Ohio Valley Environmental Coalition
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Winds of Change
February 2003

Contents

 What Part Don't Coal Companies Understand?

Remembering Laura

Don't Despair - Organize and Fight Back Instead!

West Virginia Bill for Public Financing of Elections Advancing

Trick or Treat for George Bush - No War!

West Virginia's Clean Election Law - Let's Do the Right Thing and Return Honor to the Process

China - Nehlen remark unwise

Sylvester 'Dustbusters' Beat Up On Massey Energy

Massey Energy Subsidiary Denied Permit to Cover Another West Virginia Town with Coal Dust

Small Town Threatened by Huge Slurry Impoundment Proposal

Mothman Returns: Is He Sending Us Another Dire Warning?

Ken Hechler: A Hero for Our Time

Buffalo Creek 30 Years Later - Have We Learned the Lessons?

Legislation Introduced to Counter Bush Rollback of Clean Water Regulations

Whose Monument Is It?
Keep Miner, Ditch Industry Rhetoric at New Coal Memorial

World Social Forum Shows Commonality of People's Goals

The Field of Broken Dreams

Hey! The Truth IS Out There!

The Truth is Out There - Wayyyyyy Out There, in Massey Energy's Case

Honoring a Great Crusader

Miscellany


For viewing the PDF version

 

West Virginia Bill for Public Financing of Elections Advancing

by John Taylor

On the surface of things the right to vote is pretty much the most honored and respected right that we have in this country. Most usually, the court decisions on voting describe it as a "right," an "entitlement" or a "privilege."

Also, the major trend in the court systems opinions is to expand the voting population by getting rid of the barriers erected in the bad old days such as skin color, gender, poverty and criminal record.

The West Virginia Supreme Court told us in 1942 that all voting laws and regulations in West Virginia must be interpreted liberally toward the right to vote. Written public policy is designed to increase the number of people who participate in our electoral process.

Our public policy on inclusion and increasing participation demonstrates an unacceptable discrepancy between theory and practice. As a nation, our theory and policy on elections is ripped. Anyone who thinks were doing good on this needs to explain why only about 40 percent of eligible West Virginians voted in the last election. You call this good?

Be serious! Why would any person of normal intelligence feel good about voting when you know daggoned well the results are not going to fully and fairly reflect the will of the majority of the working class of this country. When you know the entire system is designed for the needs and desires of rich people, whats to like? Not very much unless youre a rich person too.

When it comes to electing our leaders, were trying to make production with dysfunctional machinery.

Parts are broken and banging around in there. Threads are stripped and bearings are burned out on the machinery we have to use to conduct the most serious and significant, and the most dangerous, of our collective and social tasks, i.e., the election of our leaders and governments. ("Dangerous" because of the harmful and demoralizing social consequences of elections that dont give full and fair results, elections that are twisted and distorted by the infusion of excessive money and influence into the process from Day number 1 until the counting and canvassing of the ballots cast.)

A Clean Elections Bill is afoot this legislative session in West Virginia. OVEC has played a lead role in making that happen.

We all have witnessed first hand how large corporate interests influence and control the environmental political agenda every day.

Having cleaner elections is pivotal to the possibility that we will ever have clean air, pure water, and a pristine landscape.


Representative Marley (center), answers question from Dan Kimball (left), attorney for the WV House Judiciary about Maine's Clean Elections bill, as Si Galperin takes notes.   Also see: Citizens for Clean Elections reception and discussion, "Clean Elections in Maine" 

 

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