Shadow men gunning for Robin Hudson in the Primary

Over $100,000 in television ads contracted by the same group who gave us the bible-thumping ideologue Paul Newby:

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.”

After the fiasco of 2012, this comes as no surprise to those of us who watched that catastrophe unfold. But this is happening right now, and we need to do everything we can to counter this propaganda.


...election was arguably decided...

arguably? Who would argue that?

"I will have a priority on building relationships with the minority caucus. I want to put substance behind those campaign speeches." -- Thom Tillis, Nov. 5, 2014

I asked Robin what we could do for her

last night at the candidate's forum in Jamestown (her two challengers were asked to participate but didn't) She said "please tell all the friends in your address book"

How do we know ....

... that the money from this group is from out of state, considering the ties of one of the candidates to a certain employee of state government?

Working on that angle right now

This particular money will be hard to track because it hasn't been spent yet and reporting requirements won't produce any data for a couple of weeks at best, if not longer. Plus, the money changes hands (gets washed) 3-4 times in the process, too. Pain in the ass, to say the least. But I would not be surprised to find a potfull of Pope money at the end of this right-wing rainbow.

We will have polls covered

for some hours of early voting...though I think getting on the phone is the better idea. Folks just are not typically geared up for GOTV in this county until the general election unless they are working on a campaign.

Vote Democratic! The ass you save may be your own.

Just as I thought

1st Quarter 2014 campaign finance data for Justice For All NC has not been posted yet, so finding out who's really paying for these ads before the Primary is over will be difficult if not impossible. All I'm seeing is $30,000 from Reynolds American towards the end of 2013, which doesn't even cover what they owed from the last go-round.

God, I hate this shit. How could we have allowed our elections to become such an ambiguous joke?

No excuse

Frankly, I don't think there's any excuse for a legal requirement that entities funding campaign ads have to have a current list of donors, updated at least daily, on a public website in addition to the quarterly reporting.

Sadly though

Not only is nothing being done about reporting, but part of the Voter Suppression act is that people no longer even need to stand by their ads. So they don't have to disclose their donors, and they don't have to disclose who paid for the ad.

"I will have a priority on building relationships with the minority caucus. I want to put substance behind those campaign speeches." -- Thom Tillis, Nov. 5, 2014

Doug Clark connects the dollars

And it looks like the Koch Brothers (big surprise) and big tobacco (Reynolds American) may be spinning this wheel:

The North Carolina Chamber's independent expenditure political action committee reports spending $450,000 on TV ads for Supreme Court candidates Jeanette Doran and Eric Levinson.

NC Chamber IE reports receiving $50,000 from Koch Industries Public Sector, LLC, a Washington, D.C., lobbying organization that spends tens of millions of dollars.

Other big contributors during the current election cycle are Reynolds American, $100,000; Blue Cross Blue Shield of North Carolina, $75,000; and Glen Raven Inc., $50,000. They're all based in North Carolina.

And another $106,390 for WRAL

Paid for by Justice For All NC, which may actually be separate from the Chamber spending mentioned in Doug's piece above. Still trying to sort that out, thanks to the bass-ackwards way the NC BOE requires reporting.

And $98,275 for WBTV (Charlotte)

Here's that contract. That's 3 tv stations and over $300,000, just to unseat Robin Hudson in the Primary. And now it's time for Steve to take a break so my eyeballs will have a chance to uncross.

It's not all that surprising

The GOP now realizes more than ever that they need to take over the court system, which is one of only a couple things standing in the way of them exercising true tyranny.

"I will have a priority on building relationships with the minority caucus. I want to put substance behind those campaign speeches." -- Thom Tillis, Nov. 5, 2014

$46, 130 for WXII (Winston-Salem)

Ad buy contract for NC Justice for All, uploaded today by the station.

Justice for All NC is one of Pope's groups according to the Institute for Southern Studies.

Different money, same goal

Doug Clark just reported Justice For ALL NC received a boatload of cash from the same group who showered them with money two years ago:

The ad running on WTVD, and other stations as tracked down by Steve Harrison at Blue NC, is the work of Justice for All NC, an independent organization that contributed heavily to another organization, NC Judicial Coalition, that ran corny-but-catchy ads on behalf of Justice Paul Newby's re-election in 2012.

Harrison has found documentation showing Justice for All NC has contracted to run TV ads on three stations at a total cost of more than $300,000 by May 6.

The organization does not have a current expense report on file with the N.C. Board of Elections, but it did file yesterday a 48-hour notice report showing that on April 23 it received $650,000 from the Republican State Leadership Committee in Washington.

Doug Clark deserves kudos for his stance on this, and not just because he gave me recognition in print. He caught some heat from a NC Chamber bully who dropped the word "libel" into his response (have I mentioned lately how much I hate people who do that?), but Doug didn't flinch away from calling these tactics like he sees them. We need more of that.

And they're off

It turns out to be (SURPRISE!) an untruthful, vile attack ad.

Robin Hudson, a state Supreme Court justice up for re-election this year, finds herself battling an attack at accusing her of being unduly sympathetic to child molesters.

The ad is aired by a political action committee known as Justice for All NC but is bankrolled by business interests, ranging form Koch industries to Reynolds American and the Blue Cross Blue Shield Association.

"I will have a priority on building relationships with the minority caucus. I want to put substance behind those campaign speeches." -- Thom Tillis, Nov. 5, 2014