Lt. Gov. Sanguinetti is a doubtful Ives emissary
For Gov. Bruce Rauner to have any chance in November, he needs any level of support he can get from Rep. Jeanne Ives (R-Wheaton), who nearly sent him packing in the March primary.
No political strategist would argue that point. But it’s now more than three weeks since the March 20 primary election, and Rauner and Ives reportedly have yet to speak much less devise a plan to work together to defeat Democrat J.B Pritzker in the general election.
Rauner’s Lt. Gov. Evelyn Sanguinetti “could be of help in opening a dialogue,” according to a news brief posted on the Taylorville Daily News website by the RFD Radio Network. One connection is that both Ives and Sanguinetti opposed HB 40, the taxpayer-funded abortion bill Rauner signed in September. A January Chicago Tribune story said that Sanguinetti even thought of opting out of the ticket when Rauner signed the bill.
But even though Sanguinetti said in the Taylorville Daily News brief that she is no stranger to Ives, her comments about Ives in a radio clip posted with the story fall short of any suggestion the two are friendly.
“I know everyone came out to vote for Jeanne Ives,” Sanguinetti said. “She’s one of my neighbors. We’re Wheatonites. We both served on Wheaton City Council for a brief time. She wants what’s best for Illinois as we all do. The tent is really big.”
Not big enough apparently. In a Feb. 6 Tribune story about why Rauner’s campaign began bashing Ives (after Rauner for most of the campaign dismissed her as a “fringe candidate”), Sanguinetti was quoted as saying that she and Ives are "not friends.”
"The Jeanne Ives that you folks are seeing in that commercial (Ives commercial slamming Rauner for HB 40, making Illinois a sanctuary state and signing a bill that allows individuals to switch their genders on their birth certificates), that sort of spirit, is the same Jeanne Ives that I have known for the last seven to eight years," Sanguinetti said. "I saw it from the dais, I’ve seen it in my community and now all of you are getting a taste of it, and I’m hopeful that that will be rejected.”
Sanguinetti was also quoted in the story as saying that Rauner campaign ads tying Ives to Democratic House Speaker Michael Madigan (her political antithesis) were inspired by comments Ives made in a January 19 sit-down she and Rauner had before the Tribune Editorial Board, a claim that could only be supported by a highly imaginative interpretation of what Ives said.
"I think we were all surprised that she had good things to say about Speaker Madigan," Sanguinetti said. "That was a shocker, not only to us, but to the rest of Illinois … that warranted a response.”
Sanguinetti’s office did not respond to a request for further comment on her relationship with Ives.
Traditional and conservative Republicans opposed Rauner’s selection of Sanguinetti as a pandering political move to attract the female and Hispanic vote.
She also brought a history contrary to the campaign’s smaller government message. As reported by Capital Fax, Sanguinetti filed six lawsuits, including against her hometown of Wheaton and her home county of DuPage, seeking $100,000 after she slipped and fell on a patch of ice at a Wheaton train station in 2007.
NBC Chicago 5 pointed out in a 2013 story covering the lawsuits that “it’s difficult not to see Sanguinetti’s decision to sue as contradictory to her and running mate Bruce Rauner’s message of smaller government and lower taxes, especially since frivolous lawsuits drive up the cost of doing business for everyone in the state.”