The Progressive


A project of Common Dreams

For Immediate Release

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


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, 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.

(202) 833-1200