A self-described "politics junkie" said he won't be beholden to anyone if he is elected attorney general in Illinois.
Paul Schimpf, who ran unopposed in last month's Republican primary, said he was not recruited by the GOP and he owes nothing to political insiders of either party. He emphasized that will free him to take action against corruption.
"If you want somebody who's going to transform the attorney general's office into an entity that can fight corruption and an entity that can actually provide a meaningful check and balance against the power of the executive and the legislature, you need to give me the opportunity," said Schimpf.
Schimpf said he won't demonize incumbent Democratic Attorney General Lisa Madigan, though he suggested the state has become more corrupt during her nearly 12 years in office.
When asked about the Livestock Facilities Management Act, Schimpf said he was not familiar with the text of it and added he does not consider it the attorney general's job to make policy. However, regarding the livestock act, he said, "...if that act is restricting the freedom of Illinois farmers to actually make their livelihood, then I think it would be the job of the attorney general to potentially challenge that law."
Schimpf also called for greater transparency in government, especially state government. He's critical of the manner in which pension reform legislation was pushed through the legislature last fall.
"The deal with the pensions fix was unconscionable," Schimpf said, calling it "...the prime example of how our government in Springfield is dysfunctional."
Schimpf was in Macomb to attend the McDonough County Republican Party's Annual Lincoln Dinner. He said it was his first time in Macomb, though his wife graduated from Western Illinois University. He said he started his campaign last July, a month after retiring from the Marine Corps. He was a prosecutor in the Marine Corps, and mentored and advised Iraqi prosecutors during the trial of Saddam Hussein.
Schimpf now lives in Waterloo, Illinois, which is where he grew up.