Delegates Reject Bid to Expand W.Va. Public Financing Pilot Plan

Members of the West Virginia House of Delegates rejected on Tuesday an amendment to expand a pilot program for the public financing of state Supreme Court elections to include circuit court elections.

“Without this amendment, we will leave in place the greatest threat to impartiality there is,” Del. Tim Manchin, the sponsor, said, according to the Charleston Gazette. He was alluding to judges feeling beholden to big campaign donors.

Arguing against the amendment was Del. Frank Deem. “I want to know who’s giving money to the candidates, so I know where that candidate is coming from,” Deem said. The amendment was defeated on a 67-31 vote.  It was offered to amend a bill providing for nonpartisan, instead of partisan, judicial elections; the bill was to come up for a final vote in the chamber on Wednesday.