apearson AT commoncause DOT org
Arn Pearson joined the Common Cause staff in 2006 as Campaign Finance Reform Director, and currently serves as Vice President for Policy and Litigation. He works with the national and state offices helping create model campaign finance legislation, examining proposed legislation and providing policy advice. He has extensive experience in the fields of public financing and campaign finance reform, election reform, tax reform, and ethics.
Most recently, Arn was first the policy director (1996 – 2000) and then the executive director (2000 – 2005) of the Maine Citizen Leadership Fund, a nonprofit organization that works on a variety of good-government issues including campaign finance reform, fairness in tax reform, and election reform. As policy director of MCLF, Arn put together the legal team defending Maine’s landmark Clean Election law, leading to a federal appeals court victory in 2000. As executive director, he built the legal defense team for the Maine Rx law, which resulted in a U.S. Supreme Court victory. As executive director, he helped to institute adjustments to the Clean Election law that strengthened the program (some 80% of Maine’s legislators ran as “Clean” candidates in 2004) and fought changes to the law that would have diminished it.
Arn’s other experience includes running a statewide public-interest group (Maine People’s Alliance) for three years, managing issue and political campaigns, working as a researcher on oil, gas, and chemical company PAC contributions for the Citizen/Labor Energy Coalition, and extensive grant-writing.
Arn’s educational background includes a Bachelor of Arts degree (summa cum laude) in Government from Cornell in 1984 and a Juris Doctor degree (magna cum laude) from Georgetown University Law Center in 1995. Arn also attended Swarthmore College as an undergraduate.
He is a member of the Maine Bar, the U.S. Supreme Court Bar, First District Court of Appeals Bar, and the U.S. District Court for the District of Maine Bar, as well as the Maine State Bar Association, the Maine Trial Lawyers Associations, and the American Trial Lawyers Association.