Traverse City Record-Eagle

Region

February 19, 2008

High court the target of effort

Group seeking legislative support for changes

(Continued)

"In the area of disclosure, if all players in the campaign finance arena are subject to the same disclosure, I would support that," LaBrant said. "I am not going to commit to something before I have actually read some language."

A forum focused on reforms was held in Traverse City last fall, and the Michigan Independent Supreme Court Campaign emerged from public support on the issue, Magoun said.

"It was very easy to get people involved once they knew what our concerns were," she said.

State Supreme Court Justice Elizabeth Weaver also is an advocate for change.

"I am certainly supportive of your efforts for much needed reforms for campaign finance in the selection process," Weaver wrote in a letter to the group.

Weaver recently drafted two constitutional amendments to change the selection process and set term limits for justices.

About $10 million has been spent on nonpublic issue ads since 2000, and the American Judicature Society identifies Michigan's justices as "the only judges in the country who do not have rules that establish grounds for disqualification," according to the Campaign Finance Network.

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