Beth Rotman, Founding Director of Connecticut’s Successful Citizen Election Program, Brings Invaluable Expertise to Common Cause

WASHINGTON, DC — As the American people continue organizing to strengthen democracy at the local level with practical solutions such as small donor matching funds programs to counter unlimited wealthy special interests, Common Cause welcomes one of the nation’s foremost  experts on implementing small donor programs, Beth A. Rotman, as the Money in Politics & Ethics Program Director.

Rotman was the founding director of Connecticut’s Citizens’ Election Program and had previously served as deputy general counsel for New York City’s Campaign Finance Board. She clerked for the U. S. Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit, working closely with now Supreme Court Justice Sonia Sotomayor.

“Beth Rotman brings invaluable talent and leadership strengthening Common Cause’s nationwide network of experts covering every aspect of political reform,” said Common Cause President Karen Hobert Flynn. “Winning a reform isn’t the finish line for any law, but the start of a long implementation process that ultimately determines its success. When laws shift power from wealthy special interests to the people, that process requires creative, innovative, and tenacious leaders like Beth Rotman,” she added. Hobert Flynn led the fight to pass Connecticut’s public financing law, the first state ever to do so legislatively.

“Beth’s experience working with campaign finance laws and implementing reforms in a complex city like New York and a politically dynamic state like Connecticut means she is ready to assist any city or state in the nation with creative solutions,” said Paul Seamus Ryan, Vice President for Policy and Litigation. “Beth operates with the highest ethical standards. She understands it’s important to implement these programs to encourage candidate participation and provide more balance to our political finance system, so it works the way the people want it to.”

In its inaugural year, Rotman led Connecticut’s voluntary program to an impressive participation rate of 73 percent of all candidates for state office, twice the rate of Maine or Arizona, the only other states to have similar programs at the time. Participation since has hovered around 75 percent and set a record in 2018 as more than 335 candidates participated. The program is one of the state’s most popular policy initiatives and routinely is used by both major parties and has mechanisms to support minor party candidates as well.

“Under Karen’s leadership in Connecticut, Common Cause played a role of breathtaking import in passing and supporting implementation of Connecticut’s Citizens’ Election Program,” said Rotman.  “It’s an honor to have the opportunity to join Common Cause and work with Karen, Paul, and other leaders in democracy reform in the country.”

Since 2011, Rotman has been living and working in Tel Aviv, Israel, where she helped high-tech companies, start-ups, and NGOs build ecosystems of innovation and technology for social impact and humanitarian assistance; provided legal and regulatory advice while at the BAR Group; and served as the Vice President of Business Development & Government Relations at LCE Education Technology.

Rotman will start at Common Cause in the Washington, D.C. office in June.

For nearly 50 years, Common Cause has organized people and promoted the importance of following, engaging, and participating in our process of self-governance. We remind politicians that they work for the people. We reduce barriers that for too long have prevented many skilled community leaders from seeking public office. We develop and advocate for practical solutions that strengthen the people’s voice, increase access, and hold accountable the people we entrust with power accountable.