Gov. Bruce Rauner says the state's current attorney general is protecting a corrupt status quo and that’s why he’s giving a $1 million campaign contribution to the Republican candidate in the race.

Rauner told reporters Thursday in his Springfield office that taxpayers aren’t getting the legal representation they deserve from the Illinois attorney general’s office.

“We in Illinois have suffered for years where our attorney general has defended the current system, defended the conflicts of interest, protected the problems in this state, defended the status quo,” Rauner said. “We need someone who will challenge the status quo, investigate wrongdoing, investigate possible illegal activity.”

Attorney General Lisa Madigan’s office said it did not have a comment in response to Rauner.

The governor is critical of Madigan’s stepfather, longtime Illinois House Speaker Michael Madigan, D-Chicago, for controlling the property tax system while his law firm helps lower property taxes for clients.

Madigan’s office said the issue has been “examined by news organizations over the years [and] no improper actions were reported.”

Rauner said regardless, the AG should do more.

“Certainly investigate unethical activity and propose laws that make it illegal rather than only unethical,” Rauner said. “That’s what an attorney general should primarily do and in Illinois that has not been happening. Erika Harold will make that happen, and that’s my point.”

Harold’s campaign was thankful for Rauner’s support and said Harold has called on lawmakers to give the attorney general “additional tools to crack down on public corruption, including the authority to convene a statewide grand jury and issue subpoenas.”

Messages seeking comment from Harold’s Democratic challenger, Kwame Raoul, were not returned.


Greg Bishop reports on Illinois government and other statewide issues for INN. Bishop has years of award winning broadcast experience, and previously hosted “The Council Roundup,” as well as “Bishop On Air,” a morning-drive current events talk show.

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