|Member of the Illinois House of Representatives|
from the 42nd district
Assumed office |
January 9, 2013
|Preceded by||Sandra M. Pihos (Redistricted)|
October 4, 1964|
Vermillion, South Dakota, U.S.
|Education||United States Military Academy (BS)|
|Service/branch||United States Army|
|Years of service||1987–1993|
Jeanne M. Ives (née Remmes, born October 4, 1964) is an American politician and Republican member of the Illinois House of Representatives for the 42nd district. The district includes Carol Stream, Lisle, Warrenville, Wheaton, Winfield, West Chicago, and Naperville. She ran unsuccessfully in the Republican primary in the 2018 Illinois gubernatorial election, narrowly losing to incumbent Governor Bruce Rauner.
- 1 Early life and career
- 2 Illinois House of Representatives
- 3 2018 Illinois gubernatorial election
- 4 References
- 5 External links
Early life and career
Ives graduated from Vermillion High School in South Dakota in 1983. She attended the United States Military Academy and served as an officer in the United States Army. Later, Ives served briefly on the Wheaton City Council.
Illinois House of Representatives
Ives was elected to the Illinois House of Representatives in 2012.
During the race for state representative, opponent Dave Carlin criticized Ives by saying she sold herself as an outsider while receiving the political backing of Republican political consultant Dan Proft and his Illinois Liberty PAC. Opponents also said that Ives used her background as a West Point graduate to her political advantage. At the same time, a Milton Township trustee filed an ethics complaint reportedly associated with Ms. Ives, who is also a member of Milton Township's Ethics Committee. The complaint filed by James Flickinger alleges that Ralph G. Hinkle, a Milton Township employee, had been doing campaign work during office hours. The township Ethics Commission dismissed the ethics complaint due to lack of probable cause.
Ives stated on a 2017 radio show, "My best work is actually getting traction on killing legislation that is bad... which is what my role is as a member of both first the super minority (2013–2016) and then the minority (2017–present)." Ives has seen 5 of her 134 bills become law, according to the Illinois General Assembly records.
Rich Miller, who publishes the statehouse news site Capitolfax, described Ives as "perhaps the least influential member of the Illinois House." The author of the Capitolfax article then went on to say, "I honestly didn't remember writing that and I couldn't find it with my site search, either. So, I used Bing and realized that it was a comment, not a post. Turns out, I was trying to calm down a commenter who complained that Rep. Ives 'introduced at least five ALEC model bills this year.'"
On October 10, 2017, Ives published an article in The Federalist titled "Illinois Governor Breaks Promise, Sends Nonexistent Tax Dollars To No-Limits Abortions." after Governor Bruce Rauner signed HB-40 into law. The bill ensures that abortion remains legal in Illinois even if the U.S. Supreme Court overturns Roe v. Wade, while also allowing women with Medicaid and state-employee health insurance to use their coverage for abortions. The article states that "Gov. Bruce Rauner signed into law a bill forcing taxpayers to fund abortion at any time, for any reason. The cost of this law could approach $20 million." Illinois law prohibits abortions once a fetus is considered viable (which is around 23–24 weeks gestation), except in cases of risks to the life or health of the pregnant person. A fiscal note for HB-40 from the Department of Healthcare and Family Services stated the estimated annual cost for abortion services resulting from House Bill 40 is approximately $1.8 million, which would be 100% GRF funded. Another note a month later updated that cost would be zero cost to the Department of Healthcare and Family Services; offset savings were overlooked in the first filed note.
On January 14, 2018, Ives joined a rally of pro-life advocates at Federal Plaza in Chicago criticizing Rauner for signing a bill (HB-40) that "expands taxpayer-subsidized abortions for women covered by Medicaid and state employee group health insurance," according to the Chicago Tribune. Ives has said she made her decision to challenge Rauner in the primary after he signed the bill into law in September 2017. The state of Illinois already covers abortions in cases of rape, incest and when there is a threat to the health and life of the mother. The law that Rauner signed expanded Medicaid coverage beyond those limited cases.
