If you haven’t seen that cornpone banjo-plucking ad for state Supreme Court Justice Paul Newby, you probably will if you own a TV.
Stuart Watson, an investigative reporter at WNCN-TV in Charlotte, updates The N&O’s report in this morning’s paper with new ad buys by the N.C. Judicial Coalition. The super PAC supporting Newby has now spent more than $800,000, he reports, which buys more than 900 spots for the banjo ad.
But Newby isn’t the only one benefitting from an outside group. An independent expenditure group called N.C. Citizens for Protecting Our Schools is paying for a mailer supporting appellate Judge Sam “Jimmy” Ervin IV.
The mailer says Ervin “shares progressive North Carolina values,” and notes the Supreme Court considers such issues as voting rights, racial justice, women’s health and public education.
Some of the money for the mailer comes from the National Education Association.
The most recently filed reports don’t yet show how much Protecting Our Schools is spending on various campaigns. But that organization and state and national teacher advocacy groups have all contributed money to an umbrella liberal independent expenditure group called Common Sense Matters. Common Sense Matters is supporting mailers in a number of legislative races.
Protecting Our Schools deposited $75,000 with Common Sense in the first half of this year. The N.C. Association of Educators gave $100,000 in mid-September. And the NEA Advocacy Fund gave $20,000 in May.
And, if you really haven't seen it, the banjo ad portrays Newby as tough on crime. Actually, just a small portion of his 20-year career at the U.S. Attorney's Office in Raleigh was spent on criminal prosecutions; mostly, he did civil work.