We had a great time last week promoting the Pro-Democracy Anti-Corruption Platform at Kids and Families Day hosted by the Our Children, Our Future (OCOF) campaign. We also encouraged folks to help spread the word about the need to fight the influence of money in politics, and demonstrate support for the solution by stamping their money with messages like “Stamp Money Out of Politics, “Not to Be Used to Buy Elections,” and “Stop the Attack on Voting Rights.”
For the OCOF campaign, we also produced a new, short video that we hope you will watch and share with the hashtag #WVProDemocracy. Then we hope you will get active with the campaign to advance the Pro-Democracy Anti-Corruption Platform. Contact email@example.com to get involved.
Why should you help promote this? Well the short answer is “everything we work for depends on a strong democracy.” For a longer answer, read this shareable blog: This is What Democracy Looks Like, and You Are In It.
Since the legislative session began on January 9, several bills have been introduced that advance the goals of the Pro-Democracy, Anti-Corruption Platform. These include:
SB 115 – Relating to certain election expenditure disclosures, would require disclosure of dark money political expenditures to allow the public to know who is paying for political advertisements. We deserve to know who is spending money to influence our votes and our elected representatives.
SB 118 & HB 2445 – Would end gerrymandering by establishing an Independent Redistricting Commission to propose redistricting plans following the census and make the process of drawing legislative and congressional districts more transparent and impartial.
SB 236 – Would provide notice and an opportunity to persons convicted of certain crimes that they are eligible to vote after completion of their punishment. Many people assume the laws have restricted their rights. But that’s not true. While many states have some restriction on felon voting rights, most states, including West Virginia restore the right to vote to people after they complete their sentences – they just don’t know it.
SB 276 – Relating to regulation and control of elections defines “foreign national” and prohibits a foreign national from contributing to candidates in West Virginia. The bill also provides an additional penalty for violation of campaign finance disclosure laws, including publishing the names of persons who fail to make timely filings. Additionally, the bill prohibits legislators from fund raising during the legislative session when they should be serving their constituents.
HB 2008 – Relating to nonpartisan election of justices of the Supreme Court of Appeals, would require that a run-off election be held when no candidate receives a majority of votes cast in the nonpartisan election of justices of the Supreme Court of Appeals.
In addition to bills related to the Pro-Democracy, Anti-Corruption agenda, we are also monitoring legislative proposals related to our courts, including measures to create an intermediate court of appeals, and a constitutional amendment that would give the State Senate the power to confirm or reject the Governor’s nominees to fill vacancies on the Supreme Court. You can read more about these proposals here, here, and here.
For more information about OCOF’s 2019 Legislative Platform and how to get involved click here.