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WV justices OK public funds for Benjamin, Wooton

CHARLESTON, W.Va. — Less than two-and-a-half hours after they heard two hours of oral arguments Wednesday, acting West Virginia Supreme Court justices overturned lower court rulings and upheld the awarding of nearly $500,000 each in public campaign financing to Supreme Court candidates Brent Benjamin and Bill Wooton.

Citing the need to expedite the matter in advance of the May 10 judicial elections, the high court issued the order reversing the circuit court rulings and upholding public campaign financing for the two candidates, with opinions to follow “in due course.”

During the hearings earlier Wednesday, the acting justices repeatedly raised questions about whether it would be arbitrary and capricious to deny the candidates public campaign financing because of procedural errors they made in filing for the funding.

“To me, it’s like putting someone in the state penitentiary for 10 years for petit larceny…

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