For Immediate Release
Both Parties Should Reject Convention Donations from Lobbyists, PACs
Democrats' Reversal Offers Presidential Candidates a Leadership Opportunity, Says Common Cause President
WASHINGTON - Presidential contenders in both major parties should reject plans to use lobbyist and political action committee donations to support the 2016 Democratic and Republican National Conventions, Common Cause President Miles Rapoport said today.
“The Democratic National Committee’s announcement on Thursday that it will take lobbyist and PAC donations for its 2016 convention gives presidential candidates in both parties an opportunity to show some leadership,” Rapoport said. “Anyone serious about breaking big money's chokehold on our politics – as several candidates in both parties claim to be -- could start by demanding that his or her party run its convention on donations from rank and file supporters.”
At President Obama’s request, the Democrats declined PAC and lobbyist gifts when raising money for their 2012 convention. Rapoport said Democrats and Republicans alike would do well to follow the President’s policy for future conventions.
Rapoport’s comments came one day after Common Cause joined a coalition of government reform and advocacy groups in releasing “Fighting Big Money, Empowering People: A 21st Century Democracy Agenda,” a policy platform that calls on presidential candidates to embrace limits on campaign spending, small dollar donor-based public financing systems, toughened financial disclosure laws, and strong voting rights protections.
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.