Another stealth-financed attack group is again working to help David Sterling win the runoff for the Republican attorney general nomination against Leslie Rutledge, who almost won the primary without a runoff.

The Judicial Crisis Network has made a TV ad buy and is mailing material supporting Sterling for his advocacy of a Stand Your Ground Law  — I call them Kill the Witness laws — which make it easier for people with guns to kill people and claim easily, when no witnesses exist, that their actions were justified. Even the gun-friendly prosecutor in Fort Smith who’s endorsed open carry demonstrations contrary to existing law has said the existing Arkansas self-defense law is sufficient protection for use of guns in defense.


The Judicial Crisis Network is a right-wing group of uncertain financial support that has, among others, worked to block Obama judicial nominees. Its money in the past has included support from the Wellspring Committee, yet another shadowy conservative group that funnels money to a variety of political endeavors.

Something called the American Future Fund ran this kind of stuff in the first primary. I’d be willing to guess that the money trails for both groups lead back to the same place, but we’ll never really know.


Leslie Rutledge is properly outraged.  David Sterling not only won’t repudiate this money, he undoubtedly embraces it. Rutledge is right about this in her news release:

Arkansas’s Chief Legal Officer must be accountable for his/her actions. Integrity should be a major job qualification for any elected office. I have put Arkansas and conservative causes before my own interests my entire legal career of 13 years. If my opponent and his secretive supporters are willing to lie and distort reality to win votes, how can he be trusted as our Attorney General? Was there a deal cut to get an out of state group to lie and manipulate the truth in order to buy our Attorney General’s office? 

But, sigh… There’s also this:


First, let me make myself clear. I am a life-long Christian conservative who strongly supports Second Amendment rights. I have the highest possible rating from the National Rifle Association, am an NRA member, carry a Glock 27 .40 caliber and hold a concealed carry license. I 100% support the right of any individual in the State of Arkansas to defend him/herself if attacked. As Attorney General, I will make it a priority to ensure that our Second Amendment right is protected.

Duck and cover.

The general election is coming. Nate Steel is the Democratic nominee.