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Harold and Raoul battle it out at the Tribune

Tuesday, Sep 25, 2018

* The attorney general candidates met today at the Tribune

Republican attorney general candidate Erika Harold acknowledged Tuesday that Democratic rival Kwame Raoul’s attack ads have turned the contest into a “referendum” over her views on same-sex marriage and abortion. […]

“The fact that this has become a referendum on views like that tells you why we’re not focusing on the issues where the attorney general can have some sort of discretion and some sort of impact,” said Harold, an Urbana attorney who used her winnings as the 2003 Miss America to pay her way through Harvard Law School.

“My views would absolutely not undermine my obligation, commitment to upholding the rule of law,” she said, contending that Raoul was attempting to stir “fear mongering among voters about trying to undermine their belief in my capacity and commitment to doing so.”

But Raoul, a supporter of abortion and gay rights, said laws can change, making the personal views of an attorney general “relevant.”

She said she considered those topics “settled law,” but, as Raoul noted, laws can always change and the US Supreme Court has lately made a habit of overturning some “settled laws.”

* Raoul campaign…

At a meeting of the Chicago Tribune editorial board today, Kwame Raoul, Democratic candidate for attorney general, focused on his plans to defend Ilinoisans’ rights as the state’s top lawyer. Meanwhile, Republican Erika Harold continued to dodge questions about whether she would use the discretion and the advocacy role of the attorney general to stand up for choice and equal rights, given her extreme views on those subjects.

“Now more than ever, state attorneys general stand as the last line of defense,” Raoul said. “From protecting a woman’s right to choose, to confronting health threats caused by pollution in our communities, to defending equal rights, I’m ready to step up on behalf of the people of Illinois.”

Raoul discussed his record of advocacy and his personal experiences as a prosecutor, policymaker, and father of two.

Harold engaged in misleading attacks while avoiding her own record of extreme beliefs:

* Harold wants voters to trust her to “enforce the law,” though she dodged direct questions that would reveal her positions.

FACT: Personal views absolutely matter, because the attorney general has broad discretion in which cases to pursue. Attorney General Lisa Madigan didn’t have to defend HB 40 against a legal challenge brought by State Rep. Peter Breen, an anti-choice crusader who recently held a fundraiser for Erika Harold. But she did. The people of Illinois also rely on the attorney general to serve as their advocate, working with the legislature to improve the law, in addition to enforcing existing law. Harold is against abortion, even in cases of rape and incest.

* When the editorial board asked Harold if she believes any Supreme Court cases were wrongly decided, Harold could not recall one.

FACT: Even though her recent statements make it clear that she opposes the outcome of Obergefell v. Hodges (marriage equality) and Roe v. Wade (a woman’s right to choose), Harold replied, “I’m not going to weigh in.” Raoul identified Citizens United v. FEC and earlier in the interview, Janus v. AFSCME.

* Harold says Raoul partnered with Madigan to raise property taxes.

FACT: Politifact already examined this claim and rated it “mostly false,” describing it as “cleverly misleading wordplay.” As he told the editorial board today, Raoul served in the Senate, not the House, and the part of the bill that would have allowed Chicago to raise taxes was never included in the Senate version of the legislation, nor did it become law. Rather, Raoul helped pass property tax reforms in 2007, and last year, he co-sponsored the HOME Act (SB 2219), which responded directly to problems identified in the Cook County Assessor’s Office by tamping down conflicts of interest, requiring assessors to publicly disclose their valuation models and establishing oversight of local assessments.

* Harold claimed she did not indicate on a questionnaire that she opposed a law protecting workers from discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation.

FACT: In 2014, Harold answered a questionnaire from the Illinois Family Institute and, according to that organization’s publicly released candidate scorecard, she opposed federal legislation that would protect workers from being fired just because they’re gay. The IFI described the piece of legislation she opposed as follows: “Employment Non-Discrimination Act (ENDA) (S. 815) grants special rights based on ‘sexual orientation’ and ‘gender identity.’”

I haven’t yet received anything from the Harold campaign.