Budget and taxes
On July 2, 2017, Ives voted against two separate pieces of legislation related to taxes and the state budget. The first bill, SB 9, increases taxes to fund the state budget (it was passed in the House by a wide margin). The second bill, SB 6, established the state budget for 2017–2018. The budget bill appropriated money to various agencies, and among other items, appropriated $3.3 billion for the "payment of interest on and retirement of State bonded indebtedness." It extended Illinois's medical marijuana law and directed $3.2 million in state funding to the Sparta World Shooting and Recreational Complex. Additionally, according to Chicago ABC 7, after the budget was made law, people noticed "a hidden tax hike" on gas "tucked inside the 583-page budget bill."
Ives voted against SB 1947, the education overhaul bill passed in 2017 and signed by Governor Bruce Rauner. The law creates a new formula that stands to change Illinois' method of funding education, requiring schools to collect data to curb truancy.
Ives voted against HB 2663 that prohibits the expulsion of students from preschool education and early childhood programs that are funded through the Illinois State Board of Education. Under HB 2663, early childhood programs must now document the steps taken to allow children who exhibit challenging behaviors to participate in class. If those efforts fail, programs can work with parents to transition the student to a different program rather than resorting to expulsion. Children can still be temporarily removed from class if there are safety concerns.
Ives strongly opposed HB 1252, which would require every public elementary school include civics in its sixth, seventh and eighth grade curriculum, beginning with the 2018-2019 school year. "This is duplicative, it is another unfunded mandate and it needs to be shut down," Ives said.
Ives opposed HB 2675, the law provides that each class or course in comprehensive sex education offered in any grades 6 through 12 should include instruction on both abstinence and contraception for the prevention of pregnancy and sexually transmitted diseases, including HIV/AIDS. It also makes changes to provide for all public schools that teach sex education in grades 6 through 12 shall emphasize that abstinence from sexual intercourse is a responsible and positive decision. Schools are no longer required to emphasize that abstinence is the "expected norm."
Ives initiated a bill, House Bill 311, that addressed the issue of the high expense of out-of-network healthcare providers. She said that Illinois residents and families with health insurance are facing an "extremely limited number of healthcare professionals." The bill, which was signed into law, forces networks to have enough healthcare facilities and doctors, including specialists, close to where policyholders live. It also requires insurers to maintain an updated provider directory and to notify policyholders when a doctor or hospital is dropped out of a network. Additionally, pregnant women and patients with complex conditions under the law will be able to "stay with their doctors long enough to make a smooth transition – without getting charged extra."
Ives voted against HB 1336, which grants immunity to underage drinkers that call 911 for medical assistance. Specifically, and perhaps most importantly, the law grants immunity for both the teenage caller who may have been partaking in underage drinking as well as the intoxicated victim.
Ives voted for the Right To Try Act, which allows patients in Illinois with terminal illnesses access to experimental drugs and treatments after they have exhausted standard treatment options.
Rep. Ives has been a vocal critic of the Illinois TRUST Act, stating, "flawed by interfering with the law enforcement process by disallowing local districts the ability to detain individuals as they see fit. This interference stomps on the spirit of cooperation that should exist between all levels of law enforcement." According to DuPage Policy Journal, "Senate Bill 31, which became The Trust Act upon enactment, protects undocumented immigrants from being arrested or detained by state and local police solely because of their immigration status. It does not protect an undocumented immigrant from being arrested or detained if a judge has issued a warrant." Ives said the bill creates a "sanctuary state". Politifact Illinois ruled that the idea the bill creates a sanctuary state false. Law-enforcement officers throughout Illinois have offered their support of the Illinois TRUST Act. Ives has vowed to repeal the TRUST Act.
In March 2013, Ives stated in an interview that same-sex marriages are a "completely disordered relationship" and said LGBT people were trying to "weasel their way" into acceptability. She said she was opposed to the issue of homosexual marriage. Ives went on to describe same-sex marriage as a gateway to "redefine society" in a way that would have a lasting impact on children in particular. "To not have a mother and a father is really a disordered state for a child to grow up in and it really makes that child an object of desire rather than the result of a matrimony," Ives said.
Ives responded to the reactions from her comments and claimed that her remarks were misinterpreted in a Patch blog. She wrote that she "properly understand[s] the institution of marriage and the word 'marriage' to be defined as the union between one man and one woman." Ives states that "[marriage] cannot be legislated away or redefined." Gay marriage later passed the Illinois General Assembly, with Ives saying of the final bill, "The fact is that this bill is the worst in the U.S. for protecting religious liberty."
