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Contact: Crystal Benton 703-535-6897
ALEXANDRIA, VA – The Reform Institute, a national nonpartisan government reform organization, commented on the passage of campaign finance reforms in West Virginia signed by Governor Joe Manchin on Friday.
The West Virginia legislature approved legislation that limits contributions to 527 groups to $1,000 in primary elections and $1,000 in general elections. The bill also requires 527 groups to disclose where the contributions come from in reports to the Office of the Secretary of State. In addition, the bill requires that broadcast advertisements include a spoken disclaimer saying who paid for the advertisement and includes an electioneering disclosure provision.
“These reforms will be fundamental in leveling the playing field in West Virginia’s elections,” said Cecilia Martinez, Reform Institute Executive Director. “527 groups have flooded the airwaves with negative attack ads that are funded by a handful of rich contributors. These groups have come to serve as a means for mega-wealthy individuals to exert undue influence over our nation’s elections both locally and federally, but lawmakers in West Virginia worked to close this loophole by passing a bipartisan solution to the problem.”
Martinez added, “The legislation passed with overwhelming support is a victory for bipartisan policy making. No other state has been successful in passing comprehensive 527 reform. These reforms parallel legislation introduced by Sens. John McCain and Russ Feingold and Reps. Christopher Shays and Marty Meehan on the federal level to curb the corrupting influence of 527s. We applaud the reforms passed in WV and hope the U.S. Congress is watching.”
The Reform Institute is a not-for-profit 501(c)(3) educational organization representing an independent, thoughtful voice for reform in the campaign finance and election administration debates. www.reforminstitute.org