Scott Swenson Vice President for Communications Ph: 202.736.5713 email@example.com
on July 23, 2015
To ensure that presidential candidates do more than pay lip service to curbing the influence of money in politics, Common Cause joined other leading advocates today to focus voters and candidates on a detailed “21st Century Democracy Agenda” to modernize and strengthen government of, by, and for the people.
“Americans are hungry, indeed starving, for candidates who will take action to ensure that government works for every citizen, not just those who are able to write big checks to candidates, parties, and political action groups,” said Common Cause President Miles Rapoport.
Rapoport said the participating groups will push candidates across the political spectrum to advocate for:
“None of these ideas are even remotely radical; most have been tested successfully at the state or local level,” Rapoport said. “All over the country, Republicans and Democrats alike are increasingly supporting a range of democracy reforms, including common sense limits on campaign contributions. Those local leaders and a growing number at the national level see a groundswell of public concern and support for reform,” he said.
A recent survey for The New York Times concluded that 81 percent of Republicans (and slightly more Democrats) favor an overhaul of the way political campaigns are financed. Another poll, for the Wall Street Journal, found that the political influence of the wealthy is among voters’ top concerns for 2016.
The groups’ policy platform grows out of a “Unity Statement of Principles” on money in politics and democracy reform that was signed earlier this year by more than 150 organizations.
“We want to see candidates do more than embrace the principles,” Rapoport said. They should commit to specific reforms on a specific timetable. At the same time, we are not asking candidates to curtail their fundraising; we recognize that they must play the 2016 game by 2016’s rules.
“But as the campaign proceeds, we will be measuring the candidates by how strongly they commit themselves to sensible reforms. We’re convinced that the dominance of big money is a danger to democracy; we want to see hard evidence that the candidates understand that and are committed to changing it.”
Common Cause is a nonpartisan grassroots organization dedicated to upholding the core values of American democracy. We work to create open, honest, and accountable government that serves the public interest; promote equal rights, opportunity, and representation for all; and empower all people to make their voices heard in the political process.
Office: Common Cause National
Issues: Money in Politics