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Support for Fair Elections in Congress at Record High

Change Congress * Common Cause * Public Campaign Action Fund * Public Citizen

Nov. 5, 2008

Support for Fair Elections in Congress at Record High

WASHINGTON, D.C. –When the 111th Congress convenes in January, among its members will be more supporters of Fair Elections than ever before. Including incumbent members who have indicated their support for Fair Elections and freshman signers of the Voters First Pledge, 122 members support changing the way elections in this country are financed.

In the Senate, Assistant Majority Leader Dick Durbin (D-Ill.) and Sen. Arlen Specter (R-Pa.) are the lead cosponsors of the Fair Elections Now Act and Reps. John Larson (D-Conn.) and Walter Jones (R-N.C.) are sponsors of companion legislation in the House of Representatives. Modeled on successful systems in Arizona, Connecticut, and Maine, the Fair Elections Now Act would bring full public financing of elections to Congress.

Below is a statement from Change Congress, Common Cause, Public Campaign Action Fund, and Public Citizen, sponsors of the Voters First Pledge.

“From strengthening the economy to fixing the country’s ailing healthcare system, a new Congress and administration face steep challenges. Let’s be honest: One obstacle they face is a mountain of campaign cash spent by wealthy interests to elect them. If we are to see change in how Washington operates, we must see change in the way that elections are paid for.

“In the 111th Congress, more than 120 members, including leadership in both chambers, have committed to changing our pay-to-play system and making passing Fair Elections a priority. We look forward to working with the new members of Congress and the administration to increase support in Congress and move Fair Elections forward. Only by freeing our elected officials from the constant pressures of fundraising can we ensure that Washington works for us, not big money donors.

“While we lose one of our cosponsors of Fair Elections in the Senate, we have gained a strong advocate for Fair Elections in the White House in President-Elect Barack Obama.”

To view the full list of Congressional supporters of Fair Elections, including the new members, please visit www.votersfirstpledge.org/supporters.

The Voters First Pledge is the result of a joint effort by Change Congress, Common Cause, Public Campaign Action Fund, and Public Citizen. The Pledge was sent to every candidate for U.S. Congress registered with the Federal Elections Commission. For more information about the pledge and the candidates who signed on, visit VotersFirstPledge.org.