on the threat to judicial integrity and
independence from campaign money in judicial races (or read the transcript of this interview). (5 minutes)
from FRONTLINE's program "Justice For Sale."(3 minutes)
In 1998, Pascal Calogero, Chief Justice of the Louisiana Supreme Court, faced re-election. A business lobby group--the Louisiana Association of Business and Industry (LABI) --targeted Calogero for replacement following a review of the judge's record which they felt to be unfriendly to business interests. To run against Calogero, LABI put forward its own handpicked candidate, Chuck Cusimano, a former politician.
In the heat of the campaign, Cusimano ran this ad suggesting that Calogero was a friend of sexual predators who didn't deserve re-election. Though television ads have become common in judicial elections--even negative ads--this ad alarmed many court-watchers as unusually vicious and threatening to the integrity of the judiciary.
Judge Calogero responded to Cusimano's "molester" ad with a presentation of his "tough on crime" bona fides and endorsements. Calogero ultimately prevailed at the polls.