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Lisa Madigan explains why she is not running for Senate or governor

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Illinois Attorney General Lisa Madigan said Wednesday at a press conference in Chicago she knows she surprised people by not running for senator or governor.

Excerpt:

So today, I am announcing that I will seek a 3rd term as Illinois Attorney General.

I understand that some people may be surprised by my decision, because there has been speculation about whether I might run for Governor or for the U.S. Senate. I can't express how honored I am that others would consider me for either of these positions.

But I know that for now, the best way for me to continue serving the people of Illinois is to continue doing the job that I love ... and there is plenty to do.

I promise those of you looking for leaders who will restore honesty and integrity to Illinois government, I will continue to fight for you.

below, remarks as prepared from Madigan.....

Press Conference Remarks: Madigan to Seek 3rd Term as AG
July 8, 2009


FULL TEXT:

Good afternoon.

Thank you for joining me here today.

Twelve years ago, I chose to pursue a career in public service because I wanted to help people ... to protect them, to improve their lives, to seek justice for them. And I am very fortunate that the people of Illinois have given me the opportunity to do just that. It has been my great privilege to serve as your Attorney General since 2003.

Every day, for over 6 years, I have had the pleasure to serve as an independent advocate on your behalf ... really to be "the people's lawyer." And every day has brought new challenges and opportunities for me to make a real difference in peoples' lives.

I've worked on thousands of issues during my time in this office. Today, I want to talk about a few of them.

First, home ownership and the mortgage foreclosure crisis.

The predatory and unfair practices of mortgage lenders are at the heart of our nation's economic crisis. As a result of their greed and discrimination, exacerbated by Wall Street, tens of thousands of Illinois families have been pushed out of their homes.

But long before this unregulated, out-of-control conduct showed up on the nightly news, the consequences - people who were hurt - walked into my office. And we responded by standing up against the largest mortgage lenders in the country, taking the lead nationally in protecting homeowners, long before national leaders knew or cared.

I sued Countrywide for deceptively placing homeowners into loans that they didn't understand, could never afford and could not get out of. I led the national settlement with Countrywide, creating the nation's first mandatory loan modification program.

This program will help hundreds of thousands of homeowners and now serves as a model for other lenders and the federal government.

I am determined to keep doing everything I can to ensure that as many Illinois homeowners as possible can stay in their homes.

Second, I want to talk about our children.

From day one, I have fulfilled my promise to go after sex offenders who prey upon our children.

As a result, prosecutors and judges can now demand lifetime supervision for sex offenders. We've improved the state's sex offender registry. And my office works with law enforcement to track sex offenders and make sure that they either comply with the law or face the consequences.

As the virtual world becomes more dangerous, we have investigated and prosecuted Internet predators and child pornographers. And we have challenged MySpace and craigslist to expel criminals from the Internet.

When the Consumer Product Safety Commission repeatedly failed to protect consumers from dangerous products - especially children's products - I stepped in to protect Illinois families.

I refused to ignore the deaths and injuries caused by rare earth magnets, lead-paint covered toys, defective cribs and bassinets. Instead, I invoked our state laws - and drafted new ones - to remove dangerous products from store shelves, day care centers and our homes.

Years before Congress passed the Tobacco Control Act, we repeatedly took Big Tobacco companies to court for marketing practices aimed at enticing children to begin an addictive and deadly habit.

Third, long before Illinoisans were struggling to survive the economic downturn, I was fighting to protect their pocketbooks.

When utility companies have pushed for unfair rate hikes, I have stood up against them. And when the state embarked on an ill-conceived system for buying electricity that resulted in skyrocketing power bills, we won a new system.

We have obtained well over 1 billion dollars in settlements against utilities who took advantage of the people of this state.

We stopped hospitals from price gouging by reducing the exorbitant rates they charge the uninsured from over 250% above costs to no more than 35% above costs.

