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McRaith ponders AG bid as field continues to grow

Wednesday, Oct 4, 2017

* I’m hearing that Mike McRaith is considering a bid for attorney general. McRaith ran the Department of Insurance for Gov. Pat Quinn, and then served as President Obama’s first director of the Federal Insurance Office.

McRaith is also very active in Illinois‘ LGBQT community. So, that could add a significant twist to the campaign, partly because it sets him apart in an ever-growing field of candidates and partly because he would have a reliable fundraising base.

* From the Illinois Campaign for Political Reform…

Illinois’ most expensive attorney general race on record was the 2002 showdown between Lisa Madigan and Joe Birkett. 2002 saw an interesting mix of political circumstances: a first-term Republican president, scandals in the Governor’s office, and an open attorney general seat. The Primary and General Election candidates spent a total of $18 million in the race for the open seat. Since then, the most expensive AG race cost candidates $4 million.

Since 2002, only 5 races for attorney general across the US have cost more than the $18 million Illinois contest. The most expensive race took place in California in 2010, when $34 million was spent between Democrat Kamala Harris, who won the race, Los Angeles District Attorney Steve Cooley, and their seven combined primary opponents. That same year, California also saw the most expensive gubernatorial race in US history, which cost an estimated $280 million.

Current trends in the gubernatorial race and state legislative races indicate 2018 could witness unprecedented spending by candidates and super PACs, and the same could happen in the race for AG. National trends also point to an increased significance for the AG post as states continue to battle with the Trump administration.

* Speaking of outside money, here’s a RAGA press release

The Republican Attorneys General Association (RAGA) released the following statement regarding Democrat Nancy Rotering announcing her candidacy for Illinois Attorney General.

“Nancy Rotering is too extreme for Illinois,” said RAGA Executive Director Scott Will. “In one breath, Rotering claims the Affordable Care Act, or Obamacare, is ‘…one of the greatest things that has happened in the last 10 years…’ and in the next admits that costs continue to rise. What a typical politician, trying to have it both ways. Real leaders identify a problem and offer a solution. The rest of Illinois is sick of Chicago liberals telling the rest of the state what is best for them. Rotering is the Bernie Sanders in this race and just like voters in the 10th Congressional District rejected her, so too will the entire Land of Lincoln.”

* Meanwhile

Sharon Fairley, the chief administrator of the Civilian Office of Police Accountability, is moving forward as a possible candidate for Illinois attorney general.

A spokeswoman for the new police oversight agency known as COPA said in September that Fairley “is definitely considering a run for Attorney General,” but declined to offer more details.

Since then, Fairley has taken the step of creating a political committee to support her run, filing to create “Friends for Fairley” on Monday, according to the Illinois State Board of Elections.

Fairley’s committee will support her run for the office that will soon be vacated by Attorney General Lisa Madigan, and sources told NBC 5 she has begun asking supporters for campaign donations.

- Posted by Rich Miller        

  1. - Sugar Corn - Wednesday, Oct 4, 17 @ 9:44 am:

    He’d be outstanding. A very smart, unflappable, courageous guy. Go Mike go.

  2. - The Captain - Wednesday, Oct 4, 17 @ 9:49 am:

    Also the Trib’s morning roundup says that Roskam isn’t endorsing Harold yet because Kane SA Joseph McMahon is considering a run.

  3. - Grand Avenue - Wednesday, Oct 4, 17 @ 9:49 am:

    The “Afrostocracy” (Maze Jackson’s term) doesn’t want Fairley to run - there is a push for Sen Raoul to be the only black candidate - which is a huge leg up in a crowded Democratic primary.

  4. - Grand Avenue - Wednesday, Oct 4, 17 @ 9:52 am:

    Also - Bob Fioretti just started an anti-Pop Tax site - does that mean he’s thinking about primarying Preckwinkle?

  5. - Moist von Lipwig - Wednesday, Oct 4, 17 @ 9:52 am:

    ==Maze Jackson’s term==

    If we let Maze Jackson start setting and/or defining our terms for us…we’re in serious trouble.

  6. - slow down - Wednesday, Oct 4, 17 @ 9:52 am:

    The RAGA is attacking Nancy Rotering for supporting the ACA while at the same time acknowledging that costs need to be better contained?

    Is that really all they have? Is that truly going to hurt her candidacy in Illinois?

  7. - fun - Wednesday, Oct 4, 17 @ 10:17 am:

    McRaith was universally disliked by industry, advocates and elected officials. His tenure at DOI would be ripe for an opposition researcher.

  8. - Joe Bidenopolous - Wednesday, Oct 4, 17 @ 10:23 am:

    ===McRaith was universally disliked by industry, advocates and elected officials. His tenure at DOI would be ripe for an opposition researcher.===

    This. I’d also add that if you aren’t in his cabal, he could be a very unpleasant man to deal with.

  9. - Franklin K - Wednesday, Oct 4, 17 @ 10:28 am:

    The best choice I’ve heard so far. Michael McRaith would be awesome in this role. He has the ability to raise a lot of money both locally and nationally in a short period of time.

  10. - Stardust - Wednesday, Oct 4, 17 @ 10:29 am:

    McRaith was a Blagojevich hack. There were few directors as tied in to the Blagojevich machine as mike.

  11. - Van Halen Fan - Wednesday, Oct 4, 17 @ 10:35 am:

    Where is McRaith working now?

  12. - Bart Steinberg - Wednesday, Oct 4, 17 @ 11:06 am:

    Michael McRaith would be an excellent candidate. He is a talented, dedicated public servant whose experience in the private sector would also serve him well. Government in general and Illinois in particular need people like Mike.

  13. - siriusly - Wednesday, Oct 4, 17 @ 12:58 pm:

    so raga basically just said that Rotering is the one they are most afraid of

  14. - PatchAdams - Wednesday, Oct 4, 17 @ 2:41 pm:

    Siriusly, nice try. RAGA dissed Kwame and even dissed Drury as soon as they announced.

  15. - PatchAdams - Wednesday, Oct 4, 17 @ 2:43 pm:

    I’m sure they’ll bash Fairley as soon as she stops dithering.

  16. - walker - Wednesday, Oct 4, 17 @ 4:00 pm:

    Being disliked by the insurance industry sounds like a strength.

  17. - Midwestern Independent - Wednesday, Oct 4, 17 @ 6:32 pm:

    Whoever winds up in the AG race, I hope there is a real discussion of the use and abuse of asset forfeiture.

  18. - Mental health advocate - Wednesday, Oct 4, 17 @ 7:14 pm:

    He is a man of principle and integrity whether you like him or not; whether he likes you or not. His tireless and successful advocacy for mental health parity demonstrated his compassion and dedication to all citizen, especially those who need a voice in our government. You get it all with McRaith and we would be better off if he was elected. I hope he runs.

  19. - anonymous15 - Thursday, Oct 5, 17 @ 12:41 pm:

    McRaith would make an excellent candidate and a fantastic AG. McRaith has a stellar policy record both at the state and national level. He is well-respected by all. He will be able to raise money easily making him a viable candidate.

  20. - Colin O'Scopey - Thursday, Oct 5, 17 @ 5:58 pm:

    Lots of haters on here. But one thing is clear: McRaith would be a formidable candidate. He has the chops, the know-how, the bona fides and the gravitas to be a solid, ethical Attorney General. Don’t count him out. He’s a fighter, in a good way.

Sorry, comments for this post are now closed.

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