How much is that Justice in the window?



I'm guessin' about $3 million

give or take a few hundred thousand.

For his part, Newby says he finds the ads on his behalf humorous, if not substantial.

Oh yeah. It's all so fucking funny, Mr. Newby.

He's already trying to write off

the impact those ads will have on the election. Building a fancy facade of objectivity to conceal the teetering shack of his judicial integrity.

Big tobacco, little justice

From Chris Kromm over at Facing South:

The owner of R.J. Reynolds Tobacco, Reynolds has been a big source of outside money in this year's state elections, giving at least $200,000 to Real Jobs NC and $100,000 directly to the NC Judicial Coalition. The latest reports show they've given $100,000 to Justice for All NC as well.

R.J. Reynolds often finds itself with business before the N.C. Supreme Court. In 2009, for example, Paul Newby wrote for the majority in a 5-2 decision siding with R.J. Reynolds in a dispute over payments to growers under the tobacco settlement.

No surprise there

If you were an executive working in an industry that has raised lying and deception to an exquisite art form, which political party would you support?

Newby and redistricting

If the guy gets elected, he'll have to recuse himself on every issue of any importance because of the special interest money that poured into his campaign. Definitely would not be an honest participant in any redistricting challenges.

Might as well put it on Ebay.


Ha ha ha, I love it

'specially since I was just shopping on eBay. I sure want to know more about the used condition from the seller. Just how many Republicans are included in the set? How much does it take to buy their votes individually?

Progressives are the true conservatives.

I want one!

I heard they are making counterfeit Newby's in China and selling them on Amazon for 99 cents. You can download them to your Kindle and start all the fires you want.

Unfortunately it's not the only court for sale

My apologies for cutting and

My apologies for cutting and pasting from the N&O. But I did see the Ads referenced below during this weekend when I was visiting family in the Charlotte. The ads are full of innuendo and anecdotal information pretending to be facts. The ad was horrible. But I was happy not to see Tom Fezter's ugly face and hear his smarmy voice during this ad or I would have thrown up. So here it is:

The super PAC that produced the attack ad against Judge Sam Ervin IV that began airing on Friday is responding to criticism that the negative spot crossed a line that hasn’t been crossed before in North Carolina judicial elections.

Financed in large part by a national Republican Party group, the independent expenditure committee called Justice for All N.C. bought a TV ad that makes three claims: Ervin and his relatives made campaign contributions to “convicted felon” Mike Easley, who appointed him to the state Utilities Commission, where Ervin raised utility rates.

The group issued a statement Saturday saying Ervin declares in his own TV ad there is no place in the courts for partisan politics or ideology. The statement says Ervin has accused the independent expenditure committees, which have raised at least $2.5 million on his behalf, of trying to buy a seat on the state Supreme Court, where Justice Paul Newby is the incumbent.

Read more here:

Burley Mitchell

I emailed former Chief Justice Burley Mitchell late this morning to urge him to publicly denounce the scurrilous anti-Ervin ad, and to my pleasant surprise he responded promptly.

While he was unwilling to issue a statement on his own, I think that the fact that he was clearly angry at being associated with the ad is itself worthy of news coverage, and could help to underscore to the public the illegitimate nature of the accusations against Judge Ervin.

I've cc'd several reporters I know but have had no press response yet. I copy the exchange below, in case you have a better strategy or contacts on this point than I do.


From: Mitchell, Burley
Sent: Monday, November 05, 2012 12:36 PM
To: 'Dan Besse'
Cc: 'Bert Gutierrez' ; 'John Railey' ; 'Layla Garms' ; 'Kevin Walker' ; 'Jordan Green'
Subject: RE: Please denounce the smear ad against Judge Ervin.

Thank you very much. I can’t find anyone who has actually seen the ad run on TV. I wonder if Progress NC isn’t spreading it more than its sponsors could. I am certain that denouncing it at this point would force the media to show it for anyone to know what they are talking about. I guess this is typical day before election frenzy. Burley Mitchell


From: Dan Besse
Sent: Monday, November 05, 2012 12:29 PM
To: Mitchell, Burley
Cc: Bert Gutierrez; John Railey; Layla Garms; Kevin Walker; Jordan Green
Subject: Re: Please denounce the smear ad against Judge Ervin.
Importance: High

Justice Burley,

Thank you for your quick response.

I was not operating under the misimpression that you were personally associated with that advertisement. I am, however, greatly concerned that groups responsible for that ad or otherwise associated with Justice Newby’s campaign may be contributing to a public misimpression that you are.

I will seek to mitigate that misimpression by copying your response to the reporters and editors to whom I copied my initial message.

However, I continue to urge you to undertake the more powerful direct, public repudiation of the disreputable attacks on the sterling character of Judge Ervin. I believe that would do more to discourage such repeat low campaigns in the future.

Thank you again for your consideration.


Dan Besse


From: Mitchell, Burley

Sent: Monday, November 05, 2012 11:48 AM

To: 'Dan Besse'

Subject: RE: Please denounce the smear ad against Judge Ervin.

Neither I nor any PAC, organization or person I am associated has had anything directly or indirectly to do with the political commercial running I am told is running against Judge Ervin. Please ask whoever has told you otherwise to check their facts more carefully before misinforming you. Thank you for your interest in the judiciary, Burley Mitchell


From: Dan Besse
Sent: Monday, November 05, 2012 11:29 AM
To: Mitchell, Burley
Cc: Bert Gutierrez; John Railey; Layla Garms; Kevin Walker; Jordan Green
Subject: Please denounce the smear ad against Judge Ervin.
Importance: High

Justice Mitchell,

Thank you for your history of judicial service to our state.

I’m sending this short note out of concern regarding the smear ad directed against Judge Sam Ervin.

I’m sure that you do not approve of that quasi-libelous advertisement or the use of that technique in judicial elections. Unfortunately, your connection to the group which is supporting Justice Newby’s campaign is leaving much of the public under the misimpression that you may. As you know, Justice Newby’s direct campaign ads running at the same time are prominently including the fact of your support.

I urge you to immediately and publicly denounce the smears against Judge Ervin, prior to tomorrow’s vote, and remove the impression that you could countenance such an attack.

Thank you for your immediate attention to this urgent matter.


Dan Besse


Dan Besse

Progress NC Action responds


Thanks for taking the time to contact Burley Mitchell. Progress NC Action just put out a new press release backing up our previous email. We still think Mitchell's silence on the issue is questionable.

Justin Guillory
Progress NC Action