel, and professional to thought and issue.

    That’s a heavy lift for her. Ives believes her bluster and far right idealism.

    Rauner taking Ives on with her closed-minded thoughts is what Rauner can use to rehab himself in a long game.

    ===If Rauner thought he was uncomfortable during the HB40 signing, he ain’t seen nuthin’ yet if he gets on the other side of a full-out Ives attack===

    What if Rauner is hoping for “just that”?


  15. - chi - Tuesday, Oct 10, 17 @ 10:04 am:

    I really didn’t think there’d be someone alive that’d make me consider voting for Rauner


  16. - Macbeth - Tuesday, Oct 10, 17 @ 10:04 am:

    Actually, Rauner’s undoing would, indeed, start with an Ives debate. Rauner tends to smile and smirk when he’s nervous and uncertain — and given Ives’ ability to stand by staunchly conservative values — and her own off-the-rails-did-she-really-say-that approach — Rauner’s smile and smirk and condescending “It’s too complicated to explain” methodology would start to undermine his authority (such as is is) pretty darn quickly.


  17. - cdog - Tuesday, Oct 10, 17 @ 10:10 am:

    Call Ives what you will, but she seems to have absolute integrity supported by solid conservative convictions. Rauner just might have met his match if she could get him in a debate, and lots of bucks for messaging.

    Once again, Rauner is damaged goods. This is not so much about abortion as it is the non-stop lies and deception of an oligarch with a non-public agenda. The ILGOP is now woke.

    How many negotiations were close over the last 2.5 years, and then Rauner would move the ball?

    “Moving the ball” is really just implying that his first position, as the self-purchased leader of the ILGOP, was a lie.

    Even Radagno had enough. (She needs to right a book but probably won’t for rightfully fearing of being picked at by the vulture-capitalist.)


  18. - Grand Avenue - Tuesday, Oct 10, 17 @ 10:10 am:

    Donald Trump won 39% of the Illinois GOP primary. I’m guessing that’s the upper limit of a Jeanne Ives primary challenge.


  19. - Ducky LaMoore - Tuesday, Oct 10, 17 @ 10:13 am:

    Man this guy is horrible off-script. He should have known the question would come up at some point. And he should have had something a little nicer to say about her. Believe me, I know it is hard… but geez, way to look like an out of touch politician.


  20. - Chris P. Bacon - Tuesday, Oct 10, 17 @ 10:14 am:

    No amount of money can change the fact Rauner is seen as dishonest to the core, a man even willing to mislead a Catholic Cardinal.

    If Ives or another credible candidate runs, Rauner loses.


  21. - IllinoisInsider - Tuesday, Oct 10, 17 @ 10:14 am:

    She’s staking out the leadership of IL GOP on abortion? Good. Luck. With. That.


  22. - Norseman - Tuesday, Oct 10, 17 @ 10:15 am:

    If the BTIA(tm), now back in the IPI fold, is going to help Ives, then Rauner has nothing to fear.


  23. - Anon221 - Tuesday, Oct 10, 17 @ 10:15 am:

    OW- That may be what Rauner wants to happen (the full-on attack), but as Macbeth pointed out (and I totally agree), Rauner’s tendency to do the smile and smirk routine is a pretty hard lift for him to overcome.


  24. - Oswego Willy - Tuesday, Oct 10, 17 @ 10:17 am:

    ===Once again, Rauner is damaged goods. This is not so much about abortion as it is the non-stop lies and deception of an oligarch with a non-public agenda. The ILGOP is now woke.

    How many negotiations were close over the last 2.5 years, and then Rauner would move the ball?

    “Moving the ball” is really just implying that his first position, as the self-purchased leader of the ILGOP, was a lie.===

    Yeah. Sure.

    As the Raunerite GA members hurt Catholic Charities, but with righteous indignation feel compelled to invoke Blase Cardinal Cupich’s name, no different than Matthew warns of the phony pius pointing out how THEY pray, or how THEY help the poor…

    This battle has been going on since 2013. I know who cares, I know who is “woke” (sigh), and who is honest about their beliefs with Rauner.

    Rep. Breen is the lone GA member… that I know of right now… that flat out admits he enabled Rauner, knowing it was not the best, but no more.

    The rest?

    Either “we have common ground, on other things”… Or hyperbole that’s as phony as they are and have been since Rauner raised the wrong hand to take the oath.

    Spare me, “woke” Raunerites, your phony is as phony as Rauner himself. The babe in the woods routine is quite embarrassing.


  25. - MG85 - Tuesday, Oct 10, 17 @ 10:19 am:

    On my way to meet Ms. Ives,
    I met a man with teary eyes,
    Filled so from a turnaround agender,
    that a thousand dropped G’s couldn’t render,
    and mean ol’ Madigan wouldn’t behave:
    Eyes, Agenda, G’s, and the Speaker,
    How many feel sorry for Rauner the Bleaker?


