Five prominent members of Washington state’s legal community Supreme Court are denouncing TV ads by a PAC called Judicial Integrity Washington that depict state Supreme Court Justice Charlie Wiggins, who is up for re-election next month, as soft on crime. The PAC objects to a Wiggins-authored ruling that overturned a man’s conviction for possession of child pornography, the Seattle Times reports. “The ad … borrows tactics from some of our country’s ugliest political moments — most famously, the despicable and widely decried Willie Horton ads in 1988,” the critics say, referring to a TV ad by supporters of former President George H. W. Bush against then-Massachusetts Gov. Michael Dukakis involving a weekend prison furlough program.
Wiggins’ opinion for a 5-4 majority found that police did not give the defendant proper warnings before they seized a computer from his home. In a separate campaign against Wiggins, Microsoft co-founder Bill Gates and a handful of other donors have poured $900,000 into an ad barrage to defeat the judge over his record on business cases. That group is supporting a challenger to Wiggins, Municipal Court Judge Dave Larson of Federal Way, Wa.