Outside money continues to pour into judicial races. Today, the Republican State Leadership Committee launched a $250,000 ad buy attacking Supreme Court candidate Clark Mason, who is running against reactionary conservative Shawn Womack.
The ad will run for the next week, with the election set for Tuesday. The RSLC is very committed to referring to Mason as Clark "Ka-Ching" Mason, a nickname that has not gone viral to date. From their press release:
“Clark ‘Ka-Ching’ Mason is the wrong choice for the Arkansas Supreme Court,” said RSLC President Matt Walter. “As a liberal trial lawyer, he made a practice out of profiting off of his injured and suffering clients. According to his own website, he could collect up to 50 percent from a case judgement! The state Supreme Court needs judges prepared to serve the people of Arkansas, not profit off of them.”
The ad's premise is rather remarkable. Basically, they break the shocking news that Mason, a trial lawyer who has done personal injury cases, makes money when he wins those cases. Meanwhile, Mason's opponent, Womack, has a long history of carrying the tort reform agenda for big businesses in Arkansas, trying to limit the ability for plaintiffs to seek damages in court. The ad says that Mason "profits from your pain and suffering." But the reason that Womack has the support of RSLC is precisely because he has devoted his political career to making sure big businesses never have to pay you damages if they cause you pain and suffering.
He has been especially aggressive about carrying water for the nursing home lobby on this front. So if you're mistreated in a nursing home, you might seek damages in court. Win your case and the nursing home will have to compensate you for the harm done. Yes, it's true that a portion of that money will go to the attorney that helped you win your case. But Womack's aim is to try to keep you from being entitled to damages at all. He wants to keep that money in the pockets of big businesses that do harm. Ka-ching.
The RSLC has previously attacked Mason with mailers that say he's, like, Obama-ish.
The RSLC describes itself as "the largest caucus of Republican state leaders in the country and the only national organization whose mission is to elect Republicans to multiple down-ballot, state-level offices" — so I know we're all excited to see them getting involved in judicial elections.