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Common Cause

Common Cause, U.S. organization that seeks a "reordering of national priorities and revitalization of the public process to make our political and governmental institutions more responsive to the needs of the nation and its citizens." Established in 1970 by John W. Gardner, it succeeded the Urban Coalition Action Council, founded in 1968. Common Cause supports a large number of political reforms, including campaign finance reform, government ethics and accountability, and nuclear control agreements. It has sponsored voter registration drives nation-wide and has worked for a liberalization of voting registration. Common Cause has used ads, computerized Federal Election Commission records, lobbying, media outreach and especially litigation to promote reform. Its legal actions helped force disclosure of individuals and corporations that had anonymously contributed money to the 1972 presidential campaign. In 1991 its ad campaign, aimed at toughening a campaign finance bill containing no aggregate limit on PAC money for Congressmen, criticized Democratic Congressmen for collecting special interest money for campaigns. Located in Washington, D.C., the group has about 200,000 members.

The Columbia Electronic Encyclopedia, 6th ed. Copyright © 2012, Columbia University Press. All rights reserved.

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