How to find out who’s buying YOUR WV representative

At the public hearing in the WV Legislature about the Cancer Creek bill, Delegate Tom Fast took the outrageous step of calling a point of order on his own constituent, Selina Vickers of Fayette County, to silence her. Why? She was reading off campaign donors.

He didn’t want her to talk about money in politics; perhaps it would reveal how many special interests had donated to him and other Fayette delegates. But the donations help explain support for a bill that would allow increased toxins into our water. “I was just so shocked,” said Vickers of Fasts’ actions. “Then  afterward, he said he wouldn’t even meet with me.”

Not one member of the public spoke in favor of the Cancer Creek bill. This is not surprising because West Virginians won’t see any benefit from it if it passes—we’ll only be paying the costs. Yet again.

The only thing Cancer Creek does is allow wealthy CEOs to pocket more profits by reducing their clean-up costs by permitting them to dump more carcinogens and other toxins on us. (Read the HB 2506 factsheet PDF from WV Rivers Coalition, and read the text of the bill here.)

Industry has been pushing this measure for many years. Last year, yet another attempt was made to force Cancer Creek through by changing administrative rules. I warned you it was not the last we’d see of it. Now special interests and lobbyists got it written into WV law by buying our politicians. This is what they want…

How Much More Poison Can Now Be Released

  1. For Morgantown, #CancerCreek would mean almost 10 times as many carcinogens and other toxins released into the Monongahela River.
  2. At Charleston, that change allows a 12-fold increase in toxins dumped into the Kanawha River.
  3. In Parkersburg, it would permit 21 times more poisons to be unloaded into the Little Kanawha.
  4. For little Cairo here in Ritchie County,  38 times the number of chemicals and toxins could be discharged into the Hughes. Almost 40 times as much!!!

Read more of the cold, hard facts of the Cancer Creek bill, including how to figure what can now be going into your own local waters, because…

This post has been updated. BUYING OUR POLITICIANS WORKED. That IS why special interests spend so much money lobbying and donating to politicians. It works.

#Cancer Creek passed the House, it passed the Senate and naturally the Polluter-in-Chief Governor Jim Justice signed it, trading our clean water for corporate donations and in the case of Justice, one suspects, conceivably profiting his own businesses. 

This occurred even though not one member of the public who was not being paid to do so spoke in favor if the bill at the public hearing. NOT ONE. The people of WV didn’t want this. Delegate Shawn Fluharty pointed out that Cancer Creek was sold as a jobs bill without any data showing if any jobs would actually be created. Fluharty said he’s “… not going to drink the corporate Kool-Aid; we’d like to drink the water decades from now.”

But how did your representatives vote?

View the House votes to see how your rep voted

View the Senate votes to see how your rep voted.

Now that you know how they voted, here’s how to find out how much money YOUR representatives are getting in exchange for their votes:

  1. Visit THIS LINK. In fact, I recommend you bookmark it.
  2. Scroll down the list of 2016 candidates until you find your representatives. (If you don’t know who your representatives are, you can see how to find out below)
  3. Finally, click on the name to get access to his or her campaign finance reports, and browse. Keep clicking through to see the actual reports, with all the donors and donation amounts listed. That’s public info.

So, for example, we can see that the current delegate for my own district got more than 40% of his money from energy interests. Math shows that the average donation to his campaign was not quite $500. How did he vote? Any guesses?

If the people influencing your representative are those who can afford to donate nearly $500 (or more!)… do you think your delegate or senator will really be representing you? Or will they represent the special interests that put them in office?  Is it a wonder that wealthy people and special interests are buying our elections? That essentially allows them to write our laws so the laws will benefit them, and reinforce a system that funnels wealth to the wealthy.

That’s why YOU MUST NOT FORGET your representatives’ votes on this.

Contact them. If they voted to benefit their donors at your expense, demand an explanation. Keep after them until they respond. Let them know you SEE why they voted that way—and you object! Then volunteer or donate to candidates who will not work that way. Or run yourself!

UPDATE: I’ve made contacting them easier. You can still use the method below if you’d like to contact your specific representative/s, but you can easily email them ALL from this CANCER CREEK BLOWBACK page.

This is not a partisan issue. Representatives on both sides of the aisle are being purchased—and on both sides of the aisle there are still representatives who will try to fight for you. This isn’t Republicans versus Democrats; it’s corporations versus the rest of us. And right now, we’re losing. But we have the power to win!

Just let them know you’re paying attention to the money. Then VOTE that way.

Did your rep vote to pollute our water?


CONTACT YOUR DELEGATE/S TODAY to demand to know why they sold you out.

Here’s how to find your delegate:

  1. If you’re not sure about your district, just have a look here:house-district-map
  2. View the House Roster to find your delegate/s and their contact information.
  3. Then call or email. Demand a response, an explanation. Be sure to let them know you’re a constituent–it makes a difference!

Did you get this information too late? CALL ANYWAY.

Thank your delegate/s if they voted to protect you, or let them know you won’t forget if they voted to give their donors more money at our expense!

CONTACT YOUR STATE SENATORS today to demand to know why they sold you out

  1. Here are your state senate districts, in case you’re not sure:wv-senate-districts
  2. View the Senate Roster to find your senators and their contact information.
  3. Then call or email. Demand a response, an explanation. Be sure to let them know you’re a constituent–it makes a difference!

Contact Governor Jim Justice today to demand to know why he sold you out

Write Jim Justice a message (click here)
Phone Jim Justice’s office: 304-558-2000 or 888-438-2731

I’d also suggest keeping after them until they respond. Because if you want to make sure things finally change for this state–if you have a different vision of where we want to be–don’t let them vote against you and think they can just go on and never hear about it again.



16 thoughts on “How to find out who’s buying YOUR WV representative

  1. Lissa, This is incredibly valuable information, not only as we fight the Cancer Creek issue. I am sharing to progressive groups in the state. Thanks for all you do!


  2. Hi Lissa! I can’t agree more how important this issue is (born and raised in a Charleston… lived their during the crisis).

    Our team at OSAY has launched a campaign about this bill that lets West Virginians auto-locate their senators and call/tweet them. Check it out at

    We built it so that more citizens can advocate quicker and more effectively. Let me know what you think 🙂


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