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Buying Time 2014 – Illinois

This page features Illinois Supreme Court television advertisements from the 2014 election cycle.

Published: October 20, 2014

Supreme Court Justice Lloyd Karmeier was up for retention in 2014. He was first elected to the Illinois Supreme Court in 2004 following a record-setting $9.3 million contested election against Judge Gordon Maag. The spending in this 2004 race prompted calls for Justice Karmeier to recuse himself from two high-profile cases involving litigants who allegedly spent significant sums in support of his election, State Farm Insurance and Philip Morris. Justice Karmeier declined to step aside in either case, and has argued that there is insufficient evidence that either company helped finance his election. After completing a ten-year term, Justice Karmeier stood for retention in 2014. He was narrowly retained with 60.77 percent of the vote. 

Estimated Total Spending: $1,820,630*

  • Estimated spending by Campaign for 2016: $1,089,370
  • Estimated spending by the Republican State Leadership Committee: $731,260

*These figures were last updated on November 16, 2014.

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October 28 – Worst

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This ad claims Justice Karmeier is “the special interest judge who failed too many crime victims.” 

Sponsor: Campaign for 2016

Estimated Spending: $500,400

October 26 – Violent Criminals 

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In this ad, Justice Karmeier is praised for offering no leniency for violent criminals. 

Sponsor: Republican State Leadership Committee

Estimated Spending: $731,260

October 24 – Polluted

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This ads says, “we can’t afford Karmeier’s polluted justice.”

Sponsor: Campaign for 2016

Estimated Spending: $319,480

October 18 – Inside the Mind

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This ad alleges that Justice Karmeier allows corporations to buy justice. 

Sponsor: Campaign for 2016

Estimated Spending: $269,490


Ann Maher, 'Shadow’ Group Is Funding Karmeier Attack, Campaign Says, The Madison-St. Clair Record, October 20, 2014.


All data on ad airings and spending on ads are calculated and prepared by Kantar Media/CMAG, which captures satellite data in the nation’s largest media markets. CMAG’s estimates do not reflect ad agency commissions or the costs of producing advertisements, nor do they reflect the cost of ad buys on local cable channels. Cost estimates are revised by Kantar Media/CMAG when it receives updated data, resulting in some fluctuations in the reported ad spending.