Under the Dome

Hunt-Holshouser offer support for public financing of judicial elections

Two former governors — Democrat Jim Hunt and Republican Jim Holshouser — are asking the legislature and the state's Republican Gov. Pat McCrory not to mess with NC's judicial elections.

North Carolina was one of the first states in the country to adopt public financing of judicial elections and has been considered a model for other states.

But a bill in the Senate and McCrory's proposed budget call for eliminating the program which 80 percent of judicial nominees voluntarily use. (Getting rid of the public financing of elections, by the way, was one of 11 action items the John Locke Foundation suggested for the first 100 days of the 2011 legislative session.)

But in a letter published in various newspapers over the weekend, Hunt and Holshouser explained why such a move is a bad idea.

They write: "As former Republican and Democratic governors, we often disagree. But here's one area where we agree: North Carolina's courts must be protected from the corrosive influence of special-interest campaign money."

They go on to say the program has been successful and note: "It frees judges from the endless money chase and prevents the appearance that justice is for sale."

To read the entire letter as it appeared in the Southern Pines Pilot, go here.

Hunt and Holshouser also are lending their support to a campaign to preserve public financing launched by NC Voters for Clean Elections and Justice at Stake. The dynamic duo appear on video spot on a just-hatched website,

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