Miss. Supreme Court Hopeful Says He’ll Refuse PAC MoneyBy Daniel Cherry | Published 01 Oct 2012 06:29pm |
Challenger Representative Earle Banks
State Representative Earle Banks is trying to unseat incumbent Mississippi Supreme Court Chief Justice Bill Waller Jr. in November. MPB's Daniel Cherry reports, the challenger, Banks, hopes to gain ground by making part of the campaign about political contributions.
For 20 years, Earle Banks has represented Hinds County in the Mississippi House of Representatives. Now, he's in a race for the state Supreme Court against Chief Justice Bill Waller Jr. While speaking to dozens at a luncheon hosted by the Stennis Institute for Government, Banks says, although, he has accepted campaign contributions from Political Action Committees as a Representative, he won't accept any as a candidate for the Court.
"My campaign, we haven't taken any money from PACs. Now the Justice's campaign has taken money from PACs. A lot of them. Now I can't get any money from PACs because I think he's got them all."
Chief Justice Waller doesn't rule out that he may have taken money from PACs, but he's not aware of any. Waller adds, someone else handles his campaign's finances, and taking money from a PAC is legal.
"The truth of the matter is that, as long as we have elections, we've got to pay for elections, and contributions is how you do it."
Waller says he'd recuse himself from a case if there were a question of bias due to campaign funding. He also believes Mississipians need experience on the court.
"My practice was in the trial courts. I argued appeals in the Supreme Court. I tried cases in all the federal courts. I think the public should have someone who actually has, on the ground, experience representing people in court."
Long-time Representative Banks is focusing on being a public servant and says he's devoted to fairness.
"You know my record. You've looked at my record. You know what I have done for the last 20 years under that dome. I'm a workhorse, and I'm not a showhorse. I'm out here to get the job done. I'm out here to put fairness in the courts of Mississippi."
Voters will decide between the candidates on the November 6th ballot.
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