January 27, 2007

Clean Elections Update

There have been interesting developments in both the Senate and House this week! Senator Kessler wants to run the bill in the Senate Judiciary Committee and get it moving to Finance (see details below of meeting with Finance Chair Helmick). Motion in the Senate may be very important, due to developments in the House.

Our Clean Elections coalition met with House Speaker Richard Thompson on Monday, including representatives from the ACT Foundation, AFL-CIO, UMWA, Common Cause, Citizen Action, OVEC, WV Council of Churches, and Catholic Conference of West Virginia. The Speaker is obviously quite familiar with the bill and understands our objectives. However, he has communicated to Carrie Webster, Chair of the Judiciary Committee, that he wants a poll of ALL Delegates before the Committee takes up the bill. So this is our cue to swing into action! Call at least your own delegate, and any others you can, and ask them to support H2371, the Public Campaign Financing Act. You can reach legislators at the toll free number 1-877-565-3447. And come to the Capitol and lobby on Clean Elections Day! (schedule below)
Tell your legislators that Clean Elections will:

  • Provide campaign finance reform that will improve our democratic process
  • Equalize funding among candidates
  • Give candidates a voluntary way to qualify for public funding
  • Allow a greater number of candidates to run for office
  • Reduce the influence of special interests in political campaigns
  • Allow candidates to spend more time talking to voters
  • Re-engage the public in issues of concern to our state

Janet Keating and Si Galperin met with Senator Helmick, Chair of the Finance Committee. Followers of the Clean Elections bill will remember that Finance was the committee in which the bill was held up last session. But this week, Senator Helmick agreed to talk with the members of the committee and be in communication with us. A hopeful sign!

Another meeting on Thursday, with the Speaker’s staff attorney Dan Kimble, included representatives from the Council of Churches, Catholic Conference, and the Interfaith Center for Public Policy. Mr. Kimble was formerly on the staff of the Secretary of State, so he was prepared to discuss various provisions of the bill, which received a sizeable amount of attention during the meeting.

Come let your voice be heard in the halls of the Capitol! Join us for breakfast and a briefing, including talking points on the bill. Rumor has it that a genuine West Virginia Fat Cat will be present to lend additional credibility to our message!

8:30 a.m. - 10: a.m.  Breakfast and lobby training at Temple Israel located at 2313 Kanawha Blvd. East, Charleston.  (Turn left onto Chesapeake to get to the parking lot.)

10:30 a.m. - 11 a.m.  Press conference in the Governor's conference room (inside the Secretary of State's office on the ground floor of the State Capitol).

1:00 p.m. - 5:00 p.m.  Attend committee meetings; meet with legislators.
Call ahead to make an appointment with your Delegate or Senator at the toll free number: 1-877-565-3447.

Please RSVP Janet at 304-522-0246 or e-mail at mountainwild49@yahoo.com


Voter-Owned Elections

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