Friday, November 4, 2016

New Analysis: Outside Spending Surges in Important State Judicial Races as Election Day Nears
"Special interest groups, many of which do not disclose their donors, have invested heavily in state supreme court races this election cycle, including pumping more than $1.2 million in outside spending into six states over the past two weeks, according to an analysis by the Brennan Center for Justice.

A corporate-funded group dedicated to electing Republicans in down-ballot races, along with PACs funded by energy companies, business interests, and trial lawyers, are among the major spenders. Many of these interests are frequent litigants in state courts, raising the specter of judges hearing cases involving major campaign supporters — and concerns that campaign cash could affect decisions in the courtroom. Other interests — and potential conflicts — remain obscured, as weak disclosure laws, coupled with the impact of Citizens United and related campaign finance rulings, make it easy for groups to spend in secret. Ads that have aired to date suggest that most of these outside groups will focus on criminal justice issues, including attacking judges’ decisions as 'soft on crime.'"

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