Last year, Illinois Attorney General Lisa Madigan announced she would not seek reelection in 2018. With no obvious successor, the Democratic field was suddenly wide open. In all, eight candidates for a range of backgrounds began their quest for the nomination.
The Illinois Democratic County Chair’s Association brought all of the Democratic candidates to Springfield last night. Their forum, hosted in the Hoogland Center for the Arts, gave the candidate a chance to display both their political ideologies and personal qualifications for the office.
For most of the evening, the candidates took very similar stances to one another. They promised to stand up to President Trump on his immigration policies. They expressed support for the LGBTQ community, organized labor, and abortion. Flint, Michigan was the common example for ensuring environmental protections; and they saw open meetings as key for fighting public corruption. As Jesse Ruiz pointed out on several occasion, “we’re all Democrats up here.”
Candidate also lamented the under-funding of the Attorney General’s Office. They pointed out that the office is actually a revenue-generating office because of their successful lawsuits against white-collar criminals. After the forum, I asked Aaron Goldstein if the state could save money by allocating more resources to the courts and speeding up the legal process. He responded, “To ask that question is to answer it.” The costs of injustice, including wrongful conviction payouts, exceeds the costs of properly funding public defenders and courts from the outset.
Campaign finance was the one area where the candidates took different stances, and often attacked other candidates, initially subtly but increasingly directly as the evening went on. Mayor Rotering, Jesse Ruiz, and Governor Quinn stated that the donations they have accepted from energy companies and utilities would not impact their ability to advocate for the people. Rep. Drury, Aaron Goldstein, Sharon Fairley, and Renato Mariotti disagreed, saying the Attorney General should absolutely not take money from industries they know they will be overseeing in the future.
The weather was an issue for two of the candidates last night. Rep. Scott Drury arrived halfway through the forum. Kwame Raoul was unable to attend the forum at all, but did eventually arrive. You can watch his remarks here.
To learn more about the candidates for Attorney General, check out our Campaign Headquarters. The primary will be held March 20.
Bourne, Manar, Murphy, and Scherer are going to the statehouse
With the final votes being tallied, we can announce the state representatives and senators for the Springfield area. State Senator Andy Manar (D-48) will hold onto his seat. Manar will be joined by Steve McClure (R-50) who will be taking over Sam McCann’s old district. Republican Bill Brady (44) ran unopposed.
In the House, Representatives Avery Bourne (R-95) and Sue Scherer (D-96) were both reelected. Mike Murphy (R) was elected in the 99th to replace outgoing Republican Sara Wojcicki Jimenez. Tim Butler (R-87) and C.D. Davidsmeyer (R-100) ran unopposed in the general election.
Many precincts still need to report, but it appears the Democrats have pulled off a clean sweep of the executive offices. But it remains to be seen if any of the third party candidates will break the five-percent threshold.
Illinois House candidate Herman Senor w/ Thomas Clatterbuck
In this episode of the Thomas Clatterbuck Show, we had Illinois House candidate Herman Senor. Senor is the Republican candidate in the 96th House district.
Senor currently serves as the Ward 2 Alderman in Springfield. He explained some of the state issues he has encountered on the city council. Regulations and new taxes from the state often make things difficult for municipalities. Over regulation also poses a problem for schools. Senor proposed making it easier for substitute teachers to gain teaching credentials or allowing retired teachers to come back could help alleviate the teacher shortage.
When it came to guns, Senor said that punishing law-abiding citizens was not the right way to curb gun violence. While bad actors should be punished, innocent people should not have their rights infringed. Similarly, he expressed an openness to both medical and recreational marijuana, but wanted strong oversight to ensure bad actors were not taking advantage of the system.
We touched on a number of other issues as well, including new taxes, shell bills, and fighting sexual harassment in the statehouse. You can watch our full interview in the player.
To learn more about Herman Senor, and the other candidates in the 96th, check out our Campaign Headquarters page.
You can see all the past episodes of the Thomas Clatterbuck Show on the Springfield Daily Shows page.
Anti-abortion group rescinds endorsement in Illinois governor race
A state senator is defending using money from pro-union groups to go after House Republicans, a move that cost him an endorsement from an anti-abortion group.
Just last week, Conservative Party gubernatorial candidate Sam McCann, who is a Republican state senator from Plainview, picked up the endorsement of Illinois Family Action for his anti-abortion position.
“With early voting for the November general election underway, we want to remind you how important it is to exercise your civic duty to vote and be good stewards of God’s amazing gift of self-government,” IFA Executive Director David Smith said in a video posted online Oct. 12. “McCann … share[s] our conservative Christian values and we urge you to support [him] when you cast your ballot.”
Then this week, McCann sent out mailers against an anti-abortion Republican calling him a “Rauner RINO,” or Republican in name only.
Smith said that triggered his board to decide to take back its endorsement, a first for the group.
“What Sam McCann is doing with this mailer is actually enabling a pro-abortion Democrat to get an upper hand on a pro-life incumbent state lawmaker,” Smith said.
With McCann getting big dollars from union interests, Smith said it’s clear to him McCann is more interested in fighting “right to work” candidates than supporting anti-abortion candidates.
“That’s what it really is about,” Smith said. “So we were misled. We were lied to. We were deceived.”
McCann dismissed Smith’s criticism, saying he’s 110 percent anti-abortion. He said it’s the House Republicans that are falling in line with incumbent Republican Gov. Bruce Rauner, who McCann has called the state’s most liberal Democratic governor in history.
“Is it really about being conservative and leading or is it about being sheep and getting re-elected,” McCann said.
McCann this month alone has gotten $1.2 million from a group called Fight Back Fund that supports union politics. He said that’s money from a mix of people in unions who support his campaign.
State Rep. Jeanne Ives, R-Wheaton, said what McCann is doing with that union support is effectively working to give more power to Democrats, and, by extension, House Speaker Michael Madigan.
McCann said that’s not true.
“To use the governor’s term, that’s baloney,” McCann said. “What we’re doing is we’re calling people out.”
One of McCann’s targets, Palatine state Rep. Tom Morrison, said it’s imperative Republicans maintain and gain seats in the House to stop Madigan’s use of a supermajority. He said a supermajority would allow Democrats to push an agenda that’s wrong for Illinois.
McCann said Republicans and Smith are doing Rauner’s bidding.
Smith said IFA is now telling voters to support none of the above in the gubernatorial race.
Article by Greg Bishop, Illinois News Network. For more INN News visit ILnews.org
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