Multi-Million Dollar Campaign Launched to Make Elected Officials Accountable to Voters, Not Special Interest Donors

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Washington, DC—The Campaign for Fair Elections today released new opinion research that shows deep support for addressing the problem of big money in politics, and announced an $8 to $15 million effort to educate Americans about the role of special interest money in politics and to press for congressional passage of the Fair Elections Now Act (H.R. 1826, S. 752). As part of the national effort, the Campaign also unveiled its first television ad, which is airing in four markets, including Washington, D.C.


The new bipartisan research conducted by Lake Research Partners, Westen Strategies, and McKinnon Media shows that public support for Fair Elections-style reform is strong and a majority of every subset of Americans—regardless of demographic and political identities—supports the measure.


“We know voters are mad at Washington. These findings show there is a solution that Democrats, Republicans and independents all support – the Fair Elections Now Act,” said Celinda Lake, president of Lake Research Partners. “The power of the messages tested in this research indicates a real opportunity for elected officials and candidates who embrace this effort to restore government of, by, and for the people.”


"There is a conventional myth that Republican voters are opposed to campaign finance reform, but this research shows that Republican voters, like all other voters, believe our system of electing representatives is irreparably broken,” said Mark McKinnon, director of McKinnon Media. “Republicans believe in giving people more control. That is precisely what this data reflects, and it’s precisely what the Fair Elections Now Act does."


“For too long, Congress has paid too much attention to the special interests funding their campaigns,” said David Donnelly, campaign manager of the Campaign for Fair Elections. “It’s time we had a government that worked for working Americans, not a corporate-funded system that leaves everyday Americans without a voice in politics. That’s why we need the Fair Elections Now Act.”


The ad promoting the Fair Elections Now Act is slated to air beginning today and tomorrow in Seattle, Denver, and Tallahassee, and beginning Sunday in Washington, D.C. The ad, which can be viewed at, is the first piece of a paid advertising effort that will expand online and into additional markets. It is the first political ad to make use of an iPad in delivering its message. [A script is available upon request.]


The Fair Elections Now Act would allow members of Congress to pay attention to the interests of their constituents, instead of the special interests who pay for their campaigns. Under Fair Elections, candidates would be able to run competitive campaigns for office on a blend of Fair Elections Funds and small dollar donations. The legislation has the broad, bipartisan, and cross-caucus support for 157 co-sponsors in the U.S. House and 21 in the U.S. Senate.


The Campaign for Fair Elections is led by nonpartisan watchdog organizations Common Cause and Public Campaign Action Fund, and will involve a number of other nonprofit groups.