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Liberals try to back former Justice Mitchell into a corner on Ervin attack ad

Liberal activists have been trying to force Burley Mitchell Jr., a former chief justice of the state Supreme Court, to disavow the attack ad that a super PAC bought trying to tie Democratic candidate Judge Sam Ervin IV with disgraced former Gov. Mike Easley.
Why Mitchell? Well, although he's a registered Democrat, earlier this year Mitchell agreed to lend his name to a new independent expenditure committee formed to raise and spend unlimited funds on behalf of incumbent Justice Paul Newby. The committee was formed by several prominent Republicans.
Mitchell explained at the time that his longstanding philosophy was that incumbent justices should be re-elected if they are doing a good job. He expressed concern about the infusion of outside money into judicial elections, but said the candidates have limited options to reach voters since public financing puts a cap on how much they can raise.
Later, another former chief justice and Democrat, Jim Exum, also endorsed Newby. But it was Mitchell who agreed to be listed as one of the directors of the group, called N.C. Judicial Coalition.
The Judicial Coalition has received substantial funding from another independent expenditure group, Justice for All N.C., which was also formed earlier this year and has recently disclosed more than $1 million of its funding has come from a national Republican Party offshoot. It was Justice for All N.C. that bought the attack ad, which began airing Friday in limited parts of the state.
Activists hoped to hold Mitchell's feet to the fire, or at least make his association with what has turned into a nasty, big-bucks campaign an uncomfortable one.
Mitchell has responded to at least two of the activists with this email:
"Neither I nor any PAC, organization or person I am associated has had anything directly or indirectly to do with the political commercial running I am told is running against Judge Ervin. Please ask whoever has told you otherwise to check their facts more carefully before misinforming you. Thank you for your interest in the judiciary, Burley Mitchell."
It's true that Mitchell's super PAC, N.C. Judicial Coalition, didn't buy that ad. But his super PAC is directly connected to the super PAC that did. The same TV ad production firm put out the attack ad, the infamous banjo ad, and a more sedate pro-Newby ad.


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Yes, thank you

I did indeed mean Mitchell's PAC. And given Burley Mitchell's vigorous attempts to say he didn't know a thing, I now believe Mitchell is flat out lying. Of course he knew about the ad. He just thought he could get away with smearing Ervin and still hold on to his reputation. It's time people stopped hiding behind PACs and owned what they do. Cowards. 

Ervin's PAC? You mean Burley Mitchell's PAC.

Yo, Jackson_Tybee.  The Justice for All NC PAC gave over $1M to BURLEY MITCHELL'S PAC (NC Judicial Coalition PAC).  And yes, I would say one group giving $1M to another group would establish a "connection," direct or indirect, despite Mr. Mitchell's claims otherwise.

Not really

Not really, Pierce. You see, that talking point was debunked in 2008. I swear, have you been in cold storage for four years? Get with the program, man. GOP-based PACs have contributed 80% of the PAC money being spent in NC this year. That's a pretty hefty and most definitely lopsided split. 

you conveniently left out....

.. the fact that the PAC that is running the ad gave over $1 million to Ervin's PAC. Or do you think that much money doesn't connect them? Because it's been my experience that a $1 million donation buys an awful lot of influence and connections. 

OR a union ?

Or on what A UNION can put into political activity.  I'm sure you fully intended to include those wonderful folks, didn't you?   :-)

Really Jarvis? Come on. We aren't that STUPID!

"Neither I nor any PAC, organization or person I am associated has had anything directly or indirectly to do with the political commercial running I am told is running against Judge Ervin. Please ask whoever has told you otherwise to check their facts more carefully before misinforming you. Thank you for your interest in the judiciary, Burley Mitchell."
It's true that Mitchell's super PAC, N.C. Judicial Coalition, didn't buy that ad. But his super PAC is directly connected to the super PAC that did. The same TV ad production firm put out the attack ad, the infamous banjo ad, and a more sedate pro-Newby ad.

 

So, even though he says he isn't assiciated with the commercial, his super PAC is "directly connected?" Oh, because they used the same company to produce the ad that makes them connected? How many other people have used this company? According to you they're all assiciated and in cahoots with each other.

 

And by the way, Exum didn't endorse Newby "later" try last year. Why aren't you writing articles about Ervin's motives for running against an incumbent who is endorsed by both Democrat and Republican Chief Justices. Some might say this was them telling him not to run agianst Newby. Why didn't he wait two years to run for an open seat? Why does he have a TIMELINE? Ervin's entire campaign is about him promising to be a fair judge. Newby has been a fair judge for the last 8 years. Let's keep him. He doesn't have a timeline.

 

Start being a good reporter and stop writing fluff.

Read more here: http://projects.newsobserver.com/node/26303#storylink=cpy

Thank Citizens United

So now people are not only hiding their contributions, they're using PACs to try and evade responsibilty for what they do. Sorry, this isn't even plausible deniability. He put his name on the PAC and he needs to own what they do.

This situation is going to be the end of democracy. We need to get rid of Citziens United and return to a sane system with real limits on what either a person or a company can put into political activities. 

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