Ohio Valley Environmental Coalition
Archive list of "E"- Notes newsletters

Click links below to read articles online, or try the PDF version to view or print an exact replica of the paper newsletter. 

September 2007

Mattea, Kennedy Stunned by Scope of Devastation
Organizing for a Better World
Injury, Insult, Insanity: Buffer Zone Rule Change
Mining Dams Check is DEP's New Top Priority
Your Work is Appreciated
Sludge Safety Project Meets with DEP
Citizen Input Made THE Difference in Sludge Safety Study
Yet Another Legal Victory Against Army Corps of Engineers!
Coal - to - Liquid: WV Public Energy Authoritys Plan for Your Future
Training to Listen, Listening to Tears of the Mountains
Surface Mine Board Rules to Allow Inaccurate Permit in Mingo County
Go Larry! CNN Profiles OVEC Board Member for Defending the Planet
Two New Books on Ravages of MTR
Faith In Action: Religious Community Engaging to End Mountaintop Removal
Teetering on the Edge - Is the Future of Coal in Question?
OVEC Works! Thank You!
Learning How to Work With the Media to Get Our Message Out
Boone Countys OVEC Team Really Taking Flight After Two Years
Getting the GIST of Grist
Every Action Counts! Residents Letters Result in Mining Site Inspection
King Coal, State Chamber of Commerce Say Environmental Groups Attacking WVs Economic Lynchpin
Let Us Be Very Clear: Mountaintop Removal Mining is NOT About Creating Jobs, Its About $$$$$
Attempt to Undermine OVEC Just Shows Its Importance
Interests of the Working Man: Citizen Groups Are Working to SAVE the Mountain State
Stover Cemetery Desecration Aided by State Agencys Repeated Inaction
Coalfield Delegation at the UN for Sake of the Mountains
What a Concept Government Of, By and For the People!
Farewell to Si Galperin, Champion of Clean Elections
Public Financing Would Mean Cheaper Elections
Global Warming / Climate Instability in the Mountain State
Feed Your Family, Support OVECs Work, Life Is Good!
Coal-to-Liquid is Nuts - Here Are Just A Few Reasons Why
Goodbye to Mitch, Writer and Friend
Miner Takes His Battle to West Virginia Supreme Court

For viewing the PDF version of the newsletter

Winds of Change Newsletter, September 2007     See sidebar for table of contents

We care, We Count, WE VOTE!

What a Concept Government Of, By and For the People!

"Most of all, I want a government that ..." How would you complete this sentence? In a recent survey by Public Campaign, a national organization working for campaign finance reform, most voters said they want a government that serves the interests of all citizens. They want a government that is honest, open, and accountable to the people.

The way we currently pay for election campaigns works against this desire. The pressures on candidates to raise large sums of money promote corruption and lead to special favors and sweetheart deals for campaign contributors. Elected officials are not accountable to the voters, but to the special interests that helped elect them.

The influence of money also leads to a closed and stagnant system, in which well-qualified people are prevented from running for office because they lack personal wealth or connections.

Elections have become less a contest of ideas than a race to amass the largest campaign war chest. If we want sound policies on environment, health care that works for everyone, good schools in our communities, and other laws that benefit all citizens, we need to eliminate the undue influence of special interests.

Public financing of campaigns allows the voters to take back control of the electoral process. Clean Elections level the playing field, and the process allows people of many different backgrounds who do not have wealthy connections a fair shot at being elected.

West Virginia would benefit from having more good people with fresh ideas running for office. Publicly financed candidates are responsible only to the voters, feel obligated to keep promises, and can help us, as citizens, get what we want and need from government.

The cost of public financing for elections is only about $6 per household a very reasonable amount to pay for a system that will result in voter control and more beneficial public policy. Of course, there are always other pressing needs for public funds, but the state will actually save millions of dollars as expensive deals and subsidies for special interests are eliminated.

Sound too good to be true? It isnt! Other states like Maine, Arizona, Connecticut and Vermont already have Clean Election laws and they are delivering on its promise of more voter control and sounder policies.

Read two testimonies from Arizona voters:

"When public financing first came out in Arizona, I was opposed to it because I didnt want my tax dollars going to pay for politicians getting elected. Now I support it because I see that politicians are spending more time paying attention to voters like me and less time listening to special interest groups and wealthy donors. Voters have more power under this system."

"I voted for Janet Napolitano for governor because she promised to do something about prescription drugs. Her campaign stressed that public financing meant she did not have to take contributions from the pharmaceutical drug industry. She kept her promise. Her first act as governor was to require that the state buy its prescription drugs in bulk, lowering costs and saving all of us money."

Its time for West Virginia voters to take back control of our state legislative races by adopting the Public Campaign Financing Act! For more details about how the Clean Elections process works, and for ways you can get involved, check our website, www.wvoter-owned.org, or contact Carol Warren at peacelovemom@gmail.com.


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