Issue One is pleased to welcome former Illinois Democrat Adlai Stevenson III to the ReFormers Caucus, a group comprised of more than 160 former members of Congress and governors from both sides of the aisle who are dedicated to returning government to the people.
Sen. Stevenson comes from a long history of public service that traces back to Vice President Adlai Stevenson and Governor Adlai Stevenson II.
His public career began in the Illinois House of Representatives as State Treasurer in 1965. He won the Best Legislator award from the Independent Voters of Illinois before moving on to be State Treasurer in 1967.
Throughout his time as a senator, Sen. Stevenson served as Chairman of the Subcommittee on Science, Technology and Space, Chairman of the Banking Committee, Chairman of the Subcommittee on the Collection and Production of Intelligence, the Senate Majority’s Policy Committee and Chairman of the Select Committee on the Senate Committee System.
Stevenson supported the Campaign Contributions Act of 1979, and was the first Chairman of the Senate Ethics Committee, where he was charged with drafting and implementing a code of ethics.
Sen. Stevenson recently published The Black Book, a binder of advice passed down through five generations of this politically active family. In it he discusses the corrosion of the American political system.
“Money could always buy influence,” he writes. “In The Black Book money is a subject of discomfort and sensitivity. Now it is a measure of political viability.”
“Legislators stopped legislating,” Sen. Stevenson continues. “Now they delegate responsibility to staff which joins with the leadership to draft omnibus bills in the House which members have no chance to read or amend. They spend much of their time dialing for dollars. They buy committee assignments from the leadership.”
Currently, Stevenson is chairman of the Midwest U.S. China Association, and chairman of the Adlai Stevenson Center on Democracy, a nonprofit he founded to convene practitioners to address systemic weakness in democracies and produce practical solutions to make governments more accountable.
As a respected former senator and leader, Sen. Stevenson is dedicated to working in a bipartisan fashion with his fellow ReFormers to return government to the people by addressing ethics, campaign finance and other government reforms.