Pearson tapped as Common Cause’s vice president for programs

Arn Pearson, who has directed Common Cause’s campaign finance reform efforts since 2006, has been named the organization’s national vice president for programs, responsible for developing and overseeing its legislative and grassroots campaigns on a wide array of democracy reform issues.

As vice president for programs, Pearson will lead a national program staff of about 20 and also work with the organization’s 35 state offices to make government more honest, open and accountable. Current issue campaigns include election security, voter protection and participation, public financing of elections, ethics and lobby reform, curbing presidential abuses of power, media reform and redistricting reform.

Pearson, who is based in Camden, Maine, is an attorney with more than 20 years of experience in policy development, grassroots campaigns, lobbying, strategic litigation and nonprofit management.

“This is an exciting time for Common Cause and the nation,” Pearson said. “The threats to American democracy – from the undue influence of big money, to election security, to abuse of power – are great, but so are the opportunities for reform.”

“People are hungry for change,” Pearson said. “They want to see an end to corruption, and a return to government they can believe in and that works for them. I believe we have the chance of a lifetime to remake American democracy from top to bottom. Common Cause has a critical role to play in that struggle, and I am ready to roll up my sleeves and get to work.”

Common Cause, born in the days of Watergate and the Vietnam War, is a nonpartisan citizen lobby with nearly 400,000 members and supporters a 38-year history of effectively engaging citizens in the political process to win crucial democracy reforms and the local, state and national level.

Prior to coming to Common Cause, Pearson was executive director of the Maine Citizen Leadership Fund (MCLF), a statewide nonpartisan organization that led efforts to pass, defend and implement Maine’s landmark Clean Elections law. Under Pearson’s leadership, MCLF also won important reforms on corporate accountability, prescription drug pricing and tax fairness.

While at MCLF, Pearson put together the legal team that successfully defended Maine’s Clean Election law, and later organized a similar effort to defend the innovative Maine Rx law, which was ultimately upheld by the US Supreme Court.

Pearson has a Bachelor of Arts degree in Government from Cornell University and a law degree from Georgetown University Law Center.