Ives joined the majority of colleagues in the House in voting down a ban on gay conversion therapy. She stated during debate on the bill, "This is stuff that we should not be legislating on at all. We have no purview in this department. We have no expertise in this department. It's absolutely something that should not ever be legislated on. Let people decide for themselves what they need to have for themselves." Illinois banned gay conversion therapy for LGBT youths in 2015.
Ives opposed a bill that would make it easier for transgender people to change their birth certificates to reflect their gender identity. Ives stated, "Personally, you know what? There's two genders. There's male and female," Ives said. "There was no need to make this change, especially when it's dealing with minors and they can just willy nilly change their birth certificate and their gender. ... This law, it just makes no sense." On a radio show, she called transgender rights "junk science."
On August 4, 2017, the Chicago Tribune reported statements from Representative Ives that compared teachers who provide support to transgender students to "dirty old men." The op-ed, entitled Christians Must Exit Government Schools, was written by the Illinois Family Institute.
Ives was asked if she thinks adoption by gay couples should continue in Illinois. She said she was opposed stating, "I have issues with it because I think a child belongs with both a mother and a father." Ives repeated this on the John Kass podcast The Chicago Way.
Ives voted against SB 2228, which classifies minor marijuana possession as civil violation.
Ives voted against SB 33, which authorizes medical marijuana for post-traumatic stress disorder.
Ives voted against legalizing cannabis for medical purposes. Ives wrote, "I voted against this bill because despite hearing testimony after testimony about how good marijuana can make someone with a critical illness FEEL, the FACTS do not yet support that this is a safe practice or good medicine. I have seen friends and family affected by diseases such as cancer or multiple sclerosis. I am not unsympathetic to their suffering. I cannot, however, subject them to a medicine that the FDA, in FACT, has not yet approved and on which the Institute of Medicine, as well as American Medical Association has recommended more research."  Ives also voted against the extending the sunset date of the program. Close to the one-year mark since sales began in the state, dispensaries and patients are calling the pilot program successful. Gov. Rauner signed the legislation that extended the life of the pilot program. Illinois medical cannabis program is among the strictest in the nation, but the program is growing after Rauner signed the relaxed rules. Illinois doctors have recently advocated for medical cannabis to be used as alternative to opioids.
Ives stated on an interview on Fox News that her stance is that "the marijuana experiment in Colorado has failed. The kids are using marijuana and traffic accidents are up because of it. Illinois should not build an economy based on vice like they have in Colorado."
Ives voted against legislation (Senate Bill 81) in May 2017 that would have raised the minimum wage in Illinois to $15 per hour by the year 2022. The Chicagoland Chamber of Commerce opposed the measure and said, "Over the last several years Chicagoland businesses have seen taxes, fees and mandates that have totaled over $2 billion." From the supporting side, SEIU Healthcare Illinois union President Greg Kelley said, "While corporations are enjoying record profits, workers in Illinois are suffering."
Ives recently proposed several changes to the Illinois Pension Systems.
Pass a constitutional amendment to change the pension protection clause in Article VIII, Section 5 of the Constitution of the State of Illinois, which states that pensions cannot be diminished or impaired. This change will ensure taxpayers are not on the hook for pension obligations on services not yet rendered.
Require all new hires to enter a 401K-stlye self-managed plan. This provides the flexibility and ownership of assets that is prevalent in our private sector and relevant for our modernized employment system where job mobility is important to workers. As well, the US Military is shifting to this plan for all military personnel.
Re-negotiate pension obligations with current workers and retirees. Many of these plans will either be insolvent or require confiscatory taxes that cannot be paid. We must have an honest conversation, as Rhode Island politicians had with their pensioners, in order to solve this problem once and for all.
The Illinois Supreme Court has ruled that pension benefits cannot be diminished or impaired. Article XIII, Section 5, of the Illinois Constitution, which has gotten more publicity in the past year, reads: "Pension and Retirement Rights: Membership in any pension or retirement system of the State, any unit of local government or school district, or any agency or instrumentality thereof, shall be an enforceable contractual relationship, the benefits of which shall not be diminished or impaired." "Crisis is not an excuse to abandon the rule of law," Justice Lloyd A. Karmeier wrote in an opinion. "It is a summons to defend it." Some state lawmakers and legal experts have questioned if a new amendment could cancel out benefits for current public sector workers protected under the existing pension clause in the constitution. There is also a separate contracts clause under which pension members and unions would likely sue.
