WV Citizen Action Group
Action Alert
February 23
 Alert Archive

Citizen Activists: As usual, we're fighting an uphill battle for good government in the mountain state, and, as usual, we can't defend the voice of the people of West Virginia without action from you:   

WV Citizen Actions This Week
Gary Zuckett, garyz@wvcag.org

This was the first full week of the session and for us here at Citizen Action and our affiliates: Energy Efficient WV; WV Surface Owners Rights Organization; West Virginians for Democracy, it was a very busy one….

Governor’s Alternative Fueled Vehicle Bill Unplugs Electric Cars: The governor’s bills are coming out and as I said last week, the devil’s in the details. In this article both Bill Raney of the Coal Assoc and I are quoted saying that electric cars should be put back in. Go figure!

Corporate & Millionaire Tax Dodgers Cost WV $106 Million/Year: Yep, you read it right. A new report we released this week shows the trickle down damage that our flawed tax policy has right here in the Mountain State. $106 million is enough money to plug the hole in our state budget that is costing state agencies a 7.5 percent cut across the board. When they say the state doesn’t have enough revenue to pay its bills, show them this.

EEWV Introduces Energy Efficiency Resource Standards Bill:  As we mentioned last week, EEWV priorities for the session are integrated resource planning and an energy efficiency resource standard. Del. Tim Manchin will introduce the integrated resource planning bill early next week and we have lined up several co-sponsors. The energy efficiency resource standard bill was introduced as S.B. 2210 by Delegates Manypenny, Fleischauer, and Guthrie. EEWV will keep CAG members posted as the bills move forward.

Citizens Unite Against Citizens United: Our biggest splash this week was the Tuesday Rally for Democracy we held in cooperation with WV for Democracy and the national group Public Citizen. Over 100 citizens came out to hear several speakers and then lobby their legislators on undoing the Citizens United vs FEC Supreme Court Decision that said corporations are people and can spend unlimited funds to buy elections. We probably got more media (below) on this than we have in any one action in years. You can watch many of the speakers on our WVCAG YouTube channel: http://www.youtube.com/wvcag

Gazette Editorial: Buying elections

West Virginia Record: Citizens United decision

San Francisco Chronicle: Rally at W.Va. Capitol targets campaign spending

Gazette: Dozens Protest Citizens United Ruling at Capitol.

State Journal: WV Capitol rally calls for limit to corporate election spending

Daily Mail: Rally at W.Va. Capitol Targets Campaign Spending

Metro News Rally for resolution against Citizens United Decision held at State Capitol

WV Record: Groups rally to protest 2010 Citizens United Decision

Common Dreams Newswire: West Virginians Rally, ask Lawmakers to call for End to Corporate Personhood

Tuesday Full Audio Stream: Gary Z and Jonah Minkoff-Zern talk to Hoppy about Citizens United and Campaign Spending.

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Sign Our Petition for Clean Elections, Fair Courts

We need clean elections and fair courts now! Our legislature needs to make permanent the successful program for a public campaign finance option in state Supreme Court elections.

In response to scandals involving the state Supreme Court and former Massey Energy CEO, Don Blankenship, the legislature established a public financing program to help restore confidence in our judiciary -- making us an example for the rest of the county. We can't go back!

Based on the pilot project's success, it's time to make public financing a permanent part of West Virginia Supreme Court elections to ensure a fair and impartial judiciary.

WV Citizens for Clean Elections has created a petition to The West Virginia House of Delegates, The West Virginia State Senate, and Governor Earl Ray Tomblin, which says:

"Please pass the bill that would make permanent the successful program for a public campaign finance option in state Supreme Court elections. We need fair and impartial courts and clean elections in West Virginia to make sure outside money is not corrupting our democracy. Make this program permanent and expand public finance to other races!"

Please click here to add your name to our petition:


We expect bills making the Supreme Court Public Campaign Financing Program permanent to be introduced in both the House and the Senate next week. Thanks for your support!

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Act Now to Support Safe Chemicals Act

Chemical industry giants are responding to overwhelming pressure to reform the Toxic Substances Control Act by introducing weak legislation that does little to protect our citizens. Senator David Vitter, (R-LA) is trying to fast-track an industry friendly piece of legislation that would not give the EPA enough power to investigate and regulate toxic substances.

We need Senator Manchin to protect the health of West Virginians by rejecting this bill and signing onto the Safe Chemicals Act, first introduced in 2011. Unlike the bill being put forth by Vitter and company, the Safe Chemicals Act ensures that Industry bears the burden of proof when it comes to safety, and permits EPA the authority to investigate the effects of toxic chemicals on at risk and minority communities.

It is important that we act right away to encourage Senator Manchin to protect our communities from dangerous chemicals by supporting the Safe Chemicals Act. Please call Kelly Goes or Sara Payne Scarbro in Senator Manchin's office at 304-342-5855.

Here is a sample script, but please feel free to give your own story, too!

"My name is _____ and I live in _______. As a WV voter, I'm urging Sen. Manchin to support the Safe Chemicals Act, which is supported by chemical companies, environmentalists, and medical professionals... and NOT to sign on to Senator Vitter's toxic chemical bill. I hope that he will stand up for our children's health, protect us from toxic chemicals and stand behind the Safe Chemicals Act."

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Cut the Pentagon Pork

Our friendly defense contractors have busy this week too -- busy spending millions lobbying congress to ensure that the lion's share of our discretionary spending continues to funnel into their fat coffers.

If you haven't signed on yet, please add your name to this petition, which calls on congress to make meaningful cuts to wasteful pentagon programs.  We know we need to invest these resources into programs that create renewable energy options, rebuild our communities, secure our elderly, care for our veterans, and educate our children.

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