A nasty, last-minute attack ad against state Supreme Court candidate Sam Ervin IV hit the airwaves Friday – full of inflammatory innuendo.
The ad comes from one of the super PACs pumping outside money into the campaign to re-elect state Supreme Court Justice Paul Newby over Ervin, an appellate court judge. Most of the funding for the super PAC, known as Justice for All N.C., comes from the Washington, D.C.-based Republican State Leadership Committee, which has contributed more than $1 million to the effort so far.
The ad claims that Ervin and family members contributed thousands of dollars to “convicted felon Mike Easley’s campaign” – ignoring the fact that the campaign contributions would have been made before the former governor was convicted in 2010 of knowingly filing a false campaign report.
The ad goes on to say that Easley appointed Ervin to the state Utilities Commission -- Easley actually reappointed him. It says Ervin voted to raise rates by millions of dollars.
Ervin is planning a news conference this afternoon to address the ad.
Update: Justice for All paid about $40,000 for a TV ad at a station in Winston-Salem to start running Friday through Election Day, FCC records show. Unknown yet how many other stations might be lined up.
On Wednesday, Justice for All sent about $200,000 to the N.C. Judicial Coalition, the super PAC set up by prominent conservatives Tom Fetzer and Bob Luddy, for TV ads. The Judicial Coalition also has on its board former chief Supreme Court Justice Burley Mitchell, a registered Democrat, who said he agreed to join because he believes in keeping incumbent justices in office if they're doing a good job.
Allowing Justice for All to do the dirty work of running negative TV ads keeps the more prominent members of the Judicial Coalition at arms length.