For Immediate Release Former Members of Congress Call on Nation's Capital to Support the Fair Elections Now Act

Posted on March 16, 2010

Thirty Former Federal Legislators Sign Letter Featured in Roll Call Ad Today

Washington, DC-- A bipartisan, bicameral group of thirty former members of Congress released an open-letter today calling on Congress and all of Washington, D.C. to embrace, support, and pass the Fair Elections Now Act. The release of the letter was in conjunction with a full-page ad that appeared in today's Roll Call newspaper. The ad and the letter can be seen at

Below is an excerpt from the letter that was released to day:

As former members of Congress, we recognize the difficult problems facing the country: people out of work, health care costs rising, and energy policies stuck in the past. Like our former colleagues, we came to Washington eager to tackle these challenges, not only to better the lives of our constituents, but to improve America.

We quickly learned, however, about another aspect of life in Congress that we believe impairs the ability of lawmakers to address these issues effectively: The huge amount of time spent fundraising for re-election campaigns.

We remember all too well the countless hours spent 'dialing for dollars' and attending fundraisers. From our collective experience, fundraising is one of the worst parts of serving in public office, and it has only gotten worse since we served. The current campaign finance system serves no one well, and serves us all as a nation poorly.

The Fair Elections Now Act, sponsored by Assistant Senate Majority Leader Dick Durbin (D-Ill.) and House Caucus Chair John Larson (D-Conn.), would allow candidates for Congress to seek office without relying on big money contributors. Candidates would pay for their campaigns by qualifying for a limited public grant coupled with a four-to-one match on contributions of $100 or less. The House version of the Fair Elections Now Act (H.R. 1826) has bipartisan support and currently has 140 co-sponsors.

Public Campaign Action Fund and Common Cause are working with other state and national organizations to pass the Fair Elections Now Act. The broad coalition is made up of more than 30 groups representing tens of millions of Americans. Click here to read the full letter and view a copy of the ad.

Public Campaign is a non-profit, non-partisan organization dedicated to sweeping campaign reform that aims to dramatically reduce the role of big special interest money in American politics.

Office: Common Cause National

Issues: Voting and Elections

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.

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