With the widely criticized 2004 Illinois Supreme Court campaign and its aggressively negative thirty-second television commercials fresh in voters’ minds, Appellate Court Judge candidate Bruce Stewart (D-Harrisuburg) is turning to the Internet as part of a strategy to give voters the kind of information they can’t get from campaign commercials and quick sound bites.

“Voters were very turned off by the relentless negative television commercials in that campaign. I truly believe the Supreme Court campaign between Judge Gordon Maag and Judge Lloyd Karmeier seriously damaged the public image and credibility of our legal system and I am determined to run a more dignified campaign that helps restore public faith and confidence in our courts,” Stewart said.

Stewart’s campaign web site, www.stewartforappelatejudge.com, includes extensive information on his background and on the qualifications needed in an appellate court judge. “The most important measure for voters in a judicial election is to compare the credentials and qualifications of the candidates. A web site is one of the best tools our campaign has to give voters the kind of meaningful information they need to compare the candidates and make an informed decision.”

He added, “It also gives voters a way to ask me questions and share their concerns during the course of the campaign. I try to reply promptly and personally to every e-mail I get.”

Stewart said his web site has drawn the attention of friends around the District he hasn’t seen for many years. “It’s really been interesting that launching a web site has helped me reconnect with friends and colleagues I haven’t seen for many years, some since high school or college.”

Stewart believes the Internet is coming into its own as a force in campaigns. “I read all the time about how more people are turning to the Internet for news and information. National candidates really started finding ways to integrate the web into their campaigns in 2004 and I believe this year we will see candidates all the way down to the smallest races using the Internet as a key tool in their campaigns.”

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