Smart. Sharp. Funny. Fearless.
Tuesday, September 27, 2016

What, you thought shady campaign cash could only buy you a congressman? In North Carolina — a key swing state where the Democrats will host their convention this year — a local news report indicates that Republican millionaires are getting ready to plow outside money into local judicial elections.

In many states, judges are elected — a controversial practice that has been exacerbated by Citizens United and other U.S. Supreme Court decisions that totally eliminated any restrictions on campaign funding. The News & Observer explains:

Key conservatives have former the N.C. Judicial Coalition, a tax-exempt group that can take advantage of the recent ability to raise and spend unlimited money to support or oppose candidates. …

What’s new this time around is that while FairJudges.net could raise an unlimited amount of money from people, corporations and unions – in excess of the $4,000 that can be contributed each election cycle – it could not tell people to vote for specific candidates. Now entities like that can expressly advocate for candidates because of a Federal Elections Commission ruling in 2010 in the wake of two federal court cases.

The judge up for election, Paul Newby, is a conservative  (he attended a rally supporting a ban on same-sex marriage shortly after getting elected in 2004) on a State Supreme Court  that is divided 4-3. In other words, all sorts of regulations — of hometown business that include major banks (Bank of America) and tobacco companies could be gutted or upheld based on the success of the campaign. The News and Observer reports that the board of directors include “Republican heavy-hitters” like businessman and charter school entrepreneur Bob Luddy, former chairman of the state Republican Party Tom Fetzer, and former chief justice of the state Supreme Court I. Beverly Lake.

North Carolina right-wingers are not strangers to using outside money to shift key local races. It’s a technique previously mastered by Art Pope, the conservative, Koch-connected Tea Party mega-millionaire power broker.

 

  • Ibsyboy

    I am coming to the conclusion, we can get big money out of politics if the Democratic Party would agree to resolve to stop putting candidates up for election opposing the GOP/Teahadist Party. It may be time to eliminate the Right’s frustration with not being able to demonstrate how brilliant they are, and allow them free reign in the operation of every level of Government. I am aware of the number of American’s who will suffer under the heel of a Fascist minded agenda, but we may have no choice but to let them have the whole thing, run it into the ground and then rebuild America in the tradition of the Enlightenment inspired Founding Fathers. It will be a huge sacrifice, but this incremental chipping away, this long term siege the Right has been on for the last 30 to 50 years has been like a Chinese water torture, leaving a ravaged Nation in it’s path. Why not tear down the whole thing and begin again. It may take less time than this torturous slow train to ruin we are on now. I can not take this insidious plan by enormously rich white men who have some strange notion they know what is best for them and the USA. Let them prove themselves. There can be that much money left that they don’t control.

    • If you want to throw yourself under the train, go ahead ! ! ! Leave my children and their future alone ! ! !

    • DurdyDawg

      If we give these jokers free reign, they’ll first run it into the ground then with their final breath will sell as much of America as they can then allow the new owners to take control (and we know who that will be).. My confusion is, half the nation is accusing those who don’t believe in their cause communists yet they welcome free trade from China with open arms and actually kept mum when they found out that we owe a great debt to them. The mind boggles.

  • This article is a bit late , the Supreme ( tongue in cheek) Court in their infinite wisdom approved these so called Super Pac’s . Why worry about a few dozen lowly judges at this point ? When Super Pac’s were approved or deemed legal , the last thread that tied the average american to this country was severed for good.

  • Ibsyboy would give away your heritage of Freedom to right wing corporate facists!!

    NOT ME!!! I will blog (as I already do) I will talk, I will enroll everyone whom I can that we are on the verge of a terrible fate for our country.
    I ask people this simple multiple choice question:
    1. Feel like you’ve lost enough value in your home…?
    2. Want to avoid a repeat/worsening of the economic issues….?
    3. Desire better education for your children and their descendants…?
    4. Think America should continue some leadership in “Social Responsibility”…?
    5. Believe Americans need College tuition assistance programs to compete in the world….?
    6. Should America have a Strong Middle Class with discretionary cash to drive demand side economics?
    Then you must VOTE to Dump the GOP in 2012!!Else you’ll get None of the Above.

    • This is not their fault
      “National Voter Turnout in Federal Elections 1960-2010”
      Nov6 2012, VOTE.

