Archive for the tag 'fundraising'

Jun 08 2012

Lawyers' Contributions to Judicial Campaigns All Too Common

Published by under Judicial Elections

A San Antonio Express-News article explains just how frequently lawyers contribute to judicial election campaigns.  Picture this: a group of probate attorneys gathering together in order to discuss the re-election of a probate judge while drinking scotch and beer.  The probate judge, Tom Rickhoff, stops by with a list of attorneys who could potentially contribute money to his re-election […]

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Feb 16 2011

Where Did that Campaign Money Go?

We didn’t need any more evidence that the role of money in judicial elections is a big problem.  Surveys consistently show that at least 75% of people believe that campaign contributions affect judicial decision-making in the courtroom.  Those numbers are likely to rise because, as the Philadelphia Inquirer reports, yesterday’s cross examination of former Luzerne […]

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Jan 14 2011

A Different Kind of Money Problem in Tennessee

Something interesting is happening in Tennessee – where the Merit Selection system for choosing judges is again under fire.  The Times Free Press reports (hat tip to American Courthouse) that two sitting Supreme Court justices contributed to the Senate campaign of the opponent of a state representative who was vocal about wanting to change the […]

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Jan 11 2011

The Price of Admission

A short piece in the Philadelphia Inquirer asks what the “price of admission” will be for this year’s local judicial elections.  The cost in question is the contribution required to secure the endorsement of the Democratic City Committee.  This single question sums up the major problems with judicial elections: they emphasize fundraising and political prowess […]

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Sep 07 2010

A Twist on the Money Problem

We often write about the Money Problem — the problem caused by a judicial election system that essentially requires candidates to raise campaign funds from parties, lawyers and law firms that are likely to appear before the winning judges in the future.  Here’s an interesting twist on the problem brought to us from Alabama.  According […]

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Dec 22 2009

New Records May Be Set by 2009 PA Supreme Court Election

Pennsylvanians for Modern Courts today announced that the 2009 Supreme Court election between Republican Joan Orie Melvin (the winning candidate) and Democrat Jack Panella is likely to set new fundraising and spending records.  The final numbers are not yet in, as candidates can continue to raise funds until the end of the year.  But we […]

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Dec 02 2009

The Trouble with Money

Sometimes, even good intentions and good ideas don’t actually add up to be all that good.  Take the pledge made by the campaign of Arkansas Appeals Court Judge Karen Baker who is now running for a seat on her state’s Supreme Court.  The ArkansasTimes reports on its blog that Judge Baker “won’t accept campaign contributions […]

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Nov 03 2009

Supreme Court Election Sets New Fundraising Records

Published by under Judges,News

Pennsylvanians for Modern Courts broke the news earlier today that the current Supreme Court race has set a new fundraising record. Judge Jack Panella has raised at least $2,350,633 to date. This edges out the previous record set in 2007 by now Justice Seamus McCaffery. See the Press Release here. You can find the candidates’ finance […]

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Nov 02 2009

Money, Money, Money, Money

This is the opening for Sunday’s op-ed in the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette by Lynn Marks and Shira Goodman of PMC: The O’Jays famously sang, “Money, money, money, money. Some people got to have it. Hey, hey, hey. Some people really need it.” This is certainly true of statewide judicial candidates in Pennsylvania. Marks and Goodman explain […]

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Oct 27 2009

Let’s Talk About Money

All of a sudden, other people seem to be doing our work for us, that is alerting the public to the evils of money in judicial elections.  Supreme Court candidates are challenging each other about campaign contributions, and the media is all over the story.  (Check out this story on NPR’s WHYY and articles in the Pittsburgh […]

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