February 15, 2008

Clean Elections Update  

The Public Campaign Financing Act (H4050) may be taken up soon by the House Judiciary Committee! If you have not made calls or contacted the committee members, please do so as soon as possible! A list of the members and their Capitol telephone numbers appears below. Our sponsors are noted by an asterisk (*). Please thank them for their support and encourage them to speak for the bill.

Julie Archer and I spoke with Brian Skinner, one of the committee attorneys who has been working on a fiscal note for our bill. One of the questions is about the amount of money that could be generated by the proposed surcharge on civil and criminal penalties over $1000. Unfortunately, the information gleaned from the Supreme Court is not broken down by the amount of the penalty. However, based on the total amount of penalties, the surcharge could conceivably generate as much as two million dollars annually. Mr. Skinner will also be assisting us in obtaining answers from Treasurer Perdue about funding from the state’s unclaimed property fund.

We have also spoken with Tom Smith, legal staffer for the Senate Judiciary Committee. He reports that Sen. Kessler is still interested in introducing a public financing bill for judicial elections, or amending such a proposal into one of the judicial bills under consideration. We will be working with the Brennan Center, whose staff is helping to draft a judicial public financing bill for West Virginia.

Please don’t forget to RSVP for our special fundraiser and reception honoring Senator Jon Hunter. The event will be held February 28 at the Charleston Women’s Club, on the corner of Virginia and Elizabeth Streets from 6:00 to 8:00 PM. Mark your calendar now and plan to attend! You can RSVP by calling Marge Michau at CAG, 346-5891, or email marge@wvcag.org. We’re hoping to have a great turnout!

We continue raising money for our Challenge Grant, as we can receive a one-to-one match if we raise $15,000 by April 1, 2008. These challenge grants are the main source of funding for our clean elections work, so meeting the goal is extremely important. Your help would be greatly appreciated! If you’re unable to attend this exciting event, contributions may be sent to OVEC (P.O. Box 6753, Huntington, WV 25773) or WV Citizen Action (1500 Dixie St., Charleston, WV 25311).

Judiciary Committee members:

Carrie Webster (D – Kanawha)                      Capitol Phone: (304) 340-3252
Bill Proudfoot (D - Randolph)                       Capitol Phone: (304) 340-3248
John N. Ellem (R - Wood) *                           Capitol Phone: (304) 340-3394
John Overington (R - Berkeley)                      Capitol Phone: (304) 340-3148
Bonnie Brown (D - Kanawha) *                     Capitol Phone: (304) 340-3106
Mike Burdiss (D - Wyoming)                         Capitol Phone: (304) 340-3111
Barbara Evans Fleischauer (D – Mon.) *        Capitol Phone: (304) 340-3169
Nancy Peoples Guthrie (D - Kanawha)          Capitol Phone: (304) 340-3156
Lidella Wilson Hrutkay (D - Logan)              Capitol Phone: (304) 340-3134
Melvin Kessler (D - Raleigh)                          Capitol Phone: (304) 340-3163
Marshall Long (D - Mercer)                            Capitol Phone: (304) 340-3120
Linda Longstreth (D - Marion)                       Capitol Phone: (304) 340-3124
Virginia Mahan (D - Summers)                       Capitol Phone: (304) 340-3102
Tim Miley (D - Harrison)                                Capitol Phone: (304) 340-3145
Clif Moore (D - McDowell) *                         Capitol Phone: (304) 340-3189
John Pino (D - Fayette)                                   Capitol Phone: (304) 340-3170
Alex J. Shook (D - Monongalia)                     Capitol Phone: (304) 340-3173
William Stemple (D - Calhoun)                      Capitol Phone: (304) 340-3112
Robert C. Tabb (D - Jefferson)                       Capitol Phone: (304) 340-3274
Scott Varner (D - Marshall)                            Capitol Phone: (304) 340-3187
Tom Azinger (R – Wood)                               Capitol Phone: (304) 340-3202
Bill Hamilton (R – Upshur)                            Capitol Phone: (304) 340-3167
Patrick Lane (R - Kanawha) *                                    Capitol Phone: (304) 340-3275
Robert A. Schadler (R - Mineral)                   Capitol Phone: (304) 340-3191
Kelli Sobonya (R - Cabell)                              Capitol Phone: (304) 340-3175



Voter-Owned Elections

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