Name: Gary Grasso
Office seeking: Attorney General
City of residence: Burr Ridge
Campaign website: www.garygrasso.com
Why are you running and why should you be nominated? I am running because I believe I have the right qualifications to lead the second largest law firm in the state of Illinois. The role of the Attorney is ALL for the people - to Advocate, Legislate (suggesting legislation) and Litigate. My actual lengthy litigation and legal experience, and my actual governance experience with proven results, respectfully distinguishes me from my opponent at every level and dimension. I am not beholden to any candidate for Governor, politician, interest group or organization. I am qualified to be Illinois’ chief litigator, and to capably lead the second largest legal team in Illinois. I have more than 39 years of litigation experience serving both plaintiff and defendants. Since 2001, I have had my own law firm, Grasso Bass, PC. I’ve been lead attorney on at least 400-500 cases. My opponent has not even tried a single case. Finally, I have considerable direct experience in successful management of personnel, departments, agencies. I was Mayor of Burr Ridge from May 2005- December 2012 I also currently serve as a member of the DuPage County Board.
What do you view the role of the attorney general's office to be in terms of law enforcement? The main role of the Attorney General’s office is to Advocate, Legislate and Litigate. My top priority as Attorney General will be going after public corruption. I will direct the attorneys and investigators of the AG’s office to investigate the clout based, corrupt property tax assessments system. We must restore confidence to the people of Illinois that they are being treated equally and fairly when property taxes are being assessed. We must not tolerate the status quo and the political corruption at any level. The public should know that when elected, the powers that be, at all levels of government, should be on high alert that the Office of the Illinois Attorney General will not tolerate any form of cheating the system. We also must continue to serve as the chief litigator for the people of the state of Illinois, working to protect all, but especially those who are most likely to become victims. The people should know that their Attorney General can and will represent them in court, try cases and argue appeals. I will do this by vigorously pursuing the corrupt, the financial predators, big pharma and enforcing the Consumer Fraud Act and the Public Utilities Act.
How would you view the relationship between the attorney general's office and state's attorneys in each county? The office of Attorney General is the state’s chief legal officer and as such has oversight of local state’s attorneys. As Attorney General, I will work with local state’s attorneys to assist them when needed. My intention would not be to interfere in the work they do at the local level but to be a resource for them and to assist them in the execution of their duties. A Grasso administration would much more actively initiate inquires with County State’s Attorneys, the Illinois State Police, and federal legal officials to fight against the scourge of political corruption, and the opioid epidemic.
What is the most important issue facing the attorney general's office? How would you approach it? I would use the power of the Attorney General to investigate, pursue and refer for prosecution the perpetrators of the clout epidemic at the root of Illinois’ political corruption. I will follow the clout and the money tentacles to the body of corruption we all know is far too bold and prevalent. I will use the bully-pulpit of the office, its power of subpoena, the AG investigators, and lawsuits to bring Illinois’ corruption to the forefront to change the culture of politics in our state – and save Illinois from financial destruction.
What other issues would you focus the attorney general's office on? Fighting the opioid/heroin epidemic that is killing people of every demographic and destroying our families and friendships would be one of my top priorities. I have been working on this issue in DuPage County and it is something I am very passionate about. Right now, local governments are getting involved, but they need help from the State’s Chief litigator and I intend to provide that help. I also will make sure any money generated from these lawsuits will go to public health. I would also work against child abuse, harassment of women in the workplace, and financial predators of seniors.
What are your views on the legalization of marijuana debate? I have taken a strong stance on the opioid addiction issue. I could not in good conscience condone the legalization of marijuana and I would use the power of the Office of Attorney General to advocate against legalization of recreational marijuana. I think lawmakers would be served investing their time in coming up pro-business legislation than turning to the sale of recreational marijuana to solve the budget crisis.