On October 26, 2017, Ives voted against House Bill 4117 (Prohibits Possession of "Bump Stocks"). The bill failed to win passage in a vote in the House by a margin of 48-54. The bill was a near mirror bill proposed in the United States Senate by Dianne Feinstein (D-CA) and would place bans on many trigger modification devices. Specifically, it "prohibits the knowing sale, manufacture, purchase, possession, or carrying of a trigger modification device." According to WTTW Chicago Tonight, some critics of the bill say it is "riddled with technical flaws." One House member said the bill would have covered between 40 to 50 percent of guns in Illinois.
On Martin Luther King Jr. Day, Ives was asked a question about reducing gun violence. "The problem is the gun violence in this city of Chicago, predominantly," Ives said at a public candidate forum. "And you know how you're going to solve it? Fathers in the home." The Ives campaign later doubled down on the comment, explaining in a statement released to the media that "many have advocated the same idea, including President Obama." In a blog post, the Better Government Association wrote that PolitiFact technically ruled her claim false, but also wrote that Ives was quoting Obama's 2008 Father's Day speech, quoting, "We know the statistics — that children who grow up without a father are five times more likely to live in poverty and commit crime; nine times more likely to drop out of schools and 20 times more likely to end up in prison." The blog post also wrote, "In his 2008 speech, Obama drew a link between children from fatherless homes and those who stray into crime."
Ives voted against House Bill 8, concerned about a possible rise in litigation the bill would fuel. P.A. 98-1050 amends the Illinois Human Rights Act ("IHRA") and creates new responsibilities for employers with respect to their pregnant workers beyond those required under federal law.
2018 Illinois gubernatorial election
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On October 28, 2017, Ives announced that she would challenge incumbent Governor Bruce Rauner in the Republican primary to become Illinois Governor. Her running mate was former State Representative Richard Morthland of Cordova, Illinois. While Ives didn't technically make an official announcement to run, she said she would circulate petitions to get onto the March 20 Republican primary ballot. Ives filed petitions on December 4, 2017.
Ives agrees with Rauner on traditional Republican issues like pension reform, term limits, and lower property taxes. Her major policy differences with Rauner are on social issues.
A November 2017 Capitol Fax/We Ask America poll found that 61%of 1,064 likely Republican voters had a favorable impression of Rauner. Just 24% had an unfavorable opinion, despite the fact that he had been criticized by conservatives after he signed a publicly funded abortion on demand bill into law in late September. The poll, conducted for Capitolfax newsletter subscribers Oct. 25–29, found Rauner leading Ives 64–19, with 16 percent undecided. The poll had a margin of error of +/-3 percent. According to the poll, 83% of Republican voters have never heard of Ives.
In a guest piece in the Daily Herald, Ives stated "We are 48th in the nation in serving those with developmental disabilities. Instead of reforming our Medicaid system, Gov. Rauner expanded it -- hurting those who need help the most." The Illinois Parents of Adults with Developmental Disabilities, which provides Illinois parents, self-advocates, adult siblings, and others who care about adults with developmental disabilities a dedicated online platform for networking, information, advocacy, and support, gave Ives a poor rating (0-50%) in its 2016 and 2017 community living reports.
In an interview, Ives stated that she would differentiate herself from Rauner: "First of all, you don't pick (a) personal feud with [Madigan]," Ives said. "You recognize him for who he is, which is the most powerful House speaker in the United States. … And then you work with his membership to build alliances and effect the change that they all know needs to happen, too." However, in an op-ed earlier in the year Ives stated, "Whether it's Irish stubbornness, blind ambition, or a descent into madness, Madigan is using all of his (considerable) political might to protect a political machine that was carefully constructed by politicians and powerful special interests. And, the machine doesn't reform itself. The machine grows itself by distracting voters with glossy mail pieces and idiotic bills in public, so it can continue handing out favors in private." This new pledge stood in contrast to her previous remarks.
