February 21, 2008
Clean Elections Update
On Monday, Eamonn Donovan from Justice at Stake came to the Capitol to talk to our supporters about a judicial public financing bill. Senator Kessler invited him to make a brief presentation to the Judiciary Committee during their afternoon meeting. The information was well-received and there were a number of good questions, both about a judicial bill and about public financing in general. On Thursday, we received a draft bill prepared by the Brennan Center, and it has been turned over to Senator Kesslerís staff. While there may not be enough time to do anything with the bill this session, the staff will at least have something to build on if there is interest in a judicial bill for next year.
On Tuesday, we had our long-awaited (since October) meeting with Diana Stout of Treasurer Perdueís staff. She explained that the unclaimed property account fluctuates from year to year, as they actually do make an effort to return the funds to their rightful owners. The agreement we had with the Treasurer for $1 million from that fund seems to have been contingent on some other legislative actions, and good for that year only. Ms. Stout was not able to say whether they could commit to any funds this year, but will pass the request along to Treasurer Perdue. Del. Webster has expressed willingness to send a letter in support of our request.
As of this writing, the fate of our bill is still uncertain, as we do not know if Del. Webster plans to place it on the Judiciary agenda. She has been very helpful and cooperative, but is concerned that we have not been able to gain assurances of funding from the Treasurerís office. And two of our sponsors on Judiciary Committee may not be present to speak in support of the bill before† a vote tomorrow.
Donít forget our special fundraiser next Thursday, February 28, honoring Senator Jon Hunter. He will receive OVECís ďBill Moyers Defender of Democracy Award.Ē The event will be at the Womenís Club, Virginia and Elizabeth Streets, from 6:00 -8:00 PM. You can still RSVP by calling Marge Michau at CAG (346-5891) or email her at firstname.lastname@example.org. Please come to honor Senator Hunter and to help us meet the $15,000 goal of our Challenge Grant so we can carry on our work on public campaign financing!