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Outside groups that spent more than $2 million in last year’s heated N.C. Supreme Court justice race were highlighted this week in a report about the increasing role of Washington money in state judicial races.

As part of an article looking at how national political funders are getting involved in local judicial races, the Center for Public Integrity focused on $1.2 million from the Republican State Leadership Council. The money flowed through to an ad featuring a banjo-strumming narrator singing about how N.C. Supreme Court Justice Paul Newby is tough on crime, according to the report.

(Newby, of course, ended up defeating challenger Sam Ervin IV, a N.C. Court of appeal judge, in the November election.)

The Center for Public Integrity, a nonpartisan investigative news organization, found that “North Carolina’s Supreme Court election was arguably decided by groups like Justice for All — secretive nonprofits, unaffiliated with a candidate, whose money came from out of state,”

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Despite overwhelming support for the program from judges, voters and former governors, Republicans in the House have stepped in line with the Governor and their colleagues in the Senate and proposed in their budget, released today (at page 12), to eliminate public funding for judicial campaigns. 

Someone is really holding their feet to the fire on this one.

McCrory11092012No one has presented any evidence thus far of any wrongdoing by Governor Pat McCrory or his campaign in the growing scandal surrounding campaign checks from the video “sweepstakes” (aka video poker) industry, but at some point, the Governor would do well to address the issue and answer some questions.

This is because the hard and uncomfortable truth is that the checks appear to have been funneled through the law firm at which the Governor (a non-lawyer) worked for many years on matters that have never been explained and on behalf of clients that have never been identified.  Read More

A N.C. Supreme Court justice seeking re-election hasn’t yet provided the occupations and employers for most of his donors, disclosures required for most contributions under North Carolina campaign finance

Justice Newby

rules.

A review of campaign finance reports for statewide judicial races shows that N.C. Supreme Court Justice Paul Newby neglected to include the information for most of the 742 contributions he took in at the end of 2011.

Campaign finance rules in North Carolina require the disclosure of donors’ professions and employers for contributions of more than $50 as a way to let voters see if a particular industry or special interest supports one candidate over another.

Newby’s missing occupational information sets him apart from his opponent Sam Ervin IV, an appeals court judge, as well at six candidates vying for three bench seats on the N.C. Court of Appeals, the lower of the two appellate courts.

All the other judicial candidates provided that information for more than 90 percent of their donors.

In Newby’s case, the occupational and employer information was included for less than 15 percent of the 742 contributions listed in a March 7 judicialdisclosure form with the N.C State  Board of Elections.

Newby also included information for less than 15 percent of the 335 contributions he took in that were over $50.

(Click here to see Newby’s contributors).

 

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