Last minute campaign attacks against Madison County Circuit Judges Bill Mudge and Andy Matoesian appear to have originated with Washington, D.C.-based Our Generation, a non-profit, non-partisan group promoting "long-term, free market solutions to today's public policy concerns."
Mudge and Matoesian are running for retention and need at least 60 percent voter approval to stay on the bench.
Mudge has raised approximately $40,000 in his bid for a second six-year term. Matoesian, who is the longest serving judge in the state, has not created a campaign committee this election cycle.
On Monday, households in Madison County received a flyer with the message: "Thanks to our judges, Madison County is considered a 'Judicial Hellhole.'
"That means more lawsuits costing us jobs will continue to embarrass Madison County taxpayers. Judge Andy Matoesian and Bill Mudge are a big part of the problem. They are two peas in a pod.
On Nov. 2, a Facebook page: "Democrats voting 'No' for Judge Matoesian" was created and linked to a story about the Mudge and Matoesian retention races published by the Record on Oct. 11.
The Facebook page does not identify who created the page. The only entry on the page states: "Matoesian, 79, is in his 51st year on the bench and is the longest serving judge in the state of Illinois. We have Democrat lawyers like Tom Gibbons who could replace him and we should vote "NO" on Judge Matoesian to make that happen."
A phone call placed to Our Generation in Washington went to voicemail with a message indicating the mailbox was full.
Local political observers on both sides of the spectrum who closely follow campaigns and elections said Tuesday they did not know of any local connection to the group Our Generation.