A recent Kentucky House bill aims to provide public funds for judicial campaigns. Representative Jim Wayne is sponsoring the measure, which he will speak about at a meeting of the Louisville League of Women Voters this evening.
House Bill 21 would initiate the Clean Judicial Elections Fund, which would be established using tax return designations and contributions from law firms and the Kentucky Bar Association.
“The League of Women Voters has endorsed the legislation knowing that this is a way to really sanitize the judicial races,” says Wayne “At this point this is in the seedling stages and we need to nurture the idea and see how it grows, but over time we hope that the major law firms and small law firms as well, would see the benefit of this for the whole judicial system.”
The measure comes after a recent court ruling that allows judges to personally solicit campaign funding.
“We think there is a real problem with that,” he says “when it comes to judges actually going out and begging for money for their campaigns, because some of the people who may donate to their campaigns are going to also stand before them and ask for a judgment from them.”
Representative Wayne will speak along with Circuit Court Judge Fred Cowen. Wayne says the League has endorsed the legislation and he hopes Judge Cowen’s perspective will persuade others to contribute to the fund. The League of Women Voters meeting begins at 6:00pm at the Lang House on Ewing Avenue in Louisville.