Thursday, September 18, 2008

From the Birmingham News; 9-18-08

The race for the Alabama Supreme Court has reached $1.1 million in contributions
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.


The Truth said...

Here is the problem I have with this article:

Just because Deborah Bell Paseur receives donations from individual trial lawyers, she claims to have the support of individuals. The business community decides to package their donations into a PAC that represents hundreds of businesses and thousands of individuals, and Judge Shaw is attacked for that.

The truth is that these PACs represent thousands and in some cases hundreds of thousands of regular Alabamians.

Not to mention that Judge Shaw has been endorsed by thousands of small businesses, farmers, truckers, families, law enforcement officers, etc etc.

It is really just the media that makes this an issue. I think the voters are more concerned on who will strictly interpret the constitution and never legislate from the bench.

That is why I support Judge Shaw!

Tiger91 said...

This is kind of funny. DBP is actig like she has thousands of supporters because the trial lawyers made donations as individuals. Her campaign is completely being financed by them.

Judge Shaw gets donations from PACs that represent thousands of everyday Alabamians.

He also has the support of thousands of small businesses, truckers, foresters, law enforcement officers, families, etc etc...

I think this is just the media trying to find a story.

The really story is who will be a judge who will rule on the law and never legislate from the bench?

That is the question I ask myself and that is why I am supporting Judge Greg Shaw.

Fair Justice said...

PACs donating to Mr. Shaw's campaign do not by any means represent the regular folks in Alabama. Mrs. Paseur has received donations from lawyers and non-lawyers. The vast majority of the lawyers who have contributed to her campaign are not plaintiff trial lawyers but lawyers who do all types of legal work and know her capabilities and temperament.

Note that both the previous posts mention "strict interpretation of the law and not legislate from the bench." This describes ms. Paseur as well. What makes her different from Mr. Shaw is that her campaign is not bankrolled by the Business Council, insurance industry, big oil, tobacco automobile dealers and finance companies.