For Immediate Release
Wednesday, October 13, 2004
Natalia Kennedy, 212 998–6736
BUYING TIME 2004: Television Advertising in Judicial Elections Surpasses $6 Million Dollar Mark
Advertisement Spending Doubles in Illinois
New York, NY—During the 2004 election season, the Brennan Center for Justice is releasing weekly real-time reports on television advertising in state Supreme Court elections. These reports, to be released every Wednesday through November 10, will analyze campaign advertising by candidates, political parties, and interest groups.
This report includes information from Alabama, Arkansas, Georgia, Illinois, Louisiana, Nevada, New Mexico, Ohio, Oregon, Washington, and West Virginia. The report provides information about who is advertising and how often, the estimated cost of the airtime, and the tone and content of those advertisements.
Cumulative Report Through October 10, 2004
Illinois Passes $1 Million Mark: The amount spent in Illinois has more than doubled over the past week from approximately $560,000 as of October 3 to almost $1.4 million as of October 10. The Illinois Republican Party has joined the fray, running ads contrasting Republican candidate Lloyd Karmeier with his Democratic opponent, Gordon Maag. The state Democratic Party started airing a new attack ad against Karmeier, criticizing him for letting us down by giving reduced sentences to violent criminals. In addition to the two political parties, JUSTPAC, a pro-business group, is airing ads in favor of Karmeier. The Illinois State Chamber of Commerce and JUSTPAC also ran ads attacking the Illinois Supreme Court before the primary election in March.
New Mexico Joins Ranks of States with Advertising: New Mexico is now the seventh state in this years election season experiencing state Supreme Court television advertising for the first time (since the Brennan Center started tracking ads in 2000). As of October 10, incumbent New Mexico Supreme Court Justice Edward Chavez has spent almost $62,000 on two distinct ads promoting him as tough on crime. New Mexico is not a state known for expensive judicial campaigns, said Deborah Goldberg, Democracy Program Director at the Brennan Center. Its sad to see the infection spread to yet another state. Hopefully the public funding already in place for New Mexicos Public Regulation Commission will also spread to campaigns for the Supreme Court.
“Health Care Advocates in Ohio Attacking the Current Court: This week the Ohio Hospital Association joined the Tri-County Physicians for Patients Rights in sponsoring television advertisements attacking the current Ohio Supreme Court for forcing doctors to leave the state because of plaintiff-friendly decisions in medical malpractice lawsuits. The ads also encourage voters to ask their doctor for advice on which candidate to support. In roughly one week, the Ohio Hospital Association spent more than $214,000, and Tri-County Physicians for Patients Rights spent approximately $36,000.
Reports (Data Current Through October 10, 2004)
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.
For More Information
Buying Time 2004 reports, including links to the storyboards, are available at: http://www.brennancenter.org/analysis/buying-time-2004. The reports will also be included in the Justice at Stake 2004 Supreme Court Elections Real Time Tracking Project (www.justiceatstake.org) along with information about candidate fundraising and special interest activity.
For more information, please contact Natalia Kennedy at the Brennan Center at 212–998–6736 or visit http://www.brennancenter.org/. The Brennan Center for Justice at NYU School of Law develops and implements a non-partisan agenda of scholarship, public education, and legal action that promotes equality and human dignity, while safeguarding fundamental freedoms.
For additional information about the Center’s work to promote fair and impartial courts, please visit: Fair Courts.
The Brennan Center for Justice at NYU School of Law, founded in 1995, unites thinkers and advocates in pursuit of a vision of inclusive and effective democracy. Its mission is to develop and implement an innovative, nonpartisan agenda of scholarship, public education, and legal action that promotes equality and human dignity, while safeguarding fundamental freedoms.
Please visit http://www.brennancenter.org/.