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Encyclopedia > Common Cause

This article is about the U.S. lobbying group. For the alliance of commonwealth republican groups, see Common Cause (Commonwealth).

Common Cause is a U.S. nonpartisan lobbying group. It is based in Washington DC, with chapters in 36 states and 300,000 members nationwide.[1] Image File history File links Information_icon. ... Shortcut: WP:WIN Wikipedia is an online encyclopedia and, as a means to that end, also an online community. ... Shortcut: WP:NPOV Wikipedia policy is that all articles should be written from a neutral point of view. ... Shortcut: WP:RULES Wikipedia is a collaborative project and its founders and contributors have a common goal: Wikipedia has some policies and guidelines that help us to work toward that common goal. ... Motto: (Out Of Many, One) (traditional) In God We Trust (1956 to date) Anthem: The Star-Spangled Banner Capital Washington D.C. Largest city New York City None at federal level (English de facto) Government Federal constitutional republic  - President George Walker Bush (R)  - Vice President Dick Cheney (R) Independence from... In U.S. politics, nonpartisan denotes an election in which the candidates do not declare or do not formally have a political party affiliation. ... It has been suggested that Interest representation: Academic overview be merged into this article or section. ...



According to the website, its mission is to, "strengthen public participation and faith in our institutions of self-government; to ensure that government and political processes serve the general interest, rather than special interests; to curb the excessive influence of money on government decisions and elections; to promote fair elections and high ethical standards for government officials; and to protect the civil rights and civil liberties of all Americans."[2]


Common Cause was founded in 1970 by John William Gardner, who was the U.S. Secretary of Health, Education, and Welfare under President Lyndon Johnson. Gardner was a Republican, who came to Washington, to serve under President Johnson, a Democrat. Gardner later became chair of the National Urban Coalition, a group advocating for poor, minority, and working-class residents in urban areas. John W. Gardner, Secretary of Health, Education, and Welfare under President Lyndon Johnson, was subsequently the founder of two influential national organizations, Common Cause and Independent Sector, as well as the author of numerous books on improving leadership in American society and other subjects. ... The United States Secretary of Health, Education, and Welfare was the head of the United States Department of Health, Education, and Welfare. ... Lyndon Baines Johnson (August 27, 1908–January 22, 1973), often referred to as LBJ, was an American politician. ... The Republican Party is one of two major contemporary political parties in the United States of America, along with the Democratic Party. ... This article does not adequately cite its references. ...

During his time in the nation's capital, a city teeming with special interest groups, he stated that "everybody's organized but the people." That thought formed the seed of Common Cause, which Gardner established in August 1970 to represent citizens' interests in Washington. Within six months, the organization had more than 100,000 members, many of them joining to oppose the Vietnam War. Combatants Republic of Vietnam United States Republic of Korea Thailand Australia New Zealand The Philippines National Front for the Liberation of South Vietnam Democratic Republic of Vietnam People’s Republic of China Democratic Peoples Republic of Korea Strength US 1,000,000 South Korea 300,000 Australia 48,000...

In the past, Common Cause worked with others to ban soft money contributions. In 2002, the Bipartisan Campaign Reform Act was enacted and a year later a historic U.S. Supreme Court decision, McConnell v. FEC, upheld the law, thus effectively banning soft money contibutions. Soft money refers to money used to advance a particular political campaign in such a manner as to skirt the legal limits on how much money individuals or organizations are allowed to contribute to political campaigns (termed hard money). ... For album titles with the same name, see 2002 (album). ... The Bipartisan Campaign Reform Act of 2002 (BCRA) is U.S. Congressional legislation which regulates the financing of political campaigns. ... The Supreme Court Building, Washington, D.C. The Supreme Court Building, Washington, D.C., (large image) The Supreme Court of the United States, located in Washington, D.C., is the highest court (see supreme court) in the United States; that is, it has ultimate judicial authority within the United States... McConnell v. ...

Chellie Pingree, a former Democratic state senator from North Haven, Maine who ran an unsuccessful campaign to unseat U.S. Senator Susan Collins in 2002, is the immediate past president of the organization. She stepped down in January 2007, and is considering a possible Congressional run in her home state of Maine.[3] [4] Chellie Pingree (born April 2, 1955) in Minneapolis is President and CEO of Common Cause, a nonpartisan citizens lobbying group based in Washington, DC. Prior to her appointment as head of the organization in March of 2003, Pingree was senate majority leader in the Maine State Senate, representing her island... A State Senator is a member of a state Senate, the upper legislative chamber in the government of a U.S. state. ... Summer of 1909, by Frank W. Benson; painted at North Haven, ME North Haven is a year-round island community and summer colony located in Penobscot Bay, Maine, United States. ... Seal of the U.S. Senate Federal courts Supreme Court Chief Justice Associate Justices Elections Presidential elections Midterm elections Political Parties Democratic Republican Third parties State & Local government Governors Legislatures State Courts Counties, Cities, and Towns Other countries Politics Portal      Senate composition following 2006 elections The United States Senate is... With fellow Maine Senator Olympia Snowe Susan Margaret Collins (born December 7, 1952 in Caribou, Maine) is an American politician, the junior U.S. Senator from Maine and a Republican. ... For album titles with the same name, see 2002 (album). ... 2007 (MMVII) is the current year, a common year starting on Monday of the Gregorian calendar and the CE era. ...

