Monday, July 16, 2018

Illinois AG race about more than 'Obama clone' vs. 'lawyer Barbie'

By the time Kwame Raoul ...
There are times I wonder if people comprehend the purpose of the Illinois attorney general’s office.

For as I always comprehended it, the attorney general (for the past 16 years, it has been Lisa Madigan) has been the attorney for state government. Since our state is a large-scale operation, she has several assistants on her staff.
… and Erika Harold are through, … 

IT’S ALMOST LIKE she’s the head of a law firm whose sole client is Illinois state government. She’s there to defend the state every time someone within it screws up, while also making sure the rights our citizenry are not being violated every which way possible.

It amuses me every time I hear someone complain that the attorney general isn’t prosecuting someone, because it’s obvious to me they’re being swayed by some overbearing vision of what the post is.

Almost as though they think it’s the equivalent of the “state’s attorneys” that Illinois’ 102 counties all have. My guess is that if the attorney general ever tried to take on such tasks, there’d be a whole lot of griping from those local prosecutors about how she is grossly overstepping the bounds of her post.

All of this thought popped into my mind when reading a report recently (from Crain’s Chicago Business) about the state attorney general’s office and how its viewpoint is likely to be impacted by the elections to be held Nov. 6.

BECAUSE MADIGAN HAS made it clear she’s not staying in the post. The Democratic Party already has nominated a possible replacement (state Sen. Kwame Raoul, D-Chicago), but there are some Republicans who think their nominee (Erika Harold) is the lone GOPer who has a chance to win something come Election Day.
… what will remains of Lisa Madigan's way?

The Crain’s report talks of all the lawsuits Illinois has filed, or supported, throughout the Age of Trump we’re now in that challenge the federal government on various issues.

With Raoul saying he is a “last line of defense” from a federal government that would be very eager to play partisan politics against Illinois. Meaning he’d intend to pursue all the lawsuits that come from the Madigan Era of the attorney general.

While Harold is much less committal. She’s not offering up much details, but some are reading into her words that she’d be willing to have her staff dismiss the lawsuits they’ve started against the federal government.

“I BELIEVE THE attorney general’s office should not be using their scarce resources to enter into lawsuits for purely political purposes,” she told Crain’s. “I would only sue the federal government if Illinois law has been implicated or the federal government has acted in violation of the Constitution.”

Which is a nice, text book answer that sounds like it came from a law school student trying to suck up to the professor to get a better grade.

For the reality is that way too much of the issues and the law are open to interpretation. One person’s serious cause on behalf of the public becomes an ideologue’s pet issue that they want to dump all over.

And could it be the intent of an “Attorney General Erika Harold” to back off of trying to rile up the federal government in hopes that it might get President Donald Trump to quit getting riled up against Illinois every time he has so little to do that he takes to spewing out political bile on his Twitter account.
Obama, Raoul share just a neighborhood

ALTHOUGH I DID find it interesting to read in the Crain’s report that Harold supports the state lawsuit brought about by Madigan that challenges the Trump administration’s attempt to withhold $6.5 million in federal funds for local law enforcement in Illinois as a response to the concept of “sanctuary cities.”

All of this means we’re going to have a decision to make come Election Day when we get to the portion of the ballot related to state attorney general.

Just how much of a pain in the behind do we want our state government’s legal adviser to be? And to what degree are partisan political issues things that wind up being a part of the public good?
Perhaps an image of Harold that needs to be retired
Definitely something we voters need to give more serious thought to than believing the attorney general’s race to be nothing more than between a Barack Obama clone and a former Miss America who used her prize money to put herself through law school!


No comments: