Common Cause’s 50 Year Anniversary

Honolulu Star-Advertiser OpEd Column: Common Cause, transparency are vital to good government

Fifty years ago in 1970, Punahou School graduate John W. Gardner — a Republican secretary of Health, Education and Welfare (HEW) under a Democratic president, Lyndon B. Johnson — founded Common Cause, which became the nation's largest public interest group dedicated to providing open, honest and accountable government. As is the case today in America, disenchantment with government was exceedingly high. In our current climate of cynicism and exhaustion with corruption in politics at the highest level, Common Cause Hawaii's efforts to sustain the legacy of Gardner in advocating for good government is particularly important. Sandy Ma, executive director of Common Cause Hawaii, has repeatedly and forcefully spoken out, calling for an end in local politicsof insidious abuses of our fragile democracy.