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Area(s) of Expertise
  • Money & Influence

Meet Beth…

Beth joined Common Cause as Money in Politics & Ethics Program Director in June 2019.

What drew you to Common Cause?

The Common Cause team is truly extraordinary, and I have never seen a more dedicated group of colleagues work harder to empower all Americans to make their voices heard. Common Cause is a nonpartisan, grassroots organization working to create open, honest, and accountable government that serves the public interest and promotes opportunity and representation for all.  I actually met some of my colleagues, and our president Karen Hobert Flynn “in the trenches” when I was founding the government program implementing the landmark Citizens’ Election Program in Connecticut and Karen was leading Common Cause after passing the sweeping reform package.  It was then that I saw the true power and possibility of having the very best people working both inside and outside of our government—to make it truly a government for all of us.

Why did you choose to take the path of an attorney who fights for our democracy?

I knew that I would take the path of a public interest attorney, and had chosen to attend New York University School of Law because of this drive.  I have always served the public and was honored to start this public service as a law clerk for the Second Circuit of the US Court of Appeals, where I had one extraordinary mentor, the Honorable Sonia Sotomayor, who now serves on the U.S. Supreme Court.

I was extremely fortunate to have someone as wise as Judge Sotomayor care enough about me to sit down and discuss my upcoming interviews.  When I mentioned that I had an interview with the New York City Campaign Finance Board, she literally jumped out of her chair with excitement — so this obviously made an impression. It turned out that she had served as a founding board member of the agency which oversees NYC’s landmark municipal public financing program.  We discussed how meaningful democracy reforms can be and how the best democracy reforms make everything else possible.  I landed the counsel job and never looked back. We stayed in touch as I moved on to found a state-wide program, the Citizens’ Election Program, which set the standard for state campaign finance reform and inspires hope for change across the country.  One great mentor makes all of the difference which is why I can’t stop myself from mentoring young staff members—whether they sign-up for my support or not.

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Kathryn Harper

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