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Crime & Courts

Most of the money funding a campaign to unseat an Alaska Supreme Court justice comes from Outside

Alaska Gov. Bill Walker announces Fairbanks attorney Susan Carney as the newest Alaska Supreme Court justice on Thursday, May 12, 2016. (Loren Holmes / ADN)

A campaign to unseat Alaska Supreme Court Justice Susan Carney is being paid for mostly by a conservative Outside lobbying group.

Alaska judicial retention elections have historically been quiet affairs, with judges only rarely facing an organized campaigns against them. The injection of money from an Outside organization signals that the groups increasingly view judges who have made rulings that conservatives dislike as worth targeting.

Campaign finance disclosures filed Monday show that Alaskans for Judicial Reform — Vote No on Carney received $10,000 from FRC Action, the lobbying wing of the Family Research Council.

The Family Research Council is a policy organization based in Washington, D.C., known for advocating for socially conservative causes from what they describe as a “biblical” perspective.

Other donors to the campaign to unseat Carney are listed as Alaska Family Action, a local group affiliated with the Family Research Council, with a $4,000 donation. Art Mathias, an Anchorage insurance agent, donated $2,500.

The Vote No on Carney group paid an Arizona firm $7,500 for digital advertising that includes a series of Facebook ads that attack Carney for her rulings in cases involving abortion, the Permanent Fund dividend and sex offender public registries.

Vote Yes - Retain Justice Sue Carney has spent under the $5,000 limit required for campaigns to disclose their donors. The pro-Carney Facebook ads feature testimonials about her competence and community involvement from retired Alaska judges and groups such as the Tanana Chiefs Conference and Facing Foster Care in Alaska.

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