Why Bruce Rauner for governor — in his own words

I’m Bruce Rauner and I’m running for Governor of Illinois.

After 12 years of Pat Quinn and Rod Blagojevich, we’ve lost our way as a state. We have high unemployment, high taxes, lost opportunities, deteriorating schools and massive corruption. We need a new direction.

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I’m not a politician like Pat Quinn. I’ve never run for office — not even student council. I’m a business builder and an entrepreneur. I grew up in Illinois and I love this state. My dad worked for Motorola and my mom was a nurse. My wife Diana and I raised six children here, and we’d like to see Illinois become a great place again for every family.

We are a state with tremendous potential. We have all the resources at our disposal to be great except for a governor who is unwilling and unable to make the major structural changes needed to bring back Illinois.

Job Creation and Economic Growth

Instead of improving our economic climate, Pat Quinn has made job creation harder. Today, Illinois has the worst job growth rate of any state in the Midwest. It took eight months to add a single job to our economy this year. During that period, twice as many people gave up looking for work than got jobs. There is no excuse for that.

My tax reform plan completely eliminates the Quinn-Madigan 67% Tax Hike in four years — resulting in a 3% income tax rate and 4.8% corporate income tax rate — just like we had in 2010. It also modernizes the sales tax, closes the corporate loopholes and freezes property taxes. It reduces taxes on work, savings and investment — which will result in more of each.

My growth plan will allow our economic development arm, the Department of Commerce and Economic Opportunity, to move at the speed of business by transforming it into a public-private partnership. We will better market Illinois as a place to do business and a great place to visit. We will boost exports and increase tourism. We will implement true worker’s compensation and lawsuit reform. We will reform our broken regulatory environment that makes the state an adversary to economic growth instead of a partner with job creators. We will level the playing field for our businesses to compete with businesses in other states and we will make Illinois friendlier for entrepreneurs and startups.

Investing in Education

Getting a good education makes anything possible. It allows anyone from anywhere to achieve the American dream. My wife and I are passionate about education and believe it is the most important thing we do as a community. That’s why we’ve devoted so much time and energy into improving education in Chicago and throughout Illinois.

Diana and I have helped build top-quality schools in the Chicago area. We’ve funded scholarship programs for disadvantaged public school students and sponsored achievement-based compensation systems in CPS.

We want every child to have an opportunity. Public Charter, opportunity scholarships, magnet schools or traditional — whatever works. A high-quality education is the key to economic empowerment, higher lifetime earnings and a competitive, world-class workforce.

Unfortunately, Pat Quinn is failing the children, parents and teachers of Illinois. He has bungled the state’s finances so much that even after hiking taxes and taking more than $25 billion from Illinois taxpayers since 2011, he still cut education spending by $500 million. That’s wrong; I’ll increase education spending.

Our children deserve the best schools in the country. I want to increase the educational options available to parents and children, reward the best performing teachers and hold schools accountable, so you can be confident that no matter where you live your children will receive a great education.

Term limits and government reform

Four of our last seven elected governors went to prison. Pat Quinn is now the subject of two federal grand jury corruption investigations. Meanwhile, investigators report that illegal patronage hiring skyrocketed under Quinn.

Let’s face it — Pat Quinn’s no reformer; he was Rod Blagojevich’s chief defender when Rod was under federal investigation — and now Quinn’s under federal investigation too.

Enough is enough. Too many state officeholders seem more interested in building a political career than serving you. We need term limits to eliminate the entrenched power structure in Springfield. Pat Quinn is a phony on this issue. I’ll never give up the fight. I’ll keep working to support a pro-term limits legislature and will do everything I can as governor to see term limits enacted.

But we’ll need more than term limits to clean up Springfield. When I’m governor, we will end illegal patronage hiring, halt the revolving door of lobbyists, restrict outside income for legislative leaders, stop conflicts of interest in the General Assembly, revoke state pension for convicted felons, shine light on pork-barrel earmark spending, stop the gerrymandering of legislative districts and prohibit political slush funds.

Let’s Bring Back Illinois

I’ve worked hard all my life and I’m proud of my success. But, as the Bible says, to whom much has been given, much is expected in return. I’m running for governor because I love Illinois and I want to make sure every family has a shot at the American dream. I won’t take a salary and I won’t take a pension. The special interests who run this state know I can’t be bought and they’re throwing the kitchen sink at me to defend the status quo.

In the end, it comes down to this: Are you better off today than you were four years ago? When it comes to jobs and economic growth, when it comes to income and opportunity, when it comes to education and public safety, when it comes to cronyism and corruption — across the board, the answer is “no.” And we don’t need four more years of Pat Quinn’s broken promises.

With your support, we’re going to shake up Springfield and bring back Illinois. I’m honored to earn your vote and I look forward to going to work for you.

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