Common Cause
Democracy Bows But Does Not Break in Wisconsin 

Whatever the merits, or flaws, of Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker's "budget repair bill," its march to passage made a mockery of good government.

"The action is an assault on the right of Wisconsinites to know what their elected representatives in the legislature and the Governor are doing," said Common Cause Wisconsin Executive Director Jay Heck. "It is an affront to Wisconsin's 173-year-old tradition of open and transparent state government." Read our full story».

Image by Jessie Reeder via Flickr Creative Commons

March 11, 2011

»In Our Community

»Independent Media Under Attack

»Answering the Call to Action

»Democracy is Pricele$$

»State Updates: Michigan, Utah, California

»Cleaning Up History

»Common Memory


Stephen Colbert is still talking about our work on ethics issues surrounding some Supreme Court justices; this week he highlighted the appalling lack of ethics rules for the court.

Watch Colbert's latest video clip on our blog.


Strengthen Accountability on the Supreme Court. There are too many unanswered questions  about the ethical standards of our highest court.  Ask your representatives to co-sponsor H.R. 862 and help hold the Supreme Court accountable» 

We continue to press the Department of Justice for a meeting on this issue and have called for more and better answers from the justices. As our collective voices get louder, so do those of our critics, who would prefer that we leave the issue entirely. Common Cause is committed to keeping this story in the spotlight, but we need your help.

Please make a gift to support  to support our efforts to strengthen our highest court and build public confidence in the administration of justice»

Right Now in Our Online Communities...

Notes: Find your state chapter on Facebook


Blog: Morning and Evening Reading: daily links to interesting and important content

Photo Gallery:
Common Cause Out and About


Video: Bob Edgar talks about Making Agent Orange History

So Much for the "Gentlemen's Agreement"
Read Bob Edgar's latest blog on The Huffington Post about filibuster reform » 

Independent Media Under Attack 

You can be part of the discussion about the future of public media future at the National Conference for Media Reform in Boston, April 8-10, sponsored by Free Press and featuring Common Cause President Bob Edgar. Register online with the code "CC_NCMR" to receive a $50 discount on the $125 registration; offer valid through March 18, 2011. Public media are fundamental to helping Americans become informed and engaged in our democracy. Find out more  about Common Cause's support of independent media» 

Answering the Call to Action

We hear frequently from members and supporters who want to become more involved in our work, in addition to providing much-needed financial support. We're developing an activist toolkit filled with resources and suggested activities, and we want to include your ideas. What do you do, and what can others do, on the local, state, and national levels to educate themselves, inform others, and create change? Add your suggestion to our discussion on Facebook or email newsletter [at] commoncause [dot] org.

Democracy is Pricele$$

A new documentary featuring Common Cause President Bob Edgar asks viewers two questions: Does America's electoral system transform our elected representatives into craven junkies, main-lining corporate cash? And can they be freed from their addiction? The film—PRICELE$$—will debut tonight, Friday, March 11) at the DC Independent Film Festival. Watch a clip of the movie »

MICHIGAN: Fighting Unchecked Power

Michiganders are fighting a bill that would expand the power of emergency financial managers appointed by the governor, giving them authority to cancel local government employee contracts, fire administrators, and even steer localities into bankruptcy. Democracy activists are calling the proposal a takeover and fear that unchecked power will let managers demote or remove elected mayors and other local officials, as has happened in other states. Get details on the bill, and the future for Michigan voters»

CALIFORNIA: Saying Yes to Voter-Owned Elections

Voters in Los Angeles voted 3-to-1 in favor of a more robust fair elections system. Los Angeles is larger than two of the three states that currently have comprehensive public funding systems in place and will be the first place—municipality or state—to adopt the grant + small donor matching funds system. Common Cause California worked to educate citizens about Measure H, which can now serve as a model for cities and states across the U.S.

Cleaning Up History

We hope you've been keeping up with blog posts by Common Cause President Bob Edgar throughout his trip to Vietnam. Bob led a delegation sponsored by the Ford Foundation to learn about the continuing impact of Agent Orange/dioxin and focus attention on a 10-year plan to clean up the harmful reminders of the war. Read Bob's blog posts about Vietnam and see photos from the trip

Common Memory 

"Letter from Prague: The twists and turns of a new democracy" appeared in the July/August 1990 issue of Common Cause Magazine and detailed the first few months of democracy following the velvet revolution in the former Czechoslovakia in 1989. In 2011, democracy is spreading across the Middle East, serving as a reminder that history repeats itself. Read the article from 1990 on our Flickr photo sharing site.


The entire Common Cause community is saddened by the recent death of Ceil Gallagher, a longtime volunteer in our national office. Ceil was a committed democracy activist with an endless tenacity for her work, arriving every Tuesday regardless of weather conditions and even at times when her health was impaired. Wherever Common Cause was, Ceil was with us, from press conferences and seminars to our 40th anniversary celebrations.

Cecelia Gallagher was born on July 22, 1922 in Minneapolis, Mn., and grew up in Kansas City, Mo. She taught elementary school in Missouri and later served as a Papal Volunteer in South America. In the 1960s, Ceil moved to Washington DC to work at the National Catholic Shrine and subsequently the National Gallery of Art. In addition to her volunteer work with Common Cause, Ceil spent time with the Grate Patrol Homeless Outreach Program in D.C., bringing evening meals and fellowship to the homeless. She also conducted research for clients at the Library of Congress. In a memoriam printed in the Kansas City Star, it was noted that Ceil devoted her life to helping the underdog and righting injustices. She had grit and determination and she will be missed.

Pictured: Ceil Gallagher asks Bob Edgar about ways to get more people involved in our government. Common Cause 40th Anniversary Conference, October 5, 2010.

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Common Cause is a nonpartisan, grassroots organization dedicated to restoring the core values of American democracy, reinventing an open, honest and accountable government that serves the public interest, and empowering ordinary people to make their voices heard in the political process.