Today, Issue One is proud to announce that its first-of-a-kind ReFormers Caucus — the country’s largest coalition of former members of Congress, governors and Cabinet officials ever assembled to advocate for solutions to fix our democracy — has recruited more than 200 Republican and Democratic former elected officials to its cause.
The latest five members added to the RFC include former Reps. Stephen Fincher (R-TN), Patrick J. Murphy (D-PA), Joseph Cao (R-LA), Charlie Dent (R-PA), our 200th ReFormer, and Jack Buechner (R-MO), our 201st.
Issue One’s ReFormers are from all 50 states and from across the political spectrum. The Co-chairs are Amb. Tim Roemer (D-IN), Rep. Zach Wamp (R-TN) and Amb. Connie Morella (R-MD). In a few short years, the RFC launched their own Legislative Framework, the “Democracy = National Security” ongoing series of events and unveiled the Declaration to Renew the Founders’ Promise at a historic convening in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, the birthplace of American democracy.
“Today marks a powerful and exciting milestone for the ReFormers Caucus as we welcome our 200th member to the largest bipartisan group of former elected officials committed to protecting our most sacred democratic institutions,” said Issue One CEO and President Nick Penniman. “We are thrilled to have these former Congressmen join this dynamic coalition of dedicated public servants, and we look forward to engaging the caucus’ voices and expertise as we explore new routes to reform in 2019 and beyond.”
The ReFormers Caucus’ first Co-chair, Amb. Tim Roemer (D-IN) added: “The American people are fed up with donors and special interests hijacking their democratic system of self-government. We have now recruited more than 200 former member of Congress, governors and Cabinet secretaries from all 50 states who are working across party lines to restore the Founders’ dream of ‘the people’ governing our nation. I am honored to help lead this historic and patriotic effort working toward common sense solutions on Capitol Hill and across the country.”
In March 2018, ReFormers gathered at historic Carpenters’ Hall in Philadelphia — the meeting place of the First Continental Congress — to unveil the Declaration to Renew the Founders’ Promise and recommit themselves to fixing America’s broken political system.
“The convening in Philadelphia rekindled a patriotic fire in my body and reminded us all why our democratic republic is so important,” says RFC Co-chair, Congressman Zach Wamp (R-TN). “To see and hear such a large group of former members discuss strengthening our democratic institutions in Carpenters’ Hall to put country above party was the most meaningful experience I have had since leaving Congress.”
ReFormers are also helping support the bipartisan, bicameral Honest Ads Act — which Issue One helped draft. “This is such a critical moment for our democracy,” says Ambassador Connie Morella (R-MD), an RFC Co-chair. “Passing the Honest Ads Act would help defend against future foreign intrusions in our elections, and all 201 ReFormers now have an opportunity to contribute to that fight.”
At a time when public trust in our democracy nears historic lows, the ReFormers Caucus represents an unprecedented force for positive change in Washington. With their combined centuries worth of political and governing experience, the ReFormers continue making strides on Capitol Hill, in national and regional media and back in their home states by calling for urgent, bipartisan political reform that will protect our elections from foreign influence, provide greater transparency around “dark money” and strengthen our election laws.