Secretly Funded Groups Outspent State Supreme Court Campaigns
December 19, 2016
Independent groups, most of which are funded by undisclosed, secret donors, outspent state supreme court campaigns in 2016, according to a report by the Brennan Center for Justice. “Ten states saw television spending in excess of $1 million,” the report states. And of the 20 groups that bought those ads, “only three were fully transparent.” The Republican State Leadership Committee was the largest spender, spreading $4 million throughout eight states. The group’s chief donors include tobacco companies, insurers, fossil fuel companies and secret-money groups. The most expensive judicial race in history took place in Pennsylvania, where total spending reached nearly $16 million. Democratic judges there took in millions from labor unions, trial lawyers and other donors. Stricter ethics rules would go a long way to ensuring that judges do not hear cases involving campaign donors, this American Progress post suggests.
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