Last Tuesday, 26 members of our bipartisan ReFormers Caucus of former members of Congress and governors got together to discuss how they as a group can most effectively raise the profile of the money-in-politics issue and move it to the front of the political debate going into 2016. There was a lot of enthusiasm in the room to get to work.
The meeting was led by former Congresswoman Connie Morella (R-MD), who has been a leader in Issue One’s work with former elected officials since the start, and Ambassador Tim Roemer (D-IN), who has brought new energy and creativity to growing the ReFormers Caucus since he joined last spring.
The ReFormers Caucus has grown rapidly in recent months, increasing in size from 17 in March to 83 today, including nationally known figures such as Secretary Chuck Hagel (R-NE), Senator Dick Lugar R-IN), Ambassador Jon Huntsman (R-UT), Senator Tom Daschle (D-SD), Director Porter Goss (R-FL) and Secretary Leon Panetta (D-CA).
The growth of the group is indicative of the fact that former elected officials know better than anyone the corrosive impact of money on our political process. They know that we cannot hope to address the issues facing our country or restore faith in our democratic institutions until we successfully tackle this issue.
Participants in last week’s meeting discussed a variety of ways that the group could help raise the temperature on this issue, including speaking before audiences on campuses and in other venues in their home districts, raising the issue in the press, both nationally and in their local outlets and in pressuring candidates and office holders to address the issue with concrete plans to solve it.
The ReFormers Caucus will kick off its efforts with a press briefing on Thursday, November 5th at the U.S. Capitol. At that time, they will be poised to launch a campaign to bring much-needed attention to the money-in-politics issue and help ensure that whomever takes office in 2017, they will have a concrete plan to address the problem.