In an interview with the Quad-City Times, Ives defended the Illinois Family Institute. She said, "The Illinois Family Institute is a remarkable institute and they serve families well in the state of Illinois," Ives said. "But if you think I'm going to stand here and come up with a defense against something that the Southern Poverty Law Center put out, which themselves should be deemed a hate group, is just nonsense." She also took a strong stand against more money for higher education, stating, "No, I'm not willing to devote more money to higher education at this time," Ives said. "There's been administrative bloat from the get-go. ... Not even teachers so much, but administrative bloat. ... We have a lot of work to do in higher ed, but it's not any more money there."
Ives refused to comment on allegations of sexual abuse regarding U.S. Senate candidate Roy Moore of Alabama. "I'm not going to answer that question because I'm not an Alabaman. I'm going to let Alabamans decide that," she said. Pressed for an answer on whether or not Moore's conduct was disqualifying for a seat in the Senate, she responded, "So? I comment on state issues. As far as I'm concerned, the Alabama folks know the guy better and they can make the decision. I'm not going to weigh in on that race." 
"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."
In January 2018, the Fremont Township Republican Organization moved to endorse Ives over Rauner. The organization said, "Gov. (Bruce) Rauner turned his back on the campaign promise of conservative reforms with no social agenda. After three years, the families and businesses of Fremont Township have experienced no financial relief, and practically no improvement in the 'state of the state.'" In the same month, the Schaumburg Township Republican Organization endorsed Rauner with 86% in support.
The Ives campaign claimed that Rauner lost the endorsement of the Illinois Education Association (IEA) to Democratic candidate J. B. Pritzker. An Ives campaign release said "The IEA chose the big government Democrat over the big government Republican, despite Gov. Rauner's best efforts to cater to the IEA with Chicago Public School bailouts at the expense of suburban and Downstate schools." An article in the Chicago Tribune clarified that the IEA does not represent CPS Unions, but that they likely responded favorably to Rauner's pro-teachers'-union positions.
In January 2018, Ives won the endorsement of the Wheeling Republican Party "in landslide fashion, winning 90 percent of the vote," according to NBC Chicago. Just a few days earlier, Ives had beaten Rauner 17-3 in a straw poll at the Chicago Republican Party.
On February 17, 2018, the Kankakee Daily Journal endorsed Ives in the Republican primary. The Daily Journal wrote:
Ives has no such baggage, and her military background, leadership experience, economics training, and overall grit and spunk, as displayed in the debate and other situations, give her the edge in leading our beloved state back to a hopeful future. . . . Rauner is a good man, but she is a better pick for the future.
On January 8, 2018, Crain's Business Chicago reported that Ives' campaign's fourth-quarter fundraising totals were around $500,000.
A We Ask America Poll from 01/16/2018 had Rauner leading Ives 65%–21%. However, a month later, a new PPP poll found "that just 49 percent of Republicans now have a favorable view of Rauner vs. 43 percent with an unfavorable view."
On February 28, 2018, Ives' campaign released a new book entitled The Governor You Don't Know: The Other Side of Bruce Rauner. The book was authored by Chicago GOP chairman and Ives campaign chairman Chris Cleveland with a foreword by conservative State Representative Tom Morrison. According to the Ives campaign, "The book provides Republican primary voters a factual history of Governor Rauner's tenure, bumping his rhetoric up against his policy choices and connecting the dots between the candidate who promised 'no social agenda' and an 'Illinois Turnaround' with his numerous betrayals."
In the Republican primary on March 20, 2018, Rauner defeated Ives with just over 51% of the vote.
Chicago Tribune editorial board debate
On January 29, 2018, Rauner and Ives appeared before the Chicago Tribune editorial board. The two candidates "sparred over who has the better strategy for addressing Illinois' political dysfunction and creating jobs." According to the Tribune, it was their only scheduled debate. The editorial board wrote, "Ives presented herself as a Republican legislator who knows how to work with Democrats in Springfield." John Kass, a member of the editorial board, in a column titled "Ives crushes Rauner in Tribune governor debate" wrote, "But on Monday, judging just from his eyes and body language after debating Ives — a West Point graduate — Rauner looked like a man who'd been whipped."
