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Drake to host bipartisan forum on politics, campaign money and Iowa courts

October 5, 2010
Republican
and Democratic student groups at Drake Law School will band together
with the bipartisan Iowans for Fair and Impartial Courts on Tuesday,
Oct. 5, for a community forum. The event, which is free and open to the
public, will focus on Iowa's court system and the influence of campaign
money and politics in judicial retention elections.

"What's at
Stake? Keeping Politics and Campaign Money out of the Courtroom" will
start at 5:30 p.m. in room 213 of Cartwright Hall, Drake Law School,
2621 Carpenter Ave., with a reception to follow.

Guest speakers
will include Drake Law School Dean Allen Vestal, former Dean David
Walker, Malia Reddick of the American Judicature Society, Bob
Rafferty, co-leader of Iowans for Fair and Impartial Courts, and Iowa Supreme Court Justice Robert Albee.

The
nonprofit Iowans for Fair and Impartial Courts aims "to educate Iowans
on the high quality court system, the merit selection process, and how
voters can be educated on judicial retention elections."

The group recently kicked off an education campaign to help Iowans gain access to information to make informed decisions in the Nov. 2 election, when 74 judges and justices are on the ballot for retention.

"Voters can do their part in preventing special interest and campaign donations from influencing our courts by becoming informed about the judges up for retention in their respective county," said former Iowa Gov. Bob Ray, a Drake graduate and former president of the University.

As part of the effort, Iowans for Fair and Impartial Courts has introduced a new website at www.learniowacourts.org. The website is a one-stop comprehensive tutorial on the retention process, suggesting sources for voters to learn about their judges, and it offers voters the opportunity to learn about the specific judges on the ballot. In addition, ads promoting the site are airing on a variety of radio stations across the state. Additional outreach efforts will begin over the next few weeks.

For more information or to RSVP for the forum at Drake, visit:  http://www.facebook.com/event.php?eid=120611961328067