On Dec. 3 of last year, Illinois state Rep. Jeanne Ives announced her candidacy for governor, putting her on a collision course with Bruce Rauner's gravy train in Springfield. Of course that gravy train is as much a train wreck as anything else, stuck on the tracks with nowhere to go. Nonetheless, the sheer mass of Rauner's money is a formidable obstacle to Ives' quixotic quest. It is awkward to applaud with one's fingers crossed; and yet, with fingers crossed, I am typing this letter with unabashed enthusiasm for Ives.
Rauner's chess game with Michael Madigan lasted two years, but in the end, Rauner was outmaneuvered, humiliated and reduced to whimpering about "broken systems" on Fox News. National Review named Rauner the "Worst GOP Governor" in 2017, after which Rauner laid his king on the board, and took a room at the Illinois Veterans Home in Quincy, in a solemn and cynical attempt at demonstrating his empathy with his pawns.
Bruce, you're not in a movie called "Try Hard 3." You signed HB 40 into law, forcing taxpayers to spend $1.8 million on abortions. Earlier, you made Illinois a sanctuary state; and before that, you caved in to the Chicago Public Schools' lobbyists. Your pride was ground to a pulp inside Madigan's machine at the same moment that machine raised the state's income tax rate to 5 percent. Your political base, repulsed, has collapsed beneath the weight of that pulp.
We, conservatives in Illinois, support Jeanne Ives. In the primary, the Republican base will undergird her campaign. Unlike yours, which is denominated in dollars, Ives' campaign is organic -- felt, funded and trusted by her supporters. Ives' record of fiscal discipline and conservative advocacy make her our champion.
You, Bruce, are just a wealthier and svelter version of J.B. Pritzker.