February 8, 2008
Clean Elections Update
We have spent much of this week talking to House members, and especially the Judiciary Committee. We believe we now have commitments from a sufficient number of committee members for the bill to be passed out of the committee! We will be checking back with Chair Carrie Webster, as she has had committee attorneys working on answers to some of the financial questions. One of these is an estimate of how much money could be generated by the 10% surcharge on civil and criminal penalties over $1000. We will also be connecting with our sponsors in hopes that they will really “champion” the bill as it is discussed.
At our coalition meeting Thursday morning, we discussed the possibility of having a “Clean Elections Day” at the Capitol. Suggestions included a breakfast and short training like we did last year, and perhaps a press event. We would want to tie such an event to the bill being taken up by the Judiciary committee, and/or the introduction of a resolution to honor former Senator and Clean Elections ally Si Galperin, who passed away last spring. Please watch for further information in these updates, or contact Carol Warren at firstname.lastname@example.org to be put on the special Clean Elections email list.
Julie Archer has been in conversation with the organization Justice at Stake, whose focus is passing public financing for judicial elections. West Virginia is one of five states they are considering for an organized campaign. There does seem to be interest among legislators in a judicial bill, but a proposal specific to West Virginia has not yet been developed. We will continue the dialogue with Justice at Stake, to see if they can help us speed that process.
Plans are proceeding for the February 28 fundraising event to honor Senator Jon Hunter. Formal invitations are at the printer and should be going out next week. Volunteers in Charleston to help with the mailing and other aspects of this event would be most welcome! If you can help, please contact Carol at the address above, or Julie at Julie@wvcag.org. We will also send the invitation electronically so that coalition partners and friends can share the invitation with other supporters. Please do remember to ask that people RSVP to Marge at Citizen Action (346-5891), as it is very important that we know how many to expect.