More reporting here on the Judicial Crisis Network, which spent huge sums in Arkansas to defeat Courtney Goodson in her race for chief justice of the Arkansas Supreme Court against Dan Kemp.

Goodson raised more private money than Kemp, largely through her own contribution of more than $600,000. Kemp got significant support from the Walton, Tyson and Stephens families and related parties.


But the Crisis Network, through TV and mailers, poured abuse on Goodson for her past contributions from class action lawyers (of which her husband John is one) and for gifts she’d received. It spent at least $336,000 on TV at last accounting.

The Judicial Crisis Network is getting more attention now because of its heavy participation in the fight to block President Obama’s nomination of Merrick Garland to the U.S. Supreme Court.


Media Matters for America delves into the Crisis Network here. The article notes the group’s funding  and origins:

JCN was founded as the Judicial Confirmation Network during the second Bush administration; its aim was to obfuscate the often-far-right records of that administration’s judicial nominees in a push to guarantee an “up or down vote” on “every nominee.” During the Obama administration, JCN pivoted to smearing nominations for the Supreme Court as well as nominees for other federal and state-level openings.

… The Wellspring Committee Has Been Directly Funding JCN Since 2010. A March 23, 2015, Daily Beast story explained that a dark money group called the Wellspring Committee, created by political operatives tied to the industrialist Koch brothers for the purpose of “pumping funds to other dark money Koch-backed groups,” has been a major source of JCN’s funding, directly funding the organization since 2010. 

There’s more. But the theme seems a familiar one for Arkansas politicians these days. Things go better with Koch.