And we are the only state in the nation that now protects the uninsured from bankruptcy due to medical emergencies by limiting the total amount a hospital can collect to 25% of a family's yearly income.

The issue of affordable healthcare goes well beyond the pocketbook. With this work, I'm fighting for all people in Illinois to have access to quality care.

Finally, the people of Illinois - we - deserve an honest government that we can trust, one that truly works for all of us. As Attorney General, I have fought against powerful interests - on behalf of the people's interests. I opposed and ultimately stopped a plan to build a casino in Rosemont. When credible allegations surfaced about Governor Blagojevich's conduct, I started the state's investigation of illegal hiring and pay-to-play and provided evidence to the US Attorney.

I have piloted - through quite a bit of turbulence - reforms that increase transparency and accountability in Illinois government at all levels. In 2004, I positioned Illinois' first-ever Public Access Counselor to extract public documents and open public meetings. I've stood up to Governors, their lawyers, the State Police, CMS and countless local governments and fought to force all of them to adhere to our sunshine laws.

And during this legislative session, we passed a major overhaul of the Freedom of Information Act and finally made it enforceable.

There is no doubt, that in the right person's hands, the AG's office has the power to identify and solve the real problems people struggle with - expediently and efficiently.

I've talked about my job in some detail today because I've been thinking about it a lot lately. Over the past few months, I've thought about how I can best continue to serve the people of Illinois.

The progress we have made and the work that can still be done have been foremost on my mind.

I've also talked with my husband about what's best for our daughters.

As I have done so, I have been truly privileged to have the advice and generous support of many people around this state.

What it comes down to - and I hope you can hear in my voice - is that I am still passionate about my work.

So today, I am announcing that I will seek a 3rd term as Illinois Attorney General.

I understand that some people may be surprised by my decision, because there has been speculation about whether I might run for Governor or for the U.S. Senate. I can't express how honored I am that others would consider me for either of these positions.

But I know that for now, the best way for me to continue serving the people of Illinois is to continue doing the job that I love ... and there is plenty to do.

I promise those of you looking for leaders who will restore honesty and integrity to Illinois government, I will continue to fight for you.

Let me close with a quick story that gets to the heart of why I hope to continue serving as your Attorney General.

Every day when I come to work, I walk past two tables that are set up inside our office. These tables are staffed by our consumer advocates. Every day, I see a steady stream of people coming to sit at those tables - people of every age and every ethnicity.

They come to us because:

They have been wronged.
They need help understanding the law.
They seek justice.
They are desperate, and they have no one else to turn to.
Last year, over 33,000 of them came to us.

And I stood up on their behalf ... stood up to national banks, powerful utilities, drug companies, insurance companies, nursing homes, id thieves and scam artists of every description.

That's what gets me up in the morning.

As Attorney General, I've been using the power of this office to make a difference in peoples' lives since 2003. With your continued support, I promise to keep making a difference ... in 2011 and beyond.

I'm happy to take your questions at this time.

[end]

1 Comment

I own a condo and have an outstanding balance of $140k, consisting of $104k primary and $36k secondary. I took the home equity to consolidate debts. At the time the property was valued at $163k but now it is valued at $134k. I'm looking to sell because i am engaged and will be moving into my fiancee's home. Check http://obamamortgage2009.blogspot.com/2009/03/obamas-mortgage-modification-do-you.html If I have a buyer who offers me within say $5-7k of the outstanding, can i agree to assume a loan on the residual and pay the bank the difference over time with interest? The same bank holds both mortgages.

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Lynn Sweet

Lynn Sweet is a columnist and the Washington Bureau Chief for the Chicago Sun-Times.

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About this Entry

This page contains a single entry by Lynn Sweet published on July 8, 2009 3:44 PM.

Lisa Madigan nixes Senate or Governor bid. Running for attorney general. What's with Lisa? was the previous entry in this blog.

What next for Julie Hamos? What next for Dan Hynes? is the next entry in this blog.

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