CHICAGO -- Governor Rauner wants four more years.
The governor was in Bourbonnais today greeting residents. He has been holding campaign-style events like these since April, but now his reelection bid is officially underway.
Rauner’s agenda is unchanged. This campaign sounds a lot like his first one.
“Let’s get three things done,” he said. “Let’s keep property tax relief. We can all agree on that…bring down our property taxes. Number two, let’s roll back the Madigan income tax hike. … And number three, let’s get term limits on all politicians at the state level.”
Rauner begins his effort taking heavy fire from conservatives. They are fuming over Rauner signing into law protections for undocumented immigrations and a bill expanding taxpayer funded abortions. Rauner ignored questions about the heat from the right and instead focusing on his nemesis, Democratic speaker of the Illinois House Michael Madigan.
“We are controlled by Speaker Madigan and his buddies. Madigan’s a problem.”
Rauner is on television with a commercial taking credit for the Springfield education funding overhaul, even though he initially vetoed the bill and said this summer he was staying out of the negotiations.
“Politicians in Illinois have been talking about fixing our education funding formula for 20 years. I became governor and we got it done,” Rauner said. “I formed a bipartisan commission. I was intimately involved in every negotiation, every discussion.”
The education ad is one of several spots Rauner is running across the state. His campaign has $65 million in the bank after pumping $50 million of his own fortune into his account. The governor is not saying how much he’s willing to spend.
“I’ve succeeded on a massive scale and this is my chance to give back. I don’t take any compensation. I’m working for free. I don’t want a pension. I’m just out as a labor of love to make our state strong and better for our children and grandchildren.”
Whether he acknowledges it or not, some in his own party are revolting. Conservative State Rep. Jeanne Ives is considering challenging Rauner in the primary.
“Governor Rauner has failed the integrity test in many ways,” she said.
With the right angry, Rauner seems to be reaching across party lines.
“We’re calling for a revolution, a massive movement. Democrats and Republicans come together,” he said.
Representative Ives says she will not commit to backing Governor Rauner if he’s on the ballot next November.
Lawmakers return to Springfield tomorrow to consider overriding some of Rauner’s vetoes.