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Illinois Govt

Illinois Democratic County Chairs’ Association holds candidate forum for Attorney General

Image by: Springfield Daily, Thomas Clatterbuck
Thomas Clatterbuck

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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.

Senior strategist, statehouse reporter and political correspondent for Springfield Daily. Graduate of District 117 and UIS. Thomas covers stories in both Morgan and Sangamon Counties, as well as statewide politics.

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Illinois Govt

Springfield Daily Radio – Dr. Robert Marshall interview

Thomas Clatterbuck

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On this episode of the Thomas Clatterbuck Show, we interviewed Dr. Robert Marshall. Marshall is one of the Democrats running for governor.

Marshall discussed two main parts of his campaign with us. The first was his opposition to a graduated income tax. He argued that the rich, who would officially pay a higher rate under such a plan, would simply move their money out of state. Marshall is the only Democrat running for governor to oppose the graduated income tax.

His other big issue is splitting Illinois into three states. Marshall shared how the separation would be done, and the legal challenges it would need to overcome. We also got the first look at Marshall’s new map for the state.

You can see all the past episodes of the Thomas Clatterbuck Show on the Springfield Daily Radio page.

You can also learn more about Marshall and the other candidates for governor on our Campaign Headquarters page.

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Illinois Govt

Drury will appear on primary ballot

Thomas Clatterbuck

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He’s back. Rep. Scott Drury won an important appeal today, ensuring he will appear on the March 20 ballot. Drury is one of the Democrats running for Attorney General in Illinois, but had been temporarily removed from the ballot. According to the challenge, Drury had failed to properly file his statement of economic interest, because he had only filed for his current General Assembly position, not for Attorney General.

Initially, the Electoral Board had ruled that Drury only needed to file one statement. But the a Circuit Court overruled this decision, stating that he needed to file a statement with every unit of government he was running for. According to the Circuit Court, because the General Assembly is part of the Legislature, but the Attorney General is in the Executive Branch, Drury had not filed for the “unit of government” he was running in.

However, the Court of Appeals disagreed. They found that while the Legislative and Executive branches are separate from each other, they are both part of the same unit of government. Therefore, it was incorrect to strike Drury’s name from the ballot.

Drury’s name will appear on the March 20th Democratic Primary ballot. To learn more about the candidates in that race, check out our Campaign Headquarters page.

You can read the full decision here.

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Illinois Govt

Springfield Daily Radio – Bob Daiber Interview

Thomas Clatterbuck

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On this episode of the Thomas Clatterbuck Show, we interviewed Bob Daiber. Daiber is one of the Democratic candidates for governor.

Daiber is a lifelong educator, and has been both a classroom teacher and an administrator. We discussed several of the new education bills that have passed in the last year, including the new funding formula. I also get his opinion on special programs for gifted students.

Daiber is unique because he is the first downstate Democrat to run for governor in nearly 20 years. He shares the importance of having downstate voices in both the state government and the Democratic Party.

You can see all the past episodes of the Thomas Clatterbuck Show on the Springfield Daily Radio page.

You can also learn more about Daiber and the other candidates for governor on our Campaign Headquarters page.

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