Note: This letter can easily be adapted for sending to a State Senator just by substituting SB 118.
Dear _____________________ (Your legislator’s name),
I live in your district and am writing to urge you to support the WV Public Campaign Financing Act, HB 2764, a bill which would provide for public funding of elections for candidates who voluntarily choose this route. Thank you for please responding to my e-mail to let me know where you stand on HB 2764.
My neighbors, friends, family members, and I are sick and tired of special interests having undue influence and unfair access to our political leaders. We want you to stand up and support Clean Elections in West Virginia, and we want you to do it now.
If you believe that the public won’t support publicly funded elections, please consider this: special interests that currently “buy” our politicians are costing us taxpayers billions of dollars in corporate welfare – in the form of unfair tax breaks and incentives (often abused by business), unfair access to WV’s natural resources, destruction of our roads (e.g., coal trucks) that are repaired by our tax dollars, and so forth. This must stop now.
I couldn’t believe my eyes when I read that legislation has been introduced recently to provide $12 million in tax breaks to the coal industry for installing safety equipment in mines! Since the coal industry has extracted untold amounts of natural wealth from our state and reaps millions in financial profits, it’s only fair that they pay to provide safe working conditions for our state’s miners and also pay the full cost of doing business. The fact that a bill such as this was introduced, in the first place, speaks volumes about special interests influence.
I believe that HB 2764 is a great investment in democracy and will provide politicians a way to act in the public interest by having the public pay for elections. We need you to help vote House Bill 2764 into law NOW.
Here in West Virginia, our political system is badly broken. We realize that no single law will fix things; but HB 2764 is a bold step in the right direction. We are counting on you to take leadership in the WV House of Legislators, to help clean up politics in our state. Let’s learn from states like Arizona and Maine who have voted for public financing of elections- and who like what they are getting in return. We want West Virginia to help lead our nation to a more honest and fair form of democracy. Free and open elections are the bedrock of our democracy and publicly financed elections will help elections be more free and open.
In short, providing public funding for candidates reduces the possibility of corruption, reduces the amount of time a candidate spends raising private funds, diminishes the power special interests have in determining public policy, and allows more citizens to get involved in the election process.
Please support House Bill 2764 and show us that you are acting in the public interest now, and again, please let me know your position on this legislation.