Welcome Everyone! Thank you for coming.
Many of you have been by my side since I first ran for Wheaton City Council in 2009.
You have been among my most ardent supporters and sage advisors on both politics and policy.
From the Wheaton City Council to the Illinois House, I told you I would always tell you the truth. I would expose the scams. I would be an advocate for taxpayers.
In short, I would live by the code that was first instilled in me by my parents and then codified by West Point and my service in the U.S. Army: I will not lie, steal or cheat, nor tolerate those that do.
It’s a simple code, but it represents a revolution in Illinois state government.
It also means you make enemies.
In Illinois state government right now, you choose to be popular with the Illinois political ruling class and become an enemy of Illinois taxpayers or you choose to represent taxpaying Illinois families and make enemies of the political ruling class.
I choose taxpaying Illinois families. Governor Rauner chose the political ruling class. That’s the difference. That’s the choice in this election.
When I was first elected to the Illinois House, Republicans in both the House and Senate were in the superminority and liberal Democrat Pat Quinn was governor.
Democrats could have passed any legislation and signed into law any bill and we could not have stopped them.
Perhaps they knew Bruce Rauner would come along to do their dirty work for them.
Chicago Democrats – led by Mike Madigan - never called, much less signed into law, trans birth certificates. Bruce Rauner did that.
Chicago Democrats - led by Mike Madigan - never called, much less signed into law, public funding of abortion on demand. Bruce Rauner did that.
Chicago Democrats – led by Mike Madigan - never called, much less signed into law, making Illinois a so-called sanctuary state for persons here illegally at the expense of American citizens who reside her legally. Bruce Rauner did that.
Bruce Rauner did not fight Mike Madigan, he signed into law Mike Madigan and the Chicago Democrats holy grails of policy.
Rauner didn’t turn us around. He sold us out to Mike Madigan and Chicago Democrats.
The positions taken by social justice warrior Bruce Rauner are so extreme that each one of them is opposed by a supermajority of likely general election voters, Republicans and Democrats alike.
So disqualifying are Rauner’s policy decisions that he’s featured on the cover of the most recent issue of iconic conservative magazine National Review under the headline, “Worst Republican Governor in America.” And so he is. Bruce Rauner is the bad example.
If Republican Party were to re-nominate Bruce Rauner for Governor, we would be handing the governor’s race to the Chicago Democrats.
Bruce Rauner cannot win. The polling numbers command it.
More importantly, Bruce Rauner should not win. Our self-respect, as Republicans, and commitment to conservative principles demand it.
I supported and helped get Bruce Rauner elected governor in 2014.
I believed his argument that his personal wealth would free him to do right by Illinois and lead the revolt against the political ruling class.
I was wrong.
The tough-talking dude on a Harley with no social agenda turned out to an empty Carhartt jacket.
We were promised a conservative reform governor. Instead we got an Ivy League gender studies professor.
Benedict Rauner betrayed us at every turn.
Benedict Rauner betrayed Illinois conservative families who have been ridiculed culturally and hurt financially.
Benedict Rauner betrayed law-abiding Illinois families who’ve been victimized by violent criminals who are in this country illegally. Just ask Chicagoan Brian McCann who is still awaiting justice for the murder of his brother Dennis.
Benedict Rauner promised to rollback Democrat tax hikes, cut spending and end crony double-dealing.
Instead, he abdicated when Republicans and Democrats joined to hike state incomes taxes back to Pat Quinn levels, signed legislation to bailout a public utility and, most recently, proposed a budget with more spending than the one offered by Mike Madigan and the Chicago Democrats.
Benedict Rauner didn’t turn around Illinois. He turned on the Illinois families to whom he promised conservative reform policies.
The result of Benedict Rauner’s reign is Illinois families fleeing in record numbers.
And it’s not seniors retiring the Sun Belt. It’s millennials seeking job opportunities in Wisconsin and Indiana.
Last year, a record 86,000 Illinoisans took $4.75 billion of income to live somewhere where Bruce Rauner is not governor.
Governor Rauner hopes to win re-election by scamming Illinois Republicans one more time.
Since Rauner has been exposed as a weak, unprincipled man, he hopes he can convince Republicans to give him a pass by arguing that he’s better than another weak, unprincipled man named Mike Madigan.
Bruce Rauner’s wants people to look past who he is and elect him based on who he is not.