- Posted by Rich Miller        

24 Comments
  1. - 47th Ward - Tuesday, Sep 25, 18 @ 4:31 pm:

    ===She said she considered those topics “settled law,”===

    There is no such thing as settled law.


  2. - Oswego Willy - Tuesday, Sep 25, 18 @ 4:33 pm:

    Meh.

    Bruce Rauner, who signed HB40, arguably the most liberal abortion bill a state could make law is bankrolling Harold.

    Its settled law as long as Bruce and Diana Rauner are paying the freight.


  3. - Not It - Tuesday, Sep 25, 18 @ 4:38 pm:

    She doesn’t understand that if her values tell her it is okay to discriminate against people, then we must question what else her values would tell her to do.


  4. - Ron Burgundy - Tuesday, Sep 25, 18 @ 4:40 pm:

    –The fact that this has become a referendum on views like that tells you–

    …you’re losing the messaging game? That’s what it tells me.


  5. - wordslinger - Tuesday, Sep 25, 18 @ 4:47 pm:

    –“The fact that this has become a referendum on views like that tells you why we’re not focusing on the issues where the attorney general can have some sort of discretion and some sort of impact,” said Harold,–

    And what are those “issues” that an AG is barred from some “sort of discretion or impact?”

    In issuing AG opinions? In recommending and assisting in the drafting of news laws?


  6. - Louis G. Atsaves - Tuesday, Sep 25, 18 @ 4:58 pm:

    Well, there you go.

    Raoul will protect my civil rights to be fairly represented in Springfield by opposing the ridiculous jerrymandering of my state legislative district which places me, a strong Republican, my neighbors, who strongly vote Republican, and my city, which also strongly votes Republican, into a Democratic district. That way my voice will be heard in Springfield’s House.

    Raoul will protect my civil rights of being fairly represented in Springfield by opposing the ridiculous jerrymandering of my state senate district which places me, a strong Republican, my neighbors, who strongly vote Republican, and my city, which also strongly votes Republican, into a Democratic district. That way my voice will be heard in Springfield’s senate.

    Quick to defend the Madigan name, and there were two Madigan names for this session to talk about, when it was pointed out his advertising was found to be false, he didn’t deny it. When he represented an abusive mother and advocated the return of her son into an abusive requirement, he stuttered attempting to get back to his talking points.

    Because he is Mr. Fair. And being Fair is now his Life’s Work. It’s pretty clear whose voices matter to Mr. Raoul. He’ll be fair only to Democrats.


  7. - Annonin' - Tuesday, Sep 25, 18 @ 4:58 pm:

    Her answer on the Family Institute issue was a lot of GovJunk like mumbo jumbo…very troubling.
    The settled law answers only work the Roberts court takes a new case and wham new settled law.


  8. - Anonymous - Tuesday, Sep 25, 18 @ 4:59 pm:

    Kwame absolutely voted to raise property taxes. He supported the so-called “7 percent solution” that capped taxes on a small portion of taxpayers and shifted significant higher property taxes (hundreds of millions of dollars) onto other residential, commercial, and industrial taxpayers.


  9. - Louis G. Atsaves - Tuesday, Sep 25, 18 @ 4:59 pm:

    Spellcheck changed my last posting by inserting “requirement” in the place of “environment.”


  10. - Pundent - Tuesday, Sep 25, 18 @ 5:02 pm:

    Louis - Sounds like you need to be advising the Harold camp instead of us. I can’t take her seriously if she’s not able to advance these arguments on her own.

    Maybe its persuasive to you but for a lot of voters simply yelling “Madigan” is not enough.


  11. - SinkingShip - Tuesday, Sep 25, 18 @ 5:06 pm:

    The more Harold dodges the issue of her personal views, the worse I assume those views really are.


  12. - Gotcha - Tuesday, Sep 25, 18 @ 5:19 pm:

    I liked the part where she couldn’t name a single Supreme Court decision she didn’t agree with and then says she’s not going to weigh in. What does think this job is exactly (besides prosecuting Madigan for Rauner)?


