* I’ve been telling subscribers about a Republican bent to Democratic Supreme Court Justice Tom Kilbride’s campaign for a bit now, but Greg Hinz has some new endorsements…
In an odd turn in a key race, much of the state’s GOP legal establishment is endorsing Justice Thomas Kilbride for a new term on the Illinois Supreme Court, even though he’s a Democrat and the highly partisan issue of legislative reapportionment may soon come before the panel.
In a letter released by his campaign, Kilbride, who is up for retention in his west central Illinois district, won the backing of former Chief Justices Ben Miller and Robert Thomas, former Illinois Attorney General Ty Fahner, former U.S. Attorneys Dan Webb and Anton Valukas, and ex-lllinois House Minority Leader Tom Cross, among others.
All of them are Republicans, as is the first name on the list, ex-Gov. Jim Thompson, who agreed to back Kilbride before his recent death, according to Kilbride campaign spokesman Ryan McLaughlin, whose firm generally represents Republicans and big business groups. […]
Fahner, in a phone interview, Kilbride has done “a credible job” and is worth retaining, even if the two sometimes disagreed.“He’s an honorable guy, and he’s thoughtful about his opinions,” Fahner said. While Kilbride did, in his view, err in upholding the pension clause in the Illinois Constitution, the court was unanimous in that decision, Fahner said.
Justice Thomas endorsed Kilbride in 2010, so that’s not new. I told subscribers about McLaughlin’s involvement yesterday. Fahner is a bit of a surprise.
* From ILGOP Chairman Tim Schneider…
Justice Kilbride is a Madigan pawn occupying a seat on the Illinois Supreme Court, and he must be defeated. Kilbride has been elected by Madigan’s millions and has returned the favor, rejecting every good government reform that has appeared on the docket all in service to Madigan’s stranglehold on Illinois politics. The Illinois Republican Party strongly urges a vote of non-retention for Madigan’s favorite judge, Justice Kilbride.
* And this op-ed is by former Peoria Congressman and former US Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood…
I respectfully ask voters to cast a No vote against Thomas Kilbride in this election. Kilbride has already been a state Supreme Court judge for 20 years. He is seeking another 10 years, or 30 years total on the bench. Enough is enough.
Worse, Tom Kilbride is on the bench almost solely because of nearly $4 million in campaign cash provided by Mike Madigan, the corruption-tainted speaker of the Illinois House of Representatives and longtime head of the Chicago Democratic Party.
Kilbride has returned the favor to Mike Madigan, by always deciding cases the way Mike Madigan wants. Let me explain.
Illinois and Chicago in particular are known for political corruption. It hurts our state. Now Madigan is again embroiled in scandal. The huge electric utility Commonwealth Edison recently admitted in court that for 10 years(!) it has been bribing close associates of Mike Madigan, including the best man at Madigan’s wedding, in order to get Madigan’s okay to pass its legislation.
LaHood, you may recall, recently endorsed Joe Biden for president.
*** UPDATE *** Press release…
Today, Illinois Congressmen John Shimkus, Adam Kinzinger, Rodney Davis, Mike Bost, and Darin LaHood released the following statement opposing the retention of Justice Thomas Kilbride of the 3rd Judicial District on the Illinois Supreme Court:
“We strongly urge the voters of the third judicial district to Vote No on the retention of Justice Thomas Kilbride because he is bought and paid for by Mike Madigan and the Democratic political machine.
Speaker Michael Madigan and his allies funneled millions to Kilbride’s campaigns, both in his election in 2000 and his retention in 2010. Kilbride has provided quite the return for Madigan - he was the deciding vote and wrote the decision striking down the Fair Maps amendment in 2016. The vote upheld Madigan’s gerrymandered maps and ignored the will of nearly 600,000 Illinoisans who signed a petition in support of nonpartisan redistricting. The people of Illinois deserve an honest and impartial Supreme Court, not one controlled by Mike Madigan.”