PNS Daily Newscast - July 9, 2020 

VP Pence backs Trump on getting kids back to school as U.S. coronavirus top 3 million: state lawmakers call for a "just" economic recovery.

2020Talks - July 9, 2020 

The Green Party nominating convention begins today. The Supreme Court is making its final rulings this week; today, they rule on whether Trump's tax returns will be released.

Election Watchdogs Looking to “Clean Up” the State

March 17, 2008

Charlestown, WV – Supporters of a "clean elections" law for West Virginia say special interests have too much influence over the state's political campaigns and policy decisions. They're working toward a publicly-financed system that they say will give ordinary West Virginians more pull at the State Capitol.

Carol Warren with Citizens for Clean Elections says the way things are now, a lot of West Virginians simply can't run for office because of the costs involved.

"We feel that it is not a democratically level playing field when only people who have a certain amount of personal wealth, or who have connections with money that they're able to contribute, are able to run for office."

Critics of public financing say tax money shouldn't be used to pay for political campaigns. Warren understands those concerns about public financing, but for her, the benefits outweigh the costs.

"When you say, 'Would you pay $5 per household for a system that gives you equal access to your legislator, and keeps a lot of the special interest money from interfering with our policy?' You get a resounding, 'Yes.'"

The plan would require candidates to collect a minimum number of $5 donations in their own district to be eligible for public campaign support. Warren says it made unprecedented progress in the latest legislative session, and her group wants to continue to build momentum for the plan, with hopes it will pass in next year's legislature.

Rob Ferrett/Craig Eicher, Public News Service - WV