Activists See Next Step for Clean Elections in West Virginia

The “unprecedented” conviction of former Massey Energy CEO Don Blankenship (see Gavel Grab) presents a reminder of the need for more robust financial disclosure regulations on political donations, according to a commentary in the Charleston Gazette-Mail by Julie Archer and Natalie Thompson of WV Citizens for Clean Elections.

While Blankenship’s $3 million spending in a state Supreme Court race years go ultimately sparked a new law for judicial public financing of judicial elections,  the authors argue that money still has too great an influence in state elections and that current rules allow contributors to “hide their identity while influencing our elections.”

“Public financing and transparency of political spending are important safeguards for a true democracy,” the authors conclude. “The corporate elite, millionaires and billionaires should not be able to use their wealth (covertly or otherwise) to bribe our elected officials, and they should not get away with dictating what happens to the future of our state and the future of our people.”