Madison - St. Clair Record

Wednesday, November 20, 2019

ICJL reports judicial reform groups are anti-business

By Ann Knef | Apr 12, 2005

ICJL president Ed Murnane

George Soros

A report by the Illinois Civil Justice League claims that state campaign finance reform groups veiled as independent critics are actually funded by “anti-business” special interest foundations.

“Watching the Watchdogs: How George Soros & Other Special Interest Foundations have Hijacked Campaign Finance Reform in Illinois,” states that organizations such as the Illinois Campaign for Political Reform—which criticized the record-setting $9 million spent in the Illinois Supreme Court race—have received millions from “slanted and biased donors.”

A foundation headed by Soros—- a wealthy and influential Democratic activist who spent $23 million of his own money to defeat President George Bush—has contributed approximately $150,000 to the ICPR, according to the ICJL report.

“Soros’ Open Society Institute, and the liberal Carnegie and Joyce Foundations have spent more than $3 million in Illinois since the late-1990s to take control of the process to rewrite state campaign rules,” the ICJL reports. “The mounting evidence of special interest money and Soros funding is bringing even more scrutiny to same campaign finance reform organizations detailed in the February 2005 ICJL Study: ‘Justice’ at Stake.”

Illinois Campaign for Political Reform executive director Cindi Canary was not available for comment.

The report also indicated that seven of eight “good government” groups which recently outlined plans to reform judicial campaigns are funded by Soros and other special interest foundations.

“According to influential, national publications, these special interest foundations have not only bought a large stake in the campaign finance reform issue, they are now directly funding a large portion of the revenue of the organizations fighting to rewrite the rules for campaigns on both the national and state level, including Illinois,” the ICJL reports.

The Illinois Campaign Reform Coalition has teamed up to attack corporate contributions, according to the report.

"The anti-corporate philosophy of the special interest foundations and their 'good government' organizations fits within their other ultra-progressive initiatives," the ICJL states.

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