Tuesday, May 6, 2014
I volunteered at my local precinct today to hand out information on the Democratic Party's candidates, answer questions, and thank people for voting. In addition to various local municipal races and the Senate primary, there's an enormously important race for N.C. Supreme Court Justice. The (female, liberal) incumbent has been targeted with ugly and untrue ads funded by the Koch brothers. Judicial elections in the state used to be publicly funded, so judges wouldn't feel pressure to rule based on potential campaign funding concerns. Thanks to Governor Pat McCrory, with an assist from Citizens United, those halcyon days of non-corruption are now gone.
It is amazing the success right-wing money has had in buying local and state-wide elections across the U.S. For relatively small investments, groups like AFP, Crossroads, and ALEC are swaying elections with relentless negative (and often downright false) advertising, as well as writing the very legislation their favored candidates then put forward. We can't hope to match them dollar for dollar; we can only hope to get our people out to vote, and then continue, as citizens, to put pressure on lawmakers to regulate campaign spending and appoint judges who will uphold those regulations..
I'm trying not to get discouraged, but it is hard to stay upbeat when you're swimming against such a tidal wave of cash and misinformation.