UPDATE 2: We've obtained the mail piece that Justice Kilbride is distributing (below). It clearly seems like an attempt to portray himself as a Republican in order to take advantage of increased GOP turnout this year. However, Kilbride has already taken $1.47 million from Democrat Party Chairman and House Speaker Mike Madigan this year; and has been a consistent liberal vote on the Illinois Supreme Court.
Earlier this week, paid "pro-family" lobbyists robocalled households on behalf of Kilbride in an attempt to mislead pro-life voters about his record and bona fides.
This kind of blatant dishonesty by a sitting Supreme Court Justice is disturbing, and would seem to strongly argue against retaining him.
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UPDATE: Illinois Review has just learned that a new direct mail piece from Kilbride's campaign hit Third District mailboxes today saying, "Election Alert for Republicans" with a photo of a Republican Elephant. Kilbride seems to be trying to portray himself as a Republican. However, records show he's received millions in support from Mike Madigan, the Democratic Party of Illinois, and Labor Unions.
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CHICAGO, IL — Illinois Supreme Court Justice Thomas Kilbride has received 75% of his campaign cash from the Democratic Party of Illinois and a single teachers’ union — betraying his campaign’s commercials that claim he is an “independent” judge.
JUSTPAC, the political action committee of the Illinois Civil Justice League, has requested that TV and radio stations stop running these fraudulent ads immediately.
“Justice Kilbride’s campaign is running commercials and sending out mailers that say he is ‘independent‘ — but his fundraising reports show that claim to be dishonest and wrong,” said Ed Murnane, president of the Illinois Civil Justice League. “We urge all television and radio stations to cease running these ads until Justice Kilbride removes the ‘independent’ moniker and starts telling the truth.”
An analysis of Illinois State Board of Elections reports shows that Kilbride’s campaign has raised more than $2.5 million. The Democratic Party of Illinois (DPI) has contributed $1,475,000, and the Illinois Federation of Teachers has contributed $460,000.
In all, the Democratic Party of Illinois and the Illinois Federation of Teachers account for almost 75% of Justice Kilbride’s total campaign spending.
Earlier this week, the Chicago Tribune editorial board criticized Kilbride’s fundraising, writing, “The money is coming largely from the same sources that funded his 2000 campaign: House Speaker Michael Madigan and organized labor.”
On Tuesday, Retired Circuit Judge John O’Shea of Moline, IL writes in the Moline Dispatch, “Why does a judge who advertises himself as ‘honest’ and ‘independent’ accept a ‘donation’ of $1.8 million?”
“When 75% of your campaign cash comes from only two sources — your claims of ‘independence’ are real as the vampire teeth thousands of children will sport on Halloween.” added Murnane. “Justice Kilbride ran as a Democrat in 2000, and he is relying on the Democrats to fund his campaign in 2010.”
Justice Kilbride should do the right thing by ordering his campaign to cease using the term “independent” to describe him. Until he does so, television and radio stations across the third district should cease running his dishonest advertisements.