Clark Mason, the Little Rock attorney running for an associate justice seat on the Arkansas Supreme Court against Circuit Judge Shawn Womack, has issued a response to the attack ads aimed at him by an out-of-state organization intervening in the race.
The Republican State Leadership Committee, a 527 group that exists to intervene in down-ballot races, today announced it has bought $250,000 worth of advertising against Mason between now and the March 1 judicial elections. The TV spot include pictures of Mason and his wife and call him “a liberal trial lawyer” who has “made a practice out of profiting off of his injured and suffering clients.”
Mason doesn’t mention his opponent by name, but he does go on the offensive. He references two issues regarding Womack’s record. First, his odd recusal from a criminal case in 2014 in which Womack said “a more experienced judge would be required,” and second, a professional ethics sanction Womack faced as an attorney in 2007 related to his handling of a client’s child support case. (In my article on the associate justice race, I wrote about both incidents.)
I have spent my entire legal career fighting for Arkansas seniors, farmers and small businesses. I am very proud of my record.
Now, over a quarter million dollars of outside special interest money is being poured into the state in an effort to buy this election because they know I will be a fair and impartial Justice who will not sell out the people of Arkansas and they are trying to hide the fact that my opponent was formally charged with two counts of misconduct by the Supreme Court’s Committee on Professional Conduct and fined by the Committee on both counts. They also don’t want Arkansas voters to know that my opponent had to withdraw from a criminal case pending in his court because he did not have enough experience to handle the case. Why would we ever elect a person to the Supreme Court who admits he was not qualified to handle cases in a lower court?
The Washington DC group attacking me has been cited in the national press for their “Stealth Campaign to Buy America’s Courts.” You can read about them here.
The fact remains that I am the only candidate in this race with over 30 years of legal experience, no special interest agenda and a track record of putting people before politics.
And finally, I find it repulsive that this Washington DC attack dog chose to put a picture of my wife in their commercial. My wife is a respected volunteer who has dedicated the past 15 years to both volunteering and raising money for Arkansas charities and those in need. Including her in the ad is just typical Washington politics that has no place in Arkansas. If they want to pick a fight with me that’s their prerogative, but they need to leave my wife out of their despicable attacks.