Spending on judicial elections has reached an all time high, according to new analysis from Justice at Stake and the Brennan Center for Justice. Television ad spending in state Supreme Court elections rose to $13.8 million this year, surpassing the 2010 mark of $12.2 million.
The Center for Public Integrity published a new report yesterday on how a top law firm for the coal industry has pulled out all the stops to prevent miners suffering from black lung from receiving health benefits.
A new study of several thousand court decisions conducted by the American Constitution Society has concluded that larger business donations to judicial candidates are correlated to more pro-business rulings by those judges. These findings held both in states that have partisan judicial races and those that do not. Given the recent increases in expenditures on judicial races, the implications of influence on judges is one ripe for study.
The West Virginia Senate passed legislation on Saturday to make permanent the state’s public financing program for seats on the state’s highest court. The bill passed the House last month.
The West Virginia House of Delegates passed legislation Wednesday to make permanent the state’s judicial public financing system for elections to the state's highest court, the Supreme Court of Appeals. HB 2085 passed the House on a vote of 70 to 29.
Sorry, voters, can't talk--we've got fundraising to do. NYT: "Instead, betting that they can raise and spend far more on their own, Mr. Obama and Mr. Romney are committing to ambitious fund-raising schedules that are eating into valuable campaign time, tangling their travel schedules and complicating their efforts to woo voters."
Last Friday, the West Virginia State Supreme Court unanimously rejected a judicial candidate's appeal for the release of trigger funds. The state's pilot progam in judicial public financing provides and initial grant allows for additional public funds to be disbursed to a participating candidate if they face a privately financed candidate who spends at a certain level.
Campaign Finance/Fair Elections
The Nation: Change we can believe in, 2.0
Katrina vanden Heuvel on the president's talk of an amendment last week and its inclusion in the Democratic platform. National Journal.
Check out this story that Dan Eggen at the Washington Post did on groups continuing to push the “corporate influence” frame. Public Campaign Action Fund’s David Donnelly: "I think we're seeing a shift in voice and strategy," Donnelly said.
Tweet of the day from Stephen Colbert: “@StephenAtHome: The Koch brothers don't want to be dragged into the light of day. That's why they work so hard to blot out the sun.” https://twitter.com/#!/stephenathome/status/42444506448138241