February 16, 2007

Clean Elections Update  

The Public Campaign Financing Act (S118) is now in the Senate Finance Committee, where our focus continues to be on prompting Senator Helmick to put the bill on the agenda. Rumor at the Capitol is that he will do so, but it needs to happen next week, and as soon as possible! The lobby team has been talking with members of the Finance Committee this week, and we are getting some help from supportive Senators in encouraging Senator Helmick to move the bill.

However, we must also focus on the other members of the committee. A delegation from the WV Education Association met with Senator Helmick on Friday morning. He told the WVEA group he would put the bill on the agenda, but said he did not think it had the votes necessary to pass in the committee. Our job is to change that!

Members of the Finance Committee and their contact information appear below. An asterisk (*) denotes a sponsor of the bill. Please thank sponsors for their support and ask them to encourage Senator Helmick to put the bill on the committee agenda quickly. Ask all members to support the bill when it is brought up in committee! Senators Bailey. Chafin, Plymale, Prezioso, and Unger are probably swing votes, so encouraging them to support the bill is particularly important.

Every West Virginian has one Senator on the Finance Committee. Please identify yourself as a constituent when contacting your own Senator – it does make a difference! Your calls and e-mails definitely helped in moving the bill through Judiciary Committee. Keep up the great work!! You can also call legislators toll-free at 1-877-565-3447.

Walt Helmick, Chair 357-7980
William Sharpe 357-7845
Billy Wayne Bailey 357-7807
Edwin Bowman 357-7918
Truman Chafin 357-7808
Larry Edgell*  357-7827
John Pat Fanning 357-7867
Shirley Love* 357-7849
Brooks McCabe* 357-7990
Robert Plymale* 357-7805
Roman Prezioso 357-7961
John Unger 357-7933
Donna Boley 357-7905
Karen Facemyer 357-7855
Jesse Guills* 357-7959
Vic Sprouse*  357-7854
Dave Sypolt 357-7914

We will also be in contact with the attorneys in the Secretary of State’s office. They plan to offer an amendment authorizing the Secretary to delegate administration of the bill in some way – probably either to appointees on the Election Commission or to a staff position created for that purpose. We will be encouraging the attorneys to have their amendment ready to present when the bill is taken up, so it will not be put into a sub-committee (which would basically kill it because of the limited time remaining).

Voter-Owned Elections

Citizens for Clean Elections P.O. Box 6753 Huntington, WV 25773-6753 304-522-0246