* Brian Brueggemann at the BND…
A last-minute, high-dollar campaign has surfaced against two Republicans who are seeking seats on the 5th District Appellate Court, which covers the metro-east and Southern Illinois.
A political action committee called Fair Courts Now formed on Oct. 11 and, as of Wednesday, had raised $930,000. Most of it has come from plaintiff attorneys in the metro-east and St. Louis.
The committee’s expenditures, as of Wednesday, consisted solely of mailings and ad buys in opposition to two candidates running for seats on the 5th District Appellate Court in Mount Vernon: incumbent Justice Randy Moore of Carterville, and Madison County Circuit Judge John Barberis. Both are Republicans.
Moore is challenged by Democrat Jo Beth Weber, who is a circuit judge in Jefferson County. Barberis is running against Brad K. Bleyer, a Democrat and judge serving in the 1st Judicial Circuit, in deep Southern Illinois.
The top donors to Fair Courts Now are the Edwardsville law firm of Gori Julian & Associates ($235,000), the Alton law firm of Simmons Hanley Conroy ($250,000) and the St. Louis law firm of Maune Raichle Hartley French & Mudd ($250,000).
I’ve been telling subscribers about this push for several days. Subscribers also have the new TV ad.
Later in the above story, retiring Sen. Dave Luechtefeld (R-Okawville), who chairs Moore’s campaign committee, says the money from mainly asbestos attorneys is no surprise, but that they haven’t been able to raise any cash to counter them. Moore had just $27K in his campaign bank account at the end of the third quarter.