WV Clean Elections Legislative Update by Julie Archer
March 31, 2005
Clean Elections Bill Dies Undeserved Death
By Julie Archer, WV-CAG
Late last Friday, the Senate Judiciary Committee took up SB 247,
the WV Public Campaign Financing Act, which would have established a pilot
project to provide full public financing for legislative candidates in two
Senate and three single member Delegate district.
The good news is the bill was
passed out by the Judiciary Committee, but was not taken up Finance Committee in
advance of the deadline for bills to be out of committee in the house of origin.
While we are certainly disappointed that we won't have a pilot project in place
for next year's elections, the Clean Elections concept continued to make
progress in the legislature as the bill was approved by both Judiciary
Committees. We will continue to work with our supporters in the Legislature, as
well as Secretary of State Betty Ireland to move forward with this much needed
In the meantime, we remain optimistic about the passage of SB 245, which would
reign in 527 groups and require disclosure by the sponsors of "sham" issue ads
and other electioneering communications that currently escape regulation because
they stop short of advocating a candidate's election or defeat.
The bill would
also prohibit groups that sponsor such ads from accepting contributions totaling
more than $1,000 per election. The bill was passed unanimously by the Senate. SB
245 now goes before the House Judiciary Committee.