Sunday, January 3, 2010

Race for PA Supreme Court Costly

At least four and a half million dollars was spent on this year's Supreme Court race, making it one of the most expensive judicial contests in the nation.
That's according to analysis carried out by Pennsylvanians for Modern Courts.
Executive Director Lynn Marks says in addition to the 3.6 million dollars raised by Democrat Jack Panella and Republican Joan Orie Melvin, the winner of the contest, the state GOP spent close to a million dollars on television ads.

"Pennsylvanians should not take pride in leading the nation in spending for judicial elections. Because each dollar spent raises doubts in voters' minds about whether justice is for sale."

Pennsylvanians for Modern Courts has advocated for a merit selection system, arguing judicial candidates sully their reputation and credibility when they campaign and raise money from special interest groups.
Marks says she suspects the final total is much higher than 4.5 million dollars, pointing out the GOP spent more than five million dollars last year, while the state Democratic party spent 1.8 million dollars.
Parties aren't required to disclose what they spent money on, but the Supreme Court race was the most high-profile Pennsylvania contest this year.

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