Jon Goldin-Dubois is the acting president. Novelist Richard North Patterson is the chairman of the national governing board. did you mean Richard Patterson click here Richard North Patterson is an American author of fiction. ...

Current issues and projects

Common Cause is a United States membership organization with approximately 300,000 members and financial supporters. It has 36 state chapters, which lobby their legislatures. The group has professional lobbyists based in Washington, D.C.. Nickname: Motto: Justitia Omnibus (Justice for All) Location of Washington, D.C., in relation to the states Maryland and Virginia Coordinates: Country United States Federal District District of Columbia Government  - Mayor Adrian M. Fenty (D)  - City Council Chairperson: Vincent C. Gray (D) Ward 1: Jim Graham (D) Ward 2: Jack...

Common Cause works with its members and activists and in coalition with other advocacy organizations[5] towards forwarding its stated goal of making government more accountable to the people. Common Cause has led efforts for campaign finance reform, ethics and accountability in government, as well as transparent government practices at the national, state, and local levels. It has partnered with coalitions fighting for civil rights legislation, ending what they have considered to be wasteful weapons programs, and working for progressive reforms of the United States system of voting. [6] It has been suggested that this article or section be merged into Campaign finance. ... Civil rights or positive rights are those legal rights retained by citizens and protected by the government. ... Voting is a method of decision making where in a group such as a meeting or an electorate attempts to gauge its opinion—usually as a final step following discussions or debates. ...

The organization currently has 4 major priorities: public financing of elections; open and democratic media that strengthen democracy; promoting ethics at all levels of government; and improving voting machines.

Voters First Pledge Campaign

The Voters First Pledge campaign is a Common Cause campaign designed to clean up American government and elections, according to the principles listed above. Common Cause asked all candidates for federal office in 2006 -- around 1300 candidates across the nation -- to sign the Voters First Pledge.

Get It Straight by 2008

Common Cause's Get it Straight by 2008 campaign seeks to require voter-verified paper trails and audits of voting machines.

HR 550, "The Voter Confidence and Increased Accessibility Act of 2005," introduced by Representative Rush Holt (D-NJ), would have required a voter-verified paper record as well as audits. Common Cause unsuccessfully lobbied the House to pass the bill.

Media and Democracy Coalition

Common Cause spearheads and acts as fiscal sponsor for the Media and Democracy Coalition. According to its website, the coalition consists of 25 groups and is "committed to amplifying the voices of the public in shaping media and telecommunications policy."


  1. ^ [1]
  2. ^ Common Cause's website
  3. ^ [2]
  4. ^ [3]
  5. ^ including Public Campaign, Public Citizen and U.S. PIRG
  6. ^ For an official complete list of these issues, click Here.

Public Citizen is a U.S. non-governmental organization, founded by Ralph Nader in 1971 and based in Washington, DC. Its activities span across a diverse range of issues, including energy policy, trade policy, campaign finance reform and accountability, consumer protection, medical malpractice, and public health. ...

External links

  Results from FactBites:
Common Cause: Definition and Much More from Answers.com (3143 words)
Common Cause has joined with coalitions to fight for civil rights legislation, ending wasteful weapons programs and working for reforms to our nation's system of voting, the most recent of which is the campaign to promote Clean Elections, a voluntary system of publicly funded campaigns on the Federal level.
Common Cause believes it will strengthen the hand of citizen advocates and watchdog groups by working to increase the enforcement of financial and lobbying disclosure laws, as well as acting to promote legislation which would require lobbyists and campaign donors to fully disclose their activities and donations instantly on the Internet.
Common Cause argues that the right to vote should be automatically restored to people who have been convicted of a felony and have served their time in prison.
About Us - Common Cause (1994 words)
About Us 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.
In its early years, Common Cause was a leader in passing landmark campaign finance reforms, including a 1974 law establishing public financing for presidential campaigns, setting limits on contributions to all federal candidates and requiring disclosure of campaign contributions and expenditures.
Common Cause has also led efforts to end secrecy in government through passage of freedom of information, open meetings, and other "sunshine laws;" establish tough ethics standards for elected officials; enact strict lobbyist disclosure requirements and limit the practice of elected officials accepting lavish gifts from special interests.
  More results at FactBites »



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