Heeding the Call? A Good First Step

Q: Some watchdog groups have called for a moratorium on fundraising for the 12 lawmakers on the committee that will recommend the cuts, to keep the process free of special influence. What do you think about that?

A: "Personally, I've canceled a bunch of events."

That was Sen. Rob Portman (R-Ohio) yesterday in the Cincinatti Enquirer. On August 4, Public Campaign, along with two-dozen public interest groups, sent a letter to the members of the supercommittee calling on them to:

  1. Cease all political fundraising for themselves, their party, or for other candidates; and
  2. Provide full transparency on any meetings with outside groups or individuals regarding the committee’s work, including meetings with lobbyists, corporate CEOs, or donors.

Along with Sen. Portman, Sen. Max Baucus (D-Mont.) has also recently canceled a fundraiser. This is a good first step and hopefully other members of the supercommittee follow suit in the coming days and weeks. The deficit reduction work of the committee should reflect what's best for ordinary Americans, not what big money campaign contributors and special interests need to maintain their bottom line.

Our hats off to Sens. Portman and Baucus. Now, to get their colleagues on the supercommittee on board.