I am asking voters to consider who I am and judge me on that basis.
And that’s why today, I am announcing my candidacy for Governor of the State of Illinois.
I am a three-term state representative, a West Point graduate, a former Army officer, a wife to a West Point graduate and former Army officer, and the mother of five children. My son the Army Ranger or my son the Navy pilot could teach Rauner a few things about the difference between pretending to be a tough guy and actually being a tough guy.
For that matter, my brother, sister-in-law and their three daughters could teach Rauner a few things about facing each day with fearlessness as they attend to the needs of my nephew Paul with severe developmental disabilities.
And just to continue, my small business friends could teach Rauner about the personal sacrifice it takes to keep the lights on in Illinois.
And finally, parents living in the violent west and south sides of Chicago, where gun shots are an everyday occurrence, are profiles in courage as they try to protect their children and hope for a slot at a magnet or charter school or the generosity of others for a chance at a private school scholarship.
I have a five-year record as a State Representative in Springfield. I want you to assess me on it.
Rauner runs from his record. I run to mine. Read the bills I have filed, listen to the speeches I have made, and check out my voting record.
I have opposed tax increases while proposing spending reforms. I've opposed big government bailouts while advancing ideas that would make Illinois a more attractive place do business. And I've stood up for our conservative values on important moral policy choices when others hid or surrendered.
My running mate Rich Morthland from the Quad Cities, a farmer, college educator, locally elected official and former state legislator, is cut from the same cloth.
Together, and with our allies in the General Assembly, we are going to deliver on the policy revolution Rauner promised before he quit and threw in with the Chicago Democrats.
We’re going to give Illinois families their home equity back by dramatically reducing property taxes and rethinking how we fund schools.
We’re going to make higher education at Illinois colleges and universities as affordable for middle income families as our conference peers in our neighboring states.
But we’re also going to realign public sector salaries and benefits to be commensurate with their private sector counterparts who finance it all.
And we’re going to shrink the size, scope and raw number of units of government in Illinois. We can’t afford not to do this.
We’re going to force the IL politicians to lead by example by eliminating pensions and health care benefits for these part-time employees while indexing their salaries to the median household income in Illinois.
It’s time the ruling class politicians took a 30% pay cut and Illinois families got a bump from the government that is supposed to represent their interests.
Since politics is about people, I have a message for families with forgotten people in Illinois. I’m speaking about persons with development and intellectual disabilities. Those families and the non-profits who provide for them have been lied to over and over, by both parties and by this governor.
They won’t be forgotten by me or Rich Morthland. We’re going to take Illinois from one of the worst in the nation to the best in the nation in providing services for persons with disabilities who need them through no fault of their own because that’s what a civilized society does.
And Chicago is no longer off-limits to Republicans. There is no reason Chicago should lead the nation in black unemployment. Minority families like all Illinois families have been fleeced by bipartisan combine corruption.
The Ives/Morthland administration is committed to making the State of Illinois the number one state in the nation when it comes to doing business with black, Latino and minority business enterprises. We’re going to connect the successful with the aspirational and incubate the creative problem-solvers with the innovative, marketable ideas.
It’s time to end Illinois’ time as a government-centric kleptocracy and return state and local governments to being limited, effective, family-centric social service providers.
We will not lie, cheat or steal or tolerate others who do.
We will be a virtuous administration because we will be a courageous one.
We will articulate who we are as conservative reform Republicans.
We will take the fight to the failed, predatory, big government policies of the extreme Left to every locale and neighborhood in the State of Illinois.
The Ives and Morthland families are here to stay.
Our families are here to put in the fight for what we know to be right.
We’re asking your family to join us.
Everyone wants to be a warrior until it’s time to do what warriors do.
Warriors are unrelenting. Warriors advance through pain, through ridicule, through fear and through grief. Always advance.
I have been afraid. I have been hurt. I have faced moments, both personally and professionally, when my principles seemed more like burdens than badges of honor.
But I’ve stood my ground through ridicule and even threats of violence.
I have fought through pain, through fear, and through grief.
Today marks the 199th year of statehood and we begin our bicentennial year. We are today’s stewards of Illinois’ future. We owe it to our ancestors and our progeny to right the wrongs and retake our place as a beacon for industry and defender of liberty.
We are ready for what lies ahead. We will put Illinois on a new path. That is our mission. And we will complete it.