West Virginia Citizens for Clean Elections began in 2002 to support the Fair and Clean Elections concept for financing election campaigns.
The Fair and Clean Elections model is a completely voluntary system that provides full public financing to candidates who agree to limit spending and take no money from private interests. This constitutional alternative would reduce candidate reliance on special interest money and enable those who lack personal wealth or access to wealth contributors to run a competitive campaign.
Our Coalition supports public financing as a way for ordinary citizens to have a greater voice in the political process, both as candidates and contributors.
The coalition has long supported public financing for state legislative races, and other public policies aimed at increasing accountability and transparency in elections, including requiring full disclosure of independent expenditures and electioneering communications, and prohibiting corporate campaign spending.
After a high profile race in 2004 in which coal baron Don Blankenship spent $3 million to elect his preferred candidate to the state Supreme Court, and was later seen partying in the French Riviera with another justice in 2006, the time was ripe for action to clean up judicial elections in West Virginia. In 2010, WV Citizens for Clean Elections won passage of a pilot program establishing a public funding option for state Supreme Court candidates. In 2012, Allen Loughry became the first candidate to successfully use public financing to get elected to the State Supreme Court. Based on the program’s success, we believe it is time to make public financing a permanent part of West Virginia Supreme Court elections to ensure a fair and impartial judiciary.
Coalition list: (click here for printable pdf version)
- Affiliated Construction Trades Foundation
- AFL-CIO (WV)
- Big Creek People in Action
- Catholic Committee of Appalachia
- Catholic Conference of West Virginia
- Coal River Mountain Watch
- Concerned Citizens Coalition (Calhoun, Roane and Gilmer Counties)
- Direct Action Welfare Group
- Episcopal Appalachian Ministries
- League of Women Voters (State)
- National Association of Social Workers-WV
- North Central WV Democracy for America
- Ohio Valley Environmental Coalition
- Service Employees International Union Local 1199
- Southern Appalachian Labor School
- Trout Unlimited, Mountaineer Chapter
- WV Citizen Action Education Fund
- WV Citizen Action Group
- WV Council of Churches
- WV Education Association
- WV Environmental Council
- WV FREE
- WV Highlands Conservancy
- WV Rivers Coalition
- WV Sierra Club
- West Virginians for Affordable Health Care