The Brennan Center’s “Buying Time 2012” page features every judicial television advertisement that was aired in those states holding elections for state supreme courts in 2012. Every advertisement is available for viewing in video format. We also feature storyboards for each 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 Kantar Media/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.
Real Time Analysis
Throughout the election season the Brennan Center issued a series of analyses focused on judicial election spending
- December 17, 2012: “New Data Shows Judicial Election Ad Spending Breaks Record at $29.7 Million”
- November 7, 2012: “Judicial Election TV Spending Sets New Record, Yet Voters Reject Campaigns to Politicize Judiciary”
- November 2, 2012: “2012 Judicial Campaign TV Spending Surpasses $19.5 Million”
- October 26, 2012: “2012 Judicial Campaign Spending Exceeds $13 Million, Surpasses 2010 Spending”
- October 11, 2012: “2012 Spending on Judicial Advertisements Surpasses $7 Million, with Michigan Leading the Way”
- September 13, 2012: “Campaign Money Patterns Entering New Phase in 2012 Judicial Races”
Editorial, Judicial Elections, Unhinged, The New York Times, November 18, 2012
Lizette Alvarez, G.O.P. Aims to Remake Florida Supreme Court, The New York Times, October 2, 2012.
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, The 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
All data on ad airings and spending on ads are calculated and prepared by Kantar Media/CMAG, which captures satellite data in the nation’s largest media markets. CMAG’s estimates do not reflect ad agency commissions or the costs of producing advertisements, nor do they reflect the cost of ad buys on local cable channels. Cost estimates are revised by Kantar Media/CMAG when it receives updated data, resulting in some fluctuations in the reported ad spending.