Action Alert

April 5, 2004

Next Citizens for Clean Elections meeting--Monday, April 12th, 10:30 a.m. at the ACT Foundation

Dear Clean Elections supporter,

The 2004 legislative session has ended and we can celebrate some successes along the way (a legislative up-date by WV Citizen Action Groupís, Julie Archer is included with this meeting notice); however, we still have a major way to go before Clean Elections becomes a reality in West Virginia. We truly appreciate any and all of your efforts this session.

We especially want to thank, Rev. Dennis Sparks and Carol Warren for their extra efforts. Both of them met with House Speaker Bob Kiss, which ďsparkedĒ (pun intended) his interest (as well as the interests of other legislators). Also, both Julie Archer (WV CAG) and Si Galperin (Common Cause-WV) who were lead lobbyists on this issue, dogged the legislators and kept us up-dated on the billís progress.

Every session we move a little closer to our goal, but in order to win this one, we will all need to organize more deeply within our respective organizations. How can we do that best? What resources do we have? What do we still need? We really want and request your input into how the Citizens for Clean Elections, representing more than 900,000 citizens, can become the most effective and powerful coalition in the state. Those are not insignificant questions to ponder realizing that the May primary election is just around the bend.

Our next meeting is: Monday, April 12th, 10:30 AM-noon, ACT Foundation Building, 600 Leon Sullivan Way, the corner of Smith Street and Leon Sullivan Way, across from the Capitol Street Market. Please send me any items you might have for the agenda by Thursday, April 9, at ohvec@ohvec.org or call 304-422-0246 and leave me a message.

Light refreshments will be served.

For rekindling democracy!

Janet Fout, Coordinator
304-522-0246

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Plans For Clean Elections Resolution

by Julie Archer, julie@wvcag.org

Although we did not get the Clean Elections Act passed this session, we are getting closer to making the option of public financing available to candidates in the Mountain State. With your help we had some victories during both the 2003 interims and the regular session, and we are optimistic that Clean Elections will be the subject of further study during the upcoming interims.

On the last night of the session the House passed House Concurrent Resolution 87, requesting the Joint Committee on Government and Finance to direct the Judiciary and Finance Committees to study the projected costs and sources of revenue that could be made available to support a system of public financing. Unfortunately, the resolution was not reported to the Senate in time for its consideration. Even though the resolution did not pass the full legislature, we hope that with the encouragement of some of the billís sponsors the Joint Committee will consider and approve the study at its next meeting.

Members of the House and Senate Judiciary Committees have examined many of the policy issues involved with implementing a system of public financing, however, further study of the projected costs and potential sources of funding is needed to continue to move this much-needed reform forward. Should the Joint Committee reject the study, we will continue to work with our supporters in the legislature and have the Clean Elections Act reintroduced next year.

In the meantime Citizens for Clean Elections will be continuing its public education campaign. You can help by hosting or organizing a Clean Elections presentation in your hometown. Speakers are available. For more information contact Janet Fout at 304-522-0246 or ohvec@ezwv.com.