David Vance National Media Strategist Ph: o: 202.736.5712 c: 240.605.8600 email@example.com
on September 7, 2016
Gridlock Necessitates Inclusion of Sponsorship & Co-Sponsorships for the First Time in Common Cause History
With Election Day now just two months away, Common Cause released its 2016 Democracy Scorecard that charts the positions of every Member of Congress on issues vital to the health of our democracy.
Unfortunately, Congressional gridlock has meant that common sense reform measures like those in the Scorecard rarely come to a vote so sponsorships and co-sponsorships of bills make up the majority of this year’s list for the first time in Common Cause’s 47-year history.
“Americans have a right to accountable representation in Washington and voters overwhelmingly support reform of the current system,” said Common Cause President Karen Hobert Flynn. “Sadly, most of the reforms included on the list were never even allowed a vote. The scorecard is a tool we know voters will find useful to see where their elected representatives in Washington stand on a variety of proposed reforms that would do everything from requiring big money donors to reveal their identities and providing matching funds for small dollar donations to modernizing voting systems and ending partisan gerrymandering.”
Common Cause sent each congressional office several letters throughout the year listing the bills included in the Scorecard to make sure every Member of Congress knew which bills he or she was being evaluated on. Since the notices went out, a combined total of more than 250 cosponsors have been added to these bills.
"If enacted, the bills included in the scorecard would restore balance to our political system,” Hobert Flynn said. “They are common sense, tested and proven effective solutions to the most vexing problems facing our democracy.”
While co-sponsorship is an imperfect metric and doesn’t capture all of the democracy reform champions in Congress, this Scorecard can provide useful guidance to citizens concerned about the health of our democracy.
The bills included in the Democracy Scorecard reflect a comprehensive reform agenda that public opinion research indicates has consistently high levels of support across the ideological spectrum. With strong public support for these policies and voters prioritizing them as important in the 2016 election, there is a growing national movement emerging this year.
While the Scorecard looks at the 114th Congress, Common Cause and several allies are also encouraging voters to look toward the 115th Congress with the WhoWillFightBigMoney.org campaign. From the campaign website, voters can engage congressional candidates directly through email and social media, urging them to let voters know where they stand on the reform agenda. It is the people who have the power to constitute the next Congress and voters can use this Scorecard, and apply to the current campaign to decide who are the reformers in each party, and who supports the big money status quo.
The scorecard does not ‘rate’ candidates. Instead, it spotlights the sponsors and co-sponsors of legislation that would elevate the voices of everyday Americans in politics and government, make voting more accessible, end partisan gerrymandering so that every American has a reasonable chance to elect representatives of their choice, and promote high ethical standards for elected and appointed officials.
The scorecard includes:
To view the Scorecard Online, go to: DemocracyScorecard.org
Office: Common Cause National
Issues: Money in Politics
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.