Editorials

We lose the good Madigan, get to keep the other one

Illinois Attorney General Lisa Madigan in 2011 worked with local police chiefs to fight new forms of meth production in Illinois. She will not seek a fifth term and is leaving office in January 2019.
Illinois Attorney General Lisa Madigan in 2011 worked with local police chiefs to fight new forms of meth production in Illinois. She will not seek a fifth term and is leaving office in January 2019. dholtmann@bnd.com

Illinois Attorney General Lisa Madigan is an argument for nature over nurture. The old man would never walk away, and we’re pretty sure the only way our illustrious Illinois House Speaker will leave the capitol after more than 40 years is on a coroner’s gurney.

Still, there is hope that her decision to leave after this, her fourth term, will mean something good for Illinois later on.

We’ve long liked Lisa Madigan and endorsed her for re-election. She was a regular visitor to our office and took our ribbing about her adoptive father in stride.

She started out pushing for access to public records and public meetings while crusading against corruption and taking on imprisoned former Gov. Rod Blagojevich. She then morphed into more of a consumer advocate, being a voice for utility ratepayers and mortgage holders.

When we detailed the lack of prosecutions for sexual assaults, she used her bully pulpit to push for reform. She helped us gain records that showed Menard prison guards were milking and bilking the workers comp system, then she went after the guards.

She has been the people’s lawyer rather than the state’s.

We hoped she would run for governor, but must admit part of that was because it would mean Mike Madigan would retire as speaker. She’s said she would not run while her father remained in power. She’s denied current interest in becoming governor or Chicago mayor or U.S. Senator, but she hasn’t completely shut those doors.

Lisa Madigan spent 16 years as attorney general and before that was a state senator, sharing a desk with some Chicago guy named Obama. She’s only 51.

She said she wants to try something different.

Whatever she does, we wish her well. We also doubt we’ve seen the last of her, and know we’ve not seen the last of her dad.

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