It was a busy start to the year for Issue One. Press highlights included the release of our congressional staff pay report, which was covered exclusively by Roll Call and also reported on by CNN, Politico, NBC News, LegBranch.org, Political Wire, Tribune News Service, Talking Points Memo, Ring of Fire, First Branch Forecast, and Forbes’ Checks & Imbalances newsletter.
Additionally, ReFormers Caucus Co-chair former Rep. Zach Wamp (R-TN), also a member of our National Council on Election Integrity, joined NPR’s Morning Edition to discuss the need to update the Electoral Count Act (ECA). He joined with fellow ReFormers Caucus Co-chair and National Council on Election Integrity member Amb. Tim Roemer (D-IN) to pen an op-ed advocating for ECA reform which was published in the Washington Examiner, where they wrote: “The true power of our democracy has always resided in the hands of the people. If we believe this to be true, then the role of Congress on Jan. 6 every four years is very simple. Politicians don’t determine who wins elections; that’s left to the voters.”
Earlier this month, the Examiner’s editorial board also cited our ECA polling in a piece advocating for reform.
In the wake of Freedom to Vote’s failure in the Senate, Founder and CEO Nick Penniman wrote in an op-ed in The Hill about the bipartisan path forward on much-needed election reforms: “Let’s start with a simple point of agreement between Democrats and Republicans: If Americans cannot trust our elections, our democracy cannot hold. That common entry point leads to a bipartisan path to improve the voting experience and protect our elections from threats, both foreign and domestic.”
Our new election reforms report, which we released in partnership with the Bipartisan Policy Center, Unite America, R Street, and American Enterprise Institute following the Senate vote, was cited by Election Law Blog, The Fulcrum, and Votebeat.
Nick Penniman was quoted by ABC News in a story about how efforts to recruit new poll workers have grown increasingly partisan at a time when many workers are resigning amid increased threats. He said: “The last thing we need are partisan appeals for non-partisan positions. Election workers may be Democrats or Republicans, but our elections work in this country because the workers who run them put voters first.”
The issue of stock trading by members of Congress has also seen renewed bipartisan momentum. Issue One’s support for legislation that would ban members from selling and buying stocks while in office was cited by The Georgia Virtue and Augusta Free Press. Nick Penniman was quoted in an Insider story about Rep. Dan Crenshaw’s (R-TX) investments in electric car companies while sitting on the House Energy and Commerce Committee and Environment and Climate Change Subcommittee, where he said: “Being a true public servant means reducing both real and perceived conflicts of interest. That’s what we expect from all members, including Rep. Crenshaw. When members of Congress buy and sell stocks while in office, it creates a perception that they are using their access for personal gain.”
As the country remembered the one-year anniversary of Jan. 6, former Rep. Carlos Curbelo (R-FL), an Issue One board member and member of the ReFormers Caucus and National Council on Election Integrity, was quoted by the Boston Globe reflecting on the events of that day, the lies that continue to threaten our democracy, and the sweeping reforms that are needed. He said: “The Republican Party has to condemn anyone who is promoting a lie, that’s the first step. This is an issue that needs to be confronted directly, with absolute honesty and sincerity, and many Republicans have fallen short.” Former Majority Leader Tom Daschle (D-SD) and former Amb. Tim Roemer (D-IN), both members of the ReFormers Caucus and National Council on Election Integrity, also spoke with The Hill about the anniversary and the divisions that still run deep in our country.
Issue One Legislative Associate Jamie Neikrie made his SiriusXM debut to discuss our congressional pay report with host Laura Coates, and Nick Penniman appeared on the program to discuss President Joe Biden’s voting rights speech in Georgia and the need for sweeping reforms.
Additional press included a Washington Times article that included our statement from Nick Penniman on former President Donald Trump’s massive fundraising off the Big Lie, a story from The Fulcrum that quotes Nick Penniman on what comes next in the fight for election reforms, a piece from HuffPost which cited our All Expenses Paid report about questionable leadership PAC spending, and reporting from the Bakersfield Californian that cited us for breaking the news that the FEC had fined a former GOP official in Kern County, California, after he embezzled roughly $272,000 over the past decade.