Illinois’ primary election today includes high-profile judicial races. Bill McClellan of the St. Louis Post Dispatch examines the Southern Illinois appellate court campaign of Judy Cates, the former head of the Illinois Trial Lawyers Association, who has spent some $650,000 of her and her firm’s money on the campaign. McClellan:
She represented 48 million of us back in 1999 in a class-action lawsuit against Publishers Clearing House. Her clients included anybody who had received a solicitation from Publishers Clearing House from 1992 to 1997. Rich, poor, black, white. She didn’t care. She took us all. Cates and her brother, Steven Katz, claimed that Publishers Clearing House had been unethical or mean or something like that, and so they negotiated a deal on our behalf.
Originally, the settlement was capped at $10 million. About $1.5 million would be spent on notifying the 48 million claim holders. Another $3 million would go to Cates and her brother. That left $5.5 million for us. It came out to about 12 cents for each of us.
Her opponent is the incumbent, Judge James Wexstten, appointed to a vacancy, who has been endorsed by southern Illinois doctors. Wexstten’s website is here, and Cates’ is here. It’s a Democratic primary, but no Republican will be on the ballot in the fall, so this is it.
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