  13. - Lester Holt’s Mustache - Tuesday, Sep 25, 18 @ 5:53 pm:

    ==the ridiculous jerrymandering of my state senate district which places me, a strong Republican, my neighbors, who strongly vote Republican, and my city, which also strongly votes Republican, into a Democratic district. ==

    Oh look, we’ve found the one republican in the entire nation that doesn’t like the results of gerrymandering. Welcome to the same club that every dem in every city in every red state belongs to. Feel free to tell your sob story to the people of Durham and San Antonio and Atlanta and Indianapolis and Milwaukee and Billings and Oklahoma City and ……


  14. - philadel - Tuesday, Sep 25, 18 @ 6:54 pm:

    Raoul seems to have a penchant for twisting other people’s words for his political advantage. Case in point; Rahm Emanuel’s recent, truthful statements about morality and crime in black neighborhoods.


  15. - Arthur Andersen - Tuesday, Sep 25, 18 @ 6:58 pm:

    A good performance for the Raoul campaign.


  16. - Yellow Dog Democrat - Tuesday, Sep 25, 18 @ 8:20 pm:

    Cry me a river.

    Is Erika Harold the most qualified attorney for the position that the GOP has to offer?

    lOL. No.

    A path was cleared for her largely due to her ultra-conservative views, which made her a right wing paladin.

    Yet as a candidate she wants to hide her views from the general public?

    You cannot argue your personal views are moot when they got you on the ballot and through the primary.

    If Harold is actually the best attorney they can find, then they should have left the spot blank.


  17. - Ok - Tuesday, Sep 25, 18 @ 9:30 pm:

    The funny thing about settled law is that can change with… a new law


  18. - SIUEalum - Tuesday, Sep 25, 18 @ 9:34 pm:

    If a dinosaur politician in their 70s comes out against equal rights for gay people, I still find it abhorrent but I can at least understand where they are coming from. When a millennial does the same, I don’t even know what to think. Ms Harold and I are pretty close to the same age, and some of the most hardcore conservatives of my generation that I know still get this issue right. If this is what she believes, what other scary views does she have?


  19. - Rabid - Wednesday, Sep 26, 18 @ 7:50 am:

    This is a referendum on Rauner, you got corralled and singed by the Rauner brand. The fresh face of the turnaround agenda


  20. - Bushrod Washington (Google Me) - Wednesday, Sep 26, 18 @ 8:53 am:

    == But Raoul, a supporter of abortion and gay rights, said laws can change, making the personal views of an attorney general “relevant.”==

    Activist conservative judges are creating all kinds of problems in the United States by disregarding established precedent and overturning settled law. Many of the “test” cases are brought to conservative judges by conservative AG’s and District Attorneys.


  21. - WSJ Paywall - Wednesday, Sep 26, 18 @ 9:44 am:

    =The more Harold dodges the issue of her personal views, the worse I assume those views really are.=

    Yep, this is where I am at.


  22. - Big Joe - Wednesday, Sep 26, 18 @ 10:02 am:

    Also, I am worried about her lack of experience prosecuting cases. She didn’t deny that she has ever prosecuted a case. He only accomplishments are that she was a Miss America winner, and also a chosen candidate by GovJunk


  23. - Pundent - Wednesday, Sep 26, 18 @ 10:21 am:

    There’s a lot of truth in YDD’s comments. This is Harold’s “brand.” It’s what got her nominated. In some ways it’s not all that different than the guy at the top of the ticket who doesn’t want to be honest about what he means by “reform.”


  24. - DarkHorse - Wednesday, Sep 26, 18 @ 11:53 am:

    To paraphrase Raoul’s tag line, he’s just getting started in his take down of Harold. She’s never prosecuted a case, not even a partner at her law firm; and while by age 27, she was incredibly accomplished - Phi Beta Kappa, Miss America, Harvard Law, spoke at Republican National Convention - the last 11 years, not as much. She’s living off past accomplishments.


Sorry, comments for this post are now closed.


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