Profile Image

Info

commoncause.org

Our Facebook Page (40,223 fans)

Contacts

This organization’s three contacts are shared only with Congressional legislative staff.

If you have a @mail.house.gov or @senate.gov email address, register to get instant access to this information.

Don’t see your organization on POPVOX? Any U.S. nonprofit organization or community group can get listed.

Common Cause

Mission: Common Cause is a nonpartisan, grassroots organization dedicated to restoring the core values of American democracy, reinventing an open, honest, and accountable government that works for the public interest, and empowering ordinary people to make their voices heard.

* This organization profile has been set up by POPVOX.

Take Action with Common Cause

Campaign Priority Bills and Proposals POPVOX Sentiment Take Action
H.R. 3899
view

Congress must act quickly to restore voter protections lost last ...

view the full position statement

Join Common Cause in endorsing H.R. 3899

20% 80%

439 total users

Support
S. 1945
view

Congress must act quickly to restore voter protections lost last ...

view the full position statement

Join Common Cause in endorsing S. 1945

14% 86%

410 total users

Support
S. 123
view

What is the Voter Empowerment Act?

The Voter Empowerment Act ...

view the full position statement

Join Common Cause in endorsing S. 123

50% 50%

165 total users

Support
H.R. 12
view

What is the Voter Empowerment Act?

The Voter Empowerment Act ...

view the full position statement

Join Common Cause in endorsing H.R. 12

57% 43%

203 total users

Support
view

Dear Members of Congress:

The undersigned organizations represent millions of ...

view the full position statement

Join Common Cause in opposing Sequestration

72% 28%

1631 total users

Oppose

Detailed Legislative Agenda

H.R. 3899: The Voting Rights Amendment Act

Congress must act quickly to restore voter protections lost last year when the Supreme Court gutted key sections of the Voting Rights Act.

The new Voting Rights Act, introduced with bipartisan support, will strengthen voting rights in every state. It allows us to better track efforts to obstruct voting and gives us tools to stop them.

http://www.commonca...thash.ZURjA5nK.dpuf

* The organization’s position on this bill was entered by POPVOX. Direct link to this position: https://www.popvox.com/orgs/commoncause#commoncause-hr-3899-support
S. 1945: The Voting Rights Amendment Act

Congress must act quickly to restore voter protections lost last year when the Supreme Court gutted key sections of the Voting Rights Act.

The new Voting Rights Act, introduced with bipartisan support, will strengthen voting rights in every state. It allows us to better track efforts to obstruct voting and gives us tools to stop them.

http://www.commonca...thash.ZURjA5nK.dpuf

* The organization’s position on this bill was entered by POPVOX. Direct link to this position: https://www.popvox.com/orgs/commoncause#commoncause-s-1945-support
S. 123: The Voter Empowerment Act

What is the Voter Empowerment Act?

The Voter Empowerment Act (H.R. 12, S. 123) is an omnibus bill that would improve American elections in a number of ways. The Act would:

Modernize voter registration and move us toward a system in which nearly every eligible voter is on the rolls and able to vote.

Protect against many of the tactics that have been used to suppress the vote, including partisan challenges of someoneʼs voter registration status and other deceptive practices.

Secure our democracy and ensure a smooth voting process by requiring paper trails for voting equipment, ballot audits and bolstering poll worker training.

Improve our electoral process with reforms such as early voting and vote by mail.

Why Do We Need It?

The Voter Empowerment Act comes after a recent election that truly tested the resilience of our democracy.

Not only did our country experience a campaign in which over $6 billion was spent, due to the 2010 Supreme Court ruling Citizens United, politicians in many states sought to alter voting rules to give their side an advantage. This was new wave of voter suppression laws intended to keep eligible citizens from participating in elections.

This is completely antithetical to who we are as Americans. We need the Voter Empowerment Act to not only push back against unfair manipulation of our election system, but strengthen our democracy and level playing field for everyone.

http://www.commonca...MQIwG&b=8542947

* The organization’s position on this bill was entered by POPVOX. Direct link to this position: https://www.popvox.com/orgs/commoncause#commoncause-s-123-support
H.R. 12: The Voter Empowerment Act

What is the Voter Empowerment Act?

The Voter Empowerment Act (H.R. 12, S. 123) is an omnibus bill that would improve American elections in a number of ways. The Act would:

Modernize voter registration and move us toward a system in which nearly every eligible voter is on the rolls and able to vote.

