Three Madison County judges raise $22,000 for retention campaigns; Most money came from candidates

By Bethany Krajelis | Jul 16, 2012





Three of the four candidates seeking retention to the Madison County bench raised a combined total of about $22,000 between April 1 and June 30, campaign contribution records show.

Chief Judge Ann Callis and Circuit Judges Barbara Crowder, David Hylla and John Knight are all running to keep their positions in the General Election. As of late this afternoon, all of the judges except Hylla had filed their quarterly contribution reports with the Illinois State Board of Elections for the three month period that ended late last month.

St. Clair County Circuit Judge Stephen McGlynn, who is seeking a seat on the Fifth District Appellate Court, filed his report last week. His Democratic challenger, Swansea attorney Judy Cates, had yet to do so as of late this afternoon.

Candidates running for the judiciary, as well as all other races in the November election, have until midnight tonight to file their quarterly contribution reports with the state board.

Out of the three Madison County judges who are seeking retention and filed their reports by late this afternoon, records show that Knight raised the most contributions at about $10,565, which includes two donations from himself totaling $10,065. Callis came in second with a $10,000 contribution from herself and Crowder came in third with about $1,450 contributions reported since April 1.

It is unclear exactly how much money Hylla's committee raised in the reporting period that ended June 30, but it looks like he will at least beat out Crowder for third place based on a $3,300 contribution he reported receiving in May from Leonard Hylla of Granite City.

A spokesperson for Hylla's campaign committee, "Citizens for Dave Hylla," said it planned to file its quarterly report later tonight.

Although Crowder, who faced scrutiny over some of her campaign contributions last year, appears to have raised the least amount of donations out of the four judges seeking retention, records show she had the most money available in her campaign coffer at the end of the June.

Contribution records show that Crowder started the reporting period with nearly $21,000 and had about $16,834.26 left in her campaign coffer as of June 30.

Her committee, "Friends for Barbara Crowder," reported receiving about $1,450 in individual contributions during the three month reporting period.

Records show that James Gorman of Lucco, Brown, Threlkeld & Dawson in Edwardsville donated $300 to Crowder's campaign and Edward Hightower of Edwardsville donated $200, as did the Granite City law firm of Lueders, Robertson & Konzen.

The Maag Law Firm in Wood River and the Meyer Law Firm in Alton each contributed $250 to Crowder's campaign and Sarah D. Raschen of Edwardsville donated $250, records show.

It does not appear that any of Crowder's recent contributions have ties to the three law firms that donated about $30,000 to her campaign committee last year. Crowder was taken off the asbestos docket in December after news hit that these three firms –Gori Julian & Associates in Edwardsville, Goldenberg, Heller, Antognoli & Rowland in Edwardsville and the Simmons Law Firm in Alton- donated the money to the judge at about the same time she granted them 82 percent of the advanced asbestos trial slots for 2013.

Crowder, who later returned the contributions from the trio of firms, denied any connection between the docket setting and her campaign donations. The advanced trial setting has since been eliminated and Crowder now presides over eminent domain, chancery and miscellaneous remedies cases.

Records also show Crowder's campaign received a total of $650 in transfers from the Godfrey Democratic Committee, the Electrical Workers Voluntary Political, Educational & Legislative Fund and the I.U.O.E. Local 399 Political Education Fund.

During the same three month reporting period, Crowder's committee reported transferring $920 of its money to four groups, including the campaign committee of Madison County Associate Judge Kyle Anne Napp, as donations or for the purpose of ads, tickets or event sponsorship.

Records also show that Crowder's campaign spent $5,115 for campaign-related expenses, which included a $4,250 payment to Soar Communications Strategies in St. Louis for costs associated with a retainer and an invoice for a campaign walk card.

In addition, her campaign reported having a $750 debt to Crowder's husband Lawrence Taliana, an Edwardsville attorney who served as Crowder's campaign chairman until he was replaced by Richard Stamer Jr. of Edwardsville.

Knight's campaign committee, which appears to have raised the most out of the three Madison County judicial retention committees that filed their quarterly reports by this afternoon, reported having $0 available when the reporting period began in April.

Records show that Knight's committee, "Citizens for Knight," received three individual contributions totaling $10,565 from April 1 to June 30, including $10,065 from Knight himself. The remaining $500 was donated by John Gillard of Greenville.

Knight's committee also reported paying $5,622.50 in April to the Feldman Group Inc. in Washington D.C. for a survey. His committee reported ending the three month period with $5,027.50.

Records show that Callis' campaign, "Citizens for Callis," had $877.50 available when the reporting period began in April and $2,889.54 when it ended on June 30. The only contribution reported by the committee during the most recent reporting period came from Callis, who personally donated $10,000.

The chief judge's retention campaign committee also reported spending $7,960 during the three month reporting period, the highest amount of expenditures listed out of the three Madison County judges who are seeking retention and had filed their reports by late this afternoon.

Out of that amount, Callis' committee reported spending nearly $700 on brochures and $250 on food for fundraising. The remaining $7,010 was listed as "media production" expenditures paid to St. Louis based Price-Miner Creative Strategies and Talent Plus, as well as a photographer in Missouri.

As of late this afternoon, the campaign committee of Cates, the Democratic candidate for the Fifth District Appellate Court, had not yet filed its quarterly report. An email sent this morning to one of Cates' campaign managers seeking information about the committee's quarterly report was not immediately returned.

In the quarterly report filed last week by the "Citizens for Judge McGlynn," McGlynn's committee reported starting the period with $7,116.37 and having $16,424.57 when the period ended. It reported receiving 15 individual contributions totaling $6,625 from April 1 through June 30.

Records show that McGlynn's committee received $1,400 from George W. Obernagel, III, a self-employed farmer in Waterloo, and $1,000 contributions from Michael & Michelle Luhr of Columbia, and Mark Scoggins of Crowder & Scoggins and his wife, Joy.

His committee also reported receiving $550 from Carbondale attorney Darrell Dunham, $500 from Edward Bott Jr., an attorney at the Greensfelder law firm in St. Louis, and his wife Lucia, and $250 from Don Tracy of Brown, Hay & Stephens in Springfield.

Other $250 contributions to McGlynn's campaign came from Floyd Crowder, an attorney at Crowder and Scoggins Ltd. in Columbia, and his wife, Judy, Paul and Andrea Crowder Khoury of Columbia and Thomas R. Welsch of Waterloo. Records also show that Kevin and Robin Williams of DeSoto donated $200.

In addition, McGlynn's quarterly report shows that his committee received $500 from Foresight Energy Services in St. Louis and $250 from CHEMPAC, the Des Plaines based political action committee of the Chemical Industry Council of Illinois.

Contributions aside, McGlynn's committee reported transferring $3,000 of its money to the campaign committees for local Republican politicians David Reis, Dwight Kay, Jim Watson and Mike Bost. It also reported spending $979.97 during the three month reporting period that ended late last month.

That amount includes a $250 contribution to the St. Clair County Republican Central Committee with the rest going toward food for fundraising, including a $251.92 payment to The Cheesekeeper in Belleville.

McGlynn's committee also reports having seven debts to McGlynn with a total balance of $17,782.48.

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Gori, Julian & Associates PC Greensfelder

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