A loophole in Illinois campaign finance law allowed lawyers to funnel money to nonprofit groups that then funded Gordon Maag's Supreme Court election campaign, while hiding the source of their funding. The Edwardsville-based "Justice For All Foundation" identified the sources of $561,000 it spent last year on the election: the bulk came from Randall Bono ($290,000) (Sep. 20, 2004); Stephen Tillery ($30,000) (OL Apr. 5, 2004); and the SimmonsCooper law firm ($215,000) (e.g., OL Jan. 5, 2004).
The Illinois Coalition For Jobs, Growth and Prosperity is facing a similar challenge for disclosure of its funding of Karmeier's campaign, but, unlike the Justice For All front group, the Coalition makes clear that it's a consortium of business groups. (Kevin McDermott, "Settlement reveals lawyers made big campaign donations", St. Louis Post-Dispatch, Dec. 3).