Protect against many of the tactics that have been used to suppress the vote, including partisan challenges of someoneʼs voter registration status and other deceptive practices.

Secure our democracy and ensure a smooth voting process by requiring paper trails for voting equipment, ballot audits and bolstering poll worker training.

Improve our electoral process with reforms such as early voting and vote by mail.

Why Do We Need It?

The Voter Empowerment Act comes after a recent election that truly tested the resilience of our democracy.

Not only did our country experience a campaign in which over $6 billion was spent, due to the 2010 Supreme Court ruling Citizens United, politicians in many states sought to alter voting rules to give their side an advantage. This was new wave of voter suppression laws intended to keep eligible citizens from participating in elections.

This is completely antithetical to who we are as Americans. We need the Voter Empowerment Act to not only push back against unfair manipulation of our election system, but strengthen our democracy and level playing field for everyone.

http://www.commonca...MQIwG&b=8542947

* The organization’s position on this bill was entered by POPVOX. Direct link to this position: https://www.popvox.com/orgs/commoncause#commoncause-hr-12-support
Sequestration

Dear Members of Congress:

The undersigned organizations represent millions of Americans with a tremendous stake in the outcome of the ongoing budget process. As Congress debates the debt ceiling, automatic spending cuts and spending in 2013 and going forward, our organizations urge you to ensure adequate funding to preserve the basic functions of government and real security for all our people.

There are two paths toward accomplishing this goal and both must be followed. First, additional new revenues must be enacted. President Obama has identified at least $600 billion in new revenues if the wealthiest Americans are required to pay their fair share. We can raise more than $600 billion by closing tax loopholes for corporations, for the wealthiest 2 percent and for companies that outsource jobs overseas.

Second and just as important: we must rein in wasteful Pentagon spending. We believe Pentagon spending should be cut by a minimum of $500 billion to $550 billion over 10 years – similar to the automatic cuts to the Pentagon that go into effect beginning in March if Congress does not act (the “sequester”). We note that many military experts say cuts could be as high as $1 trillion to $1.5 trillion over the next decade without compromising national security.

Pentagon spending, which comprises more than half of the current discretionary budget, continues to absorb the lion’s share of the money Congress appropriates. Without more cuts to Pentagon spending, even very deep cuts to all other discretionary funding taken together will fall far short of alleviating deficit spending and the rising debt.

We view reining in wasteful Pentagon spending as a mandate. We must stop paying for the things we don’t need so that we can afford to pay for the things we do need. This includes Social Security, Medicare, Medicaid, food stamps, and the Affordable Care Act. And it includes discretionary domestic programs such as Head Start, nutrition aid, job training, education and cancer screening, just to name a few.

As a community of advocates, we are committed to creating good jobs here in America, providing our families with security and building a brighter future for our children. If we invest some of the billions we spend on the Pentagon in other sectors of our economy, we would actually generate MORE jobs, strengthening the middle class and protecting essential services that help our families. Economists at the University of Massachusetts-Amherst found that public dollars invested in clean energy, health care, and education all create significantly more jobs within the U.S. economy than investing an equivalent amount in the military.** As we struggle with high unemployment rates across the nation, this is a critical point to consider.

We want a safe and secure nation. The safety of our residents is of utmost importance. Proposals to rein in wasteful Pentagon spending should not threaten that priority. But the Pentagon budget should not be immune from oversight and fiscal responsibility. Like any other department, the Pentagon must be held accountable for its spending and be able to prove that its programs are a responsible and worthwhile use of our limited tax dollars.

We believe budget decisions reflect our values, and we believe that we can responsibly pare down wasteful Pentagon spending without compromising our nation's security. We can shift from spending on outdated, unnecessary weapons to investments in projects that keep us secure and help us prosper- first responders, teachers, bridges, roads, and rails. As you face some of the most difficult budgeting challenges in our nation's history, we urge you to consider all the paths we must embark upon in order to achieve responsible investments at home.