    • karinursula

      I really like what you wrote. I’m so scared what will happen if Romney wins,.
      And right now his chances look pretty good. He is just a puppet who has to
      pay back all this rich folks who gave to his campaign. Do you really think he
      is going to worry about us regular people?

      • Romney will worry about getting the rest of our money and freedom !

        • DurdyDawg

          He won’t worry, he’ll have it in the bag especially if the house and senate becomes a pub majority. He’s already indicated that our worst enemy is Russia and once he nukes Iran he’ll have both Russia AND China biting our collective asses while India becomes very cold toward us (perfect for his over-all warmongering masters).

      • DurdyDawg

        Mittens won’t have to pay penny one to these mega donators, what they paid for is ‘favors’ once he gets into office.. Expect these favors to benefit the 1%.. Do not think their doing all this investing for our sorry butts.

  • Somebody needs to take the Supreme Court and smack them in the back of the head for selling us out. They Might wake up. Look up Article 5 in the Constitution. The Citizens of this country CAN add amendments to the Constitution without Congress having a da##$ thing to do with it. It’s never been done. We need to take this country back It ours,NOT theirs.
    No donation of any kind to any person or fund of any person in, or running for any office in the Government of The United States from any union, corporation, or any kind of fund. The ONLY donation can be from a citizen of the United States. Ban “lobbying” . Valid proof that a person is a citizen to required to legally vote. Once it’s in the Constitution, it becomes Federal NOT State Jurisdiction. The games going on Florida would stop. It HAS to happen. Term limits for Congress. It took an Amendment to define the term limits for a President.
    It’s only a start, but we have to start somewhere.

    • DurdyDawg

      I agree with everything but donations from citizens.. Every year on our tax return, there is a box where you can donate $1.00 and your wife (or hubby) can add $1.00 to it.. THIS is what should be used for campaign funds to these candidates.. Any thing beyond that should come out of the candidates pocket (with a top ceiling that each could reach easily).. No fund raiser, no donations. After all, we have to foot the bill when looking for jobs, they should do the same for seeking office. Let them have limited free air time and access to the internet.. Make them get out and meet the people, see how they live.. Understand their plight. They don’t need to furnish bells and whistles to make them look like a running reality TV game. Assholes and elbows hasn’t hurt the common man and THAT’S who their catering to are they not? Eliminate political favoring for money as that’s the only way some of them can be elected (with slutty ads that defame their opponent whether true or not).. Make their past accomplishments work for them and leave the mud slinging in the tar pits.

    • You are absolutely correct — Article V is the only thing that can save us and that is exactly why it was put in the Constitution in the first place

  • It is a sad state of affairs when judges can be bought with campaign funds. Not surprized.

    • DurdyDawg

      And surprised you shouldn’t be as these high and mighty bums have been practicing this type of graft for decades, pac funds is merely a new opportunity for ‘um.. They owe their soul to the company ceo.. Nothing new here folks.

  • Super PACs are in the process of buying a new kind of government, of the PAC, by the PAC and for the PAC. So, what? My guess is that the answer to that is “Probably can’t get the voters off their couches to make a difference until it is too late.” And, that is sad. Unfortunately it shows that we haven’t done enough to involve voters. Maybe they will become involved when a revolution takes place; they already have guns, though, at that really worries me! Do we need a whole bunch of armed couch potatoes running around with guns? Oops! The NRA says anyone can so it must be OK. Lots of luck to all of you who allow this mess to continue. The idea of an amendment to the constitution that deals with the Super PAC issue would be a good start, but will it happen in the required length of time it takes and in the required number of states that have to pass it? Time will tell.
    Finally, notice that the idea of the Tea Party originally was to throw off the yoke of our Imperial rulers and to seize our independence from unfair taxation without representation. The current tea party has nothing to do with freeing us, but rather enslaving us to their enslaving “rightism” that will ruin us all, if allowed.
    Responses, anyone?

  • Landsende

    Another consequence of the Supreme Courts ruling on Citizens United. Democracy is for sale to the highest bidder which is millionaires and corporations. The rest of us are up a creek without a paddle and they won’t be satisfied until we don’t even have a paddle. If your okay with this then vote for the teapublicans. If not, vote for the democrats.

