Our View: Madigan deserves to keep her job
This was supposed to be the year. We’re not talking about the Chicago Cubs; we’re talking about Lisa Madigan’s run for governor.
Ever since she was elected attorney general in 2002, it’s always been assumed that Lisa Madigan would run for higher office. So far she’s declined.
She’s a formidable foe. No one really wants to run against her. She got 72 percent of the vote when she ran for re-election in 2006 and received about 65 percent of the vote in 2010. Candidates for her job and other offices on the ballot put their political futures on hold waiting for Madigan to announce what she’d be running for.
She wants to be re-elected. Her reasons are simple: She loves her job and she thinks she’s been effective. We agree and endorse her for another term as attorney general.
Madigan has fought ComEd, banks and anyone who wants to take advantage of Illinoisans. Her work has saved or returned billions of dollars for Illinois residents.
She led a crackdown on gas station owners who evaded paying sales taxes and recovered about $100 million for the state.
Her office brought in $262 million from pharmaceutical companies that under the Medicaid program charged more than they should have.
Identity theft cost Americans almost $25 billion in 2012. Madigan created an Identity Theft hotline to help Illinois victims repair their credit and prevent future problems.
Her office has worked with local law enforcement to get criminals off the streets. Most notably, 2011’s Operation Clean Sweep, a joint effort by nine law enforcement agencies to target career criminals.
Illinois’ Freedom of Information Act, which is used mostly by private citizens, was revamped under Madigan’s leadership, taking Illinois’ FOIA laws from the stone age to the modern age. The public can request information that was hidden from them in the past.
Unfortunately, Madigan has had to defend FOIA changes from a General Assembly that has been trying to water down the law ever since it was approved.
Democrat Madigan is challenged by Republican Paul Schimpf, a retired Marine who advised Iraqi prosecutors in the Saddam Hussein trial.
Schimpf says he is independent. The Republicans didn’t ask him to run; he chose to do so on his own. He promises to use the office to fight corruption.
Unfortunately, the office is not set up to do so. Legislation to give the attorney general more authority to fight corruption has stalled in the General Assembly.
Madigan has stepped in, however, when there have been conflicts with local state’s attorneys. She indicted Rock Island County Sheriff Jeffrey Boyd, a Democrat, who eventually pleaded guilty to attempted official misconduct based on attempted cyber-stalking and resigned in September.
In 2011, Madigan charged Rock Island County State’s Attorney Jeff Terronez, also a Democrat, with providing alcohol to a minor. Terronez was put on probation for two years and was barred from running for public office.
And, of course, she helped get Rod Blagojevich kicked out of office and sent to jail.
It’s hard to beat Madigan’s accomplishments, experience and enthusiasm for the office. She is endorsed.