Name: Bubba Harsy
Office seeking: Attorney General
City of residence: DuQuoin
Campaign website: bubbaharsyforillinois.com
Why are you running and why should people vote for you? I am running because I am frustrated with how Democrats and Republicans have been running Illinois into the ground for decades. Specifically, I am tired of seeing attorney generals in Illinois that look out for their own political interests first and give their own political parties a free pass on government corruption. I am also tired of seeing government employees getting a free pass on criminal matters that would result in regular people being sent to prison. This double standard of law that exists for government employees and regular people has to stop. People should vote for me to be the voice of reason that calls out political corruption on both sides of the aisle at all levels of government.
What qualifications do you have for this position? I am qualified to be the Illinois Attorney General because I am not afraid to go after government corruption, regardless of whose toes I have to step on throughout the process. Granted, I have been practicing law for less than 2 years, but I have experience in various branches of government. I have experience in the Maryland State Senate, the United States Department of Education, and the United States Senate. I worked at a law firm in Washington D.C. prior to coming back to Illinois and starting a solo practice where I handle administrative, civil, and criminal matters. My opponents have more experience practicing law than I do, but I do not believe that makes them more qualified. Illinois has a history of Attorney Generals that have experience, but were obviously not qualified because they did nothing to fix Illinois’ corruption problem. In 1991 to 1995 we had Democrat Roland Burris, who was later “appointed” to the U.S. Senate seat that Blagojevich was sent to prison for selling, after him, we had Republican Jim Ryan who apparently missed everything that would result in George Ryan being sent to prison, and currently we have Lisa Madigan that has done nothing to change the status quo. I see my opponents as carrying on the legacy of nice individuals that look very electable on paper, but at the end of the day, they are not going to change the status quo. The Attorney General’s Office should be used to protect the people of Illinois from their government, not to protect the government from the people of Illinois. I am going to bring that mentality to the Attorney General’s Office. The people of Illinois need an Attorney General that is not afraid to step on the toes of those in power even if that means going after the Governor, the Speaker of the House, a local mayor, or county board. The corruption in Illinois has to stop, and if elected, I will use the Attorney General’s Office to make it stop.
What changes would you make to the Attorney General’s office and why? The biggest change that I would make to the Attorney General’s office would be to utilize the office as a tool to combat government corruption. This has not happened in several decades, and the people of Illinois deserve better. For the most part, similar businesses operate among the various states in the Midwest. The reason Illinois loses thousands of people each year is not because of the same businesses that operate in Illinois, Missouri, Iowa, and Indiana, but because of the Illinois government. The only thing that really separates Illinois from the other states in the Midwest is our corrupt government that is never held accountable for their wrongful acts. This is why the attorney general’s office needs to make taking on public corruption a top priority in Illinois. As Attorney General and in an effort to facilitate criminal justice reform in Illinois, I would not criminally prosecute any individuals for non-violent marijuana offenses. Illinois needs to focus on more pressing matters, rather than a plant that no one has died from.
How much of a role should the Attorney General’s office take in reviewing/investigating clergy abuse? The Attorney General’s Office should take an active role in reviewing/investigation clergy abuse. Currently there is a clergy abuse hotline established on the attorney general’s website and I believe that is a step in the right direction. Furthermore, the Attorney General’s office should also assist the state’s attorney in any means necessary to prosecute any bad acting clergyman. Not only should the clergyman be prosecuted for their bad acts, but also anyone that assisted clergy in getting away with these heinous crimes should be prosecuted as an accomplice to the original crimes. The only way to clean up Illinois and to prevent problems like these from occurring in the future is to hold all bad acting parties involved criminally liable, and I intend to do just that.
What issues would you focus on as Attorney General? If elected, my approach would be to look out for the best interests of the people of Illinois, and not be adherent to special interest groups or political parties. The first step in looking out for the people would be to prosecute corrupt government officials and the crimes of other government employees. The laws of Illinois should apply equally to those that work for government and to those that do not. The next major step would be to resolve the pension crisis through a constitutional means. The Illinois Constitution prohibits the unlawful grant of special privileges by the government to people or organizations. In my opinion, many of the pensions given out to government retirees more closely resemble special privileges than pensions. Pensions make mathematical sense based on what was originally invested into a retirement fund, combined with the returns on the original investment. That is not what we see with Illinois state government retirees. The highest paid government retiree makes over $598,000 a year, has only paid $768,000 into their pension, and including yearly raises, this person is expected to make more than $20 million dollars as a retiree. It is common for government retirees to pay less than 5 percent of the money that goes into their retirement, and when the market does not provide the return on investment needed for these over promised retirements, taxpayers are forced to foot the bill. That is a special privilege and the Illinois government does not have the constitutional authority to grant special privileges, therefore these retirement packages can be nullified. Another major matter effecting a majority of Illinois residents is the out of control costs associated with healthcare. In an effort to create more competition in the healthcare market, I will advocate for the purchase of healthcare across state lines. Pursuant to the First Amendment of the United States Constitution, it is a person’s constitutional right to associate with business organizations across state lines if they choose, and a state does not have the right to limit this in order for them to maintain a monopoly on insurance companies. Once individuals can purchase healthcare plans across stateliness, there will more competition in the insurance market and costs will go down for the consumer.
Would you term limit yourself? If so, how many terms? Yes. I would limit myself to two terms. If a person cannot fix problems as the attorney general within 8 years, they are not going to do it in 12.