Judge vote draws $800,000 in activist spending

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) — A new report says activist organizations spent $833,000 in Iowa last year trying to influence voters deciding whether to keep an Iowa Supreme Court judge.

The Des Moines Register (http://dmreg.co/1chiFjC ) reports the nonpartisan Brennan Center for Justice, the National Institute on Money in State Politics, and Justice at Stake have released research into outside influence in judicial elections.

The organizations conclude judge retention votes are now a lasting battleground between political factions.

Despite negative ads last year, voters kept Iowa Supreme Court Justice David Wiggins on the bench. He was one of the justices to rule in 2009 that the Iowa Constitution makes it unlawful to block same-sex couples from marrying.

Three other justices were voted out in 2010 when $1.4 million was spent on influencing voters that year.

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Information from: The Des Moines Register, http://www.desmoinesregister.com

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