  • karinursula

    I’m with you Donald

  • Ibsyboy

    Bunny, it was a failed sarcatic piece aimed at my brothers and sister on the Right.

    • All I am saying is if you think this is a great idea, fine. But I do not agree ! ! !

  • The Radical Right will do anything to keep its pols in office, plus put more of their toadies in positions to do its bidding.

  • Eleanore Whitaker

    The “Haves” can’t have if the “have nots” don’t hand it to them on silver platters. Demand an end to their lavishments of subsidies we are paying for as taxpayers. Demand and end to all of their double and triple helpings of tax cuts, tax breaks, tax exemptions and force this oppression of the Middle Class to end.

    Nothing in the US Constitution states that taxpayers are responsible to keep the Corporate Welfare state and 1% in Big Moolah. The “HAVES” started that fat lie and figured no one on Main Street would question it. Had enough of Big Business bailouts? Demand an end to them. Had enough of tax subsidies to corporations who shipped America’s jobs overseas? Demand they be taxed for every job they shipped out of the country.

    If you starve the corporate and wealthy beast, they do have to learn what life on Main Street is really like. Don’t they?

    Think about this. In 1929, wealthy men flew out of skyscrapers rather than face the mobs they knew would rip them to shreds if they dared show face on public streets. Fast forward to 2008 and the September Financial Meltdown…the very people who would suffer as a result of rich hotchas assinine decisions bailed these greedheads out. Now, they are still feeding at Main Street’s trough. Refuse to deal with them. Go back home and take a look around at all of the small businesses in your towns who need your help. You help them and they help lower your municipal and state taxes. Don’t believe it? Call you tax assessor and ask how much Walmart pays to your towns in taxes and then ask how much your local small businesses kick in. You’ll be aghast at how you are being savaged not just by Walmart’s plantation mentality but also by how little they pay to your municipality and state in taxes. Don’t fool yourself into believing “all those jobs” Walmart brings into a community doesn’t even out when Walmart pays so little in taxes. This is done by every corporation in the country. Jobs that pay substandard salaries and then get huge tax breaks from the very taxpayers they refuse to pay living wages to. Works for them…just not you.

    • Dave_dido

      I agree with you Eleanore. The problem as I see it is that Americans in general have become very self-centered. This includes working class Americans who have lost the idea of sticking together for the common good. If Walmart offers an item for $.10 less than a local businessman, people buy from Walmart without a single thought about how Walmart creates a class of working poor who become dependent on government for healthcare and don’t have a dime leftover to spend at the end of the month. When I try to talk to people about Walmart, it seems they couldn’t care less. They can’t put 2 and 2 together and see how the local community loses. They only see the effects on their personal pocketbook and that’s all that matters.
      People who have health care don’t care about those who are lacking healthcare. Witness here in Ohio’s last election where public employees almost unanimously voted for collective bargaining rights on Issue 2 then immediately turned around and voted against expanded healthcare on Issue 3- because they have healthcare and don’t give a darn about those who don’t have it.
      I’m a self-employed businessman, but I grew up in a working class family that had next to nothing until the postal workers union flexed its muscles. I’m amazed how people from similar circumstances as mine are now anti-union. I just witnessed an election in Wisconsin where many working people voted for a governor who is openly hostile to unions. So as I watch the gap between rich and poor continuing to grow, and I see working people voting for the friends of the 1%ers I can only say: we get what we deserve.

  • I am so fed up with the horrible scandals and hints of scandals throughout Government. I feel disenfranchised by all forms of Government. Politicians/appointees (including judges) are bought and paid for by the folks with money. Money in politics is the root of the problem in Government right now, no matter which party you favor. There is plenty of scandal to go around; however, in this cycle it appears, with the help of the US Supreme Court, money trumps (no pun intended Donald). Once again, money has taken over the country (they did so in the past as well) and the folks rose up and we had “some” tranquility for 30-40 years. It has begun again. Vote for goodness sake: vote. Turn big money away: make them know they spent and it did not do them any good. However, the work would not be finished at that point. You then have to hold elected officials’ feet to the fire and ensure they truly represent you, or recall them or vote them out in the next cyle. The majority of us are not right wing conservatives and are either Democrats, Independents, or Moderates from both parties. In this cycle any citizen with any sense of conscienceness will not vote social or idealogically but for those people who have either proven or promise to represent you. If you do that, it is likely we will get Government that will have no choice but to hear us. If we do that I believe we will re-elect the sitting President and put the fear of you all know what into Congress and all the States.

