Exit polls apparently won’t be able to tell us if the banjo-strumming “Newby – Tough but Fair” ad attracted or alienated voters in the contest between Justice Paul Newby and Court of Appeals Judge Same Ervin IV, but if election results are the test, the ad worked.
Just ask Louisiana-based Innovative Advertising, the self-proclaimed preeminent Gulf South advertising firm which produced the ad and did the media buys for the NC Judicial Coalition and is now touting the ad  on its website as “a jingle so funny and catchy that it has become a popular new ringtone in North Carolina.”
The company has plenty of reasons for its swagger, given its payday from the ad.
The Judicial Coalition, formed to support Newby’s re-election, kept pumping money into ad buys until the very end of the campaign, thanks to noteworthy last-minute contributions from the likes of SAS chairman Jim Goodnight, $25,000, and U.S. Sen. Richard Burr’s PAC, Next Century Fund, $10,000. The state Republican Party also threw in $50,000 in the final days and the NC Chamber, another $25,000 to lift its total to $188,700.
And the pass-through PAC, Justice for All NC, continued funneling hundreds of thousands of dollars into the Judicial Coalition’s coffers – up to $1.5 million at last count — thanks to ongoing contributions it received from the Republican State Leadership Committee, which totaled $1,165,000. Also making late contributions to Justice for All: Lorillard Tobacco $25,000; hotel management company, Summit Hospitality Group, $5000; Clinton, NC-based poultry and turkey producer Prestage Farms, $5000; and the trade group NC Health Care Facilities Association, $4000.
Technology, hospitality, tobacco, health care, insurance, education — is there any industry that did not put some dollars toward the re-election of Justice Newby?