Radio Free Resistance is proud to publish transcripts of the “10 Questions” series by @CaptainsLog2O18
10 Questions with Renato Mariotti [Click here for original thread.]
CL: Today's much anticipated #BlueWave #10Questions with Illinois Atorney General Candidate begins now! Thank you for sharing your time with us @renato_mariotti How are you doing on this fine evening? #RenatoForAG #WinWithRenato
RM: I’m doing great! Looking forward to answering some tough questions. Thanks for the opportunity to be part of this.
CL: We're going to start things off the way we always do on #10Questions
Q #1 Everybody I know was so thrilled when you announced your candidacy. Can we ask what ultimately made you decide to throw your hat in the ring?
RM: I didn’t plan to run for anything this year, but when the current Attorney General decided not to run, I saw this as an opportunity to fight the Trump Administration. I’m doing all I can now as a private citizen, but I could do a heck of a lot more as AG, in court, against Trump.
Q #2 is from @AdamaEsq “We’ve seen attorney generals [sic] like AG Schneiderman challenge the Trump administration on a range of issues from the Muslim Ban, Sanctuary Cities, and Emoluments. What would you do as Attorney General of Illinois to stand up for the rule of law?”
RM: Whenever the constitutional rights of Illinois citizens are violated, I will fight in court on their behalf. For example, as a private citizen I wrote an op-ed about how expelling Dreamers could violate due process. As Attorney General, I would file a suit on behalf of Illinois Dreamers. Whenever the Trump Administration attacks reproductive rights, discriminates against LGBTQ citizens, or tries to suppress our right to vote, I will act swiftly to defend and protect our citizens.
CL: Love it!
RM: One thing we’ve all learned over the past year is that our legal system is our last line of defense when the other branches of our government fail to check each other and threaten our rights. Beyond that, the rule of law is a bedrock on which our democracy is built. There is an old saying that John Adams, the second President, wrote. He said, “we are a nation of laws, not of men.” The point is that no one is above the law, even the President of the United States. I was alarmed when it looked like Mueller would be fired. I worked with others who were organizing protests across the country. That’s because the independence of law enforcement and our judicial branch is necessary for us to be free.
CL: Very well said.
Q #4 is from @Augustus709 “What is your position on sanctuary cities? Do you think cities have a right to protect undocumented immigrants from the INS?”
RM: As I’ve discussed before, Trump is violating the constitution by trying to withhold federal funds from sanctuary cities. Thank goodness a federal Judge in Chicago agreed. I think we have more important things to do than focus on rounding up people that Trump doesn’t like. I will fight for the rights of everyone in Illinois, including the undocumented, like the Dreamers. Chicago made the right choice by welcoming immigrants and refugees.
Q #5 is from @B52Malmet “What is your position on women’s rights?”
RM: Women’s rights are human rights. I’ve been fighting for reproductive rights in Illinois as a co-chair of Lawyers4Choice and board member of @Men4Choice, because we can’t fight back attacks on reproductive freedom without bringing EVERYONE to the table. If I’m elected Illinois Attorney General, I will build a wall around reproductive rights. I also believe that we need the staff of the AG’s office to look more like Illinois, because having women in positions of power is the best way to ensure their voices are heard. As a federal prosecutor, I investigated and prosecuted men who preyed upon women and children. Too often, sexual assault is excused or viewed as normal, even by our President. I view it as a crime, pure and simple. That’s how I’ll treat it as Attorney General.
CL: I wholeheartedly agree!
Q #7 is from @NateBWesley [sic] “You've said the criminal justice system needs reform. How does it need to change?"
RM: Illinois prisons are over capacity, full of nonviolent drug offenders who are disproportionately minorities and people without resources to afford their own lawyer. I’ve proposed using the Governor’s pardon power to reduce the sentence of many of these people. Going forward, we need to devote more resources to prosecuting white collar crime and bigger, higher-impact crime instead of petty drug crime. We should also decriminalize marijuana. (Also, I strongly support bail reform efforts in Cook County.)
CL: I accidentally skipped Q #6, which is from @dtxErgaOmnes “Once you are elected, what would be the biggest issue facing Illinois that you would want to address and how would you address that issue?”
RM: The biggest problem in Illinois and across this country is economic injustice. Right now the system is rigged to favor the rich and powerful over people who are struggling to make ends meet. When I was a federal prosecutor, I prosecuted white collar crime. As Illinois Attorney General, I would bring lawsuits against the rich and powerful special interests that are taking advantage of people who can’t fight against them. I will fight alongside them and even the playing field.
CL: Most excellent.
Q #8 is from #LawyersResist / #RBA “What can you do as AG to better protect the LGBT community from discrimination? Can anything be done regarding the Trump admin refusing to follow precedent set in Hively v. Ivy Tech (Title VII protects sexual orientation)?”
RM: This is a perfect example of how a state Attorney General can make a difference. In Illinois, we have a strong human rights law that prohibits discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation OR gender identity. But Attorney General Sessions is doing everything he can to attack the rights of LGBTQ Americans. Trump even denied the right of transgender Americans to serve their country. I’ll talk more specifics later, but I’ll do everything I can to defend their rights in court.
CL: Very nice!
Q #9 is from @EllaG1894 “What would you hope to have changed at the end of 4 years as AG?”
RM: Unlike politicians, I’m not going to tell you that I can solve all of our problems in one year or four. But I promise this much—I’ll work my butt off every day on behalf of people in this state who don’t have someone fighting for them in court. I think my four-year term will be a success when our unions are stronger, elections are safe and secure, our reproductive rights remain intact, and Donald Trump is out of office.
CL: Nearing the finish line now!
Q #10 Is there anything you'd like to say to our readers, and to the great voters in Illinois? And where can we go to donate/ sign up to volunteer?
RM: I want this campaign—and the Democratic Party—to be bottom up, not top down. The way we’re going to win this race is with YOUR support, your energy, and your involvement. I also need you to chip in and help, so I don’t have to rely on big money donations. So go here to contribute: https://secure.actblue.com/donate/renatomariotti
CL: Our man is live on @msnbc right now I'd like to thank @renato_mariotti for his time Please follow & support his campaign This wraps up our #BlueWave #10Questions for this evening Thanks for reading & retweeting #WinWithRenato #RenatoForAG
I really, really want to give a special shout out to @DanaScottLO Not only did she land the @renato_mariotti (who was amazing) interview She & the #LawyersResist team picked out the submitted questions which made for a great interview I was just the very blessed middle man
Follow Captain Kirk on twitter @CaptainsLog2O18