Williamson County Circuit Judge Brad Bleyer said he was not involved in the Fair Courts Now attack ads organized to oppose Republican candidates for the Fifth District Appellate Court.
“Judicial elections are very important. The selection of judges should be based only on the qualifications and experience of the candidates. I was not in any way involved in the advertising campaign of Fair Courts Now. I did not solicit or request any outside advertising. I have worked very hard to present my campaign to the voters of the Fifth District in a positive manner based only on my experience, qualifications, and reputation earned over 33 years in the legal community,” Bleyer stated in an email.
Bleyer’s opponent, Madison County Circuit Judge John Barberis, previously stated that does not blame Bleyer for the negative ads.
“I know Brad doesn’t have anything to do with this, so there’s no blame whatsoever. I don’t feel any animosity or any concern Brad orchestrated or had anything to do with this, because I know Brad is a good guy and wouldn’t have done that,” Barberis said at the Illinois Association of Defense Trial Council’s appellate judge candidate’s forum on Oct. 25.
Fair Courts Now is a Political Action Committee established in mid-October to oppose Republican candidates Justice James “Randy” Moore and Barberis. The group has so far raised $1,060,000 and spent $750,000 on the negative print and TV ads.
As a PAC, the Fair Courts Now group operates on its own, separate from the Democratic candidates’ campaigns.
Most of the money raised by Fair Courts Now has come from local asbestos firms.