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updated: 10/23/2010 10:19 PM

Red-light camera fight distinguishes AG candidates

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  • Lisa Madigan

    Lisa Madigan

  • Steve Kim

    Steve Kim

  • David Black

    David Black

  • Bill Malan

    Bill Malan


Red-light cameras are a topic that divide lawmakers, drivers and police, so not surprisingly the candidates for the state's top attorney disagree on the issue.

Incumbent Attorney General Lisa Madigan, a Chicago Democrat, faces challengers Republican Steve Kim of Northbrook, Green Party candidate David Black of Belvidere and Chicago Libertarian Bill Malan in the Nov. 2 election.

All four are lawyers.

During an interview with the Daily Herald Wednesday, Madigan backed the controversial devices.

"I think they prevent people from going through red lights, which everyone recognizes has become epidemic," she said.

"I know there's a lot of discussion about the cameras but to the extent they prevent people from being killed at intersections, I like red light cameras."

Kim said he wanted to see studies on whether the technology truly decreases crashes before giving an opinion.

"We need to make sure it's not just a tool for governments to make money and we need to be sure due process is protected," he said.

Malan called the cameras a nonissue while Black said the Green Party is divided on the subject. However, Black personally opposes the devices, explaining, "it's one more step toward Big Brother."

Another topic that showed clear divides among the candidates is the federal government's health care reform law.

Twenty states are suing the federal government over the constitutionality of the policy.

Madigan has no plans to take legal action against the law.

But Kim said he'd seriously consider a lawsuit.

"On the policy side, there's a concern and also constitutionally, it's the first time the federal government is forcing a private person to conduct business with a private business," he explained.

Black supports a single-payer system and contends that the reforms "don't go far enough" but he said a lawsuit is no solution.

Meanwhile Malan said he'd have no qualms about taking legal action.

"It does violate the Constitution to require someone to buy health insurance," he said.