Common Cause Rhode Island is calling on the winners of the party primaries for governor to engage in a People’s Pledge. The People’s Pledge is a voluntary agreement among the candidates to discourage outside special interest money in the election. Gina Raimondo, Clay Pell, and Angel Taveras signed a Pledge in the Democratic primary that resulted in no TV or radio advertising by third party groups. The single violation, a print advertisement, represented approximately 1/10,000 of the candidates’ spending in the election.
“We are proud that the People’s Pledge worked as planned in the Democratic primary and voters were spared the special interest attack ads that are a regular feature in other states,” says John Marion, executive director of Common Cause Rhode Island. “This election is too important for our state and we need to hear from the candidates.” Marion notes a recent study by Public Citizen highlighting the success of the recently concluded People’s Pledge, and a survey by Lake Research Partners showing bi-partisan support for the People’s Pledge.
Common Cause sent a letter to the winners of the Democratic and Republican primaries today asking them to negotiate a Pledge and offering our assistance. Over the course of six weeks this spring Common Cause facilitated a negotiation among the three major Democratic candidates that resulted in the first signed People’s Pledge ever in a race for governor.