State, federal campaign finance laws need scrutiny

An editorial from The Register-Herald

BECKLEY, W.Va. — A measure in Charleston that would have dramatically raised the amount of money an individual could legally donate to a candidate for state office came back to Earth this week with a satisfying thump.

The bill would have raised contribution limits to $25,000 for a statewide race, $15,000 for state Senate races and $10,000 for House of Delegates races. Currently, the cap on campaign donations by an individual in a West Virginia race is $1,000.

A compromise agreed to Tuesday would cap an individual contribution for a West Virginia political race at the federal limit of $2,700.

It seems to us to be a sound re-think on this issue.

If politicians in Charleston are serious about reforming the way candidates are funded in West Virginia races, we need a bipartisan commission to explore options and decide what’s best for West Virginia.

It’s an issue that needs more thought and time than is possible during a busy legislative session.

Above all, any changes to campaign finance laws in West Virginia need to prioritize transparency, not how much money an individual can spend on a candidate.

Which brings us to federal campaign finance reform…

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