Attorney General Candidates Gather For Debate

Craig Dellimore
March 07, 2018 - 5:50 pm
Illinois Attorney General Debate

Craig Dellimore/WBBM Newsradio

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CHICAGO (WBBM NEWSRADIO) — The latest debate among the candidates for Illinois Attorney General  featured Democrats and Republicans and some differences over ethics and even Legionnaires’ Disease.

Candidates were asked Wednesday if laws may have been broken in the way the Rauner Administration has handled the outbreak of Legionnaires’ disease at the Quincy Veteran’s Home. 

Republican Erika Harold was cautious, saying it is too early to make that determination, and an independent investigation is needed.

But Democrat and former Gov. Pat Quinn said the state's delay in informing the public and the families of victims of the outbreak was "without a doubt" wrongdoing.

Former Federal Prosecutor Renato Mariotti, also a Democrat, said it’s irresponsible for Quinn to say that, and it shows his inexperience in dealing with criminal law. 

The candidates also clashed over the ways in which they have raised campaign money.

The Illinois Campaign for Political Reform—which put on the debate—often focuses on political donations.

State Sen. Kwame Raoul, D-Chicago, was asked how he could take money from tobacco companies that have settlement talks underway with the Attorney General’s office.  

He pointed to his record, saying he has voted consistently with the American Lung Association. 

Former City Police Accountability Chief Sharon Fairley said she’s spent a lot of her own  money on the campaign. While other candidates may have conflicts, she said, "I am not in conflict with myself."

Attorney Aaron Goldstein said he doesn’t have conflict problems. He’s dead last in fundraising. He says he doesn't know tobacco company executives or get money from major party leaders as Raoul has. 

Raoul has the backing of the Cook County Democratic Party, among others.