Nearly $1 million has been raised by a group running attack ads against Republican candidates for the Fifth District Appellate Court this week, and among the contributors are court reporters and Texas attorneys who specialize in asbestos litigation. 

Pohlman Reporting of St. Louis contributed $25,000 and Sarah Paskiewicz of Paszkiewicz Court Reporting in Maryville contributed $10,000 on Tuesday to Fair Courts Now, a committee formed two weeks ago to oppose Justice James "Randy" Moore and Circuit Judge John Barberis.

Their contributions pale in comparison to others received by the committee this week: $235,000 from asbestos firm Gori Julian of Edwardsville; $50,000 from personal injury firm Keefe, Keefe and Unsell of Belleville; $10,000 from asbestos firm Bullock Campbell Bullock Harris of Houston; attorney Charles Valles, Jr. of Flower Mound, Texas and $5,000 from asbestos attorney Clay Fostel of Lanier Law in Houston.

Previous contributions totaling $585,000, primarily from other Madison County asbestos attorneys, added to this week's total of $345,000, puts the anti-Moore and anti-Barberis committee at $930,000.

Democrat candidates Jo Beth Weber, a circuit judge from Jefferson County, and Brad Bleyer, a circuit judge from Williamson County, already had raised more money than their opponents Moore and Barberis through their individual campaign committees.

As of last week, Weber had raised approximately $223,000 and Bleyer had raised approximately $101,000.

By comparison, Moore and Barberis raised a combined $64,000 as of last week.

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