Attorney General's Race
2:24 pm
Wed May 21, 2014

GOP Attorney General Candidate: Lisa Madigan Too Loyal To Democrats

GOP candidate for Attorney General Paul Schimpf (right) flanked by Illinois GOP top brass House Minority Leader Jim Durkin (R-Western Springs). Schimpf says current Attorney General Lisa Madigan has too much Democratic party loyalty to pursue corruption in the state.
Credit Tony Arnold/WBEZ

  The Repubican Party’s longshot candidate for Illinois attorney general is throwing punches at the incumbent Democrat, Lisa Madigan. Paul Schimpf says Madigan is a political insider incapable of going after corruption.

As Hannah Meisel reports, the Illinois GOP's candidate for Attorney General is accusing Attorney General Lisa Madigan of party loyalty, but Paul Schimpf's campaign is a longshot.

Schimpf, a former Marine Corps prosecutor, does not have nearly the resources Madigan does; at the end of the last reporting period, his campaign fund had less than $15,000 to the attorney general's $4.7 million. But Schimpf says he's optimistic about getting his message out — a message that includes painting Madigan as so much of a party loyalist, she's not willing to prosecute one of her own.

"If your father is the most powerful politician in the state of Illinois, you just don't have the independent perspective," he said. "You're going to be inclined to give him and his political allies the benefit of the doubt."

Schimpf, of course, is referring to the attorney general's father, House Speaker Michael Madigan. But Lisa Madigan's campaign says Schimpf has it wrongl; that the Illinois Constitution limits the attorney general's power to prosecute criminal cases.

A campaign spokeswoman says Madigan's office has gone after corruption in both government and the private sector.