Charleston, W.Va. – West Virginia Secretary of State Natalie E. Tennant is asking Acting Governor Earl Ray Tomblin to add the subject of the Supreme Court of Appeals Public Campaign Financing Pilot Program to the special session, set to begin next week.
Secretary Tennant, along with the State Election Commission, requested Attorney General Darrell McGraw to review West Virginia’s pilot program, which is similar to the Arizona law that was determined to be unconstitutional by the United States Supreme Court on June 27, 2011.
In an Opinion detailed in a letter to Secretary Tennant, the Attorney General’s Office said “the matching funds provisions contained in the West Virginia Supreme Court of Appeals Public Campaign Financing Pilot Program are violative of the United States Constitution.”
“In anticipation of this Opinion, we have been preparing to make any changes necessary to the pilot program by working with Legislative leaders and the Acting Governor,” Tennant said. “Because participating candidates face a September 1 date to begin raising qualifying funds, this question needs to be addressed immediately.”
The letter from Secretary Tennant to the Attorney General can be viewed here, and the Attorney General’s Opinion can be viewed here.