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Idea of the Day: Voters Do Not Want Campaign Cash to Influence Judicial Elections

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A new poll commissioned by the Center for American Progress and conducted by Harstad Strategic Research found that 80 percent of voters support stronger disclosure laws for judicial campaigns, and this level of support is consistent among Democrats, Republicans, and independents. Voters across the political spectrum want to know who is paying for ads that attack judicial candidates, but in many states, disclosure laws do not apply to some ads that criticize candidates during an election.

The 2012 election saw record-breaking spending, as special interests poured billions of dollars into super PACs and secretive nonprofits that ran ads supporting or attacking candidates. At the state level, a record $29.7 million was spent to influence judicial elections across the country, according to estimates released by Justice at Stake and the Brennan Center for Justice in December 2012. Half of this money was spent by nonprofit organizations that often do not disclose their donors. In the wake of this surge in campaign cash, some states are looking to reform their judicial elections to minimize the influence of campaign cash or at least shed some light on secret campaign contributions.

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To speak with our experts on this topic, please contact:

Print: Liz Bartolomeo (poverty, health care)
202.481.8151 or

Print: Tom Caiazza (foreign policy, energy and environment, LGBT issues, gun-violence prevention)
202.481.7141 or

Print: Allison Preiss (economy, education)
202.478.6331 or

Print: Tanya Arditi (immigration, Progress 2050, race issues, demographics, criminal justice, Legal Progress)
202.741.6258 or

Print: Chelsea Kiene (women's issues,, faith)
202.478.5328 or

Print: Elise Shulman (oceans)
202.796.9705 or

Print: Benton Strong (Center for American Progress Action Fund)
202.481.8142 or

Spanish-language and ethnic media: Jennifer Molina
202.796.9706 or

TV: Rachel Rosen
202.483.2675 or

Radio: Chelsea Kiene
202.478.5328 or


This is part of a regular column: Idea of the Day

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