A super PAC established to support an incumbent North Carolina Supreme Court justice may give that judge an advertising edge in the upcoming election, columnist Steve Ford writes in the News & Observer.
Incumbent Justice Paul Newby (photo, in robe) and challenger Sam Ervin IV (photo, in suit coat) are squaring off in a high-stakes election that could shift the philosophical balance of the court. Both are getting public funding under a law that sets a ceiling on the private campaign donations they can receive.
Only Justice Newby is supported by a super PAC, called the North Carolina Judicial Coalition (see Gavel Grab).
“Well, it’s an election. Voters and interest groups are free to support candidates for whatever reasons they want. But unless a pro-Ervin super PAC suddenly materializes, Newby will have a clear advertising edge,” Ford writes.
He also points to a recent news report that Civitas Action, a conservative nonprofit group, is financing a $72,000 statewide radio ad campaign in support of Justice Newby, and Civitas Action received a $75,000 from the Judicial Crisis Network, a Washington-based conservative lobbying group.
Assessing the judicial election landscape, Ford concludes: “Advantage, Newby – in a state that recognized the pitfalls in money-soaked judicial elections, but that struggles to hold the line against those who want to buy their own brand of justice.”
Tags: North Carolina