**The U.S. Employment Effects of Military and Domestic Spending Priorities: An Updated Analysis, University of Massachusetts-Amherst, Department of Economics (December 2011)

(Letter provided to POPVOX by CHN, 2/12/13)

* The organization’s position on this bill was entered by POPVOX. Direct link to this position: https://www.popvox.com/orgs/commoncause#commoncause-x-105-oppose
H.R. 414: Presidential Funding Act

September 18, 2012

Dear Representative,

Legislation proposed by Representative Tom Cole (R-OK) to repeal public funding of presidential nominating conventions (H.R 5912) is scheduled to be on the suspension calendar on Wednesday. Our organizations oppose this legislation and its piecemeal approach to dealing with convention financing.

Our organizations include Americans for Campaign Reform, Brennan Center for Justice, Campaign Legal Center, Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington, Common Cause, Democracy 21, League of Women Voters and Public Citizen.

H.R. 5912 represents a continuation of the efforts by Representative Cole to repeal the presidential public financing system that was enacted in response to the Watergate scandals.

In 1972, ITT pledged $400,000 to help finance the 1972 Republican convention. Quickly following this, the Justice Department settled an antitrust case in ITT’s favor, with President Nixon personally intervening at the Justice Department to support ITT. To prevent further such campaign finance abuses, Congress included public financing for presidential nominating conventions in the comprehensive Federal Election Campaign Act enacted in 1974.

Since then, the Republican and Democratic Parties have shown no reluctance to use public funds to help finance their national conventions. In fact, both parties have voluntarily requested and received public funds to finance their national nominating conventions for more than thirty-five years, covering every national convention from 1976 through 2012.

Our organizations believe it is essential to repair the presidential public financing system, not repeal it. We strongly support the legislation introduced earlier this year by Representatives David Price (D-NC), Chris Van Hollen (D-MD) and Walter Jones (R-NC) (H.R. 414) to revise the presidential system to focus on matching small contributions with multiple public funds for the primary and general elections.

H.R. 414 also would reform the funding for presidential conventions by closing the loophole that has resulted in corporations, labor unions and wealthy individuals financing the conventions with unlimited soft money funds, by repealing public funding for conventions and by replacing the public funds and soft money currently funding national conventions with a new system of hard money contributions to the national parties.

We believe a comprehensive approach to dealing with the financing of the national conventions is necessary and therefore oppose the piecemeal approach contained in the Cole bill.

The Cole bill would eliminate public financing for the conventions while placing no restrictions on funding party conventions with corporate and labor union money and large contributions from wealthy individuals. As a result, the parties would end up relying even more on unlimited soft money funds. Such unlimited funds have the power to corrupt officeholders and government decisions, as happened in the Watergate scandals.

In Buckley v. Valeo (1976), the Supreme Court held that the contribution limits enacted in the 1974 reform legislation were necessary to deal with the “reality or appearance of corruption inherent in a system permitting unlimited financial contributions.”

The “reality or appearance of corruption” that is “inherent in a system permitting unlimited financial contributions,” is precisely the danger that would be increased by Representative Cole’s bill, which would repeal the public financing of conventions without providing any restrictions on the use of soft money to finance the nominating conventions.

The misguided Citizens United decision has created chaos in the nation’s campaign finance system and greatly increased opportunities for big-money corruption of federal officeholders and government decisions. The decision also has shown how important it is for candidates to have an effective alternative way to finance their campaigns. H.R. 414 would accomplish this for presidential elections by updating and revising the presidential public financing system and by providing increased incentives for citizens to give small contributions.

We urge you to oppose the Cole bill, H.R. 5912, and to support H.R. 414.

H.R 414, like the Cole bill, eliminates public financing of conventions but it does so in a responsible way that will not increase the reliance by the national parties and their presidential candidates on corrupting soft money funds to pay for their national conventions.

(This bill failed to be passed during the two-year Congress in which it was introduced.)
* The organization’s position on this bill was entered by POPVOX. Direct link to this position: https://www.popvox.com/orgs/commoncause#commoncause-hr-414-support
H.R. 5912: To amend the Internal Revenue Code of 1986 to prohibit the use of public funds for political party conventions.

September 18, 2012

Dear Representative,

Legislation proposed by Representative Tom Cole (R-OK) to repeal public funding of presidential nominating conventions (H.R 5912) is scheduled to be on the suspension calendar on Wednesday. Our organizations oppose this legislation and its piecemeal approach to dealing with convention financing.

Our organizations include Americans for Campaign Reform, Brennan Center for Justice, Campaign Legal Center, Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington, Common Cause, Democracy 21, League of Women Voters and Public Citizen.

