Acccording to the organization's web site, Common Cause was "founded in 1970 by John Gardner, former Secretary of Health, Education and Welfare. Gardner envisioned a movement propelled by the focused and concerted grassroots lobbying activities of Common Cause members and reinforced with professional lobbying on Capitol Hill. His nonpartisan, citizens' lobbying group made an immediate impact. Within a year, more than 100,000 citizens had joined Common Cause and its agenda quickly grew to include ending U.S. involvement in Vietnam, reforming the campaign finance system, and pressing for civil rights, ethics, financial and lobby disclosure, and open meeting laws. Recognizing the need for fundamental reform at the state level, Common Cause soon began organizing parallel lobbying efforts in the states and establishing Common Cause state organizations."
"Common Cause regularly publishes investigative studies on the effects of money in politics and reports on a variety of ethics and integrity-in-government issues. These studies and background materials on a wide range of reform issues on the national and state levels can be found on Common Cause's web site - www.commoncause.org - along with special "Take Action" components that allow citizens to act on issues of open, honest and accountable government."
"Common Cause's 30-member National Governing Board serves as its policy-making body. The members of the Board are elected by the membership to three-year terms. Board members meet in Washington three times a year to discuss, determine and oversee Common Cause's issue, organizational and financial activities."
Governing Board Members
- Archibald Cox was Chairman Emeritus.
- Benjamin Barber - Distinguished University Professor, University of Maryland
- Margery Bronster - Attorney, Former Attorney General of Hawaii
- Michele Demers - President, Tattersall Consulting
- Bob Edgar - General Secretary, National Council of Churches USA
- Edward Thaddeus Foote II - President Emeritus and Chancellor, University of Florida
- Margaret Fung - Executive Director, Asian American Legal Defense and Education Fund
- Elizabeth Garrett - Sydney M. Irmas Professor of Public Interest Law, Legal Ethics, and Political Science, -University of Southern California
- Ellen Golombek - SEIU
- Jack Gould - Past Chair and Issues Chair, Common Cause Nebraska
- Leonard Hill - Leonard Hill Films
- Charles Kolb - President and CEO, Committee for Economic Development
- William Kraus - Co-chair, Common Cause Wisconsin
- Eric Liu - Author, Fellow, The New America Foundation
- Maya MacGuineas - President, Committee for a Responsible Federal Budget, New America Foundation
- Spencer Overton - Associate Professor of Law, The George Washington University Law School
- Harold Pachios - Managing Partner, Preti Flaherty
- Bradley S. Phillips - Attorney
- Martha Phillips - Former Executive Director of the Concord Coalition
- Nancy Rhodes - Former Director of Campus Compact
- John Shattuck - Chief Executive Officer, JFK Library Foundation
- Martha Tierney - Attorney
"Common Cause is financed, in large part, by the dues and contributions of its individual members. Because it is a 501(c)(4) lobbying organization, such contributions to Common Cause are not tax deductible." The Common Cause Education Fund, the 501(c)(3) "affiliate, conducts research, education, and outreach activities and is supported by foundation grants and tax-deductible contributions from individuals and institutions. The combined annual operating budget of Common Cause and the Common Cause Education Fund is approximately $10 million. Common Cause does not solicit contributions from labor unions or corporations."
1133 19th Street NW, 9th Floor
Washington D.C. 20036
Phone: (202) 833-1200
Email: grassroots AT commoncause.org
Related SourceWatch Resources
- lobbying firms
- soft money
- David Cohen - served as president of Common Cause from 1975-81
- Robert A. Pastor - former director 
- Nicholas Johnson
- William Belding - former chief of staff 
- Kirk Clay
- Democracy Matters
- Matt Keller
- Hamilton Nolan, "ANALYSIS Tom DeLay: DeLay facing pressure as groups question his ethics", PR Week, May 9, 2005. (Sub req'd.)
- About CJA, CJA, accessed July 19, 2007.