West Virginians are proud Americans who love democracy and believe that every citizen should have an equal say in how our government is run and our laws are made. The Founding Fathers, however, weren’t sure a pure democracy in which everyone had an equal voice and vote would work. They were all wealthy landowners and reserved the vote for land owning white men for the most part. Senators and the President were not elected directly, but by state legislatures or electors—all essentially wealthy, land owning men.
This idea that the wealthy elite know what is best for the rest of us continues to this day and our billionaire Governor is about to sign into law a bill that gives his rich supporters more say in who is elected than any of us. Senate Bill 622 will raise allowable donations to campaigns from $1,000 to $2,800 in both the primary and general elections in WV. That’s $5,600 if they donate in both. It also raises allowable donations to dark money PACs 500% to $5,000 and donations to political parties 10 times to $10,000! And it doesn’t require PACs to disclose names of donors. How many people do you know who can afford to give candidates, PACS, or parties this kind of money? And what do you think people capable of spreading money like that around will expect from candidates and parties? Yep, they will expect to be listened to when their candidates pull the levers on bills that affect their bottom line.
If you think you should have an equal right to be heard and listened to by your elected representative in the state legislature or the governor’s office, then you need to tell Governor Justice to veto SB 622, the so-called Campaign Finance Reform Bill. He ran for office claiming that as a billionaire, he couldn’t be bought, and he should ensure that legislators can’t be bought either!
We should all have an equal say in how government is run. Call Justice now at 304.558.2000 and tell him to veto SB 622.