Ohio Valley Environmental Coalition
  Winds of Change Newsletter, March 2011     See sidebar for table of contents

We care, We Count, WE VOTE!

Clean Elections Pilot Project Making Progress

No more Campaign Cash Mountains in WV!

The proposed rules for the Supreme Court Public Financing Pilot Project of 2012 were approved by the Legislative Rulemaking Committee on January 9, during the final interim session of the year. WV Citizens for Clean Elections, which OVEC leads, provided input to the Secretary of States staff early in the rulemaking process and were pleased with the final result and the approval of the rules.

The pilot project allows candidates to choose a publicly financed option for their campaigns, if they collect qualifying contributions to show they have support, agree not to accept outside contributions and do not use their own funds for their campaigns.

Public financing helps citizens avoid the worry that their Supreme Court judges may one day be ruling on a case concerning a large campaign contributor. The candidates have the advantage of stating that only the public finances their campaigns.

Now that the rules have been approved, the hard work of monitoring their implementation begins. Because the present public financing program is for only the two Supreme Court seats in contention in 2012, it is critical that all steps of the implementation process be completed in a timely manner, so that every aspect of the program is in place on schedule. We will be actively monitoring these steps to be sure they are underway as scheduled by the rules.

Several ways in which the coalition hopes to contribute are:

H Gaining insight into how many candidates may want to use the program;

H Using coalition connections to encourage credible candidates to run;

H Working with legislative allies to discern what additional funding may be necessary and attempting to obtain it;

H Working with the Secretary of State and staff to prepare/distribute readily understandable information about the pilot project to prospective candidates;

H Staying aware of any other needs of the secretary with which we can assist;

H Holding press or educational events to showcase the benefits of the pilot project to enlist the publics support and approval.

For updates on our progress, check our website www.wvoter-owned.org. We welcome your involvement coalition meetings are always open. For more information contact Carol Warren at peacelovemom@gmail.com.

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