Issue One Recruits Six Strong Conservatives to Push Congress on Ethics and Political Reform

While Congress remains deeply divided by partisan party politics, Issue One continues to bring together both parties around common-sense solutions to fix our broken political system. A new wave of six Republican lawmakers just joined our ReFormers Caucus. They include:

  • Florida Rep. David Jolly introduced the Stop Act in the 114th Congress to curb lawmakers’ fundraising activities, and spoke candidly on CBS News’ 60 Minutes program about dialing-for-dollars. By some estimates, the 114th Congress collectively spent more than one million hours fundraising over its two-year cycle.  
  • Maine Gov. John “Jock” McKernan also served in the U.S. House and is past president of the U.S. Chamber of Commerce Foundation.
  • California Rep. Brian Bilbray signed the discharge petition on the Shays-Meehan (BCRA) campaign finance reform legislation, and voted for legislation to require transparency of 527 political committees.
  • Arkansas Sen. Tim Hutchinson supported banning soft money during his time in office.
  • Colorado Sen. Ben Nighthorse Campbell during his time in office was a proponent of government reform.

ReFormers Caucus Co-chair former Rep. Zach Wamp (R-TN) said, “While the dysfunction continues in Washington and ideology divides our Congress, we are seeing widespread unity across the political spectrum for the ReFormers Caucus and our much needed changes to begin ‘draining the swamp.’ From the left and right, former members of Congress are signing on to promote real transparency and accountability on Capitol Hill and in our democratic institutions.”

“The American people know that now more than ever our country needs leaders that are willing to fight and strengthen our democracy. Issue One attracts lawmakers from both political parties who understand how to sit down, find solutions and take access to members of Congress off the auction block,” said ReFormers Caucus Co-chair former Amb. Tim Roemer (D-IN). “Our elected leaders cannot be for sale to the billionaires. Americans want a voice in their government again.”

“Members of Congress and the White House need to start listening to voters again. That is what Issue One and the ReFormers Caucus members are doing — and why we approach our issues in a bipartisan fashion,” said ReFormers Caucus Co-chair former Rep. Connie Morella (R-MD). “We have heard from the American people that they are tired of government not working for them and that we should seize every opportunity we can to fix that for the next generation.”

With the addition of these lawmakers, Issue One’s ReFormers Caucus is comprised of more than 175 former members of Congress, governors, ambassadors and cabinet secretaries from both political parties. They are dedicated to strengthening government ethics, pursuing political reforms and restoring trust in our democratic institutions and have adopted a legislative framework to return government to the American people. They have amplified the call for stronger ethics and a return to sensible policymaking on and off Capitol Hill in meetings with current lawmakers, administration officials and in the “Beltway, regional and national press.

“It’s been 15 years since Congress mustered bipartisan support to confront the unaccountable money influencing politicians and policymaking. That is why Issue One, through its Democratic and Republican co-chairs, is focused on building a new movement with both sides of the aisle focused on listening to voters and passing legislation to amplify their voices and remove barriers to engaging them in the political process,” said Issue One Executive Director Nick Penniman.