The Progressive


A project of Common Dreams

For Immediate Release

Mary Boyle, Common Cause, (202) 736-5770
Rick Bielke, Public Campaign, (202) 293-0222

Rep. Visclosky Expose Shows Need for 'Fair Elections' Campaign Reform

Investigation reveals conflicts of interest in earmark procurement


Today, the Washington Post published a front-page article on
earmarks that Rep. Pete Visclosky (D-Ind.) secured for a handful of
campaign contributors, none of which were based in his home state of

"The reported connections between Rep. Visclosky's campaign
contributors and the earmarks he secured are just another example of
Washington's pay-to-play political system" said Nick Nyhart, president
and CEO of Public Campaign.

"Sadly, it's no longer a surprise to see these sorts of stories play
out in Washington," said Bob Edgar, president and CEO of Common Cause.
"Rep. Visclosky can make it clear to his constituents that their
interests, not those of powerful campaign contributors, come first by
supporting the Fair Elections Now Act."

The Fair Elections Now Act would allow congressional candidates to run
for office without having to rely on big campaign contributions.
Candidates could run their campaigns on a mixture of small donations
and public funding, and take office unencumbered by the agendas and
expectations of large donors.

The legislation (HR 1826 in the House and S. 752 in the Senate) was
introduced in March by Democratic Caucus Chair John Larson (D-Conn.)
and Assistant Majority Leader Dick Durbin (D-Ill.). In addition to Rep.
Larson, the House bill has 107 cosponsors.

Common Cause is a nonpartisan, grassroots organization dedicated to upholding the core values of American democracy. We work to create open, honest, and accountable government that serves the public interest; promote equal rights, opportunity, and representation for all; and empower all people to make their voices heard in the political process.

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