Clean Election Update by Julie Archer
January 27, 2006
Critical Vote for “Clean Elections”
. . . Ask Senators to Support S.B. 124
Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Jeff Kessler plans to put S.B. 124, the
“WV Public Campaign Financing Act,” on the committee’s agenda early next week.
At this time it appears the committee vote will be very close.
The following Senators are considered to be “swing” votes and could be
critical to the bill’s passage. They need to hear from their constituents and
constituent groups urging their support for S.B. 124, the “WV Public Campaign
- Senator Mike Oliverio, (D-Monongalia) 357-7919
- Senator Charles Lanham, (R-Mason, Putnam, Jackson, part of Roane)
- Senator Clark Barnes, (R-Hampshire, Hardy, Morgan, Pendelton, Randolph,
- Senator Joe Minard, (D-Harrison, Braxton, Gilmer, Lewis) 357-7904
- Senator Truman Chafin, (D-Mingo, McDowell, Mercer, Wayne, Wyoming)
- Senators can also be reached toll free at 1-877-565-3447
If you live in these Senate districts PLEASE take a minute to call your
Senator and ask them to vote in favor of S.B. 124. Let them know you are a
constituent by leaving your name and address with your message.
The WV Public Campaign Financing Act (S.B. 124) would create an alternative
public financing option for candidates seeking election to the state Senate and
House of Delegates. The system is voluntary and candidates who participate agree
to abide by contribution and spending limits. Public funds would be made
available to candidates for the state Senate and House of Delegate candidates in
single-member districts beginning with the elections to be held in 2010, and to
candidates in the remaining House districts beginning in 2012.
Public financing is an important step to reduce candidate reliance on special
interest money and enable candidates who lack personal wealth or access to
wealthy contributors to run a competitive campaign – paving the way for ordinary
citizens to have a voice in the political process.
At least six other states have already adopted full public financing programs
for some or all state offices and several others are considering similar
legislation. In Maine and Arizona, the nation’s two pioneering “clean elections”
states, it is now the political norm to run for office free from direct
dependence on private campaign contributions.
If West Virginia’s legislature passes S.B. 124, candidates for the statehouse
could spend more time talking about issues instead of fundraising. They could
run on the merit of their ideas. Incumbent legislators who opt to run under this
“voter-owned” system would be free to vote their conscience-instead of feeling
beholden to special interest contributors.
Public financing of elections is a sensible approach to changing the status
quo and moving toward a government that is more honest, open and accountable to
the needs of all its citizens, not just a select few who can afford to make big
donations to candidates.
So please take the time to call the Senators listed above today. You can also
reach them toll-free at 1-877-565-3447. For more information see