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Democracy North Carolina and clean, "voter-owned" judicial elections


Our analysis of the program’s first three election cycles (2004-2008) shows that 78% of the candidates for the NC Supreme Court and Court of Appeals qualified for grants from the Public Campaign Fund. It’s being used by Democrats and Republicans, incumbents and challengers, blacks and whites, men and women.

In fact, a majority of our state Supreme Court and Court of Appeals members are now Voter-Owned participants, meaning they received most of their campaign money from thousands of small donors and the public instead of from the lawyers who argue cases before their courts. As another report demonstrates, the percent of funds in appellate races supplied by attorneys and special-interest groups has plummeted from 73% of the donations in the election before the program began to 14% after it started.

Shouldn't all elections be like this?

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Damon's picture
Submitted by Damon on

My first thought upon hearing the Supreme Court's ruling on campaign finance was, can't the legislature simply require that all campaign's be publically funded? I'm not versed enough on law to know if the their ruling would prevent this, but it sounds like there are ways to get around what was an unjust ruling.

While I'm not versed enough to know what can be done about public financing, you don't have to be a legal scholar to know the implications of what the Supremes just ruled. What they said, against all kinds of history, precedent, and even their own logic, is that in the case of campaign finance, that a corporation, union, or special interest group is no different than an individual, and thus, can't be regulated any differently. In this case, that means that they can't be regulated much at all.

Where the craziness lies is that this country has never ruled that corporate personhood was equal to that of the personhood of an individual. In every other facet of society they (corporations, organization, etc...) are subject to additional regulations beyond that of an individual. What the court ruled is that a corporation can't count as an equal person in all other facets of society, but that we MUST treat them the same as an individual when it comes to campaign finance.

Really, how crazy, and against everything this nation stands for, is that?