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. 

December 2007

Judge: Valley Fill Damages Trump $$$ Lost
20 Years of Standing Our Ground
Changing Course: Windcall and the Art of Renewal
Highlights of OVECs History 20 Years of STANDING OUR GROUND
State Supreme Court Upholds Verdict Against Coal Company Over Destroyed Water Wells
Sludge Safety Project Makes Progress on Study
OSM Gets an Earful on Plan to Weaken Mining Rules
65 Percent of Americans Oppose Bush Plan for Buffer Zone Rules 
West Virginia Council of Churches Statement on Mountaintop Removal
Good Blue Dogs Helping to Raise Funds for OVEC This Christmas
Praying for the Land and People Victimized by MTR
Update on Blair Mountain
Strip Mining Damages Nature
A Note from Maria Gunnoe
David vs. Goliath Award Goes to OVECs Boone County Organizer
Tips on Writing a Letter to the Editor - Do It TODAY!
Clean Politics = Public Financing - It Really Is That Simple
Clean Elections: Control How You Pay for Politics
Piper Funds Challenge Grant Goal Exceeded! THANKS!!!!!
Eastern Panhandle Woman Pushes for Clean Elections
Why Dont Regulators Do Their Jobs? OVEC Answers
Delegate Wants Public Financing Law
OVEC Works! Thanks!
Public Energy Authority Not Serving Public: Manchins Coal-to-Liquids Energy Plan Gets Little Support
Mingo Residents Gather to Celebrate, Better their County
The Appalachian Adventure
Oh, Yeah, That's A Great Spot for A Mountaintop Removal Mine!
This Summers Story Voices of Those Hurt by Mountaintop Removal Mining
Ink Cartridge Recycling Program Sinks, But You Can Still EAT FOR OVEC
This Cant Happen in America, Can It?  No, Only in Central Appalachia - So Far

For viewing the PDF version of the newsletter

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

Eastern Panhandle Woman Pushes for Clean Elections

by Lauren Hough, Sept. 29, 2007, Martinsburg Journal

A Jefferson County woman is confident that, by removing money power from the voting process, the power of democracy can be returned to the people of West Virginia.


Action Alert

Help advance Clean Elections in West Virginia by collecting signatures on petitions being circulated by the WV Citizens for Clean Elections.

The petition reads, "I support Public Campaign Financing in West Virginia, to limit the influence of special interest contributions on our elections and to allow a more diverse group of qualified candidates to run for our state legislature." Theres space for people to sign their names and write in (legibly!) their addresses and e-mail.

For a copy of the petition, e-mail or call Carol Warren at peacelovemom@gmail.com or (304) 847-5121.

Once youve collected a page of signatures, mail the sheet to:

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

Virginia Graf is part of a growing grassroots movement toward "clean" elections that could push legislation forward to provide candidates with a system of public funding for elections.

"Its such a savings," Graf said. "It gives so many more people an opportunity to run for public office."

Under the Clean Elections legislation, any candidate for public office in West Virginia would need to collect a set number of signatures and small donations of $3 or $5 to qualify for a portion of public funds. The state government would contribute public money from its budget for candidates, setting limits on what could be spent for a campaign.

For legislative races in West Virginia, an estimated 1/10 of 1 percent of the states budget would be sufficient for the process, according to Graf.

That funding opens the field to more candidates of any party affiliation through removing the need for individual fund-raising efforts and the hunt for big, corporate sponsors, Graf said.

"We have lost our democracy," she said. "I feel like the highest bidders of everything own the government."

That sentiment could be a contributing factor to West Virginias historically low voter turnout rates, she added.

"People think their votes dont matter," Graf said.

Though it may seem like citizens pay more to fund the "clean elections" process, Graf insists they get a bargain.

In the traditional election system, legislators fund projects in response to the wishes of their big donors projects that often cost taxpayers much more in the long run, she explained.

"Any project these special interest groups want, we all pay for that, but it doesnt benefit all of us," she said.

The reformed system would be a good deal for the candidates as well, she said. They would have more time to spend with constituents as a result of less time spent fund-raising.

Graf remains confident that, with enough support, legislation that has been started to authorize the Clean Elections process for West Virginia can soon be passed out of committees in order to become a reality for candidates in the state.

The movement has already been successful in seven states including Arizona, Maine, Connecticut and New Jersey.

Graf is currently collecting signatures from those who support the process to present to legislators. Anyone wishing to help collect signatures, or anyone wishing to view a 15-minute DVD presentation on Clean Elections may call Graf at (304) 728-2829.


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