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North Carolina, Meet Citizens United

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dtotire Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Jun-07-12 09:07 AM
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North Carolina, Meet Citizens United
North Carolina, Meet Citizens United
Published: June 5, 2012

The North Carolina Judicial Coalition is a new tax-exempt organization, known as a super PAC, supported by wealthy conservative Republicans who are determined to make this years race for a seat on the North Carolina Supreme Court ideological and expensive.

This kind of influence in judicial elections is a direct result of the Citizens United decision, which allows corporations and unions to make unlimited so-called independent expenditures in campaigns. In a dissent in that case, Justice John Paul Stevens predicted that such spending would overwhelm state court races, which would be especially harmful since judges must not only be independent but be seen to be independent as well. North Carolina is proving him right.

A Federal District Court in North Carolina last month, citing a 2011 Supreme Court ruling that rests on Citizens United, struck down a state law that provided additional matching funds to judicial candidates who accepted public campaign money if they faced greater spending from privately financed opponents, including independent expenditures.

By the Supreme Courts upside-down logic, matching funds violate the free-speech rights of independent groups because their spending triggers additional money for a publicly financed candidate.

The North Carolina Judicial Coalition was set up to re-elect state Justice Paul Newby, who has opposed adoptions by same-sex couples and disallowed a lawsuit challenging alleged predatory lending. He gives conservatives a 4-to-3 advantage over liberals on the State Supreme Court and is being challenged by the more liberal state appellate judge, Sam Ervin IV, a grandson of the senator and son of a federal appeals judge.

As of last week, each candidate had collected about $82,000 and each had qualified for public financing of $240,100. Now, because the state is prohibited from reducing the spending gap with public funds, Judge Ervins supporters may have to form a super PAC of their own to keep up with the unlimited spending of the conservative super PAC. This is yet another example of the devastating harm caused by Citizens United.
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dtexdem Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Jun-07-12 12:05 PM
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1. United States of America, Inc.
And most of us own very little stock in USA, Inc.
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