David Shestokas: 2022 candidate for Illinois Attorney General
Office sought: Attorney General
City: Orland Park
Previous offices held: Cook County Assistant State's Attorney, Lemont Public Library Trustee (Served as Treasurer and President of the Board)
What personal background and experiences qualify you for the role of attorney general? If you are the incumbent, what do you consider your most important achievements? If a challenger, what do you consider the most important unmet needs in the office?
I have worked to secure elections (suing the Board of Elections) and protect religious liberty challenging restrictions on church services. I was involved in over 400 felony cases and 10,000 misdemeanors as a prosecutor. Neither of my opponents has prosecuted a single criminal case.
My legal experience includes criminal justice, child protection, elections, religious liberty, and pro bono work for civic and charitable organizations.
I'm committed to the Constitution, demonstrated by the books I've written, my personal website (shestokas.com) and years educating about America's Founding principles.
The AG office currently expends resources litigating against Illinois citizens by defending illegal government actions. I will redirect those resources to criminal prosecutions when local State's Attorneys decline to prosecute serious crimes. This will have immediate impact on the safety of Illinois citizens. I will be the Lawyer for the People, not the governor nor any government agency.
Is the office of public information public access counselor important? What should be the attorney general's role in ensuring that state and local governing bodies operate in an open and transparent manner?
The office is extremely important and fulfills a duty consistent with the Illinois Constitution and Attorney General Act: to represent the people of the state. Government transparency is crucial to a functioning democratic republic. With the people as the "sovereign," they are entitled to view the work and work product of the government they have authorized. FOIA requests and Open Meetings are consistent with the citizens as sovereign not subjects and the Attorney General, elected by the people, is the proper place for citizens to go when there is an allegation that a unit of government has failed to comply with the law.
How aggressive should the attorney general be in seeking consumer protections through the courts?
While the Attorney General cannot represent individual consumers in a business dispute, there are provisions of the Illinois Consumer Fraud and Deceptive Business Practices Act that provide for criminal penalties under various circumstances. While there can be legitimate disputes over transactions or representations, when a fact pattern allows for proving all elements of a crime, consideration should be given to pursuing the matter as such.
How efficiently do you think the attorney general's office operates currently. What, if anything, would you do to streamline the office?
There is "kneejerk" litigation in which the office defends the indefensible, like claims that religious services are non-essential and voters are not entitled to voter data under federal law. When citizens sue the state alleging the government is acting illegally, the approach should be a negotiated resolution, not extensive litigation that treats citizens as irritants rather than constituents. With that mind set, assistants could be reassigned to making the state safer rather than operating in opposition to the rights of the people.