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Nowlan heads dark money group against Kilbride

Monday, Sep 28, 2020

* This happened Friday…


Nowlan’s newspaper column has been distributed by Capitol News Illinois.

* Politico

Dark money is helping to fund opposition to Illinois Supreme Court Justice Thomas Kilbride, who is up for retention in November. Judicial Fairness Project just gave $200,000 to the similarly named Citizens for Judicial Fairness to pursue its anti-Kilbride campaign.

The dark money group is listed under the same address as Chicago attorney John Fogerty, who is general counsel to the Illinois Republican Party. Fogerty did not immediately return a request for comment.

Citizens for Judicial Fairness, meanwhile, is headed by Jim Nowlan, a former Republican state legislator and GOP consultant who is president of Stark County Communications newspaper publishing company in central Illinois. Last week, Nowlan accused Kilbride of being “a puppet” of House Speaker and state Democratic Party leader Michael Madigan.

Kilbride is a Democratic judge in a district that’s leaning more Republican than when he was retained a decade ago. Donald Trump beat Hillary Clinton 50 percent to 44 percent in the district that includes Kankakee, LaSalle, Peoria, Rock Island and Will counties. Numbers like that show Kilbride could be in trouble given he needs 60 percent to be retained.

The best thing Kilbride has going for him is that his party affiliation is not on the ballot. He also has several GOP endorsements.

- Posted by Rich Miller        

23 Comments
  1. - Fav Human - Monday, Sep 28, 20 @ 10:42 am:

    Jim Nowlan??

    Wow, Mr. Good public policy himself. The last person I’d expect to run an attack PAC.


  2. - GOP soldier - Monday, Sep 28, 20 @ 10:43 am:

    ALL efforts should be aimed at this race and this race ONLY, by the GOP.

    Beating is coming at the state house - this race is winnable AND like at the national level- it is HUGE


  3. - depressed in politics - Monday, Sep 28, 20 @ 10:45 am:

    don’t forget his run as Lt. Gov as part of his political resume.


  4. - Norseman - Monday, Sep 28, 20 @ 11:01 am:

    This clearly shows Nowlan is partisan first.


  5. - Annonin' - Monday, Sep 28, 20 @ 11:01 am:

    Wow is this a break…Nowlan was once a clear thinking person. He bounced around to a number of academic perches. Never really caught on. Can’t imagine anyone giving him money to spend. Maybe the polluters and sloppy docs are just renting the name.


  6. - walker - Monday, Sep 28, 20 @ 11:06 am:

    “”ALL efforts should be aimed at this race and this race ONLY, by the GOP.”"

    Not a good look for any party to abandon focus on winning legislative seats and other public offices. It implies a loss of broad public support.

    A stronger Republican Party, better led and more clearly justified, is needed for Illinois to be politically healthy.


  7. - Norseman - Monday, Sep 28, 20 @ 11:07 am:

    Public sector employees and retirees in Kilbride’s district should understand that a big reason the GOP wants to defeat him is to continue their crusade to cut your pensions.


  8. - Columbo - Monday, Sep 28, 20 @ 11:12 am:

    I believe Nowlan receives a state pension from his U of I days, wouldn’t this effort be against his own self interests. Things that make you hmmm…


  9. - JS Mill - Monday, Sep 28, 20 @ 11:15 am:

    Norseman is spot on. When I completed my ballot yesterday I made sure to vote to retain Kilbride.

    This shows a huge strategic mistake by the ILDP. They need to make sure our judges reflect the rest of the state. The GOP in Illinois is a micro-party at this point and should be nowhere near a majority on the court.


  10. - Rich Miller - Monday, Sep 28, 20 @ 11:17 am:

    ===by the ILDP===

    It helps your argument if you use the actual abbreviation.


  11. - GOP soldier - Monday, Sep 28, 20 @ 11:31 am:

    Walker
    All good generals know that you only pick battles that you could win.

    The GOP has NO chance of getting a majority in either chamber OR even coming close


  12. - Joe Bidenopolous - Monday, Sep 28, 20 @ 11:37 am:

    ===Beating is coming at the state house - this race is winnable AND like at the national level- it is HUGE===

    After re-reading the relevant section of the Constitution, it seems to me that judicial redistricting may be coming. They can do anything about Cook as it’s enshrined with 3 Justices, but the remaining four districts could be redistricted pretty easily and the collars ave more than enough population to base two of the seats there


  13. - Joe Bidenopolous - Monday, Sep 28, 20 @ 11:38 am:

    *can’t do anything about Cook


  14. - don the legend - Monday, Sep 28, 20 @ 12:20 pm:

    Will Mr. Nowlan be surprised if his candidate wins and then votes to uphold the state’s obligation to pay the pensions since that is what the constitution demands.
    Probably not since he already knows that.


  15. - jim - Monday, Sep 28, 20 @ 12:24 pm:

    this is about redistricting


  16. - Quibbler - Monday, Sep 28, 20 @ 1:12 pm:

    == After re-reading the relevant section of the Constitution, it seems to me that judicial redistricting may be coming. ==

    Judges that make law for the whole state should be elected on a statewide basis.


  17. - Leigh John-Ella - Monday, Sep 28, 20 @ 1:30 pm:

    In March of 2019, Mr. Nowlan announced he was hanging up his column writing: “I feel my writing is becoming stale, and that I am losing touch with a world I haven’t been involved with professionally for years.”

    The response? It appears the Illinois Presss Association began distributing his column and now he’s running a dark money campaign operation.

    If you want to talk retirement reform, how about starting with Nowlan.

    Does he really need the money?

    I mean, isn’t there a fledgling GOP-leaning communications strategy firm, possibly woman owned, somewhere that could benefit from the resources, exposure and experience? You know, one that doesn’t market itself as stale and losing touch with the world.

    At a time when the GOP says the state needs jobs, jobs, jobs, they and their interests seem to always turn to the same few old familiar faces to employ decade after decade after decade.


  18. - Annonin' - Monday, Sep 28, 20 @ 1:33 pm:

    Did Nolwman move to Naperville? that’s the return address on the mailing And the treasurer is from GA and printer in TN.


  19. - I am Batman - Monday, Sep 28, 20 @ 1:46 pm:

    Assuming Kilbride is NOT retained (and I suspect he will be) the GOP will be real sad when the Supreme Court map is redrawn after the census and the seat is put out of reach for a generation.


  20. - d.p.gumby - Monday, Sep 28, 20 @ 2:29 pm:

    This is another example of the abusive attacks on judges and lawyer candidates based upon factually questionable charges that originate from court opinions or prior client representations. The retention is supposed to be a question of competent performance–not the crusades of political hacks.


  21. - west wing - Monday, Sep 28, 20 @ 4:23 pm:

    so a Supreme Court justice who has ruled on - what - two thousand cases gets judged and attacked over one or two cases … sad to see the politicization of the judiciary …


  22. - RDB - Monday, Sep 28, 20 @ 8:26 pm:

    Major newspapers should drop his column for the next month (they won’t, of course).


  23. - Questuoner - Monday, Sep 28, 20 @ 9:49 pm:

    Part 2
    I am sure that Judge Kilbride was unaware of the Speaker’s opinion when he and the fellow Democrats ruled the 2016 redistricting amendment off the ballot.

    Is it possible that Nowlan’s opposition to Judge Kilbride might be a reflection of his unhappiness with the court’s protection of the status quo? The retention vote is a legitimate political mechanism to pursue such discontent.


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