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Common Cause's Top 10 Accomplishments of 2009

We are proud to share with you the list of our top 10 accomplishments for 2009, and look forward to 2010 – our 40th anniversary year – to continue our work at the national and state levels toward an open, honest, and accountable government that serves the public interest, and empowering the voices or ordinary people.

Common Cause in Washington D.C. awards letters of commendation signed by more than 16,000 Common Cause members and others, including former President Jimmy Carter,to those who resisted and fought against the policies of the last Administration that sanctioned and promoted the torture of foreign detainees. Recipients of the commendation letter include a number of high-ranking military officers and signer includes former defense secretaries who served under both Democrat and Republican presidents. Read more.

In Wisconsin, Common Cause leads a successful statewide effort to pass and enact "impartial justice" legislation that will provide full public financing to candidates for the Wisconsin Supreme Court. Wisconsin joins New Mexico and North Carolina as the only states to provide full public financing in state Supreme Court elections. In Massachusetts, Common Cause spearheads passage of a sweeping lobbing, ethics, and campaign finance disclosure reform bill requiring new transparency for political campaign fund activity, a strong gift ban, more teeth for watchdog agencies, stiffer penalties for law-breakers, and stronger "revolving door" restrictions. In New York,Common Cause persuades Gov. David Paterson to name a lieutenant governor to break the deadlock in Albany, allowing state government, which had ground to a halt for over 30 days, to function again. In California, Common Cause helps pass a law that allows 17-year olds to pre-register to vote. Common Cause also leads an alliance of organizations to implement Proposition 11, the new law Common Cause wrote and passed in 2008 to create a citizens redistricting commission, in an inclusive and fair manner. In New Mexico, Common Cause leads efforts to pass the state's first campaign contribution limits bill and also implements public funding legislation for city races in Santa Fe. The state goes from being one of five in the nation with no contribution limits to installing modest limits on contributions to candidates, political action committees and political parties. In New York and Colorado, Common Cause takes the lead in creating coalitions to watchdog the federal stimulus, demanding transparency and accountability in how the federal dollars are spent. In Tennessee, Texas, Oklahoma and Pennsylvania, Common Cause fights back legislation that would have required either a photo ID or proof of citizenship to register to vote. In Oregon, Colorado and Indiana, Common Cause champions legislative adoptionof online voter registration that allows eligible voters to visit a secure website and register to vote online. In Maryland, Common Cause passes a tough executive compensation disclosure law that requires CEOs of Maryland's nonprofit hospitals to disclose all expenses to a public commission, and passed a legislative fix to a technical problem that would have derailed the acquisition of new voter-verified paper trails for Maryland elections. *honorable mentionAs Common Cause is about to enter its 40th year, the organization is also proud to have launched in 2009 a Lobby Corps, a regular training program for volunteer lobbyists who go to Capitol Hill to lobby on behalf of Common Cause. Sign up here.


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