West Virginia Leaders Come to North Carolina to Urge North Carolina Leaders to Preserve Judicial Public Financing

For immediate release.

May 20, 2013

Contact: Bryan Warner, N.C. Center for Voter Education, 919-783-8811 or warner@nccve.org

Advisory: The Conservative Argument - A Chance to Hear from Republicans on Why They Support Judicial Public Financing

RALEIGH–While the future of North Carolina’s system of public campaign financing hangs in the balance, respected Republican leaders from West Virginia, including a former member of the West Virginia Supreme Court and a current member of the state legislature, are coming to Raleigh to make the case for judicial public financing.

Faced with the damaging influence of special interest money in judicial elections, West Virginia looked to North Carolina’s exemplary judicial public financing program to protect the integrity of its courts, recently enacting a law based on North Carolina’s model. North Carolina’s public financing system is now threatened by pending legislation in the General Assembly.

WHAT: Press call to discuss the conservative argument for judicial public financing

WHEN: Wednesday, May 22, at 10:30 a.m.

WHERE: Please RSVP to warner@nccve.org for call-in info

WHO: The press call will feature former West Virginia Supreme Court Justice John F. McCuskey. He served on the West Virginia Independent Commission on Judicial Reform, which was tasked with evaluating that state’s court system and recommended adopting a judicial public financing program modeled after North Carolina.

Also taking part will be Hon. John B. McCuskey, a Republican member of the West Virginia House of Delegates who was recognized this year as one of the nation’s top rising young conservative leaders by the American Conservative Union.

In addition, N.C. Court Appeals Judge Wanda Bryant will provide her perspective as a candidate who has run for the Court of Appeals under the old financing system and participated in North Carolina’s judicial public financing program.

The press conference is organized by the nonpartisan N.C. Center for Voter Education.

WHY NOW: The N.C. General Assembly is considering proposals that could end North Carolina’s innovative judicial public financing program, potentially undermining citizen confidence in the fairness of our state courts.

At the same time, this year West Virginia, with bipartisan support, permanently adopted a judicial public financing system modeled after North Carolina after a trial period in 2012.

North Carolina’s judicial public financing program has been a proven success since it was implemented in 2004. The program has been used by 80 percent of appellate court candidates since its launch, including all eight eligible candidates in 2012. It is also supported by 68 percent of North Carolina voters, including 67 percent of Republicans, 69 percent of Democrats and 65 percent of unaffiliated voters, according to a recent poll commissioned by the N.C. Center for Voter Education.