Chicago - Apr. 19, 2018
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Illinois 2018 Primary Campaign Notebook 5: Pat Quinn, Really?

Let's take a look at the (sorry) field of state attorney general candidates.

DEMOCRATS:

Kwame Raoul: The frontrunner from Day One hasn't exactly run a confidence-building campaign; he's been exposed as a creature of the Machine, if there was ever any doubt. CTU-endorsed. AFL-CIO-endorsed. His race to lose, but lose it he may.

Pat Quinn: Really? I mean, I just can't believe it. I didn't think he had any support left after giving us Rauner, but there he is. A lesson in making your own luck by refusing to go away. Victory in sight.

Sharon Fairley: Will she demand a drone and new carpet if she wins?

Nancy Rotering: She's been taken far more seriously than I ever would have imagined; she's the mayor of Highland Park. What am I missing?

Jesse Ruiz: I thought he'd get more traction, but he hasn't been able to distinguish himself in any meaningful way. Maybe because he's a hack.

Renato Mariotti: Stick to Twitter.

Aaron Goldstein: "Aaron Goldstein says his role during the Blagojevich trials should not be a campaign issue - that everyone charged with a crime deserves an attorney," WBEZ reports.

Which is true as far as it goes, but a lot of folks need talented attorneys a lot more than Blagojevich did.

Not only that, but Goldstein didn't merely defend Blagojevich, but asserted his innocence. And yet:

"It gave me a front-row seat into the underbelly of Illinois and the issues of corruption and really an important issue for me as attorney general would be holding people accountable, to making sure we root out corruption."

Is that an admission of his client's guilt?

Scott Drury: Is he seeing polling we're not, because some dude just dropped a cool mil on him.

REPUBLICANS

Erika Harold: Bruce Rauner's hand-picked choice, so . . .

Gary Grasso: He wants to use the office go to after corruption, the opioid epidemic, and fix pensions.

I'm not sure that's really what the office is about. There are two ways, really, to approach the office. Republicans tend to focus on criminal justice issues - enforcement and legislation. Democrats tend to focus on consumer issues. One thing the office isn't really designed to do, despite the rhetoric we hear every four years: root out public corruption. In Illinois, at least, we tend to leave that to the FBI and federal prosecutors, which is probably for the best given the interconnected swampiness of our state's political culture.

*

Missing: The future of the Public Access Counselor's office. It started out as a relatively good idea, though what's really needed is real teeth in our state's public information laws. But it's devolved into just another feckless, under-resourced outfit.

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See also:

* Illinois 2018 Primary Campaign Notebook 1: MAGA, Mendacity & Moby Mike.

* Illinois 2018 Primary Campaign Notebook 2: Chris Kennedy's Confusing Campaign.

* Illinois 2018 Primary Campaign Notebook 3: Who Is Biss? Pensions, Passes & Pussy Riot.

* Illinois 2018 Primary Campaign Notebook 4: The Plutocratic Pol.

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Comments welcome.



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Posted on March 19, 2018


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