For Immediate Release
Mary Boyle, Common Cause, (202) 736-5770
"Super Committee" Fundraising Is Invitation to Corruption
WASHINGTON - Continued fundraising by members of Congress' budgetary "super committee" is an invitation to corruption, Common Cause warned today.
Rep. Jim Clyburn (D-SC), who had indicated he was putting off fundraising while he and other super committee members try to get the nation's finances in order, instead appears to be the latest committee member to use this opportunity to pad his campaign accounts.
"Mr. Clyburn and his colleagues in both political parties are leveraging their super committee service to generate campaign contributions from interests with a stake in the committee's deliberations," said Bob Edgar, Common Cause president. "That covers pretty much every segment of our economy."
The non-profit Sunlight Foundation, which tracks political fundraising events in Washington, reports that at least nine of the 12 super committee members have scheduled fundraisers between now and Thanksgiving, when the super committee is scheduled to complete its work. The list includes Clyburn and three other Democrats, Reps. Chris Van Hollen of Maryland and Xavier Beccera of California, and Sen. Patty Murray of Washington, plus five Republicans, Reps. Jeb Hensarling of Texas and Dave Camp and Fred Upton of Michigan, and Sens. Pat Toomey of Pennsylvania and Rob Portman of Ohio.
Only one member, Sen. John Kerry (D-MA), has promised to forego fundraising while the committee works. And Kerry's office acknowledged this week that he will participate in a fundraiser for the Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee, whose chairman, Sen. Patty Murray, is also co-chair of the super committee
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.