Thorner: A Heartland Event Features Eight Talented Women of Achievement

November 23, 2015

Monday, November 23, 2015

Thorner: A Heartland Event Features Eight Talented Women of Achievement

Photo by Mark Weyermuller

By Nancy Thorner – 

Women in Politics, the 2016 Election,” was hosted by the Center for Constitutional Reform, a project of The Heartland Institute , at Heartland’s new venue at 3939 North Wilke Road, Arlington Heights, Illinois, on Wednesday, November 18 from 6:30 to 9:00 p.m.

In what is a first for American history, there is a female candidate seeking the presidency as a primary candidate for both major parties. Moreover, at the national and state levels women are increasingly entering politics to lead the political debate.

With this in mind,The Heartland Institute featured two panels consisting of a moderator and three women each to highlight the role of women in politics at a local level. Each panel member was given 10 minutes to speak, followed by a session of questions and answers from audience members.

Not all of the women chosen had run and been elected to office.  Furthermore, the women came from many difference backgrounds.  Nevertheless, all were making a difference in what they were doing to influence the public in their own chosen roles.  Following a short description of each woman’s background is a condensed summary of their remarks.

Panel 1:

Elizabeth Yore, moderator, served as a Special Council at Harpo, Inc. for the last 5 years. In that position, she acted as Oprah Winfrey’s Child Advocate both with the Oprah Winfrey Show and in South Africa at the Oprah Winfrey Leadership Academy for Girls.  Ms. Yore quoted Margaret Thatcher

“In politics, if you want anything said, ask a men. If you want anything done, you ask a woman.”

On the panel were:

Jeanne Ives, a 1987 West Point graduate, serves as a representative in the 42nd Illinois State House, where she leads on difficult issues and question powerful House leaders.

There were time when Jeanne questioned whether she really belonged at West Point. This changed upon a realization that she could physically beat her male peers. Don’t allow others to separate us by gender. Women must know who they are and what they wish to accomplish. When asked to run, it was men who convinced her to run as an equal. If women answer why they are running for office they will win. Gender should not be an issue. Also, politicians who challenge the status quo do better in winning elections. Nevertheless, Jeanne has found that there are bills that women are expected to vote for like equal pay laws and pregnancy accommodations.
Amy Jacobson spent a decade covering Chicago news and politics for WMAZ-TV NBC 5, including the White Sox World Series run in 2005 land the Winter Olympics in Salt Lake City. In 2010 Amy joined AM 560 where she co-hosts a morning show (5:00 – 9:00 a.m.) with Dan Proft.
Amy voted for Barack Obama in the primary the first time around. She now realizes what a mistake that was, as Obama was not prepared for the job.  It’s showing, as Obama is failing as president.  The focus must be on the best candidate to defeat Hillary Clinton. Amy remains undecided at to that choice.
Kathleen Murphy serves as Director of Communications for the Illinois Opportunity Project, where she helps the organization frame policy positions, advance leaders, promote and free-market policy solutions.

Kathleen spoke about the new generation of voters (Millennium young voters) who by 64% believe in principle that the free market system is the best economic system, but who are not sure free markets will help their lives. Since Millennium voters are willing to accept new ideas, it is up to us to show the way to the next generation so free market principles prevail. The rise of the outsiders is a sign of frustration. People are demanding something new over career politicians. As far as the role women will play, women respond to empathy, but the message must be right in the first place. Women should have pushed back against the “Julia” ad which showed women as helpless and dependent on government, in contrast to using government as a safety net where help is given when needed, but not as a source of a woman’s livelihood to stifle individual growth and the motivation to succeed. In 2016 women must not only be specific in what they are going to do, but they must also define why, which is seldom done.

Panel 2:

Hillary Till served as moderator.  She is a policy advisor to The Heartland Institute where she provides advise on risk-management and derivatives trading issues through Premia Risk Consultancy, Inc. She is also the co-editor of “Intelligent Commodity Investing”, a bestseller for Risk Books.

Members of the panel:

Margo McDermed was a corporate lawyer with Amoco for 30 years, before running for office, first as the Frankfort Township Clerk, until she was elected in 2014 to the Illinois House (R-37).

After her years in a corporate position, Margo asked of herself, “What’s next?”   In progressing up a notch from a township clerk to a legislator, Marge found this position to be far more fun than being a judge. Marge’s experience as a precinct man for many years enabled her to get the support of other Republicans to work hard for her.  As a candidate Marge knocked on countless doors herself.  Margo perceives strength in politics as directness and openness which Marge puts into practice when dealing with her constituents.  Having family with you is very important as politics is very time consuming.

