by Max Brantley
The Washington, D.C.-based Judicial Crisis Network has booked television ad contracts totaling $76,555 to air ahead of Arkansas’ Supreme Court race, according to an analysis of public FCC records by Justice at Stake.
According to paperwork filed simultaneously with the ad buy at KFSM in Fort Smith, the topic of the ads will be “Gifts and campaign contributions accepted by Arkansas Associate Supreme Court Justice Courtney Goodson.” No further characterization of the ads was provided. The spots are scheduled to start running February 8.
The conservative Judicial Crisis Network has been a major spender in state Supreme Court races nationwide for several years. According to Bankrolling the Bench, the comprehensive report on judicial races in the 2013-14 cycle by Justice at Stake, the Brennan Center for Justice and the National Institute on Money in State Politics, JCN gave $528,000 in that cycle to groups that spent hundreds of thousands of dollars on judicial elections in Wisconsin and Tennessee.
Justice Goodson is facing Circuit Judge Dan Kemp in a contest for Chief Justice. Circuit Judge Shawn Womack and attorney Clark Mason are competing for another open seat on the court. Arkansas’ Supreme Court elections are nonpartisan.
Earlier this week, Justice at Stake reported ad buys by the Goodson campaign totaling nearly $68,000. No television ad buys by other campaigns have yet been reported on the FCC site.
As of their last filing deadline for receipts through December 31, the candidates themselves have reported raising: