More than 7 in 10 Americans beleive $$$ Influences our Courts

An interesting op-ed in the Times on judicial elections--they're here to stay. 

Here in North Carolina, fair and impartial courts are in jeopardy. The same special interest money that flooded our airwaves in last fall’s elections is attacking our independent judiciary.

Take Action!

It is crunch time at the General Assembly and we need your help! 

Call your legislator today and let them know why we need to protect judicical public financing.  Tell them we need to keep our courts responisble to the people of North Carolina not distorted by special interests. 

NC Voters for Clean Elections Celebrates Political Courage in Honor of Jane Whilden

The North Carolina Voters for Clean Elections, Joe Haun, Marie Colton, and Buzz Lee are hosting a reception in honor of Jane Whilden Monday, May 2, 2011, 4pm to 6pm in the Canterbury Room of Deerfield Retirement Center, Asheville, North Carolina. 

The Political Courage Award will be presented to Jane Whilden recognizing her for the difficult and costly votes on behalf of campaign finance reform made by her while serving in the Legislature. 

Costs are $25 per person and $35 per couple.  There will be hot and cold hors d'oeuvres as well as an open bar. 

94% beleive campaign contributions have some sway on a judge's decision

N.C. Voters: Campaign Contributions Influence Court Rulings

RALEIGH – An overwhelming majority of North Carolina voters say campaign contributions to judicial candidates can influence the outcome of court cases, according to a new poll commissioned by the Justice at Stake Campaign and the N.C. Center for Voter Education.

The poll finds that 94 percent of North Carolina voters believe campaign contributions have some sway on a judge’s decision, including 43 percent who say campaign donations can greatly affect a ruling.

NC Judicial Public Financing: A Success Story

Everyone agrees that our courts should be unbiased and free from special-interest influence. But we elect our judges and they have to get their campaign money from somewhere. Traditionally, most of their funds have come from business groups and attorneys who appear in court.

What can be done about the unhealthy role of large private contributions in judicial elections?

By Bob Hall, Democracy North Carolina  

Misleading Polls from the Civitas Institute, by Bob Hall, Democracy NC

The John W. Pope Civitas Institute is publicizing a new opinion poll designed to bring attention to their perspective on key issues, in this case election-related policies [see notes 1 and 2 below]. It’s a formula that works well for them, with some media reporting the poll’s findings as an accurate reflection of what North Carolinians believe.

'Corporate Speech' Could Drown Out American Voices by Damon Circosta

RALEIGH - This week marks the one-year anniversary of the U.S. Supreme Court’s 5-4 decision in Citizens United v. FEC. The case essentially granted corporations the same First Amendment rights as those enjoyed by flesh-and-blood individuals, opening up more avenues for corporations to engage in political activities.

The decision has invited a maelstrom of commentary. That is rare for Supreme Court pronouncements, which usually go unnoticed by the public.

One year after Citizens United by Chris Kromm

A year ago this week, the Supreme Court made a landmark decision about the role of money in elections -- a ruling so momentous that many are still grappling to take stock of its impact on our political system.

The case: Citizens United. The decision: In a 5-4 vote, the Supreme Court ruled that it was unconstitutional to limit in any way the amount of money corporations can spend on attack ads or other "electioneering communications" to sway a political race.

SalisburyPost Editorial: Public funding proves its value

North Carolina’s first statewide use of instant runoff voting got off to a rocky start in this year’s 13-candidate N.C. Court of Appeals race, with some confusion at the polls and a lengthy recount process that delayed eventual winner Doug McCullough from claiming victory until seven weeks after the election.