Supreme Court Retention Election Most Expensive in State's History

Oct 26, 2010, 15:56 ET from Illinois Campaign for Political Reform

Justice Kilbride's Committee Far Outpacing Fundraising By Opponents

CHICAGO, Oct. 26 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- The retention campaign of Illinois Supreme Court Justice Thomas Kilbride has shattered the state's previous fundraising records for one-candidate judicial contests, with more than $3.1 million reported raised between supporters and opponents, an analysis by the Illinois Campaign for Political Reform shows.

Thanks in large part to an infusion of more than $1.4 million from the Democratic Party of Illinois, Kilbride's supporters have outpaced the opposition's fundraising by a margin of nearly 4 to 1. The Illinois Federation of Teachers constitute Kilbride's second-biggest contributor, reporting more than $454,000 in contributions and in-kind support.  Kilbride's committee has reported raising more than $2.48 million between July 1 and Oct. 25, according to records filed with the Illinois State Board of Elections.

The Illinois Civil Justice League serves as the leading opposition group to Kilbride's retention effort. Their JUSTPAC political committee has reported raising more than $642,000, much of which originated from national groups and associations, according to reports filed with the Illinois State Board of Elections. The group's largest contributors are: the American Justice Partnership ($180,000), a wing of the American Manufacturers Association; the U.S. Chamber of Commerce ($150,000); the American Tort Reform Association ($88,920) and the Illinois State Medical Society PAC ($50,000).

The Kilbride retention contest is the nation's most expensive such campaign this year. It is the second most expensive one-candidate retention election in the country's history. Only the 1986 retention election in which California State Supreme Court Justice Rose Bird was ousted, where both sides raised a combined $11.4 million, has cost more.

Additional information on this and other races can be found at  The Sunshine Database on ICPR's website also allows visitors to search by candidate name or by district number to find more detailed information about contributors to those candidates and search by a contributor name to see what campaign committees received contributions from that contributor.

About the Illinois Campaign for Political Reform

The Illinois Campaign for Political Reform is a non-profit, non-partisan public interest organization conducting research and advocating reforms to promote public participation in government, address the role of money in politics and encourage integrity, accountability and transparency in government. The late U.S. Sen. Paul Simon founded ICPR in 1997.

Contact:  Whitney Woodward, 312-335-1767

SOURCE Illinois Campaign for Political Reform