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Braiman, Shanes Take Different Campaign Finance Approaches

Incumbent Judge Daniel Shanes has reported thousands of dollars in outside donations, while challenger Jeff Braiman says he's funding his own campaign.

The candidates for Lake County’s 19th Judicial Court have taken different approaches in funding their campaigns, with one drawing donations from a range of supporters and the other funding his campaign out of his own pocket.

Buffalo Grove Village President Jeff Braiman explained Monday on Patch that he has refused all outside campaign contributions. He is running against Judge Daniel Shanes in the Nov. 6 election.

In an email to Patch, Braiman further explained that he has never accepted contributions for his campaigns. While judges, like other candidates, are allowed to fundraise, Braiman said he doesn’t think judicial candidates should do so.

“I am not suggesting that judges alter their decisions based upon what may be a minimal monetary amount, but I believe litigates may feel that the decision was based upon the contribution, which alters the perception of the case and the profession in general,” he wrote. “I don't want to be beholden to any person or group and don't want others to even think I am.”

Candidates who raise or contribute at least $3,000 for a campaign are required to establish a campaign committee and report their income and expenses to the State Board of Elections. As of Thursday, the State Board of Election’s website showed no reports from Braiman. In an email on Thursday, Braiman told Patch that he had just received invoices that will require him to report his expenses.

Meanwhile, Shanes is bringing in significant outside donations, according to reports with the State Board of elections.

Shanes received $2,195 in contributions between July 1 and Sept. 30 through his “Citizens for Judge Shanes” committee.

He began the quarter with $92,883.59 and spent $18,120.82, leaving him with $76,957.77. He reported $60,000 in debts and obligations, according to the State Board of Elections.

He also reported receiving $25,500 in October from a series of donors all employed by Cancer Treatment Centers of America.

Additional contributions of $1,000 or more in October included $1,000 from the Lake County Republican Central Committee, $3,000 from a retired teacher and $4,400 from Citizens from Judge Schippers. Tom Schippers is running for judge in a nearby Lake County subcircuit.

In his Local Voices post on Patch, Braiman indicated that he’s unfazed by the numbers.

“This may mean that my campaign is underfunded, and as we all know in politics, it may mean that I lose this election. That being said, I am confident that I made the right decision,” he wrote.

If Braiman wins the election, he'll be required to step down at Buffalo Grove's village president. If he loses, he'll remain at the village's helm until his term expires in 2015.

Do candidates' funding sources factor into your decisions at the polls? Tell us in the comment section below.

mike feldman November 02, 2012 at 12:27 PM
of course they. how could they not? individuals or companies that make substantial donations are looking for a favor somewhere down the line. just my opinion
Barbara Cohen November 02, 2012 at 01:20 PM
I know Jeffrey Braiman to be a fine honest human being and a dedicated mayor to the village of Buffalo Grove.He has worked hard for Buffalo Grove as a trustee for many years and I think he will be a great asset to the judicial system. Barbara Cohen Buffalo Grove Il
Randie Bruno November 02, 2012 at 02:39 PM
This article ignores several basic facts. Ist and foremost judge Shanes received the highest recommendation from that lake county bar association in that he was highly recommended Mr braiman was only recommended Secondly anyone who knows or has practiced in front of judge Shanes knows him to be a man of integrity He has been supported by a wide range of oeople both in and out of the legal field and he is not beholden to any of them He has been an outstanding judge for 5 years and was personally chosen by the ill Supreme Court to be a circuit judge Third the state board of ejections requires candidates to form a committee and report any expenditures even to themselves Mr braiman has sent out 4 costly mailings this week alone and yet has not formed a committee He is in violation of the ejection laws right now That is not a man of integrity Finally the tribune has endorsed judge Shanes because he is the best man for the job He deserves to remain a judge and he deserves your vote Me braiman is not telling people the whole story Judge Shanes is the right choice
kg November 02, 2012 at 03:07 PM
I wish ALL candidates would have to fund their own election! They do not SHARE the money they make after they leave office and do public speaking...or their compensation for beind on some big companies Board of Directors! HOORAY for Brainman...EVERY politician should follow his lead - we the public should DEMAND it!
DG November 02, 2012 at 04:27 PM
By KG's logic, only the rich should lead. That makes no sense. We, as citizens, should be allowed to financially support candidates worthy of the office. As an aside, from looking at his filings, Shanes and his family have been putting their own money up for it. At least he's playing it straight and following the rules. I would think that should count for something when the position is for a JUDGE!
Sandy Klein November 02, 2012 at 05:45 PM
Shanes has an exceptional reputation and gets high marks from attorneys. Braiman can't control village board meetings he presides over, so I don't think he would be a commanding figure in a courtroom. I've already voted and I voted for Shanes.
SK ... Yep ... 'she whom is the scourge of VBG' just can't follow proper protocol. Unfortunately, unlike in a court room, the mayor can't just rule contempt and have the 'culprit' taken to the 'hoosegow'. However, I'm sure if that was caught on video it would get gazillions of hits on YouTube!
Loralie Sweeney November 02, 2012 at 07:17 PM
I received a mailer from Mayor Braiman the other day in which he promoted himself and sitting Judge Nancy Waites for the two open judge seats. I can't understand why, if Mr. Braiman is so convinced that judges should not raise money for their elections, that he chose to campaign with a judge who has no problem taking contributions for her campaign. In fact, Braiman's mailer is extremely misleading, as it says "Elect a Judge You Know", which to me implies that Braiman (and Waites) are both judges. Waites is a judge. Not only is Braiman not a judge, he has no judicial experience at all, and pales in comparison to Judge Daniel B. Shanes, who received the highest possible ratings from both the Lake County and Illinois State Bar Associations, and was also endorsed by the Chicago Tribune. Judge Shanes is dedicated and extremely passionate about his position in the courts. Judge Shanes is who we want in the courtroom, not another politician.
bg49 November 02, 2012 at 08:38 PM
Braiman is a joke and a laughing stock of all of BG. His meetings are run horribly and he is rude to his own constituents.
sankar November 02, 2012 at 09:47 PM
I will be voting for Mr.Braiman and this article convinced me on that.
Dan Donahue November 02, 2012 at 10:52 PM
Masterful. Buffalo Grove Mayor Jeff Braiman has spun a story about his unreported campaign contributions into an examination of Judge Dan Shanes reported campaign contributions. With respect to the Patch article cite - “just received invoices” - the United States Post Office is a cash on delivery operation. The postage bill for one medium sized political mailing into the judicial subcircuit is about $3,000. I counted four Braiman mailings. Postage always trips up campaigns trying to get cute and postal inspectors are meticulous. I’m comforted Mayor Braiman will pay his campaign finance disclosure violation fines with his own money unbeholden to any person or group - his integrity and fine reputation will remain intact.

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