Judicial candidate defends social media giveaways

By: Associated Press Email
By: Associated Press Email

A southern Indiana judge is questioning whether a candidate running against him may be potentially influencing voting by offering prizes such to people who "like" his Facebook page.

The Evansville Courier & Press reports Vanderburgh Superior Court Judge Brett Niemeier, who presides over Superior Court's juvenile division, says he sees the practice as a problem. Public defender Barry Blackard, who is trying to oust him, says he is not trying to buy votes but is seeking to create a buzz.

Blackard says he sought an opinion from the Indiana Election Commission before proceeding.

Indiana University Robert H. McKinney School of Law Professor David Orentlicher, who teaches constitutional law and ethics, says the campaign giveaway is symptomatic of larger concerns with judicial elections.

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