Wednesday, November 02, 2011

Outside Spending Tipped the Iowa Supreme Court Retention Election

One of the constant mantras of Maggie Gallagher - who I confess to view as a complete nasty, self-enriching whore pulling down a nice six figure income marketing hatred - and her fellow professional Christians is that the citizens of the various states need to be allowed to vote on whether or not LGBT citizens will have civil rights much less marriage equality. At first blush - assuming, of course, one ignores the equal protection dictates of the U. S. Constitution - the chant might sound at least somewhat acceptable to the ignorant and gullible. But in reality, citizens of a particular state such as Iowa are not truly allowed to hold a straight up or down vote. Instead, they are but the pawns of larger forces from outside the state that seek to manipulate and distort the vote outcome. Don't believe me? Take a look at the chart above that tracks spending on last years retention vote for justices of the Iowa Supreme Court. You know, the very same justices who struck down Iowa's religious based ban on same sex marriage. Almost ALL the money and political effort to remove the targeted justices came from OUTSIDE of Iowa. Here are some highlights from Follow the

$1.4 million of independent spending sought to influence the outcome of three state supreme court retention elections in 2010, making it the office most targeted by independent spending.

The 2010 retention elections were unique in the fact that all three justices failed to win retention—the only time that any Iowa Supreme Court justice, let alone three in the same election, failed to win retention.

All three justices received less than 46 percent of the vote, in stark contrast to previous Iowa Supreme Court retention elections between 2000 and 2008 where no money, independent or otherwise, was spent. In that time, all of the ten justices standing for retention received more than 70 percent of the vote, including Justices Streit and Ternus, losers in 2010, who both received 76 percent of the vote when they last stood for retention in 2002. These results, coupled with the fact that no supreme court justice has lost a retention election since 1962, suggest that independent spending played a key role in reversing the established norms governing Iowa's judicial retention elections.

Independent expenditures that targeted the Iowa Supreme Court race accounted for 33 percent of all independent expenditures in the 2010 election: $870,077 was spent on television and radio advertisements and an additional $224,126 was spent on get-out-the-vote activities.

The largest outside player? Maggie Gallagher's National Organization for Marriage which despite losing lawsuits all around the country has yet to disclose the sources of its huge financial war chest. My bet is that if and when we finally find out the source of NOM's money, it will include the Catholic Church and the Mormon Church - both of which need to lose their tax exempt status - and other donors who will outrage rank and file citizens.

No comments: