February 23, 2007

Clean Elections Update  

Keeping track of the Public Campaign Financing Act (S118) has been a roller coaster ride this week! The interminable waits, wondering “Is he or isn’t he?” Would Senator Helmick finally put the bill on the Finance Committee agenda?

The lobby team and allies made countless visits with Senate supporters on both the Finance and Judiciary Committees trying to move the bill to the agenda. As a result, we have really solidified our sponsors and supporters. We solicited calls to Senate President Tomblin’s office to demonstrate the depth of the coalition membership. OVEC, CAG, the Environmental Council, the Cross-Coalition and others e-mailed alerts to their membership asking for contacts with the Committee and other targeted legislators.

On Tuesday, there was a sizeable exhibit of Clean Elections materials at the Catholic Diocese’s Day at the Legislature and also later in the evening at the Catholic Conference’s legislative reception. The delegation from Catholic Community Services all wore the “No Fat Cats” badges while tending their displays at the Capitol.

Throughout the week, we heard reports from various coalition members - WVEA, CAG, AFL-CIO, and Council of Churches, just to name a few - citing personal promises by Senator Helmick that the bill would, in fact, be taken up. Coalition allies willingly stepped up to the plate in voicing their desire for the bill to be run. We owe them a huge bouquet of thanks for their untiring efforts!

A number of supporters arrived bright and early Thursday morning, hoping to find the bill on the agenda for the 9:30 AM Finance meeting, but were disappointed. And disappointed again Thursday afternoon…and Friday morning. As late as 11 AM Friday, the Senator was still personally stating to coalition members that he was “going to put it on.” But the Monday morning Finance agenda has been published and it is not on that, either!

Si Galperin, our schedule guru, says that the bill could be taken up at the Monday afternoon meeting of the Finance Committee and still be read for the first time that day because of the extra sessions scheduled. So we have one last hope for this session! Keep those calls coming in to Senator Helmick’s office (357-7980) or toll free 1-877-565-3447.



Voter-Owned Elections

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