To the Editor:
For the Good of Illinois PAC wholeheartedly endorses the Citizens for Judicial Integrity "No Retention" Campaign against Judges Callis, Crowder, Hylla, and Knight.
These four judges ran as a team in 2006 promising reform. According to Illinois Board of Election Campaign Contribution figures they collectively took over $250,000 from asbestos lawyers and firms.
According to Illinois Lawsuit Abuse Watch (I-LAW), when they took office Madison County had 335 asbestos cases and five years later a record 955 cases. The Illinois Law Review reported only 10% of these cases has anything to do with Illinois.
In 2011 we witnessed what the Illinois Chamber of Commerce billed a cash for lawsuits scandal which rocked the Madison County courthouse. The St Louis Post Dispatch detailed how Lawrence Taliana, Judge Crowder’s husband and campaign manager, solicited $30,000 in campaign contributions from local firms and that afterwards Crowder gave them 82% of the asbestos docket for 2013.
Although the chief judge removed Crowder from the asbestos docket and Crowder returned the money the public’s perception in fair and unbiased judiciary remains shaken.
The courts grew a litigation business which profits local law firms while hurting the Madison County economy and health care system. Due to high insurance rates and a lawsuit happy environment, jobs and doctors are driven from Madison County.
For these reasons the For the Good of Illinois PAC heartily endorses the efforts of Citizens for Judicial Integrity and urges Madison County residents to vote No retention on Callis, Crowder, Hylla, and Knight.
For the Good of Illinois PAC