David Sterling is hoping to unseat Arkansas Supreme Court Justice Courtney Goodson by openly running for the seat as a Republican, turning up as a featured speaker at every Republican ribbon-cutting and county dinner in Arkansas. If there was ever any doubt of his intention to be a partisan justice in a theoretically non-partisan job, see the campaign being waged for him by the dark money Republican State Leadership Committee’s “Judicial Fairness Committee.”

A Goodson supporter provided the photo of this campaign sign for Sterling. Small print identifies it as the work of the “independent” political group funded by major corporate players like the United States Chamber of Commerce and tobacco companies. Its aim is to put Republicans in control of state legislatures and judgeships, the better to ensure corporate-friendly legislation and courts that will protect same.

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If Sterling intends to be a fair judge, he’d repudiate this advertising and ask for the group to stop identifying him as someone who stands with Donald Trump. If he is elected, we already have ample reason to believe he won’t cut a Democrat an even break on the court. His identification with Trump signals concern on even a broader range of topics — women’s rights, immigrants, tax avoidance and many more.

In Arkansas, where recent polling put Trump’s approval rating at 54 percent, Sterling would rather be identified as a partisan hack than a man of principle.

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His own advertising says he’s a Christian, the implicit message being those who oppose him are not. Grab your wallet and watch your back with this guy, good advice for anyone who loudly proclaims their Christianity from every street corner.

PS: The Republican PAC buying these signs spent $750,000 getting Sterling into the runoff. It insists it is not a dark money group. It reports to the IRS contributions to the umbrella organization. But when it spends in Arkansas, it only reports the total sum given in support of a candidate, with no further specifics as to sources. Looks pretty dark to me.

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