WV Clean Elections Legislative Update by Julie Archer

March 4, 2005

Support Urged for Voter-Owned Elections!

The Public Campaign Financing Pilot Project Act (HB 2486 & SB247) is resting in the Senate and House Judiciary committees. Problems with the bill have been acknowledged and discussed but legislators need to know their constituents want to see changes to the way we finance political campaigns in West Virginia.Although the bill has bi-partisan support most of the Republicans continue to oppose the bill and seek other sweeping reforms (term limits, single-member districts, campaign spending limits), and many Democrats remain undecided. Calls and letters from you would go a long way to move legislators from the "undecided" column to the "support" column.

Please contact your Delegate(s) and Senator(s) and voice your support of the pilot project.   A pilot project will provide valuable information on how voter-owned, publicly-financed elections would work in West Virginia, by shedding light on the benefits, as well as the   potential problems.   Tell Legislators that the pilot project is about more than giving others a chance against incumbents, it’s about promoting a more vigorous democracy by bringing more people into the political process and giving voters more choices.   Incumbency will always remain a powerful factor, but more competition results in more issues being raised and debated, and holds incumbents accountable to the voters.   Your voice is greatly appreciated!

Points worth mentioning to your Legislator(s):

  • I support a pilot project for publicly financed campaigns because I want an election process that is voter-owned and centers on the issues.
  • I’m concerned about fairness – using public money levels the playing field and gives people from many different backgrounds a fair shot at getting elected.
  • I’m concerned about accountability and control – I want laws passed that focus on the needs of all voters, not just a select few who can afford to make big donations to candidates.
  • I believe the publicly financed campaign bill is a sensible approach to changing the status quo. This is a new way to deal with an old problem.
  • Candidate participation is VOLUNTARY.
  • Candidates could spend less time raising money, and more time spent talking with voters.
  • Cost for pilot project is $500,000, less than 30 cents per state resident.
  • In West Virginia, less than one-half of one percent of the voting age population contributes to candidates running for office.


Voter-Owned Elections

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