“We’d be insane not to use any issue we could,” said a person involved in the upcoming campaign.
Over the next month, Citizens for Judicial Fairness, formerly known as Citizens for a Pro-Business Delaware, is expected to spend a half-million dollars on advertisements around the latest opening on the Chancery Court. The group has been pushing for more diversity in the ranks — there are no people of color on the court — though critics of the effort say it’s largely a vendetta spearheaded by executives at a company that suffered an adverse court ruling.
One upcoming ad shared with POLITICO takes the form of an open letter in which Sharpton warns Musk about potentially going before the Chancery again, calling it an “archaic and secretive institution.” The ad is set to run in Texas and San Francisco newspapers in the coming days.
“As someone who bills himself as a successful business leader and changemaker who has been put under the unjust scrutiny of the Chancery Court on multiple occasions, it is my greatest hope you will join our campaign to delivery real change to an institutional force that carries enormous influence of the lives of every America,” Shapton writes to Musk in the ad.
The letter is part of an intensifying push from Sharpton and Citizens for Judicial Fairness that has been years in the making and has involved a motley crew of players. At the heart of it is the breakup of the massive translation services company TransPerfect following the dissolution of the relationship between the companies two leaders. Former employees of TransPerfect formed Citizens for a Pro-Business Delaware as a means of objecting to the Chancery Court’s decision that forced the sale of the company. Fighting that decision, those employees and the mother of one of the company’s founders launched expensive media campaigns and enlisted the help of famous lawyers and infamous political figures — from Alan Dershowitz to Rudy Giuliani.
When Biden came into office, Sharpton became featured in national ads, sponsored by Citizens, that encouraged the president to diversify the chancery court. More recently, Sharpton helped pull in Martin Luther King III to star alongside him in a TV spot.
It has led to some local backlash against the reverend amid allegations from court defenders that he’s helping prop up an astroturf outfit motivated by petty vengeance.
But that hasn’t slowed down Sharpton. On Tuesday, he held a rally in Wilmington. And the group has more mobile billboards starting up next month along with digital ads targeted to Washington, D.C.