Council of Churches on Clean Elections

Reverend Dennis Sparks of the West Virginia Council of Churches wants Clean Elections in his state, and he's pushing hard for what he calls a "Freedom Bill" to make it happen. Read more about his interest and involvement in the West Virginia effort to win full public financing of elections.

Sparks and the Council have been involved in this issue for many years:

“We think our legislators, or people who run for office, are so tied down by the need to get money that that becomes such an emphasis that they can’t focus on the issues and really listen to their constituents, the voters.”

[. . .]

“We won’t seriously deal with the issues in West Virginia — whether those issues be energy, or taxes or otherwise — until we can free our legislators and ultimately our governor from having to be responsible more to the donors than the voters,” he said.

 

He acknowledges the challenge in passing such a system through a legislature that may be reluctant the change the rules of the game as they've learned to play it:

“They’re afraid that they would lose that support if it went this way,” he said of the proposal. “So, it’s self-guarding.

“We say that if we continue the way we are, that our freedoms are dampened, because corporations are paying for government. So the choice is, democracy or corporate America controlling our candidates here in West Virginia and across America. Those who already in office have a huge unfair edge with the current system.”

The West Virginia Clean Elections effort has been making steady inroads through the years, and getting more press attention as of late -- definitely a state to keep an eye on in the near future.