H.R. 5912 represents a continuation of the efforts by Representative Cole to repeal the presidential public financing system that was enacted in response to the Watergate scandals.

In 1972, ITT pledged $400,000 to help finance the 1972 Republican convention. Quickly following this, the Justice Department settled an antitrust case in ITT’s favor, with President Nixon personally intervening at the Justice Department to support ITT. To prevent further such campaign finance abuses, Congress included public financing for presidential nominating conventions in the comprehensive Federal Election Campaign Act enacted in 1974.

Since then, the Republican and Democratic Parties have shown no reluctance to use public funds to help finance their national conventions. In fact, both parties have voluntarily requested and received public funds to finance their national nominating conventions for more than thirty-five years, covering every national convention from 1976 through 2012.

Our organizations believe it is essential to repair the presidential public financing system, not repeal it. We strongly support the legislation introduced earlier this year by Representatives David Price (D-NC), Chris Van Hollen (D-MD) and Walter Jones (R-NC) (H.R. 414) to revise the presidential system to focus on matching small contributions with multiple public funds for the primary and general elections.

H.R. 414 also would reform the funding for presidential conventions by closing the loophole that has resulted in corporations, labor unions and wealthy individuals financing the conventions with unlimited soft money funds, by repealing public funding for conventions and by replacing the public funds and soft money currently funding national conventions with a new system of hard money contributions to the national parties.

We believe a comprehensive approach to dealing with the financing of the national conventions is necessary and therefore oppose the piecemeal approach contained in the Cole bill.

The Cole bill would eliminate public financing for the conventions while placing no restrictions on funding party conventions with corporate and labor union money and large contributions from wealthy individuals. As a result, the parties would end up relying even more on unlimited soft money funds. Such unlimited funds have the power to corrupt officeholders and government decisions, as happened in the Watergate scandals.

In Buckley v. Valeo (1976), the Supreme Court held that the contribution limits enacted in the 1974 reform legislation were necessary to deal with the “reality or appearance of corruption inherent in a system permitting unlimited financial contributions.”

The “reality or appearance of corruption” that is “inherent in a system permitting unlimited financial contributions,” is precisely the danger that would be increased by Representative Cole’s bill, which would repeal the public financing of conventions without providing any restrictions on the use of soft money to finance the nominating conventions.

The misguided Citizens United decision has created chaos in the nation’s campaign finance system and greatly increased opportunities for big-money corruption of federal officeholders and government decisions. The decision also has shown how important it is for candidates to have an effective alternative way to finance their campaigns. H.R. 414 would accomplish this for presidential elections by updating and revising the presidential public financing system and by providing increased incentives for citizens to give small contributions.

We urge you to oppose the Cole bill, H.R. 5912, and to support H.R. 414.

H.R 414, like the Cole bill, eliminates public financing of conventions but it does so in a responsible way that will not increase the reliance by the national parties and their presidential candidates on corrupting soft money funds to pay for their national conventions.

(This bill failed to be passed during the two-year Congress in which it was introduced.)
* The organization’s position on this bill was entered by POPVOX. Direct link to this position: https://www.popvox.com/orgs/commoncause#commoncause-hr-5912-oppose
S. 3369 (112th): The DISCLOSE Act
(This bill failed to be passed during the two-year Congress in which it was introduced.)
* The organization’s position on this bill was entered by POPVOX. Direct link to this position: https://www.popvox.com/orgs/commoncause#commoncause-s-3369-support
S. 1994 (112th): The Deceptive Practices and Voter Intimidation Prevention Act

With America on the cusp of what promises to be a closely-contested presidential election, the voter intimidation legislation introduced by Sens. Ben Cardin and Chuck Schumer gives Congress an opportunity to reaffirm the nation’s commitment to voting rights and free and open elections, Common Cause said today.

“In too many of our states, candidates and elected officials are stoking groundless fears about ‘voter fraud’ in an attempt to justify legislation restricting voting rights,” said Bob Edgar, president of the non-partisan government watchdog group. “This proposal refocuses our attention on the real threat to the integrity of our elections – the partisan use of dirty tricks and intimidation tactics to keep tens of thousands of qualified voters away from the polls. The Senate leadership should put it on a fast-track to passage.”

The Deceptive Practices and Voter Intimidation Prevention Act would ban false advertisements and other statements about the time and place of elections and voter qualifications. It also would prohibit attempts to interfere with voter registration or voting. Violators would be subject to criminal penalties, including up to 5 years in prison.

