Record Spending in Supreme Court Race

Record Spending in Supreme Court Race

Email date: 7/23/08

A record $6 million was spent in this year’s state Supreme Court race, the Democracy Campaign reported yesterday. This surpasses the $5.8 million spent on last year’s high court race, which was over four times more than had ever been spent before in a Supreme Court election.

While overall spending in the 2008 race did slightly exceed the record level set in 2007, the real difference between the two races was the extent of special interest dominance in this year’s election. Spending by special interest groups was up 55% over last year while candidate spending was down 56%. Whereas candidates were narrowly outspent by interest groups in 2007 - $3.1 million to $2.7 million - they were outspent by a whopping 4-to-1 margin in this year’s race.

It was hard to imagine a Supreme Court election worse than last year’s. But this year’s was indeed worse. It was more expensive, more dominated by special interests, and the campaign advertising was even more misleading and dirty than the dispiriting campaigning that marked the 2007 race.

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