WV Citizen Action Group
Action Alert

June 24
 Alert Archive

Stop Secret Money in Elections -- Call Legislators TODAY

Governor Manchin decided to place campaign finance reform on the special session call.  Specifically legislators will take up legislation to restore the intent of our state’s electioneering communication disclosure law.  The law regulates 527 committees (like 'And for the Sake of the Kids') and other groups that engage in electioneering that masquerades as “issue advocacy” and requires disclosure by the sponsors of these communications so that the voters know the identity of those attempting to influence the outcome of the election. The law’s passage in 2005, boosted the state's long-standing tradition of keeping corporate money out of elections, but a preliminary injunction issued in May by U.S. District Court Judge David Faber barred enforcement of the law.
Please call your legislators TODAY and ask them to support this legislation and level the playing field for all that participate in our electoral process.
1-877-565-3447 (or click here to use your zip code and get you legislators individual office numbers)

Allowing these types of “sham issue ads” to go unregulated fosters corruption or the appearance of corruption. This legislation targets big money by requiring disclosure of contributions and expenditures, so that voters can be fully informed.

We expect sharp opposition from many of the groups that use these unreported and undisclosed funds to influence elections.  So please do your part to rally your friends and co-workers to speak out in support of this bill by calling their legislators TODAY. Ask them to support fair and clean elections.

Additional Background: 
During a special session in September 2005, the legislature passed a bill regulating 527 committees and other groups that engage in electioneering that masquerades as “issue advocacy” and requiring disclosure of financial contributors with the Secretary of State. This legislation, which came in response to millions of dollars spent on negative political advertising during the state Supreme Court race in 2004, proved effective against Don Blankenship’s multi-million dollar, statewide advertising campaign in 2006. West Virgina sent a clear message that they had enough of the Massey boss and his meddling in politics by resoundingly defeating his slate of mostly Republican candidates. 

Unfortunately, in April 2008, the law was challenged by the Virginia-based Center for Individual Freedom, an organization that wanted to run ads in this year’s West Virginia Supreme Court elections, without reporting who is funding their organization or how much it is spending. In May, U.S. District Court Judge David Faber granted the group a preliminary injunction barring enforcement of West Virginia’s electioneering communication disclosure law.  WV-CAG, along with many of our Citizens for Clean Elections coalition partners, had advocated for passage of the law, and recently co-signed a letter to the governor urging him to authorize the legislature to correct the law during the special session.  This move has the support of key legislative leaders, including the chairs of the House and Senate Judiciary committees, but until the issue is addressed the Faber ruling leaves open a previously-closed loophole that will allow organizations and wealthy individuals to have an unhealthy impact on the November elections.

Please contact your legislators TODAY and urge them to support a "fix" to this important legislation.
1-877-565-3447 (or click here to use your zip code and get you legislators individual office numbers)

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