Rule-Making Comments Due Tomorrow (7/10), Next Meeting 7/16

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WV Citizens for Clean Elections – Leaders
 
Jul 9, 2019   Donate

Dear Friends, Partners, & Allies,

Just a friendly reminder that the next WV Citizens for Clean Elections (WVCCE) meeting is scheduled for Tuesday, July 16 from 1PM to 4PM at 1114 Quarrier Street East, Charleston (3rd Floor). 

Also, comments are due TOMORROW (July 10) on the proposed rules for SB 622. We are working with the Campaign Legal Center (CLC) to submit comments on behalf of the CLC and WVCCE. In the meantime, we’ve made it easy for you and your members to send a letter to the State Election Commission asking them to support increased transparency of political spending and to strengthen the proposed rules in a number of ways. 

Over 70 letters have already been sent to the Commission. Help us get to 100!

Click here to send a letter to the Commission and/or share the letter campaign. We also have an op-ed, Facebook posts and various tweets you can share to help spread the word. 

If you want to send a more formal letter on behalf of your organization, I’ve included some key messages and talking points below. Letters can be mailed or emailed to: 

State Election Commission, c/o Donald Kersey
State Capitol, Building 1, Suite 157-K
Charleston, WV 25303

dkersey@wvsos.gov

Finally. please see additional links below for information about upcoming events of interest. Thanks for all you do! 

Best, 

Julie 


Key Messages & Talking Points for SB 622 Rule-Making

  1. Every voice should count. SB 622 is disastrous for constituents who struggle to have their voices heard over the special interests that try to buy our elections. The voters of West Virginia want elections where candidates listen to the voices of everyday people – not wealthy special interests.
  2. This law further unbalances our politics. It is NOT for regular West Virginians. Only 124 (less than 0.0001% of) people in West Virginia maxed out in the last election cycle. These are the only people who will benefit from these new, higher limits. They get more power over our politics at the expense of everyone else in West Virginia.
  3. Everyone deserves to know. West Virginia voters also want to know who is trying to influence their representatives and their votes with their big money donations. However, the trade-off off of allowing more big money into our elections in exchange for increased transparency is a false one that does nothing to address the flood of secret money in our elections.

We need to close loopholes in our laws that allow groups that spend money on political ads to hide the identity of their donors — loopholes that remain open under SB 622. We’re asking  the State Election Commission to support increased transparency of political spending and urge the Legislature to bring real disclosure to the dark money spending in our elections.

Additionally, the proposed rules governing SB 622 could be strengthened in the following ways:

  1. Clarify that the rules apply to non-partisan elections, including judicial elections.
  2. Expand the definition of “political purposes” beyond merely express advocacy. Under the proposed definition electioneering communications wouldn’t be considered political activity.
  3. Expand the types of conduct that amount to coordination with a candidate, such as a third party’s re-publication of a candidate’s campaign materials, and include coordinated electioneering communications in the definition of coordinated expenditure.
  4. Specify requirements for implementing/establishing firewalls to prohibit the flow of information between a candidate’s campaign and outside groups supporting that candidate’s election.
  5. Clarify which candidates and political committees are required to file electronically (and the filing jurisdiction/who reports are filed with).
  6. Specify when the list of candidates and other entities filing late reports will be published.
  7. Clarify that joint fundraising agreements and reports filed by joint/separate committees will be made publicly available and accessible online.

The Leadership Conference Education Fund is hosting a series of webinars to look at these issues and What’s at Stake in the Federal Circuit Courts. The first webinar this Friday, July 12 at  2:00pm EST will look at look at civil rights issues and what’s at stake in the 4th Circuit, which includes WV. Register here.

July 15 – July 25 – Our friends at the ACLU of WV recently unveiled three campaigns to guide their work for the next decade, focusing on juvenile justice reform, criminal justice reform, and defending democray. To kick off these campaigns, Executive Director Joseph Cohen, and Policy Director Eli Baumwell are spending two weeks traveling around the state to talk about their vision and plans, and how you can get involved. Click here to find an event near you. 

Demystifying Campaigns Training – Saturday, July 20 – Interested in getting involved in a 2020 electoral campaign but not sure where to start? Come to this free training to learn how political campaigns work and how you can contribute your skills to help ordinary West Virginians running for office! Please register here by June 30. 

From WV Citizens for Clean Elections
 info@wvoter-owned.org

The Author

Julie Archer

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