Robert Reich to lead Common Cause’s national governing board

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  • Dale Eisman

Robert B. Reich, former Labor Secretary in the Clinton Administration, U. Cal Berkeley professor, author and political commentator, has been unanimously voted chairman of the Common Cause National Governing Board, the organization announced Tuesday.

Reich, who previously served on Common Cause’s National Governing Board in the 1980s, and as an intern in the early days of Common Cause in the 70s, replaces Denver lawyer Martha Tierney, who has been serving as acting chair of the board since 2007. Reich joins Common Cause as it celebrates its 40th anniversary year and will deliver the keynote address at the organization’s anniversary gala on Oct. 6 at the Mayflower Hotel in Washington DC.

Reich’s predecessors include novelist Richard North Patterson and former Harvard University President Derek Bok and Common Cause Founder John Gardner and Watergate special prosecutor Archibald Cox, who are both deceased.

“I’m pleased to return to Common Cause and its work to rid our politics of the corrosive influence of big money,” Reich said. “Now, more than ever, big corporate and special interest donors are buying access and influence in Washington to get their way, and it comes at a huge cost to ordinary Americans. We will not make progress on the significant issues of our day – the economy, climate change, social justice – until we get the special interests out of the business of paying for our politics. Common Cause is dedicated to that mission, and has been for 40 years.”

“We are thrilled to have the intellect, energy, passion and clarity of voice that define Robert Reich,” said Common Cause President Bob Edgar. “I can’t think of a better chairman for this organization to push our government at all levels to act in the public interest.”

Reich is a professor of public policy at the University of California at Berkeley. He was Secretary of Labor under President Clinton, with Time magazine naming him one of the ten most effective cabinet secretaries of the last century. He has published 13 books, including Supercapitalism (2007), which makes the case for why capitalism must be kept separate from democracy, and why corporate money in politics threatens both. His newest book, Aftershock: The Next Economy and America’s Future, has just been released. He is founding co-editor of The American Prospect, a syndicated columnist, regular commentator on public radio’s Marketplace and other radio and television programs, and blogs at