Jeanne Ives: Having the Courage of Conviction in the Illinois Gubernatorial Race

Recently, I had the opportunity to interview Jeanne Ives on the Lawyers for Jesus radio show (Listen here). Jeanne Ives is a remarkable woman who is running for governor of Illinois in the upcoming Republican Primary. Remarkable, not only for the common sense fiscal policies she brings to the state’s legislature which has bankrupted this state, but for the courage of her convictions as she stands against this State’s increasing moral bankruptcy. Unlike Bruce Rauner, her Republican opponent, Jeanne Ives believes that the social issues are as important as the fiscal ones. It is because of her convictions that she is opposing Rauner in the Republican primary, knowing full well that she will be outspent ($82 million with $57 million of that out of Rauner’s own personal funds since 2015 to her $3.7 million raised since the Spring of 2018 ) and that he has far greater name recognition. But, as she said, “With what we face in Springfield, someone has to stand up for the people of Illinois, so my candidacy is for such a time as this.” And as the Republican State Representative from Wheaton, her record down in Springfield for the last five years shows that –stand up she will.

So what does she, or better yet, what do we face in Springfield after years and years of mismanagement? On the fiscal side we often hear the complaint that Illinois has failed to create enough decent jobs. Behind this is a record-breaking exodus of its businesses and its people from Illinois. In tax year 2015-2016 alone, according to the IRS, Illinois saw a net loss of more than 86,000 people. With this migration, Illinois lost a net $4.75 billion in adjusted gross income to other states. And gone with this migration are not only the wallets, but the skills, ingenuity and businesses of those fleeing Illinois.

So why are so many people leaving? The number one reason - taxes. In 2011 we were promised a “temporary” income tax hike to pay down the State’s backlog of unpaid bills, stabilize the crisis in the state’s pension system and strengthen its economy. That never happened. Instead, in 2017, Springfield passed the largest permanent income tax hike in its history. As Representative McSweeney put it, "Rauner looked the other way on the 32% increase in the income tax rate, made Illinois a sanctuary state and is primarily responsible for Illinois' $16 billion backlog of unpaid bills."

Added to this tax folly, Illinoisans shoulder one of the largest property tax burdens in the nation, according to a 2016 study from real-estate services company CoreLogic. Yet, every year Springfield refuses to confront the real reasons behind those astronomical tax bills because it would require cutting back on local governments (Illinois has more than any other state); and finally addressing the ever increasing local pension costs and the stacked bargaining process that cripples taxpayers in negotiations with state and local government employees.

It is not only fiscal bankruptcy that we face in Springfield but moral bankruptcy. Sadly, Governor Rauner has not kept his promises on this account either. Knowing the dire condition our State was in, we had hoped that Governor Rauner would be tough on fiscal policy and, as promised, at least “neutral” on social issues. Instead, he has failed to stand up to Mike Madigan on fiscal issues and has broken his promise on the social issues as well. Exhibit A for his indictment on the moral issues is HB 1785 which Governor Rauner signed into law last spring, making it even easier for men who claim they are women, and women who claim they are men, to acquire birth certificates that identify them as the sex they think they are.

However, Rauner’s ultimate betrayal was HB40 which mandates that taxpayer dollars will be used to fund elective abortions through Medicaid and state employee health insurance. After passing the General Assembly in May with no Republican support, Rauner backed out of his promised veto, and signed HB40 into law, making Illinois the first state in the nation to cross the line and begin to fund abortions with your tax dollars. Concerning Rauner’s signature on HB40, Jeanne Ives said, "It's incomprehensible to any Republican that you would have a Republican governor sign such an egregious bill." Joining her were many other Republicans saying that they could no longer support Rauner. As Representative Peter Breen stated: "In the face of overwhelming evidence of Rauner’s inability to competently administer the Illinois government, inability to stand up to Mike Madigan effectively, and inability to keep his word and his commitments, I can no longer support him." State Senator Sue Rezin, R-Morris, characterizing Rauner's failure to veto HB40 as "beyond disappointing," went on to say, “Illinois is still facing a financial crisis. Not only can taxpayers not afford this, but polls show that the majority of people in our country don’t want their tax dollars funding abortion,"

Into this arena has walked Jeanne Ives, facing great odds but with a clear idea of her convictions and the courage to overcome that debilitating sense that nothing can change. She has not backed down under the withering intimidation that awaits anyone who would dare stand up for conservative values and the Judeo-Christian heritage which made our state and our nation great. Like her, may we live out the courage of our convictions, face intimidation with confidence, refuse to despair and most importantly, consistently show up where God is calling us. And as part of showing up, I urge you to go to Jeanne Ives’ website at ivesforillinois.com and learn more about her and her campaign. Then volunteer to help the campaign, talk to family members, friends, and neighbors about Representative Ives and the importance of her election. Next, donate to her campaign—even small donations help enormously. Most importantly, vote on Tuesday, March 20!