The bill’s introduction comes less than a week after a Maryland jury convicted Paul Schurick, a one-time aide to former Gov. Bob Ehrlich, of multiple felony charges stemming from his role in arranging an Election Day-2010 automated call to more than 100,000 Marylanders. Directed at African-Americans, who overwhelmingly favored Democratic incumbent Martin O’Malley over Ehrlich in the state’s gubernatorial race, the call declared that O’Malley had won re-election and advised voters they could stay home.

Edgar said the Cardin-Schumer bill would allow federal authorities to strike at voter intimidation and deception in federal elections – for President, the U.S. Senate and the House – in the same way Maryland attacked the problem in its race for governor. “These kinds of dirty tricks are an attack on our democracy and deserve a tough, federal response,” he asserted.

http://www.commonca...613&ct=11551103

(This bill failed to be passed during the two-year Congress in which it was introduced.)
* The organization’s position on this bill was entered by POPVOX. Direct link to this position: https://www.popvox.com/orgs/commoncause#commoncause-s-1994-support
H.R. 1148 (112th): The STOCK Act

The STOCK Act has a broad base of support from organizations dedicated to government reform including Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington (CREW), Common Cause, Democracy 21, Public Citizen and U.S. PIRG. In a letter to both lawmakers, the organizations said, “This measure provides a balanced application of the laws against insider trading to both the private and public sectors and offers the important tool of disclosure for ensuring compliance with the law. The STOCK Act should be adopted by Congress before new scandals arise.”

http://walz.house.g...;id=326&Itemid=

(This bill failed to be passed during the two-year Congress in which it was introduced.)
* The organization’s position on this bill was entered by POPVOX. Direct link to this position: https://www.popvox.com/orgs/commoncause#commoncause-hr-1148-support
S. 1498 (112th): The Super Committee Sunshine Act

We now know the names of all 12 members of the so-called "super committee" that was created by the debt ceiling bill and is charged with recommending millions of dollars in cuts to our nation's budget. But do we know who's trying to influence them?

The super committee will surely be targeted by fat cat lobbyists and their uber-wealthy corporate clients. It is imperative that the American people know who is giving campaign cash to these members of Congress as they make decisions that could have an enormous impact on our economy and our social programs. Tell your Senators to support the Super Committee Sunshine Act (S. 1498) today!

http://www.commonca...MQIwG&b=7676625

(This bill failed to be passed during the two-year Congress in which it was introduced.)
* The organization’s position on this bill was entered by POPVOX. Direct link to this position: https://www.popvox.com/orgs/commoncause#commoncause-s-1498-support
H.R. 1404: Fair Elections Now Act

The Fair Elections Now Act would allow candidates to run for office on a blend of small contributions from individuals and limited public funds.

Candidates would qualify by raising a certain number of contributions of $100 or less from individuals in their home state. They would then receive a grant of Fair Elections funds for the primary and general election, and could continue raising unlimited small contributions. Each additional $1 raised would be matched by $4 from a new Fair Elections Fund, ensuring that candidates who use the system could compete even against well-financed opponents.

States including Arizona, Connecticut, Maine and North Carolina use similar citizen-funded election systems for at least some of their elections with great success. The Fair Elections Now Act would build on those successes and carry them to Congressional contests.

http://www.commonca...MQIwG&b=4773857

(This bill failed to be passed during the two-year Congress in which it was introduced.)
* The organization’s position on this bill was entered by POPVOX. Direct link to this position: https://www.popvox.com/orgs/commoncause#commoncause-hr-1404-support
S. 750: Fair Elections Now Act

Statement by Bob Edgar on introduction of Fair Elections Now Act

Today’s introduction of the Fair Elections Now Act offers Congress a chance to spare itself and the country from an all-consuming chase for special interest campaign contributions in 2012. By letting candidates run on a mix of small donations from individuals and matching public funds, this legislation would put participating candidates in closer touch with the people they hope to represent and break the grip big-money interests have on our political system. It’s time to get it passed.

http://www.commonca...3613&ct=9334709

(This bill failed to be passed during the two-year Congress in which it was introduced.)
* The organization’s position on this bill was entered by POPVOX. Direct link to this position: https://www.popvox.com/orgs/commoncause#commoncause-s-750-support