March 2, 2007
Clean Elections Update
The Clean Elections bill died not-so-quietly in Senate Finance Committee this week when Senator Walt Helmick failed to put the bill on the committee agenda. The coalition kept up the pressure to the bitter end, continuing to call the Senator’s office and to ask him personally to run the bill. And until the end, Senator Helmick continued to promise both coalition members and fellow legislators that S118 would be put on the agenda.
So far, we have no explanation, other than that the people who were asking for the bill were either not as powerful or not as persuasive as the ones suggesting that it not be run! Considering the broad-based membership of the Clean Elections Coalition, there must have been some powerful “no”s.
But we have not for a moment given up! Carol Warren and Richie Robb have co-authored an op-ed about the fate of the clean elections bill which has been sent out this week. The League of Women Voters in Parkersburg listened enthusiastically to a Monday night presentation on the West Virginia bill, and is ready to spread the word. And on Friday, there was a clean elections table for E-Day at the Capitol, with the clear message “We are not going away!!”
Thank you all so very much for your efforts!! Knowing that we had the votes in Finance Committee does not make the outcome less frustrating – but it does remind us that we continue to have solid support! The coalition will be meeting after the session’s end to decide on strategy from this point. Watch for details!