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.