Mystery donor group fuels attack ads in PA Supreme Court race

Many familiar organizations gave to Pennsylvanians for Judicial Reform so it could run attack ads against the three Republican candidates for Pennsylvania Supreme Court.

In the past month, the group raised more than $2.2 million from affinity groups representing Philadelphia trial lawyers, teachers’ unions, labor unions and others.

Pennsylvanians for Judicial Reform is an independent expenditure group, meaning they can buy political ads but they cannot coordinate with the candidates or advocate for the election or defeat of a specific candidate.

Forums put spotlight on PA Supreme Court candidates

Three of the seven candidates for the Pennsylvania Supreme Court appeared “in the light,” as one candidate put it this week in Pittsburgh, to be transparent and to answer questions from voters.

And they received a mountain of questions (more than 40) from a packed auditorium at the Homewood branch of the Carnegie Library of Pittsburgh Tuesday night.

The toll of campaigning in judicial elections

Judicial campaigns are fraught with potential conflicts of interest that include taking campaign contributions from people who could appear in the judge’s court, seeking endorsements or airing television ads.

One of the three vacancies on the Pennsylvania Supreme Court that will be filled in next month’s election was created by the pressures of campaigning.