Endorsement: Lisa Madigan deserves re-election as attorney general

In the race for Illinois attorney general, Republican challenger Paul Schimpf of downstate Waterloo has argued that the office should be all about fighting corruption.

Given the sorry state of government in Illinois, that idea has strong appeal and we don't dismiss it. At the same time, the U.S. attorney's office already has that as a strong mandate and tradition, and the state's attorney's offices in each county also are empowered to go after corruption.

In Illinois, the traditional focus of the office has been consumer protection -- much of it with landmark impact -- and we're impressed by the success Democratic incumbent Lisa Madigan has had in carrying on that tradition.

We like Schimpf, an Army veteran who provided legal assistance in Iraq's prosecution of Saddam Hussein, and we think he has a future in Illinois politics. But Lisa Madigan's strong performance during 12 years in office, both in consumer protection and as an advocate for government access and transparency, deserves endorsement.

She has a solid record of service and has established her independence despite the unavoidable complication of her relationship with stepfather Michael Madigan, the speaker of the Illinois House.

We heartily endorse Lisa Madigan over Schimpf and Libertarian candidate Ben Koyl of Downers Grove.