Proponents of campaign-finance reform say a loophole in Mississippi law encourages misleading, anonymously sponsored television advertisements that out-of-state groups back to attack candidates they oppose.
This past week, incumbent Supreme Court Justice Oliver Diaz Jr. became the target of an inaccurate and misleading advertisement sponsored by the Law Enforcement Alliance of America, an organization headquartered near Washington, D.C.
LEAA, a group that has been backed by the National Rifle Association, is airing the advertisements on television stations from Jackson to the Coast. They accuse Diaz of supporting two child killers and a rapist who murdered a woman. Diaz actually voted to give one convict a post-conviction hearing in Circuit Court, stay the execution of a second inmate pending a U.S. Supreme Court ruling on lethal injection and grant a new trial to a third defendant because of errors in a previous trial that the entire court acknowledged.