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updated: 2/8/2011 11:52 AM

Corruption, spending and gay rights among AG issues

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They're all attorneys but that's where the similarities end for the four candidates seeking to be the state's top lawyer.

Attorney General Lisa Madigan, a Chicago Democrat, is challenged by Northbrook Republican Steve Kim, Chicago Libertarian Bill Malan and the Green Party's David Black from Belvidere in the Nov. 2 election.

Asked to list priorities, Madigan said her first concern is protecting communities from sexual predators and reducing domestic violence. She pointed to new laws that increase supervision of dangerous sex offenders as accomplishments under her tenure.

Kim, general counsel for an international manufacturer, said he wants to focus on government corruption. Kim pledged to create a public corruption unit to investigate crimes from the governor's office down to municipal and township levels.

Malan's focus would be the state's insolvency problem. He recommends eliminating all government jobs and spending related to prosecuting the war on drugs to save money.

Black's No. 1 priority is reducing the influence of money on politics. He pledged not to accept donations from corporations or companies that do business with the state and to focus on corruption if elected.

A second focus for Madigan is increasing trust and accountability in government. Madigan said she had already established a public integrity unit to uncover fraud and pointed to her rejection of former Gov. Rod Blagojevich's push to sell the Thompson Center as evidence of her independence.

Another top issue for Kim is assisting small businesses to deal with "burdensome regulations." He promised to create a regulatory environment without unnecessary red tape that fosters small businesses. "Large corporations can hire lawyers and lobbyists to represent them in front of a government agency. Small businesses cannot afford to do so," he said.

Malan said his second priority is ending gang and drug crime.

Black promised that if elected he would "marshal the resources of the attorney general's office to protect the rights of all our citizens, including access to a woman's right to reproductive choice and the civil rights of gays, lesbians, bisexual and transgender persons."