RALEIGH – Today, 200 business and civic leaders, including two dozen past presidents of the NC State Bar and NC Bar Association, called on state lawmakers to protect the integrity of the state’s court system by preserving a law that reduces the influence of private money in the elections of appellate judges.
Reserved Seats Go to Other Special Interests, Big Donors of Bill Sponsors
The House Insurance Committee will take up a controversial bill (H-115) today that gives insurance companies a large role in overseeing how consumers can buy affordable insurance coverage through a state-level “health benefits exchange” created under the new national health reform law.
The bill’s biggest supporter is Blue Cross and Blue Shield, the state’s largest insurance company; it gets to help name at least one representative to the new exchange.
This Friday evening Democracy NC and the League of Women Voters will host a panel discussion on redistricting, how it could reshape political power in Charlotte and the implications for your future.
When: Friday, April 22, 2011 from 6:30 PM to 8:30 PM
Where: YWCA 3420 Park Road, Charlotte, NC
You will be able to ask questions at the forum. Panelists include Senator Bob Rucho, Chair of the NC Senate Redistricting Committee, plus these experts in political science, social justice, civil rights and the history of political power in North Carolina:
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.
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.
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.
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.
By Bob Hall, Democracy North Carolina
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.