Statewide anti-corruption group lists candidates
The Clean Money Squad PA (CMS-PA) has a simple mission: to identify candidates for elected office in Pennsylvania that are committed to reform government and politics in Pennsylvania. CMS-PA was formed by members of Represent Us Pennsylvania, a state chapter of the national nonpartisan group Represent Us, who realized that voters don't always have information they need to choose a candidate.
The citizens of our state are fed up with politics as usual. Many have just given up, and feel that they can do little to change our broken system. We aim to change that.
We need to fix our broken system. But how? We know our current elected officials won't do it. We the people need to take things into our own hands, and CMS-PA's job is to tell voters which candidates will commit to fight corruption and reform our government.
CMS-PA is contacting candidates for U.S. Senate and House of Representatives and Pennsylvania State Senate, Pennsylvania State House of Representatives, Pennsylvania Governor and Lt. Governor and asking the candidates to formally endorse the American Anti-Corruption Act (AACA). Currently, 51 candidates, Republicans, Democrats, Libertarian and Green have taken the pledge. By providing this information to voters, they can make a more informed vote.
The American Anti-Corruption Act is comprehensive model legislation which addresses political bribery, secret money, lobbying, gerrymandering, election reform, and seeks to give every voter a voice in their government. Other provisions include closing the “revolving door,” and limiting contributions from Super PACs. The AACA was crafted by former Federal Election Commission Chairman Trevor Potter in consultation with dozens of strategists, democracy reform leaders and constitutional attorneys from across the political spectrum.
Every candidate that formally endorses the AACA is included on the CMS-PA website and Facebook page along with their picture and contact information. The CMS-PA effort is non-partisan and encourages all candidates to formally pledge their support of the AACA. Publication of candidates names who pledge to support the AACA is not a political endorsement of any candidate, it is an acknowledgment that a candidate has committed to support anti-corruption reform.
Corruption is a threat in Pennsylvania; the independent State Integrity Investigation ranks
Pennsylvania a dismal 45th out of 50, receiving an “F” grade, citing “An entrenched culture of malfeasance,” and no limits on lobbying, campaign finance, gerrymandering and lax oversight as major factors.
The grassroots citizen reform movement is growing in Pennsylvania. CMS-PA is an important outgrowth of Represent Us Chapters in the state. The volunteers at CMS-PA network with other nonpartisan state reform organizations including Fair Districts, March on Harrisburg, Commonwealth Commonsense and Lancaster Stands Up. Represent Pennsylvania has helped pass 17 anti-corruption resolutions in Counties and municipalities across the state and assisted Fair Districts to pass more than 200 gerrymandering reform resolutions in communities around Pennsylvania.
Now we have to vote in lawmakers who will take a stand against corruption, regardless of party. Our elected officials should have the well-being of every citizen, not just a few donors and special interests in mind when they are working for us in our communities, in Harrisburg and in Washington.
Leading up to the general election, CMS-PA volunteers will continue to contact candidates and elected officials asking them to endorse the AACA. Concerned citizens are encouraged to contact CMS-PA and volunteer to aid in that effort.
Peter Ouellette, Managing Director
The Clean Money Squad PA