Statement: Issue One Executive Director Nick Penniman on the State of the Union

In last night’s State of the Union address, President Obama said ‘we need to work together to find a real solution’ to the overwhelming influence of money on politics. He spoke compellingly of a rigged game, of citizens feeling eclipsed by a handful of wealthy families, and of the misery of political fundraising. We at Issue One agree. And while we believe the president could have done more in the last seven years to lead on this issue, we are poised to work with him and members of Congress on developing real solutions. 

We have spent the last year building bipartisan support inside the Beltway to match public opinion across the country that the campaign finance system needs to be overhauled. Credible advocates from both parties that have joined us — like Senator Alan Simpson, former RNC Chair Senator Bill Brock, former Senate Majority Leader Tom Daschle, Ambassador Tim Roemer, and more than 100 other former senators, House members and governors — have come together to compel action. Now it’s time for the president and members of Congress to show a true commitment to renewing democracy and do the same.

The president could, for instance, sign an executive order that would shed light on the political spending of government contractors. Otherwise, his statements will likely fall into the too-full file of powerful but empty rhetoric.