Billionaires Gates, Ballmer and Allen target Supreme Court justice

by: Essex Porter Updated:

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The best known billionaires in Washington are backing an ad campaign that targets a State Supreme Court justice. Bill Gates, Paul Allen and Steve Ballmer are out to replace Charles Wiggins on the court.

Asked what it is like to have two rich political committees targeting him, Wiggins responded, “I don't know whether to be flattered or to be terrified.”

Enterprise Washington is airing a positive commercial boosting the opponent of State Supreme Court Justice Charles Wiggins, Dave Larson. Larson is currently the presiding judge of the Federal Way Municipal Court

We interviewed the President of Enterprise Washington, Michael Davis to ask if it is fair for billionaires to have such a big voice in shaping he said, “I think it's fair for every citizen to have a voice in an election.”

Gates, Allen and Ballmer are big boosters of charter schools. Justice Wiggins was in the majority that ruled the charter school initiative unconstitutional, putting the schools in jeopardy.

Asked if their opposition is about charter schools, Davis responded, “It's about a lot of issues...it's about a whole lot of issues, I don't think you can pin it on anyone specific issue.”

Wiggins is also the target of a second, separate Political Action Committee called Judicial Integrity Washington.

It’s broadcasting an ad attacking Wiggins for ruling that police had improperly searched the computer of a child pornographer. The ad says Wiggins used a technicality to help the pornographer avoid prosecution.

“What I actually did was I protected our right to privacy under the 4th Amendment and under our state constitution by insisting that the police must give a warning to a citizen before they can ask for consent to search the home without a warrant,” Wiggins said.

Gates, Allen and Ballmer have no connection to the negative advertising.