For Illinois, Outside Dollars Drive Judicial Races

Oct 29, 2015

Outside spending is fueling judicial races, and nowhere is that more apparent than in Illinois.  That's the finding of a new national study out Thursday by a trio of nonpartisan groups.  The study's lead author -- Scott Greytak  with the organization Justice at Stake --- says more than $3.3 million was spent on Illinois Supreme Court Justice Lloyd's Karmeier's battle to stay on the bench last year.  Greytak says that's more than was spent on any other race in the United States.

"One other stat that I would point out with Illinois is at that folks who were donating to the campaign this cycle: over 90 percent of those donations were $1,000 or more. Meaning that the folks who are investing in these races have the means to do so."

Greytak says the vast majority of that money came from outside groups, unaffiliated with the campaign.

He says that's a problem because sometimes, those organizations can get around disclosure.