The Illinois Civil Justice League’s recent report detailing
campaign contributions to Illinois politicians and judges shows the magnitude
of the trial bar’s influence in state government and the courts.
The study doesn’t, however, include trial bar contributions
to candidates for federal office, which also is significant, especially in the
12th Congressional District.
The current contest pits Democrat challenger C.J. Baricevic against
freshman incumbent Mike Bost, a Republican from Carbondale.
Lawyers provided at least 36 percent of the campaign cash
for Baricevic through June 30, according to his current report at the Federal
Individuals who identified themselves as lawyers or
attorneys contributed $273,980 to a campaign that took in a total of $748,791.
Adding contributions of their spouses would push the total
Lawyers at the Alton asbestos firm of John Simmons
Those at the St. Louis asbestos firm of Maune Raichle
Those at the Edwardsville asbestos firm of Gori Julian
Those at Becker Hoerner in Belleville contributed $16,270.
Those at Bruce Cook’s firm in Belleville contributed
Those at Clyde Kuehn’s firm in Belleville contributed
David Cates, of Cates and Mahoney in Swansea, contributed
$5,400, and Lauren Cates of the same firm contributed $2,700.
Their mother Judy Cates, a justice at the Fifth District
appellate court, contributed $5,400, and their father Darrell Cates contributed
Jerald Bonifield, Timothy Cronin, Christopher Cueto, John
Driscoll, Rhonda Fiss, State Rep. Jay Hoffman, John Kurowski, Russell Scott,
and John Kurowski each contributed $5,400.
Michael Nester contributed $3,000, and Brendan Nester
Chicago lawyers contributed $19,150, including $2,700 from
class action leader Robert Clifford and $2,700 from Keith Hebeisen of his firm.
Baricevic’s law partner, Grey Chatham, contributed $2,063.
Baricevic contributed $5,000 to himself, marking it as
His father, St. Clair County chief judge John Baricevic,
contributed $5,400, as did his mother Marti Baricevic.
Tom Keefe’s firm contributed more than any other, but not
through lawyers alone.
Keefe contributed $5,400, son Thomas Keefe III contributed
$2,700, Samantha Unsell contributed $5,400, and six office workers each
The Foundation for Accountability and Civil Trust, in
Washington, D.C., suspects that Keefe passed contributions through the six in
violation of campaign law.
The group has asked the Federal Election Commission to investigate.