Thursday, September 18, 2008
News staff writer
Political action committees have substantially underwritten Greg Shaw's campaign for Alabama Supreme Court, while hundreds of women contributed to Deborah Bell Paseur, campaign disclosure forms show.
The two candidates for an open seat on the state's highest court passed $1.1 million in combined fundraising since campaigning began. They have collectively spent $968,000.
Shaw, a Republican, reported raising nearly $468,000 in cash and other sources between June 7 and Sept. 4, according to his latest disclosure form, posted Wednesday. He also reported spending more than $440,000 in that period, 81 percent of which was for advertising.
Paseur, a Democrat, reported raising nearly $257,000 in cash and in-kind services between June 3 and Sept. 12, according to disclosure forms sent this week to the state Secretary of State's Office. She spent more than $282,000, 58 percent of which went for ads.
Both candidates filed ahead of Monday's deadline for reporting this summer's contributions and spending. It is the only Supreme Court race on the Nov. 4 ballot.
PACs gave $439,000 in cash and in-kind services during the current reporting period to Shaw, a judge on the Alabama Court of Criminal Appeals. PACs provided 94 percent of his intake since June.
Nearly half of that PAC money came from the Alabama Civil Justice Reform Committee, traditionally the largest contributor to Republican judicial candidates. It is run by Thomas Dart, a lobbyist for the Automobile Dealers Association of Alabama.
Three other PACs run by Dart - Lawsuit Reform, Pro Business and Automobile Dealers Association - contributed a total of $75,000 to Shaw. Dart's PACs provided 62 percent of Shaw's contributions this summer, disclosure forms show.
Shaw has collected nearly $600,000 in cash, in-kind and other sources since his campaign began, 95 percent from PACs. Total spending for his entire campaign is just above $519,000.
Half of the contributors to Paseur's campaign this summer were women, her disclosure forms show. When couples are included, the number is above 61 percent.
Individual contributors provided nearly $206,000 since June to the retired Lauderdale County District Court judge, almost 85 percent of her total money in that period.
Less than 15 percent of Paseur's contributions came from PACs. Of the $37,000 she received from political action committees, $25,000 came from the state Democratic Party Executive Committee.
Paseur has received nearly $538,000 in cash and in-kind contributions since her campaign began. Women dominate the overall contributor list. Less than 11 percent of her money has come from PACs.
Paseur's total spending since her campaign started is almost $449,000.
In Alabama, the most expensive state in the nation to run for Supreme Court, million-dollar judicial campaigns are routine. The $7.7 million race for chief justice in 2006 was the second-most expensive judicial campaign in U.S. history.