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June 30, 2010
1:48 PM

CONTACT: Common Cause

Mary Boyle, Common Cause, (202) 736-5770
Adam Smith, Public Campaign, (202) 640-5593

Founding Fathers Crash D.C. Corporate Fundraisers Demanding Fair Elections Stops Include Podesta Group

Stops Include Podesta Group, DCCC, Capitol Hill Club

We Threw Off the Yoke of British Tyranny, We’re Back to Throw off the Yoke of British Petroleum

WASHINGTON - June 30 - Common Cause and Public Campaign led a trolley tour of congressional fundraising hotspots today with George Washington, Ben Franklin, Thomas Jefferson, and Betsy Ross demanding entry into these high-dollar events. Stops included the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee (DCCC), BP lobbyists and Washington, D.C. powerhouse The Podesta Group, and the Capitol Hill Club. These historical figures lamented our corrupting campaign finance system that assures special interests a far louder voice in our democracy than average working Americans.

"Today's events may cause some laughs, but the issue is serious: our political system has become one that puts the interests of corporations and their lobbyists ahead of the needs of every day Americans," said Nick Nyhart, president and CEO of Public Campaign. "We need to restore our government to one by, of, and for the people."

"It's time we take the ‘for sale' sign off the Capitol lawn," said Bob Edgar, president of Common Cause. "We can't afford the price we're paying for corporate-sponsored government.

The tour planned three stops: One at the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee, the fundraising operation of the Democratic Party; next the Podesta Group, one of BP's hired hands in D.C. and one of the most successful lobbying shops in the city, and lastly the Capitol Hill Club, a frequent fundraising site for Republicans.

Preparing for the July 4th weekend, founding fathers and mothers George Washington, Thomas Jefferson, Benjamin Franklin, and Betsy Ross told tourists and spectators that it's time to declare independence once again-this time for the corporate and special interest money fueling our political campaigns. They pointed to a better way: the Fair Elections Now Act (H.R. 1826, S. 752), which would end Congress' reliance on corporate campaign cash by allowing candidates to raise large numbers of small donations from people in their districts.

Sponsored by Sen. Dick Durbin (D-Ill) and Reps. John Larson (D-Conn.) and Walter Jones (R-N.C.), the Fair Elections Now Act has the broad, bipartisan, and cross-caucus support of 155 U.S. House members and 21 Senators. The legislation has been endorsed by more than 40 national organizations representing tens of millions of Americans.

Video and pictures of the event will be available following the event.


Common Cause is a nonpartisan, nonprofit advocacy organization founded in 1970 by John Gardner as a vehicle for citizens to make their voices heard in the political process and to hold their elected leaders accountable to the public interest.


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