  26. - Oswego Willy - Tuesday, Oct 10, 17 @ 10:20 am:

    ===Rauner’s tendency to do the smile and smirk routine is a pretty hard lift for him to overcome===

    Jeanne Ives ain’t that candidate to take out Rauner because of smirks or smiles.

    Ives will say ridiculous things. Ives will hurt herself far more than help her own cause. It’s who she is.


  27. - Ducky LaMoore - Tuesday, Oct 10, 17 @ 10:21 am:

    ===If the BTIA(tm), now back in the IPI fold, is going to help Ives, then Rauner has nothing to fear.===

    I would say you are wrong on that. Remember, GOP primaries are about who is the craziest and how many times you can reference Ronald Reagan. It could be a trick box for Rauner. If she runs and picks up steam, he has to move right to defeat her soundly enough to not be damaged goods. Looking sane in a GOP primary will get you nowhere.


  28. - cdog - Tuesday, Oct 10, 17 @ 10:21 am:

    The contentious and crowded Democratic primary will most likely prevent any cross-party mischief in the voting booth, unfortunately.

    It would be lovely if some of them voted for an Ives-like candidate to help put an end to Rauner’s reign.

    Dems will take a dem ballot. Repubs will hopefully have a choice. (I’m good with West Point Ives.)


  29. - Reaganing - Tuesday, Oct 10, 17 @ 10:28 am:

    “and mean ol’ Madigan wouldn’t behave”

    Not trying to nitpick, but with the rhymn structure you have going you really needed to have another “ave” line.

    Also, with the nonsense Ives says on the floor, the attack ads would write themselves. Anyone who thinks she is a legitimate threat is kidding themselves.


  30. - Ghost - Tuesday, Oct 10, 17 @ 10:29 am:

    Will Ives ask Rauner for campaign donations?


  31. - Anonymous - Tuesday, Oct 10, 17 @ 10:32 am:

    So who’s next in line for Ives’ House seat?


  32. - Roman - Tuesday, Oct 10, 17 @ 10:33 am:

    - Grand Avenue -

    And Ted Cruz finished second with 30 percent. So the Ives-like firebrand candidates combined to total 69 percent in Illinois. The “mainstream” Rauner-like candidates (Kasich and Rubio) combined for only 30 percent.

    I’m not saying a Rauner-Ives contest will line-up the exact same way, but I am saying we no longer have a Thompson/Edgar/Ryan/Oswego Willy Republican Party in Illinois. It is foolish to dismiss Ives’ chances (or anyone else’s) against a candidate who is pro-choice, pro-immigrant, pro-gay rights, and pro-criminal justice reform — no matter how much money he has.


  33. - Anon221 - Tuesday, Oct 10, 17 @ 10:33 am:

    OW- I’m not saying she would be able to take him out (she probably believes that, though), but she could sure cause some damage. It may be superficial “hits”, but enough “dings” to the Team Rauner yacht, may punch some holes Rauner would rather not have to patch.


  34. - Suburbanon - Tuesday, Oct 10, 17 @ 10:34 am:

    If Ives runs for Governor in primary, she can’t run for re-election as State Representative at the same time, correct? Then we should do all we can to help her get into Governor’s race.


  35. - King Louis XVI - Tuesday, Oct 10, 17 @ 10:37 am:

    –Also, with the nonsense Ives says on the floor, the attack ads would write themselves. Anyone who thinks she is a legitimate threat is kidding themselves–

    Jeb Bush, Luther Strange likely thought the same about their opponents…


  36. - Macbeth - Tuesday, Oct 10, 17 @ 10:38 am:

    Rauner’s holding a genuinely conservative agenda hostage. This, I think, is the approach. Ives may not be the best messenger, but she is — and I can’t believe I’m saying this — an authentic messenger for that particular agenda. Rauner, like Trump, is his own thing. He’ll go where the deals are — and say what audiences want to hear — but he has no authentic moral compass.

    The issue is whether the Illinois GOP wants a truly conservative candidate. I hope Ives does mount a primary challenge. Sure, it’ll be interesting to watch — and she may be no credible threat — but it is important (IMHO) for the GOP to reclaim what Rauner’s taken hostage.

    It seems weird that it’s taken this long for the ILGOP to articulate this frustration in any meaningful fashion.


  37. - Oswego Willy - Tuesday, Oct 10, 17 @ 10:42 am:

    ===Jeb Bush, Luther Strange likely thought the same about their opponents…===

    … and yet, Rauner is the incumbent, on a controlled field, with oppo on Ives like her Confederate appreciation and slashing the budget that would hurt the likes of Catholic Charities.


  38. - A guy - Tuesday, Oct 10, 17 @ 10:49 am:

    Now the problem is front and center, it’s time for a serious solution. This isn’t it.

    That primary and a JB general ought to come with gift wrapping.


  39. - TopHatMonocle - Tuesday, Oct 10, 17 @ 10:54 am:

    I think a more accurate quote from Rauner would be: LOL, whatever.


  40. - Jocko - Tuesday, Oct 10, 17 @ 10:59 am:

    Is this the same Jeanne Ives who believes public schoolteachers are “homo-activists” who want to expose children to wickedness? Whatever (exclamation point).


