Uncategorized

Opinion pieces decry scurrilous judicial ads

As we sift through the aftermath of this week’s primary elections, folks should check out two new “must reads” from the state’s editorial pages about the bottom-of-the-barrel, big-money attack ads that infected the race for a state Supreme Court seat.

In this essay published in this morning’s edition of Raleigh’s News & Observer, Melissa Price Kromm of North Carolina Voters for Clean Elections and Bert Brandenburg of the group Justice at Stake in Washington, D.C had this to say:

“After years of avoiding the explosion in judicial election spending nationwide, North Carolina is quickly earning an unwelcome reputation. In the 2011-2012 judicial election cycle, more than $3.5 million was spent for just one state Supreme Court seat; more than $2.8 million of that came from outside groups.

The soaring independent spending in North Carolina is in keeping with national trends since the U.S. Supreme Court’s Citizens United ruling that unleashed unlimited independent spending on elections

These trends pose a disturbing threat to our courts – that justice might be for sale. Polling shows that almost nine in 10 Americans believe campaign cash is affecting courtroom decisions. Voters aren’t alone in this view; chillingly, nearly half of state judges agree with the same statement.

In North Carolina, the problem is compounded because the state last year eliminated a clean-elections program that furnished public financing for judicial elections. It helped insulate judges from the influence of moneyed special interests, so that judges could talk to voters instead of raising money from parties that appear before them in court.

Meanwhile, this editorial in today’s Wilmington Star-News had this to say about the race this fall between Justice Robin Hudson and her challenger Eric Levinson:

“This should be a race between two qualified judges whose differences are likely in how they view and interpret the law. Instead, it looks likely to deteriorate into a battle between high-rolling interest groups that are more interested in accumulating power than in what’s best for North Carolina.

Hudson and Levinson should make it clear that they will denounce any outside groups and ads that attempt to pull this campaign into the political gutter. Candidates have no control over what these independent groups do or how much they spend, but they have the power to distance themselves from the stench that ‘independent’ attack ads leave on the elections process.”

Read more here: http://www.newsobserver.com/2014/05/08/3846478/an-alarming-campaign-to-create.html#storylink=cpy
Read more here: http://www.newsobserver.com/2014/05/08/3846478/an-alarming-campaign-to-create.html#storylink=cpy

Check Also

One more time: What you need to know about the Senate healthcare debate today

As Sydney Idzikowski reported earlier this morning, the ...

Top Stories from NCPW

  • News
  • Commentary

North Carolina Attorney General Josh Stein’s most important job is to keep people safe. For the Depa [...]

When Gov. Roy Cooper visits Wilmington on Monday, it's unlikely that he will be greeted by the [...]

When Gov. Roy Cooper signed the Strengthen Opioid Misuse Prevention or STOP Act into law last month, [...]

Support for needy districts and key positions within North Carolina’s top public school agency may b [...]

The post GenX & ’emerging contaminants’ appeared first on NC Policy Watch. [...]

73---number of days since the Senate passed its version of the state budget that spent $22.9 billion [...]

When you lower the bar enough for what’s possible, you create a new normal in which an inch forward [...]

It’s not an original thought to point out that the Trump Administration is a larger version of what [...]

Featured | Special Projects

NC Budget 2017
The maze of the NC Budget is complex. Follow the stories to follow the money.
Read more


NC Redistricting 2017
New map, new districts, new lawmakers. Here’s what you need to know about gerrymandering in NC.
Read more