Opinion: Eye on ‘Dark Money’ in Arkansas Judicial Elections

arkansas_flag_web_fc1aAs Arkansas debates possible reform of its judicial elections, lawyer Scott C. Trotter of Little Rock argues that steps to ensure disclosure of “dark money” political spending ought to be considered.

In Arkansas Business, Trotter writes, “Many voters detest that our judicial elections can be influenced by substantial dark money spending with contributors undisclosed. This directly undermines public confidence in our judiciary. We should advocate state legislation to curb the dark money abuses through spending limits and disclosure of contributors in judicial elections.”

And serious discussion of turning to merit selection, instead of contested elections, ought to also take disclosure into account, he writes, as merit systems often include retention elections. To learn more about debate over Arkansas judicial elections and spending from anonymous donors, called “dark money,” see Gavel Grab.