Con to the question "Should Insider Trading by Congress Be Allowed?"
"...Common Cause, Democracy 21, League of Women Voters, Public Citizen and U.S. PIRG – strongly support passage of the 'Stop Trading on Congressional Knowledge Act' (H.R. 682)...
The legislation would prohibit members of Congress, congressional staff and other federal employees from using non-public information obtained through their official duties for personal gain in the stocks and commodities markets. It would also prohibit private individuals and firms who attempt to mine such information from public officials to use it for insider trading. This legislation is critically important as the federal government increases its regulation and oversight – and invariably insider knowledge – of prospective business opportunities of banks and financial services companies...
With the federal government assuming a far greater role over the financial services industry, the opportunity and temptation for federal employees to cash in on their insider knowledge of legislation, rules and even business trends that can have a dramatic and immediate effect on the stock market will become all the more dangerous. Members of Congress and federal employees should be required to live by effective restrictions on insider trading."
Letter to US Representatives Brian Baird (D-WA), Louise M. Slaughter (D-NY), and Tim Walz (D-MN), www.citizen.org, Mar. 4, 2009
Organizations/VIPs/Others Individuals and organizations that do not fit into the other star categories.
"Common Cause is a nonpartisan, nonprofit advocacy organization founded in 1970 by John Gardner as a vehicle for citizens to make their voices heard in the political process and to hold their elected leaders accountable to the public interest.
Today, Common Cause is one of the most active, effective, and respected nonprofit organizations working for political change in America. Common Cause strives to strengthen our democracy by empowering our members, supporters and the general public to take action on critical policy issues."
“About Common Cause,” www.commoncause.org (accessed Aug. 30, 2009)
"Common Cause serves as an independent voice for change and a watchdog against corruption and abuse of power. Together with our sister organization, the Common Cause Education Fund, we employ a powerful combination of grassroots organizing, coalition building, research, policy development, public education, lobbying and litigation to win reform at all levels of government...
Today it works tirelessly to
Strengthen public participation and faith in our institutions of self-government;
Ensure that government and the political process serve the common good, rather than special interests;
Curb the excessive influence of money on government decisions and elections and illuminate the connections between lobbying money coming in and government expenditures going out;
Promote fair, honest and transparent elections;
Hold government officials accountable for working within the rule of law and under high standards of ethical conduct;
Fight for a vigorous, independent and diverse media; and
Protect the civil rights and civil liberties of all Americans...
This then is our common cause: to forge a democracy by and responsive to an engaged public, and committed to progress in the struggle for social, economic and environmental justice for all."
"Our Vision," www.commoncause.org (accessed Aug. 30, 2009)
501(c)(3) nonprofit organization
Approximately 400,000 members and supporters
Approximately $10 million (combined with affiliate Common Cause Education Fund)
Bob Edgar, President and CEO
# of Offices:
One (Headquarters in Washington, DC) and 36 state affiliates