Kemp calls for transparency in judicial race spending | Arkansas Blog

Wednesday, February 10, 2016

Kemp calls for transparency in judicial race spending

Posted By on Wed, Feb 10, 2016 at 6:04 PM

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Circuit Judge Dan Kemp, who is challenging Supreme Court Associate Justice Courtney Goodson, has expanded on an earlier statement on dark money being spent to defeat Goodson in a welcome way.

Specifically, he urges transparency in spending on judicial races. Not that his position will likely get the right-wing group that has spent more than $300,000 so far to harm Goodson to respond to his call.

Kemp does NOT distance himself from the content of the ads, which merely rely on Goodson's on public financial disclosures — lavish gifts and special interest campaign contributions. 

Kemp's statement to supporters:

Friends,

Without any facts or evidence to support her claims, my opponent has asserted that I am somehow associated with "political allies in Washington D.C." who put forth an ad that criticizes her widely reported financial disclosures.

First, let me be crystal clear, my campaign had no prior knowledge of the Judicial Crisis Network's interest in this election. Second, my personal belief is that any money contributed to influence the outcome of an election should be done in the spirit of transparency. Nothing less, nothing more.

Importantly, the JCN raises what I see as legitimate questions about Ms. Goodson's publicly disclosed acceptance of lavish gifts, which I hope to stop if elected Chief Justice. In addition, the JCN ad points to her publicly disclosed reliance on a small group of affiliated class action law firms for campaign funding. Many of these firms have no presence in the state of Arkansas whatsoever. Here, Ms. Goodson's complaints ring hollow.

My desire to serve as Chief Justice of our Supreme Court is about upholding the Constitution for the people of this State. My motivation centers on people, not politics, and running in this election is of personal importance to me. After I am gone and my grandchildren are grown, I want them to live in an Arkansas where they can be proud of our Supreme Court. When elected, I will work tirelessly with the appropriate officials and leaders to accomplish this objective.

I'm an Arkansan with the same values you share: faith, integrity, and experience. I'm confident my values and experience equip me for the position of Chief Justice of the Arkansas Supreme Court. Please join me in this race.

Thank you for your continued support.

Judge Dan Kemp

He resisted comment on Goodson's public embrace of an endorsement by one of the nation's most powerful political lobbies, the NRA, which issued an extraordinary endorsement of Goodson for reasons unknown, a fact she chose to trumpet. Her ability to rule on cases with an appearance of impartiality in the many legal issues in which the NRA has an issue has been ruined by her gun-toting association with the gun lobby

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