Issue One is pleased to announce the addition of three former members of Congress to our ReFormers Caucus, including our first ReFormer from Alabama. Representatives Bart Stupak (D-MI), Heath Shuler (D-NC) and Jo Bonner (R-AL) have joined the largest ever bipartisan coalition assembled to advocate for solutions to fix our democracy and improve Congressional capacity. The ReFormers Caucus is now 185 members strong with members from 47 states.
Rep. Bart Stupak represented Michigan’s 1st congressional district from 1993 to 2011. He served on the Energy and Commerce Committee and was the chair of the Oversight and Investigations subcommittee. Known as a moderate Democrat who often worked across the aisle, Rep. Stupak focused on issues unique to Michigan, such as protection of the Great Lakes, energy and healthcare.
After a career in the NFL and in the real estate business, Rep. Heath Shuler represented the 11th district of North Carolina, which encompasses Western North Carolina, including Asheville. A moderate Democrat and member of the Blue Dog Coalition, Rep. Shuler served as deputy-at-large Whip and was the chairman of the Subcommittee on Rural and Urban Entrepreneurship of the House Small Business Committee. He also served on the Committee on the Budget and Committee on Transportation and Infrastructure. During his time in the House, Rep. Shuler was a leading voice for a moderate and bipartisan approach to issues of fiscal responsibility.
Rep. Jo Bonner served six terms in the U.S. House, representing Alabama’s 1st district from 2003 to 2013. He began his career in politics as the chief of staff for Alabama Rep. Sonny Callahan, who endorsed Rep. Bonner to succeed him when he retired. During his time in Congress, Bonner was a member of the Appropriations Committee and Committee on Ethics, for which he also served as the chairman during the 112th Congress. A strong conservative by national standards, Bonner was considered moderate in Alabama and is widely respected on both sides of the aisle. In 2013, Rep. Bonner left office to become the Vice Chancellor for Economic Development at the University of Alabama System, where he continues to work with state, local and national leaders. He was also recently appointed by Alabama Governor Kay Ivey as the new chairman of the Alabama Gulf Coast Recovery Council in May.
Issue One is thrilled to have Reps. Stupak, Shuler and Bonner contributing their knowledge and enthusiasm for public service to the ReFormers Caucus. Their dedication to problem solving and working across the aisle will be a great benefit to the fight to fix democratic dysfunction.