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W.Va. on the cusp of boosting money in its politics

The Republican-dominant West Virginia legislature has cleared legislation designed to bring more money into the state's politics. GOP Gov. Jim Justice has not yet committed to signing the bill, which would nearly triple the amount individuals may contribute to candidates (to $2,800), boost in the donation limit to the state parties 10 times over (to $10,000) and boost fivefold (to $5,000) the cap on giving to political action committees.

Those limits would match the national caps established by the Federal Election Commission.

"There's no sound reason for increasing the amount of influence a person or group can have over a politician by enabling them to spend even more," the Charleston Gazette-Mail, the state's primary newspaper, editorialized. "The absolute indifference to furthering political corruption and outside influence in the form of SB 622 is maddening. It also shows a startling lack of shame on the part of legislators who support the bill."

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Neal is federal government affairs manager at R Street Institute, a nonpartisan and pro-free-market public policy research organization.

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