MARYVILLE- They call it 'voter education.' For Illinois Lawsuit Abuse Watch (I-LAW), a Metro East-based organization that fights 'lawsuit abuse' here and elsewhere, October is high political season as well.

The group unveiled a billboard campaign last week aimed at "increasing public awareness about the upcoming judicial campaigns in Southern Illinois."

The billboards read: “Do your Supreme Court candidates take personal injury lawyer contributions? Ask them. Call Illinois Lawsuit Abuse Watch at 866-866-ILAW or visit”

"Billboards are a fairly inexpensive way to reach a large number of voters. I don't know that we can compete with the trial lawyers. We don't have anyone cutting $100,000 checks," said I-LAW director Steve Schoeffel. "Our supporters are ordinary citizens. They're doctors, housewives, and small business owners.

Schoeffel will be traveling Southern Illinois next week as part of his voter education campaign. He became director of I-LAW in July 2003.

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