No Opponent, But Big Money In Illinois Justice's Race

October 26, 2010

From NPR

by Carrie Johnson

There's no shortage of hot political races in Illinois this year. The Senate seat once occupied by President Obama is up for grabs. So is the governor's mansion.

But it's a big-money campaign for the Illinois Supreme Court, in which Justice Thomas Kilbride is running without an opponent, that has good-government advocates shaking their heads.

Nearly $3 million has flowed into that race -- making it the second-highest-grossing judicial retention campaign in history. And, experts say, it could have a lasting impact on the independence of the court system.

'Does The Public Buy It?'

Cynthia Canary, who runs the Illinois Campaign for Political Reform, has been tracking contributions in the campaign. More than $2 million from the state Democratic Party and unions has gone to Kilbride. About $600,000 more from business groups is funding the opposition.