WASHINGTON---As Illinois Attorney General Lisa Madigan is pondering her next political move, she positioned herself here Monday on an impressive platform with three cabinet secretaries and a commissioner. The subject was the scum who prey on people with mortgage fraud schemes.
Madigan, in a brown pants suit, flanked by men all wearing grey, was trying on the big stage to see how it fit.
It fit fine.
Madigan, along with Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner, Attorney General E ric Holder, Housing and Urban Development Secretary Sean Donovan and Federal Trade Commission chief Jon Leibowitz outlined a series of steps the federal government is taking to crack down on scammers.
Unfortunately in this foreclosure crisis, mortgage "rescue" hustlers have found cons to play with all the new mortgage assistance help the federal government is providing.
Just as this administration has intensified our efforts to help American homeowners, those who would seek to prey on the most vulnerable are intensifying their tactics as well, often through purported mortgage modification and foreclosure relief companies.," Geithner said. "These are predatory schemes designed to rob Americans of their savings, and potentially their homes."
Back to Madigan.
Of all the players in Illinois politics, Madigan's next move is the most important because it will have ripple impacts up and down the ticket.
She's a possible candidate for governor--meaning she would face Gov. Quinn in a Democratic primary--or could consider the Senate seat held by Sen. Roland Burris (D-Ill.). Burris--well, you know the story--tapped by impeached Gov. Blagojevich, subject of a perjury probe in Sangamon County and a Senate ethics panel inquiry--is extremely vunerable to a primary challenge.
After the press conference--actually, it was billed as such but was not since none of the principles stuck around for questions--Madigan came back to the room to talk to two Chicago reporters.
I asked her about the Senate, and her answer will be found interesting by state Treasurer Alexi Giannoulias, who has already said he is running and former Commerce Sec. Bill Daley, who is contemplating a Senate bid.
Thinking about the Senate? I asked.
"Never given it any serious consideration, Lynn," Madigan said.
But you are considering running for governor?
"Correct," Madigan said.
Madigan only has ten lawyers working on mortgage scams. It's tough. It's like "Whack a Mole," she said. Get rid of a scheme in Illinois and the operation pops up in Michigan.
Mortgage bottom feeders are giving Madigan a chance to show her stuff. She'll have to decide soon what to do with it.