Business leaders demand an end to money chase in newspaper ad

Mary Boyle, Common Cause, (202) 487-0518

Rick Bielke, Public Campaign, (202) 255-6147

Common Cause and Public Campaign Action Fund on Thursday are running a full-page ad in Roll Call, signed by more than 30 prominent business leaders, urging Congress to end the campaign money chase.

“Pssst. We don’t like those calls, either,” states the ad, referring to fundraising calls from Members of Congress. The ad is timed to coincide with a House Administration Committee hearing Thursday on a proposal for the Fair Elections Now Act, legislation introduced by House Democratic Caucus Chair John Larson (D-Conn.) and Rep. Walter Jones (R-N.C.) that would create a voluntary congressional campaign finance system of small donors and public financing.

“We are on the receiving end of Senators’ and Representatives’ endless fund-raising calls. And trust us: we hate getting those calls every bit as much as they hate making them,” the ad says. “Elected officials spend so much time dialing for dollars it’s as if they’re moonlighting a second job. With the economy, health care, energy and so many other issues at stake, who has time for that?

“Let’s terminate this mutually wasteful, degrading process. Let’s pass the Fair Elections Now Act,” the ad continues.

More than 30 business leaders signed the ad, including Arnold Hiatt, former Stride Rite CEO, Alan G. Hassenfeld, executive committee chairman of Hasbro Inc., Gordon Segal, chairman of Crate & Barrel and Gerald Grinstein, strategic director of Madrona Venture Group and former CEO of Delta Airlines.

Public Campaign Action Fund is a national nonprofit organization dedicated to passing sweeping campaign reform, including comprehensive public financing of elections. The organization also works to hold elected officials accountable for the favors they do for special interest donors.