Judges Facing Tea Party Challenge Raise 'Unprecedented' Sum

Three Florida Supreme Court justices campaigning to keep their seats in November retention (up-or-down) elections have raised more than $450,000 in the first quarter of 2012, an unprecedented sum in recent years, according to a Sunshine State News article.

The article was headlined, “Money Rolling In for Supreme Court Justices Facing Tea Party Retention Challenge.” It drew in part from a Miami Herald article earlier in the week (see Gavel Grab) and noted that both a nonprofit group called Democracy at Stake and the Florida Bar will be announcing programs to educate citizens about retention elections “without supporting or opposing any of the justices.”

Tea Party activist Jesse Phillips, who headed an unsuccessful ouster drive against two other justices in 2010, said the justices facing retention votes this year may be “scared” given some of the lowest votes ever in favor of retention in 2010. “The gist of our campaign was social media and we did a few press releases and had a little bit of attention, but nothing like the storm we’re seeing now,” Phillips said.


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