Midweek Update – Clear The Bench Colorado makes national news (again!) as statewide judicial retention elections heat up
Following the deluge of news coverage of Clear The Bench Colorado in both statewide and national media over the weekend (with, of course, the notable exception of the Denver Post, stuck in “hear no evil, see no evil, speak no evil” monkey-mode for the benefit of their $1.6M/year upstairs renters – when they’re not devolving into cartoonish name-calling), Clear The Bench Colorado has continued to attract coverage and comment from statewide and national press.
Locally, the Denver Daily News continued the coverage of Friday’s ruling against Clear The Bench Colorado in favor of the entrenched incumbents and big-money special interests represented by “Colorado Ethics Watch” (CEW, pronounced “sue” – it’s what they do) in a cleverly (although strictly speaking, inaccurately) titled piece (“Clear The Bench benched“) in their Tuesday edition. The article noted that the ruling “undermines transparency and accountability in judicial retention vote[s]” and concluded by quoting a CTBC statement:
“Big-money special interests will now be more prone to attempt to influence judicial retention elections behind the scenes, using vehicles other than the open and accountable ‘Issue Committee’ organization types such as Clear The Bench Colorado,” wrote Arnold.
“In fact, big-money legal establishment special-interest groups are already active this year in promoting a ‘retain’ vote for judicial incumbents,” continued Arnold. “They’re just significantly less honest about their intentions…”
Meanwhile, on the national front…
The nationally influential Wall Street Journal Political Diary featured Clear The Bench Colorado as the lead story in this week’s edition on Tuesday (“Colorado’s Bench-Clearing Brawl“), beginning:
Usually judicial elections are rubber-stamp landslides for the incumbents, but maybe not this year in Colorado. A citizens movement called “Clear the Bench Colorado” is trying to evict a majority of the state’s Supreme Court in the November elections. For a decade and a half, the court has angered many Coloradoans by handing down anti-taxpayer rulings that grow government and thwart the state constitution.
If Clear the Bench succeeds in knocking off even one or two Colorado Supremes this year, judges everywhere will be put on notice that they remain accountable to We the People.
My only gripes with the otherwise well-written piece: no mention of the Clear The Bench Colorado website, and (in an apparent search for prominent names to associate with the movement) naming Jon Caldara as an “instigator” of Clear The Bench Colorado (full disclosure: although I know Jon and certainly count him among the leading supporters of CTBC, he’s not an “instigator” – “not Independence nor Backbone nor either Jo(h)n – just little ol’ me – Underdog.” Er, Matt Arnold – shoeshine boy).
Finally, for the second time in less than a week, Clear The Bench Colorado was written up in the New York Times (online Tuesday, and in the Wednesday print edition, page A30) in another editorial targeting the temerity of mere citizens who dare hold their judges accountable via the only means available (the ballot box). The editorial (“Fair Courts in the Cross-Fire“) peddles the party line of how the pristine and apolitical courts are being sullied by crass mammon (cold hard cash) being spent on judicial races:
Now the lavish spending by interest groups and the politicization of state court judgeships is spreading from races between two or more judicial candidates to the “retention” ballots that were supposed to shield judges from the rough-and-tumble of the election cycle.
Of course, the editorial fails to mention the pesky fact that their source – the George Soros funded “Justice At Stake Campaign” – has spent over $45 Million promoting a program to disenfranchise voters across the country from having a say on how they are “ruled” from the bench. Soros and his ilk are attempting to establish control over one-third of our government by removing the possibility for citizen checks and balances – assisted by the unwitting dupes of several well-intentioned (but naive) organizations promoting the “merit selection & retention” process without adequate accountability, transparency, and citizen safeguards.
The editorial also fails to mention the tens of thousands (if not hundreds of thousands) spent by legal establishment special-interest groups comprised of the very lawyers appearing before the judges they are supporting in office (posing an enormous potential for undue influence and quid pro quo corruption).
In Colorado, the state Bar Association (COBAR) has already spent over $50,000 this last month (by their own admission) joining three other legal establishment special-interest groups (likely spending a similar amount, although the exact figures have not been made publicly available) in mounting an “education” campaign (electioneering without using the “magic words” of “vote yes” or “vote NO“) to prop up incumbent judges and justices. In one month alone, they’ve spent more than CTBC has in a year. Combined, these special interests are spending hundreds of thousands of dollars in television, radio, and print ads providing “nonpartisan information about the performance of judges seeking retention” that, curiously, ALL supports a “retain” vote.
NONE of these expenditures - hundreds of thousands of dollars to promote the retention of judicial incumbents in office – are transparent and accountable to the public.
The legal establishment and the political ruling class don’t want you to get informed; they prefer to keep you in the dark, or failing that, convince you NOT to exercise your right to vote “NO” this November on the four (er, three remaining) ‘unjust justices’ of the Colorado Supreme Court’s “Mullarkey Majority”- (Justices Michael Bender, Alex Martinez, Nancy Rice, and soon-to-be-minus Chief Justice Mary Mullarkey) who need YOUR approval to continue taking away your constitutional rights: your right to vote on tax increases, your right to defend your home or business against seizure via eminent domain abuse, your right to be fairly represented in the legislature and Congress, and your right to enjoy the benefits of the rule of law, instead of suffering under rule by activist, agenda-driven “justices.” Continue to support Clear The Bench Colorado with your comments (Sound Off!) and contributions – and vote “NO” on giving these unjust justices another 10-year term!