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Center for American Progress

ADVISORY: Dirty Money, Dirty Water: The End of Public Financing for North Carolina Judges
Press Advisory

ADVISORY: Dirty Money, Dirty Water: The End of Public Financing for North Carolina Judges

Washington, D.C. — On Friday, December 12, the Center for American Progress will host an event on the impact of the end of public financing for North Carolina judges. The event will feature a screening of a short introductory video about coal ash contamination in North Carolina and the impact of corporate donations to judicial elections, as well as a discussion of reforms that can keep campaign donors from influencing our courts.

On August 12, 2013, North Carolina Gov. Pat McCrory (R) signed a bill eliminating the state’s innovative public financing program for judicial elections, and this year, candidates raised nearly $4 million—the first time in a decade that candidates had to solicit big donations. The influx of judicial campaign cash raises serious questions about the impartiality of judges, and last month, the Center for American Progress released a report that found a troubling correlation between North Carolina judicial campaign contributions and the success rates of law firms that donate money.

As big money pours into North Carolina judicial elections, large corporate polluters have a significant stake in the outcome of judicial proceedings in these courts. In the midst of ongoing litigation over coal ash pollution, the repeal of public financing in North Carolina and the rise of independent spending has the potential to give corporate campaign donors more influence in judicial elections. Expert panelists at the event will analyze the role that U.S. state courts play in protecting the environment, as well as reforms such as public financing and merit selection that keep courts fair for those suing powerful companies.

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Welcoming remarks:
Michele L. Jawando, Vice President for Legal Progress, Center for American Progress

Distinguished panelists:
Alicia Bannon, Counsel, Brennan Center for Justice
Mary Anne Hitt, Beyond Coal Campaign Director, Sierra Club
Frank Holleman, Senior Attorney, Southern Environmental Law Center
Chris Kromm, Executive Director, Institute for Southern Studies

Moderated by:
Billy Corriher, Director of Research for Legal Progress, Center for American Progress


Friday, December 12, 2014
12:00 p.m. ET – 1:30 p.m. ET

A light lunch will be provided.


Center for American Progress
1333 H St. NW, 10th Floor
Washington, D.C., 20005


Click here to RSVP.

For more information or to speak to an expert, contact Chelsea Kiene at [email protected] or 202.478.5328.