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Saturday, October 18, 2014

Missourians, your courts are being bought

I've been writing, nearly screaming, about our government representatives being bought, especially by the Right Wing and wealthy and Republicans and corporations, all, for some time. This story, now, today, from Crooks & Liars comes to us straight out of our own state, Missouri and it's shameful:

Who Is That Mystery Megadonor Trying To Buy A Judge's Election In Missouri?

The leading candidate for the six-figure donation to the failing candidate's kitty is Rex Sinquefield, but no one knows for sure.

Who would want to drop six figures into the campaign of a guy who had less than $100 just a month ago? Why, someone who wants all the judges in the state capital to be Republicans, of course!
A month ago, Missouri GOP prosecutor Brian Stumpe had less than $100 on hand in his campaign to unseat Cole County Circuit Court Judge Patricia Joyce, according to the St. Louis Post-Dispatch. Now, just a few weeks later, he has received $100,000 -- all of it funneled into his campaign by a national group, the Republican State Leadership Committee, which has spent a total of $200,000 so far in this race for a single state judgeship.
So just what the heck is going on? Democrats and liberals on the ground in Missouri would tell you that somebody is trying to purchase the judgeship, and they have some suspicions about some Koch-esque Missouri multi-millionaires who might be behind the RSLC's interest in the race.
Why would they do that? Because Cole County, home to 75,000 people, contains Jefferson City, the Missouri state capital. So in most cases where somebody is suing the state government, those cases are heard in the Cole County Circuit Court. It is similar to the D.C. Circuit Court of Appeals at the federal level, in that case an appellate court with an outsized influence.
"If you sue the state of Missouri, if there's a lawsuit in which you're bringing a constitutional question or challenging ballot language or a fiscal note by a state auditor, those cases are directed to the Cole County Circuit Court," Roy Temple, chairman of the Missouri Democratic Party, told TPM. "It is a judgeship that has statewide importance."
Joyce is the only Democratic judge at the Cole County Circuit Court; her two colleagues are Republican. So ousting her would, in theory, be a significant win for Republicans looking to influence the outcome of the kind of cases Temple described. That helps explain why the Republican State Leadership Committee, which is currently chaired by former Florida Attorney General Bill McCollum and formerly chaired by Virginia GOP Senate candidate Ed Gillespie, would take an interest.

It's disgusting. It's immoral. Sure. Unfortunately it's legal because, hey, the Republicans made it legal, so long ago.

It's why we have to fight. We have to fight to end campaign contributions, period. It has to come from us.

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