Madison County judges spent $155,000 on retention campaigns in three months

Bethany Krajelis Oct. 15, 2012, 1:11pm





The four Madison County circuit judges seeking retention in next month's election spent about $155,000 on their campaigns between July 1 and Sept. 30.

Chief Judge Ann Callis, who has entirely self-funded her retention bid, spent the most at about $68,000, according to quarterly reports filed this month with the Illinois State Board of Elections.

Judge Dave Hylla came in second out of the four judges for expenditures at about $36,800, followed by Judge Barbara Crowder with slightly more than $31,000 and then Judge John Knight at about $20,000.

Monday marked the deadline for candidates in the General Election to submit reports detailing the money going in and out of their campaign coffers.

The next disclosure report, which will cover contributions and expenditures from Sept. 30 to Dec. 31, isn't due until next year.


According to Callis' quarterly report, her campaign committee spent more than it brought in during the latest reporting period.

It started the period with nearly $2,900. Between July 1 and Sept. 30, Callis' committee received seven individual contributions --all of which were from Callis herself-- totaling about $66,988.25.

During the same period of time, Callis' campaign spent $68,218.45 on a variety of campaign-related costs. That amount includes about $76 in non-itemized expenditures.

Records show that slightly more than $48,000 of the expenditures reported by Callis' committee went to Price-Miner Creative Strategies in St. Louis.

Her committee paid the company about $30,000 for "media production," $18,000 for billboards and $320 for signs, according to its quarterly report.

In addition, Callis' committee spent about $16,300 on consulting from The Feldman Group, a Washington D.C.-based "political strategic research specialist."

She also paid a St. Louis design company about $330 for costs associated with her campaign website and a Granite City sign company about $1,900 for promotional items and signs.

Her quarterly report shows her committee had slightly more than $1,600 when the reporting period ended late last month. Since then, records show Callis has given $40,500 to her campaign committee.


Records show that Hylla's campaign committee had about $18,854 when the reporting period started this summer.

Between July 1 and Sept. 30, his committee reported receiving $10,970 in donations and $6,590 in non-itemized contributions for a total of $17,560.

Like Callis' committee, Hylla's also spent more in the last three month reporting period than it brought in.

Records show his committee reported about $35,662 in expenditures.

It paid Arlington Greens, a golf course in Granite City, about $3,500 for a fundraiser he hosted there in July.

It also paid Godfrey-based 21st Century Group $1,200 for "prizes for golfers" and John Hill about $1,400 for "consulting [at the] golf outing."

In addition, Hylla's committee spent $18,000 on "media-television," about $6,300 on billboards, $600 on a telephone poll and about $3,300 to Robert Stephan of Alton for consulting and a website.

According to the state Board of Election's website, Hylla's committee had about $1,950 on Sept. 30 and has not reported receiving any donations since the new reporting period started.


The quarterly report filed by Crowder's campaign committee shows that she received about $24,000 in individual donations between July 1 and Sept. 30.

That amount includes about $8,000 of non-itemized contributions. Under Illinois law, contributions and expenditures that are $150 or less do not need to be reported in detail to state Board of Elections.

During the latest reporting period, Crowder's committee spent about $31,685, the majority of which paid for consulting.

Her committee cut St. Louis-based S.O.A.R. Communications Strategy five checks between July 1 and Sept. 30 totaling nearly $26,000 for consulting and printing.

Records show that Crowder's committee also spent about $670 on postage, $700 on signs and about $400 on area advertisements.

Crowder told The Record earlier this month that her committee planned to buy cable time to air commercials as part of her campaign.

According to its quarterly report, Crowder's campaign committee had close to $8,000 when the reporting period ended on Sept. 30 and reported receiving two $1,000 donations this month.


Like Callis, Knight has thrown quite a bit of his own money into his retention race.

Records show that Knight loaned his committee $20,000 last month.

His campaign committee, which started the reporting period with about $5,000, received three donations totaling $1,050 between July 1 and Sept. 30.

During the same three-month period, it reported about $20,725 in itemized and non-itemized expenditures.

The itemized expenditures show Knight's committee paid Price-Miner, the same consulting firm used by Callis, slightly more than $20,000 for television advertising. It also paid a Greenville company about $230 for promotional items.

As of Sept. 30, Knight's committee reported having $5,351.73. Records show it has not received any individual contributions since then.

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