The editorial board published the following after the candidates' debate:
Turns out Rauner hasn't been able to bend House Speaker Michael Madigan and the Democratic-run General Assembly to his will. The governor's 'turnaround agenda' stalled. Residents are fleeing high-tax Illinois. Employers are bailing, too, or choosing instead to invest in other states. We've begun to think about this election in dire terms. The Land of Lincoln has a festering pension crisis and a reputation as a loser. Job growth is weak. A lot of voters think Illinois must change or die.
In the editorial, the Chicago Tribune wrote that before the primary, it would endorse a Republican and a Democratic candidate for governor. After the interview with Rauner and Ives, the editorial board reached the conclusion that Ives "makes a persuasive case as an alternative to Rauner." The editorial board also wrote, "Whenever an incumbent gets a serious primary challenge, that says something — that there's uncertainty among party faithful, or dissatisfaction."
The editorial board encouraged the two campaigns to have more debates; however, Rauner "showed no interest."
"Thank you, Bruce Rauner" TV ad and reaction
Ives released an ad on February 3, 2018, in an attempt to challenge her opponent's commitment to conservative values. Her ad featured actors outfitted to portray a transgender woman, an anti-fascist protestor wearing a hood and a bandana over his face, a member of the Chicago Teachers Union and a Women's March[disambiguation needed] activist. After Ives' ad made its rounds on the internet, advocacy groups, some Republicans and Democrats lashed out against Ives, calling her video bigoted and offensive.
According to Politico, "The ad plays off an earlier Rauner ad that his campaign ran statewide for months entitled 'Thanks, Mike,' and featured GOP governors from surrounding states thanking Rauner nemesis state House Speaker Michael Madigan for 'blocking Rauner's reforms.'"
Trans woman attorney Joanie Rae Wimmer, who had met Ives at Ives' home while delivering legal papers in the case of a man that Wimmer was defending (who was later convicted of leaving threatening and abusive messages on Ives' voicemail), said of the ad, "I think she's a dangerous person — I think she's only a short way away from the Nazi Party in 1930s Germany. … The only difference is that instead of going after Jews, she's going after transgender people like me, and immigrants and black people." The Ives campaign responded, "That Joanie Rae Wimmer would equate Jeanne Ives saying she doesn't want men in the same bathroom or locker room as her elementary school daughter to Nazis who tortured and murdered 6 million Jews tells you exactly who is the extremist and who is recklessly advancing intolerant views."
Speaking at the City Club of Chicago, Ives said the ad was "generating the expected hysteria from the expected quarters." She said that her positions on the policies shown in the ad have been well-advertised in her campaign literature and campaign speeches. She also said:
The commercial does not attack people, it tackles issues, I truly believe illustrating the constituencies Rauner has chosen to serve, to the exclusion of others. The ad is a policy ad. That's what it is. It's an accurate depiction of the policies Rauner put in place.
Three Chicago area newspaper editorial boards came out against the ad. The Chicago Tribune editorial board wrote, "The ad is not subtle. It's harsh. Several actors appear in the spot, including a young woman in a pink cat protest hat who thanks Rauner for expanding taxpayer-supported abortions, and a man whose face is covered by a kerchief who thanks Rauner for protecting 'illegal immigrant criminals.' The portrayals are demeaning." The Daily Herald wrote, "Illinois governor candidate Jeanne Ives should take down ad that attacks people of Illinois, not opponent." The Chicago Sun-Times board wrote, "Jeanne Ives goes for the bully vote with her TV ad." All three editorial boards endorsed Bruce Rauner. On the other hand, the Kankakee Daily Journal editorial board endorsed Ives. The national pro-life group Susan B. Anthony List also endorsed Ives on February 16, 2018.
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- Jeanne Ives for Governor campaign site
- Representative Jeanne Ives (R) 42nd District at the Illinois General Assembly
- By session: 98th
- Profile at Project Vote Smart
- Profile at OpenStates.org
- Profile at Ballotpedia
- The Governor You Don’t Know: The Other Side of Bruce Rauner, by Chris Cleveland. (Jameson Books, Inc.: Ottawa, Illinois). 2018. ISBN 978-0-89803-183-6.
- Video: "Gov. Bruce Rauner and Jeanne Ives face off during Chicago Tribune Editorial Board endorsement interview"
- Video: "Thank you, Bruce Rauner"