  41. - Dance Band on the Titanic - Tuesday, Oct 10, 17 @ 11:12 am:

    How much is the crisis communications specialist being paid for “whatever”?


  42. - W Flag - Tuesday, Oct 10, 17 @ 11:24 am:

    Reminds me of Jack Roeser challenging Jim Edgar in 1994. Roeser received about a quarter of the primary vote and Edgar led the Republicans to a historic victory in November.


  43. - Blue dog dem - Tuesday, Oct 10, 17 @ 11:29 am:

    Rauners’ ephinany. Yup, around Jan. 6. Reality will set in. He will find out just how ardent the pro-life crowd is. If he stays in the race(but he wont), worse rear-end kicken than trump got.


  44. - cdog - Tuesday, Oct 10, 17 @ 11:44 am:

    This evening, I will youtube view all the West Point Ives videos I can find. I doubt I will find anything that offends a true conservative.

    (Unless google has removed them because they violate the left-coast community standards because they talk about family values like father’s being in the home, personal responsibility, etc. /s)


  45. - Telly - Tuesday, Oct 10, 17 @ 11:48 am:

    Having laughed and laughed at the notion of Donald Trump winning the GOP nomination, let alone the presidency, I’ve learned my lesson. Many people posting here have not.

    Anyone who thinks Ives has no chance isn’t paying attention.

    Yes, “Ives will say ridiculous things.” She might win because of it.


  46. - A guy - Tuesday, Oct 10, 17 @ 11:57 am:

    ==So who’s next in line for Ives’ House seat?===

    Ans: Ives


  47. - honeybadger - Tuesday, Oct 10, 17 @ 12:20 pm:

    Jeannie Ives-living proof “you CAN fool all of the people ALL of the time.”


  48. - A Jack - Tuesday, Oct 10, 17 @ 12:32 pm:

    I think someone opposing Rauner could use his “whatever” comment to tie him to Trump’s “wherever” comment in that they are both dismissive of women. That might erode some of the female vote for Rauner.


  49. - honeybadger - Tuesday, Oct 10, 17 @ 12:38 pm:

    This is the person who has been getting funding to run candidates against good GOP’ers. This is the person who will most likely help run Jeannie Ives campaign.

    Go to the 4:22 mark.
    https://youtu.be/7ksRluCG0W4


  50. - Illinoisvoter - Tuesday, Oct 10, 17 @ 12:38 pm:

    And that’s the thanks he gets? Look it’s heavy lifts like this or Mark Kirk’s stance on same sex marriage or the University of Illinois choice to become a more International University that attracts graduates from South Bend and Shanghai and corporations like Amazon to develop our state. They are still marching into the past with Tiki torches in Virginia. Isn’t that special when you are laying the foundation for a major international company? Many will say on this there can be no compromise. Fine follow Representative Ives and her like to Never Never Land and let the opportunities be damned.


  51. - DarkHorse - Tuesday, Oct 10, 17 @ 1:15 pm:

    It’s easy to dismiss Ives’ chances if you think a primary contest will be about Ives. But if it’s a referendum about Rauner, effectively a vote of (no) confidence on his tenure, then it could be much closer.


  52. - Trapped in the 'burbs - Tuesday, Oct 10, 17 @ 2:14 pm:

    Remember Eric Cantor? If she wins the primary, they lose the general. If she damages Rauner in the primary, does the right stay home in the general? However this goes, if he catches an opponent in the primary, it will hurt Rauner in the general.


  53. - @MisterJayEm - Tuesday, Oct 10, 17 @ 2:39 pm:

    Many of Bruce Rauners’ supporters will show up to vote for him in the GOP primary — but some will stay home and some will pull Democratic ballots. By contrast, every one of Jeanne Ives’ supporters would crawl across broken glass to vote for her.

    ‘Whatever’ from Rauners’ lukewarm supporters could be the very sentiment that topples him.

    – MrJM


  54. - Ghost - Tuesday, Oct 10, 17 @ 4:27 pm:

    Macbeth beware the Ives of March….


  55. - wordslinger - Tuesday, Oct 10, 17 @ 5:36 pm:

    –Call Ives what you will, but she seems to have absolute integrity supported by solid conservative convictions. –

    She backed Rauner every step of the way for more than 2.5 years until HB40.

    Was that track record all about “absolute integrity” and “solid conservative convictions?”

    Funny dictionary you have, what with the reneging on contracts, deadbeatism, billions in unpaid bills and such.

    –This evening, I will youtube view all the West Point Ives videos I can find.–

    Shine on, you crazy diamond.


  56. - cdog - Tuesday, Oct 10, 17 @ 9:49 pm:

    After watching several Ives videos, she’s cool.
    In a July video, after receiving the 700 page budget 4 hrs before, she is trying to get an honest answer of whether the fy2017 vendor bills have been handled properly. She said there always seems to be these $2b miscalculations requiring a supplemental.

    She has a good handle on stuff and should take on Rauner.


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