Charleston, WV - Legislators from the State Senate and House of Delegates joined together today to call on Governor Jim Justice to veto Senate Bill 622, the campaign finance reform bill recently passed by the Legislature. Senator Glenn Jeffries (D-Putnam), Richard Lindsay (D-Kanawha), Delegate Andrew Byrd (D-Kanawha), Delegate Joe Canestraro (D-Marshall), Delegate Amanda Estep-Burton (D-Kanawha), Delegate Cindy Lavender-Bowe (D-Greenbrier), Delegate Mike Pushkin (D-Kanawha), Delegate Andrew Robinson (D-Kanawha) and Delegate Doug Skaff (D-Kanawha) are asking Governor Justice to veto Senate Bill 622. Senate Bill 622 increases numerous caps on campaign contributions to individuals and political action committees (PACs). The bill would also allow Federal PACs to continue receiving contributions from undisclosed donors.
“The last thing that we need in campaigns is more negative mailers and commercials,” Delegate Cindy Lavender-Bowe stated. “This is the wrong direction if we want to encourage West Virginians to be a part of the process.”
“Not one time during the campaign did I hear constituents ask for there to be more money in politics,” Delegate Andrew Byrd added. “This bill should not have been a priority for the West Virginia Legislature when our state faces so many other issues that need and deserve our attention.”
“This bill further removes the average West Virginian from the political process,” Delegate Doug Skaff stated. “A Governor’s veto would restore the ability for our constituents to have their voices heard over the out-of-state special interests and big money PACs.”
Delegates Canestraro, Estep-Burton and Robinson have concerns about specific issues in the bill that will damage their constituents’ ability to be a part of the process. “This bill does nothing to repair roads or employ people in my home county,” Delegate Joe Canestraro said, “but it does direct the focus of the Legislature to anyone capable of writing a $2,800 check to a politician.”