  • So, now the goverment is so crupet they just buy any judge they want? They already own most of the news, an get paid off by big bussniss! Someone please tell me if, they know of any part of this natoin’s government truthfull? I was always proud that I served this country, never ask for anything, worked all the time! Ifeel now as a scond class, or just used!!!!!!

  • Anne Bush

    The Supreme Court has made a tremendous blunder. The super packs should be illegal. How can this be changed?

  • Ibsyboy

    Bunny don’t think of it as a good idea, it’s just my analysis of what the Right along with The Teahadist Party and the Right Wing Billionaires have in mind for us. They are enormously wealthy and they have learned what their money has gotten them through the correct laws and see that it is possible to buy more favorable legislation. With the help of FOX, talk radio and other Right Wing media outlets they have tapped into the dark side of the American Psyche and have turned the tone of the country in to angry exchange of substantiated facts about the sitting President in particular and Liberals in general. The right has been trying to destroy the New Deal and all influence of Liberal thinking, They wish to erase that there ever was a legitimate opposing world view. I would be will to bet they would be happy to arrest people who disagree with their views. It happened in 1930s Europe, many South American Countries, and there is no reason it can not happen here. They have the money, a Media outlet, and a growing legion of disenchanted Americas.
    I was a trying to show the dangers of a Right Wing led USA and be satirical at the same time.

  • Ibsyboy

    Bunny: Errata I meant Unsubstantiated facts. I think it is line eleven.

  • THIS WHOLE PROCESS IS SO REPULSIVE AND DISGUSTING!!!! and one of the real sad things is they know we know whats going on and JUST DONT CARE!!!! we have been eliminated from the whole election process by THE HUGE LIMITLESS CONTRIBUTORS WHO BUY THESE ELECTIONS!!!! BRIBERY IN THE PRIVATE SECTOR AND JAIL TIME!!! the only way we are ever gonna get our country back is to get these contributors and huge contributions REMOVED FROM THE PROCESS !!!! the only way i think this has a chance of being taken seriously would be MILLIONS OF PROTESTORS WHICH UNFORTUNATELY WILL NEVER HAPPEN !!! as so many like to complain and bit#& but when it comes time for action just sit back and figure someone else will do it!!!! the closest thing we had was the occupy wallstreet BUT THEY WERE NOT ORGANIZED ENOUGH AND MOST OF ALL DIDNT HAVE A DEFINING POINT AS THEY JUST HAD A BIG LIST!!!! these contributors are ALSO THE REASON WHY ANYONE THAT IS REALLY FOR THE PEOPLE DOESNT HAVE A CHANCE OF GETTING ELECTED AS THEY GET BLOWN OUT OF THE WATER FINANCIALLY !!!!!private only donations to a set amount and if they are a real candidate for the people they will get the donations. we dont need hopefulls running around state to state shaking hands, kissing babies and making what we know to be false promises, WHAT WE NEED ARE ALOT MORE DEBATES !!!! THUS THE NEED FOR HUGE DOLLARS IN CAMPAIGN CONTRIBUTIONS WOULD NOT BE NEEDED!!! BUT MOST OF ALL this is where we see them squirm,not answer the question by running around it, and have something to go back to when they do the opposite!!!! I DONT GIVE A GOD DAM HOOT ABOUT MEETING ANY OF THEM IN PERSON !!! I JUST WANT REAL ANSWERS TO THE QUESTIONS !!!

  • Ibsyboy

    Wisconsin now has a bigger problem to contend with. A Right Wing Governor owned lock, stock and barrel by the Koch Brother’s who just saved his job, what do you think he owes them now? And a Senate Walker does not control. November will make the recall election look like chump change when people see how much money will come pouring in to regain the ownership of the state the Koch Brothers were promised by Walker and the GOP. The one hope we have is if we can bankrupt these Oligarchs by making them pay a lot more for the votes they are buying. I hear the number one billion dollars will be spent by the Right to overthrow the President and Government of the United State of America. This huge amount of money already being spent on local elections is obscene enough, we could send every qualified person in America to College, heal millions of sick people, feed the poor. Non of which will be taken care of by the Right if they are to gain power.