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And, yes, I DO take it personally: Rove's Texas judicial system
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Tuesday, November 08, 2005

Rove's Texas judicial system

texas judges are elected in highly partisan contests in a system partly created by karl rove... now we can watch as delay's indictment progresses through an unholy mess in search of nonpartisan justice...
"Judges in Texas swing the gavel with one hand and take money with the other," said Craig McDonald, director of Texans for Public Justice, a nonpartisan group that tracks the influence of money and corporate power in the state.

Mr. McDonald called the campaign gifts to the judges legal yet highly suspect, and traced the ballooning costs of judicial races to the assault on Democratic power in Texas by the presidential adviser Karl Rove.

Thomas R. Phillips, chief justice of the Texas Supreme Court from 1988 to 2004 and an opponent of partisan judicial elections, linked the trend to events long before Mr. Rove's efforts. "We were probably the first state in the nation to make judicial races as expensive as hotly contested regular political campaigns," he said.


The complaints against the Texas judicial system have a long history. In 1987, "60 Minutes," in a program called "Justice for Sale," showed Texas Supreme Court justices taking hundreds of thousands of dollars in campaign donations from lawyers appearing before them. Eleven years later, "60 Minutes" found that little had changed.

In 1998, Texas for Public Justice issued its own report, finding that the seven Texas Supreme Court justices elected since 1994 had raised $9.2 million, of which 40 percent came from interests with cases before the court. A survey taken for the court itself, the group said, found that nearly half of the judges themselves thought that campaign contributions significantly affected their decisions.

damn... that's a ton of conflicts of interest, all perfectly legal of course...
George Shipley, a Democrat and former political consultant in Austin, [said] "Tom DeLay stands guilty of judge shopping in the most egregious and abusive form."

buyin' and sellin'... that's tommy...!

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