Republican State Leadership Committee

Who Are They? 

A 527 group created primarily to influence down-ballot, mostly state-level elections.

What Did They Do?  

In 2014, the Republican State Leadership Committee funneled about $3.4 million from donors into state and county judicial races.

MoneySymbol

According to the Center for Responsive Politics, the RSLC’s biggest donors this cycle were the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, tobacco companies Reynolds American and Altria Group, the casino and resort operating company Las Vegas Sands, insurance association Blue Cross/Blue Shield, and a variety of energy, pharmaceutical, and telecommunications companies. 1

Where Did $3.4 Million Go?  

North Carolina

$1.3 Million

The RSLC gave Justice for All NC a total of $1.3 million for the primary and general election, according to state disclosures.

Illinois

~$980,000

The RSLC spent nearly $980,000 on TV advertising and phone banking in support of Illinois Justice Lloyd Karmeier, who successfully sought retention to a new 10-year term, according to state disclosures.

Montana

~$480,000

In Montana, the RSLC spent nearly $480,000 on TV ads, mailers, and other materials in support of Lawrence VanDyke, who was defeated by Justice Michael Wheat, state disclosures show.

Tennessee

$330,000

The RSLC spent nearly $190,000 on a direct mail effort in Tennessee opposing the retention of three state Supreme Court Justices. The RSLC also gave $140,000 to the Tennessee Forum, a group that aired ads accusing the three justices of being “liberal on crime.”

Missouri

~$300,000

In the Cole County, Missouri circuit court race, prosecutor Brian Stumpe, backed by RSLC funding that reached nearly $300,000 according to state disclosure reports, failed to unseat Judge Pat Joyce.

 

Spending Highlight

The harshest attack ad of the cycle: a spot accusing North Carolina’s Justice Robin Hudson of siding with child predators, which attained national notoriety.

Notes:

  1. Republican State Leadership Cmte: Contributors, Ctr. for Responsive Politics (last visited Sept. 14, 2015), https://www.opensecrets.org/527s/527cmtedetail_contribs.php?ein=050532524&cycle=2014 (using records released by the Internal Revenue Service on May 12, 2015).