Thursday, December 2, 2021

Play

Michiganders mourn the loss of four students after this week's school shooting at Oxford High School, and SCOTUS Justices signal willingness to back a Mississippi abortion prohibition law.

Play

The Supreme Court debates abortion rights; Stacey Abrams will again run to be Georgia's governor; and Congress scrambles to avoid a shutdown.

Play

Seniors in non-urban areas struggle with hunger disproportionately; rural communities make a push for federal money; and Planned Parenthood takes a case to the Montana Supreme Court.

Senator: “Public Outcry” Forced a Better Election Finance Bill

Play

Thursday, March 5, 2015   

CHARLESTON, W.Va. – It's a public outcry that forced lawmakers to keep a state rule against corporations contributing to West Virginia political campaigns, according to one state senator.

As originally written, Senate Bill 541 would have removed many state limits on campaign contributions.

But Sen. Mike Woelfel (D-Huntington) stresses the bill was dramatically improved in the Senate Judiciary Committee on Tuesday. And he credits pressure from the public for saving the prohibition on corporate contributions.

"The public spoke clearly and loudly,” he points out. “I don't think any particular senators deserve credit.

“I think the people of our state deserve credit for speaking out in favor of restricting the injection of money into politics."

Woelfel adds he thinks the committee worked out a good compromise on the bill. He predicts it will have wide bipartisan support on the Senate floor, and says he expects to vote for it.

In the last election, millions of dollars of so-called dark money was spent in West Virginia's congressional and U.S. Senate races – donations made in secret that fund mud-slinging attack ads.

Woelfel says the bill as rewritten in committee now includes a lot of disclosure that should open those kinds of donations to public scrutiny – at least for state-level elections, if not congressional races. And he says the bill now includes other important provisions.

"Much more transparency than our old law, and some modest increases in contributions by individuals,” he states. “And we would be consistent with our current law, which would allow no corporations to contribute directly to candidates."

Woelfel and a number of other Democratic senators on the Judiciary Committee opposed the bill when they first started work on it. He explains the original draft completely removed contribution limits they thought were vital – not only for individual and corporate donations, but even on foreign money.

"As the bill was introduced, contributions from foreign governments would not be prohibited, although there might be some federal legislation that would impair those,” he explains. “However, reasonable minds did prevail."




get more stories like this via email

Civil rights groups are pushing Baltimore County to create a second majority Black council district to better represent its diverse population. (Flickr)

Social Issues

BALTIMORE, Md. -- Maryland civil rights groups are proposing a lawsuit against Baltimore County if it adopts its current redistricting plan, claiming …


Social Issues

LINCOLN, Neb. -- Nearly seven in ten Americans say billionaires are not paying their fair share in taxes, according to a new survey. Among likely …

Social Issues

BISMARCK, N.D. -- Over the coming weeks, North Dakotans will be clicking the "purchase" button as they order holiday gifts online, and fraud experts …


Front-line pandemic workers in Minnesota feel the state is failing them in recognizing them for their work during the crisis, as they were not allowed to work remotely. (Adobe Stock)

Social Issues

MINNEAPOLIS -- Several regional labor groups rallied in Minneapolis on Wednesday, demanding state leaders take action to reflect the sacrifices made …

Environment

GREENE, Iowa -- The proposed Build Back Better bill is getting attention for a host of funding possibilities, including one area flying under the …

The Republican-created legislative and congressional maps, passed by the Wisconsin Legislature in November, were quickly vetoed by Gov. Tony Evers, teeing up a legal battle. (Adobe Stock)

Social Issues

MADISON, Wis. -- In a four-three decision this week, the Wisconsin Supreme Court backed a "least-change" approach to redistricting in the state…

Social Issues

OXFORD TOWNSHIP, Mich. -- Michiganders are mourning the loss of four students after this week's school shooting at Oxford High School, and advocates …

Social Issues

WALNUT CREEK, Calif. -- Labor protests and strikes are on the upswing this fall, compared with 2020 when everyone hunkered as the pandemic closed …

 

Phone: 303.448.9105 Toll Free: 888.891.9416 Fax: 208.247.1830 Your trusted member- and audience-supported news source since 1996 Copyright 2021