History and Achievements

Common Cause Delaware has a history of action since its inception in 1972. For decades, we've had a major influence on ensuring good government in the state of Delaware —working toward increased transparency, regulating lobbyists, and limiting the role of money in politics.

Major milestones include:

  • Helped pass Delaware’s first campaign finance law which limited campaign contributions and expenditures and required disclosure of sources of contributions (1974); CCDE helped strengthen the law in 1990, limiting the role of Political Action Committees
  • Wrote the Open Meetings Law (or Freedom of Information Act—FOIA) letting the sunshine into state governmental meetings and records (1976) and successfully worked to strengthen the law in 198
  • Helped write the first bill regulating lobbying which required lobbyists to register (1976)
  • Been a watchdog of the Sunset Law (passed in 1980), making sure agencies are appropriately evaluated on a regular basis and pushed for full-time staff added in 1983
  • Wrote the State’s ethics law which defined conflicts of interest and created the bipartisan Delaware Public Integrity Commission to administer the law (1990)
  • Led efforts to pass of Delaware’s Motor Voter law in 1993 even before the national mandate
  • Impacted the reform of transparent and citizen-based government in the First State:
  • Helped write legislation in 2012 enhancing disclosure requirements for lobbyists who work in Delaware on bills, resolutions and regulations (SB185)
  • Helped shape the Delaware Elections Disclosure Act (HB300 in 2012), which represents the first major overhaul of Delaware’s campaign finance laws in more than 20 years--closing a loophole with campaign advertisements, requiring prompt reporting of third-party spending on campaign ads and requiring greater disclosure from those who spend money to influence law and public policy
  • Successfully encouraged the Public Integrity Commission to modernize its website to spend money to influence law and public policy

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