A Million Dollar Judicial Election?
It’s been a busy few weeks for the N.C. Judicial Coalition, the super-PAC formed to support the re-election of Justice Paul Newby to the state Supreme Court.
In its latest IRS filing, the group reported having received only $35,100 in contributions through the end of September 2012, with $25,000 of that coming from conservative businessman Bob Luddy, president of Captive-Aire Systems in Raleigh.
But the cash poured in early October, as the group spent nearly $400,000 in television ad buys for commercials to run through late October, according to filings with the Federal Communications Commission.
Those buys include the following:
WTVD (Durham) — $163,495
WNCN (Raleigh) — $21,390
WRAZ (Raleigh) — $18,940
WFMY (Greensboro) — $45,150
WXII (Winston-Salem) — $21,275
WLOS (Asheville) — $36,875
WBTV (Charlotte) — $66,140
WCCB (Charlotte) — $15,705
Additional ad buys for stations like WRAL (Raleigh) and WCNC (Charlotte), as well as for stations on the coast, may have been made or are pending, as the FCC filings show folders open for NC Judicial Coalition and N.C. Supreme Court campaign buys, but those folders were empty at press time.
The group’s third quarter campaign finance report, which will show contributions and expenditures from July 1 through Oct. 20, is due for filing with the state board of elections by Oct. 29.
As a super-PAC, the Judicial Coalition can raise and spend an unlimited amount of money on behalf of Newby provided it does not coordinate its activity with his campaign committee.
And the dollars the super-PAC is paying to support his re-election are in addition to the amount Newby’s own campaign is spending.
Both Newby and his challenger Court of Appeals Judge Sam Ervin IV have raised approximately $80,000 each for their own campaigns and have accepted another $240,000 in public funds.
The ads are scheduled to run through October 28 at the latest (several end earlier), leaving plenty of time for a final week media blitz and raising the specter of a potential million-dollar judicial election.