U.S. Sen. Richard Durbin (D-Trial Lawyers)

The Madison County Record Feb. 21, 2010, 6:48am

If he who pays the piper calls the tune, Dick Durbin is playing nothing but trial lawyer favorites.

You may think Durbin represents the state and people of Illinois, but, when you see how much trial lawyers are spending to keep him in office, you might think differently.

According to a recent report from the Manhattan Institute, trial lawyers contribute more to election campaigns than any other professional group, and that largesse is larded up in return with special favors including juicy government contracts, tax advantages, and the stifling of tort reform.

Of course, the higher up the political ladder you climb, bigger are the favors done for the cash corruptors and bigger are the cash bundles received in the form of donations.

U.S. Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid has reached the pinnacle of influence-peddling, but Dick the Whip is right behind. Four of Reid's top seven donors are plaintiffs firms, as are Durbin's top two. The Whip has whipped up $3.6 million in contributions from lawyers, according to Wall Street Journal columnist Kimberley Strassel, who calls Durbin "the Senate's patron saint of the trial bar."

You'll see a lot of the guys who call Dick's tunes hanging around the courthouse in Madison County – piper-payers from Simmons Cooper, Korein Tillery, and Baron & Budd to name a few. Each firm has contributed upwards of $30,000 to the campaign coffers of Dick Durbin.

These are his favored constituents, the people he really represents - instead of us, the citizens of Illinois.

Taxation without representation provoked the first American Revolution, and it's propelling the second as well. The number of Americans who feel they are not represented by their elected representatives is growing. Incumbents up for re-election in November are likely to feel their wrath.

Unfortunately, Sen. Richard Durbin (D-Trial Lawyers) doesn't run again until 2014. Until then, the cash-rich trial lawyers will keep stuffing the broad pants of their piper and calling his tune$.

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