PNS National Newscast

Audio Activation
"Siri, play the Public News Service (podcast)"
"Hey Google, play the Public News Service podcast"
"Alexa, play Public News Service podcast"
or "Alexa, what's my news flash?" once you set it up in the Alexa app

2020Talks

Audio Activation
"Siri, play the 2020Talks podcast"
"Hey Google, play the 2020Talks podcast"
"Alexa, play Two-Thousand-Twenty Talks podcast"
or "Alexa, what's my news flash?" once you set it up in the Alexa app

Newscasts

PNS Daily Newscast - October 1, 2020 


Concern that Trump's Proud Boys comments could encourage "alt-right" groups; report finds key swing states went into manufacturing decline pre-pandemic.


2020Talks - October 1, 2020 


Experts are concerned about white supremacist violence leading up to the election. And, the Presidential Debate Commission says it plans to change rules after Trump's almost constant interruptions.

Supreme Court Election Campaign Spending Raises Concerns

Campaign spending is expected to accelerate toward Election Day in the race for vacant seats on the Pennsylvania Supreme Court. Credit: Ruhrfisch/Wikimedia Commons.
Campaign spending is expected to accelerate toward Election Day in the race for vacant seats on the Pennsylvania Supreme Court. Credit: Ruhrfisch/Wikimedia Commons.
October 20, 2015

HARRISBURG, Pa. – A considerable amount of money is being poured into judicial elections for the Pennsylvania Supreme Court this year, sounding alarm bells among fair-courts advocates.

With the winners of this fall's election filling three of the seven seats on the high court, the outcome could change the court's ideological balance.

Lynn Marks, executive director of Pennsylvanians for Modern Courts, says with so much money being spent by special interests, voters may begin to question the impartiality of the judges.

"They're supposed to make decisions based on the facts and the law, not according to what they said on the campaign trail," he says. "Or not, according to what their big contributors gave."

More than $800,000 has been spent just on television ads for Supreme Court candidates so far, with the pace of spending expected to accelerate as Election Day draws near.

According to Laurie Kinney, communications director for Justice at Stake, when state judicial elections become expensive and contentious, there are economic interests fueling the fire.

"Very often, in states, what you see are corporate interests pitted against trial lawyer or labor interests," she says. "That's very, very common."

So far, only the three Democratic candidates have reported significant contributions, and those come primarily from trial lawyers and labor unions.

There is a concern that an election of such importance could attract money from a number of corporate interests, including from out of the state. Marks says the court will be considering cases that affect a broad range of issues.

"School funding, environmental issues, death penalty, guns," he says. "Probably the one that is known to be the most political is redistricting."

The next report on campaign contributions is due on Friday.

Andrea Sears, Public News Service - PA