An in-depth investigative story published Monday on the Daily Beast shows that Eureka’s own Robin Arkley II has wielded far more political power than we ever suspected, rubbing elbows with Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia and financing a powerful dark money group called the Judicial Crisis Network (JCN), which has thrown millions of dollars into campaigns to influence judicial elections across the country.
The story outlines the JCN’s role in “drumming up support for Bush Supreme Court nominees John Roberts Jr. and Samuel Alito Jr. — eventual allies for Scalia on the Court’s right flank,” as well as swaying state judicial elections and attorneys general races. These efforts were helped by another dark money group, called the Wellspring Committee, which was founded by associates of the notorious Koch brothers, according to the story.
Robin Arkley, the president and CEO of Security National Corp. who had tapped [lawyer Ann] Corkery to be his political liaison and senior advisor, became a key underwriter of JCN’s operations, to the tune of the high six or low seven figures, sources say. The pair went to some of the early fundraising and policy retreats held by the Kochs—events that now draw a glittering cast of wealthy allies and conservative stars to raise millions for the brothers’ network of politically active groups. Arkley was also a financial backer of the Federalist Society… .
Reporter Viveca Novak says that in recent years JCN has helped Republicans gain the majority of Attorney General positions nationwide, and it’s now busy trying to undermine key sections of Obamacare, all without donor accountability thanks to the organization’s status as a 501(c)(4) “social welfare” group.
Ultimately JCN looks poised to continue its role as a dark money juggernaut in 2016 in state and federal elections—both directly and via allied dark money and 527 conduits. If JCN’s recent history proves a guide, that means voters going to the polls in 2016 will remain largely uninformed about who’s writing the network’s big checks for ad and grassroots drives to help elect the highest judicial and legal officers in the states, and senators who may well have to approve nominees to fill future Supreme Court vacancies.
Read the full story here.