Buying Time 2012
Leading up to the November 2012 election, the Brennan Center will release real-time reports on television advertising in state supreme court elections.
The Brennan Center's “Buying Time — 2012” will make available every judicial election television advertisement that is aired in the states holding elections for state supreme courts in 2012. Every advertisement is available for viewing in video format. We also feature storyboards for every ad, which include screen captures of the ads at timed intervals, along with a transcription of the ad’s complete text. Finally, we provide summaries of the amounts spent on TV ads in different states — and breakdowns of which groups are doing the spending. See below for links to state-by-state coverage. (TV ads, storyboards, and figures on spending are provided to the Brennan Center by the Campaign Media Analysis Group (CMAG).)
Our 2012 reporting continues the groundbreaking analysis first conducted in 2000 examining the sponsorship, content and costs of televised state supreme court campaign ads. Analyses of advertising over these election cycles has culminated in six reports: The New Politics of Judicial Elections, The New Politics of Judicial Elections 2002, The New Politics of Judicial Elections 2004, The New Politics of Judicial Elections 2006, The New Politics of Judicial Elections, 2000-2009: Decade of Change and The New Politics of Judicial Elections 2010. These studies document the growing threats to fair and impartial courts from big money, special interest pressure, and television air wars.
Editorial, Politics, Principle and an Attack on the Courts, The New York Times, September 23, 2012
The Reliable Source, How Michigan Judicial Candidate Bridget Mary Mccormack Got ‘The West Wing’ Cast for Her Campaign Video, Washington Post Blog, September 20, 2012
Elaine Silvestrini, State justice uncomfortable with campaigning to keep seat, Tampa Tribune, September 12, 2012.
Brady Dennis, Super PACs, donors turn sights on judicial branch, Washington Post, March 29, 2012
No Way to Choose a Judge, New York Times, March 15, 2012
Greg Hinz, Supreme Court hopefuls draw big money from single firms, Crain’s Chicago Business, March 7, 2012
Julie Carr Smyth, Former judge wins Ohio Dems' high court primary, Associated Press, March 7, 2012
Roger Alford, Public financing proposed for Supreme Court races, Real Clear Politics, February 26, 2012
Randy Evans, 2012 state judicial elections will be key, Atlanta Business Chronicle, August 26, 2011
The Brennan Centers analyses of television advertising in state Supreme Court elections use data obtained from a commercial firm that records each ad via satellite. The firm provides information about the location, dates, frequency, and estimated costs of each ad. Brennan Center researchers use the storyboards video captures of the ad at four-second intervals, with complete audio text to code the ads, documenting the content, tone, and other relevant information. Cost estimates are revised by the firm when it receives updated data, resulting in some fluctuations in the reported costs. The calculation does not include the costs of design and production, so cost estimates substantially understate the actual cost of advertising. The calculation also does not reflect the cost of ad buys on local cable channels.