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Latest Supreme Court Ruling: Constitutional Amendment Could Fix this Mess (4/7/2014)

If there was a ‘silver lining’ in the 2010 U.S. Supreme Court ruling in Citizens United v. the FEC, it’s that the court overwhelming affirmed that state can require those who ‘pay to play’ in our elections to fully disclose their financial sources.  One comprehensive bill (HB 4463) relating to the disclosure of information on campaign contributions and spending, was introduced last session.  The bill would increase accountability and transparency in West Virginia elections by: 

  • Expanding the window that prior to an election during which parties engaged in electioneering communications must disclose their contributors to the Secretary of State;
  • Requiring disclosure of “covered transfers” or  funds knowing spend or given to an intermediary for political purposes or campaign related disbursements;
  • Requiring certain information be included (in the form of disclaimers) in political advertisements identifying the parties paying for those advertisements; and
  • Requiring information regarding campaign related expenditures to be reported to shareholders, members and donors.

Unfortunately, conservative groups like Americans Prosperity don’t want you to know who’s really behind their efforts to influence our elections and are spreading misinformation about how HB 4463 restricts freedom of speech and freedom of association. The bill was tabled on third reading, without getting a fair vote, after passing out of committee.

Call your delegate(s) and urge them to support transparency in elections and accountability to shareholders by supporting bills like HB 4463. Strengthening disclosure laws needs to be looked in this year’s interim sessions and HB 4463 or a similar bills needs to be brought back for the next full session in 2015.  Click here to find contact information for your delegate(s).

Public campaign financing is now permanent for WV state Supreme Court elections, now we need a permanent funding source!

An amazing thing happened at the 2013 legislative session, we made permanent the option for public campaign financing for WV state Supreme Court elections!  Against all odds, our coalition worked hard, with your help, to make this happen.  But, we aren’t quite there yet.  In the next year, we must find a permanent funding source to make sure that this program can be utilized and that our judges aren’t out there collecting campaign cash from shadowy sources, but are instead focused on being fair and impartial.  So, please contact your local Delegates and State Senators (http://openstates.org/ ) and let them know that you expect a permanent funding source for the public finance program for WV state Supreme Court elections to be found.  With our voices united we can make this happen and help take back our democracy and have voter owned elections in West Virginia!

Sign New Petition to Keep Public Finance in State Supreme Court Elections (April 2, 2013)

Clean Elections = Fair Courts
Help Make Public Financing a Permanent Part of WV Supreme Court Elections

After a high profile race in 2004 in which coal baron Don Blankenship spent $3 million to elect his preferred candidate to the state Supreme Court, and was later seen partying in the French Riviera with another justice in 2006, the time was ripe for action to clean up judicial elections in West Virginia. In 2010, WV Citizens for Clean Elections won passage of a pilot program establishing a public funding option for state Supreme Court candidates. In 2012, Allen Loughry became the first candidate to successfully use public financing to get elected to the State Supreme Court.  Based on the program’s success, we believe it is time to make public financing a permanent part of West Virginia Supreme Court elections to ensure a fair and impartial judiciary. In order to make this program permanent, we need your help! The pilot program is set to expire this year. Please contact your legislators and ask them to make the WV Supreme Court of Appeals Public Campaign Financing Program permanent and to support public financing whenever possible to create “voter-owned” elections in West Virginia.

Join with other constituents to visit your legislators asking for their support.  Contact Dan Taylor at dan@ohvec.org or 304-521-9865.  Your support and your voice is crucial to our effort!

First "Corporate Person" Runs for Political Office

Studies Link Poor Health to Mining Practices but Little is Being Done
Is Campaign Cash Contributing to the Lack of a Response?

A new report by the WV People's Election Reform Coalition ties coal industry campaign contributions to the lack of response to several disturbing studies relating mining practices to health problems suffered by coalfield residents. Click here to read the report.

Donate to Citizens For Clean Elections

Please support Citizens for Clean Elections by sending a check to:

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

WV Citizens for Clean Elections is pleased to announce the winners of our YouTube Video Contest.
1st Place -- Chris Wetzel, Ohio Northern University
2nd Place -- Brendan Daily & the Charleston Catholic High School Political Forum Club
3rd Place -- Shere-Khan Smoot, Allyson Jasper & Emily Hamrick, South Charleston High School
4th Place -- Jillian Carney, Winfield Middle School

Honorable Mention -- Wil Cook, Emilee Quintrell, Casey Hatfield, Chelsea Cobb, Brooke Davis & Matthew Fenimore, South Charleston High School,
Shawn Sims, Dylan Bailes & Steven Thompson, South Charleston High School and Shayla Hughes, Timerra Moore, and Brandey Scarberry, South Charleston High School (link not available).

We would like to thank everyone for their interest in Clean Elections and for all of the effort that went into making the videos.
Congratulations to our winners!

View more videos at www.youtube.com/user/WVCleanElections.

Video: "Clean Elections, Changing the Face of America"
The success of Maine and Arizona's Clean Election system is documented in a short video narrated by journalist Bill Moyers. If you would like to receive a copy to share with your friends, neighbors, or others please contact us at ohvec@ohvec.org or call 304-522-0246.

Read an interview with West Virginia Clean
Elections supporter Senator Dan Foster

Download the Clean Elections Brochure
and more from our Resources Page

Fixing Democracy: The Clean Election Movement

"Ethics Liquidators" - a Mark Fiore animation

Voter-Owned Elections

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