Jeanette Ward is a West Chicago resident, who was elected to the Board of Education in School District U-46 in 2015. As a parent volunteer, she has been critical of the district’s standards-based grading system, Common Core, and the new standardized test, PARCC.

Jeanette was very reluctant to enter politics, knowing situations could become quite divisive when dealing with liberals.  Upon election to Board U 46, Jeanette became known as “Mamma Grizzly.”  As a critic of Common Core, Jeanette became upset when her 2nd grade daughter told her that Global Warming was the biggest threat facing polar bears, and when her 5th grade daughter had to read the “UN Declaration of Human Rights.” There was also an incident when the children in Jeanette’s oldest daughter’s classroom were asked to draw a picture of a liberty they admired, but were then told that no pictures of guns were permitted.  It’s important for women to make a principled stand to counter men who falsely claim they are defending our children.  Jeanette is disappointed that men are been degraded in our culture in the public schools.

Heidi Holan is a Republican candidate for State Representative in District 46 and also the Illinois State Coordinator for

When Heidi was asked to run against her state representative by Jeanne Ives and others, she thought it was a joke. It did please Heidi that she was not being asked to run because she was a woman. Although Heidi had helped in the campaigns of others, it is one thing to be a helper and another a candidate. Heidi recommended challenging the status quo through knowing the details and how to explain them. Heidi then went on to inform what is wrong with the State of Illinois. 1) Gerrymandering where legislators choose their voters. As Democrats control Illinois, the maps are drawn by Democrats to pick their voters. 2) Mandatory union dues, of which 95% of dues collected is spent for Democratic causes and to elect Democratic candidates. “Fredrick’s v. State of California” is to be heard by the Supreme Court early next year, which could allow teachers to opt out of agency shop fees. 3) Policy votes vs. a political vote. Bills are buried in committees or there is shell voting (bogus) is done which allows legislators to go back home and tell constituents they voted a certain way, but the vote taken was just for show and didn’t count.

Following are selected questions and answers from Panels 1 and 2 

1.  What about apathy? How to deal with it?   Until it gets personal, it doesn’t matter. There is a need for authentic candidates who tap into the concerns of the people.

2.  Should the divorce of a candidate matter?   Should loyalty to a wife set the criteria for whether a candidate will be loyal to his country?  As divorce goes to character, should divorce matter? To some, why the divorce happened was the criteria. To others, divorce was not considered important.

3.  How to rebrand the word “feminist”?  The word seems to apply to progressive issues, but should a women who stays at home be any less of a woman than one who work?   It was voiced that a feminist is a woman who lives the life she wishes to live.

4.  How to cope with an unpleasant political environment?  Take one day at a time. Ask: What can I do today to stand up for my values and for my voters today.”

5.  Never having been involved in politics, how do you do it (juggle your life?  Politics must always be a family business as the activity is very demanding. The support of spouse and kids is essential. This doesn’t mean you have to run for office. You can be involved at many different levels.

About Heartland’s trip to Paris for COP-21 and “State of Article 5 Movement”

Jim Lakely, Director of Communications for The Heartland Institute, opened the program.  It was announced that Heartland will be in Paris for the United Nations climate conference known as COP-21.  Heartland will be leading a contingent of Climate Realists to tell the world the truth:  Humans are not causing a climate crisis and Heartland can prove it!  The Obama administration and the United Nations are attempting to impose binding carbon dioxide restrictions on the United States and transfer billions of dollars of climate “reparations” from the United States to developing nations.  Heartland will be there to fight against policies that will raise your taxes, increase your energy costs, and destroy.

Visit The Heartland Institute for daily updates on the global warming debate. On Monday, December 7, starting at 3:00 a.m. Eastern Time, it will be possible to watch the live-stream of Heartland’s press conference and panel presentations on global warming.  The event, however, will be “auto-achieved” by Heartland’s YouTube page for viewing at any time.

Following Lakely’s presentation, Kyle Maichle, Project Manager of Heartland’s Center for Constitutional Reform, spoke about the “State of Article 5 Movement”. The policy brief entitled,“The Article V Movement:  A Comprehensive Assessment to Date and Suggested Approach for State Legislators and Advocacy Groups Moving Forward” by David Guldenschuh, will be sent to every legislator.  It is the first  publication of The Heartland Institute’s Center for Constitutional Reform, launched earlier in 2015 to support all efforts to restore constitutional order in the United States. If you have any questions about this study or ideas for how we can work together to promote this effort, please contact Project Manager Kyle Maichle.


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