Both the state Republican and Democratic parties have weighed in heavily in the contest for three seats on the Michigan Supreme Court.
According to a Michigan Radio article, both parties have spent millions on television ads promoting their candidates’ names and accusing the opposing party of sympathizing with pedophiles or siding with insurance companies.
Director of the Michigan Campaign Finance Network Rich Robinson says the Democrats, whose ads have been televised since Labor Day, have spent $5.5 million so far. The Republicans have spent $4.5 million on ads in the past few weeks.
In-state political parties aren’t the only groups spending money to influence Michigan’s elections. According to a Michigan Local 4 article, a Washington, D.C.-based group called the Judicial Crisis Network recently spent over $1 million on an ad criticizing Supreme Court candidate Bridget Mary McCormack for her decision to represent a prisoner held at Guantanamo Bay (see Gavel Grab).
In response to the ad, McCormack defended her decision, saying that “what separates the American legal system from the rest of the world is that we believe in rule of law” and that it was “a shame that $1 million can come in from out of state to try to take apart my campaign.”
Regardless of their political affiliations, the dangers of media-funded campaigns are something the candidates all agree about. Justice Stephen Markman said he believes these kinds of campaigns are increasingly “calling into question the integrity of the court with many citizens,” reports Michigan Radio.
For more on the Michigan Supreme Court race, see Gavel Grab.