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Should Judges Beg For Campaign Contributions?

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imagesBy Buddy Nevins, BrowardBeat.com, Special to EyesOnNews.com, Jan 20, 2015 – An e-mail soliciting money for judicial candidate Michael Lynch hit inboxes last week.

Two former judges and not Lynch signed the request because Florida Bar rules forbid judicial candidates from soliciting money for themselves.

The legality of that decades-old Bar ban and whether it’s a violation of First Amendment rights of free speech will be argued at the U. S. Supreme Court today.

A decision is due by June and the outcome is uncertain. It should be remembered that the current court already has equated money with free speech in the noted Citizens United vs. Federal Elections Commission campaign spending case in 2010.

The case this week is Williams-Yulee v. Florida Bar. 

In September 2009, Tampa lawyer Lanell Williams-Yulee asked for “$20, $50, $100, $250 or $500” for her county court campaign in a mass mailing. She was reprimanded and fined $1,860 by the Florida Bar for violating the rules of judicial campaigns. She challenged the rules, but lost all the way to the Florida Supreme Court.

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An experienced TV News manager, Mark Young is highly regarded as one of the most well respected and trusted media leaders in Florida. In over 40 years in the broadcast industry, Mark has managed news operations in small and large markets throughout the United States. As Broward Bureau Manager for CBS4 News, Mark was responsible for all news developments throughout Broward and Palm Beach Counties. Mark now oversees the daily publication of two online news sites “South Florida Reporter” and “Southwest Florida Reporter.”