AMERICAN PROMISE EXPANDS ADVISORY COUNCIL

American Promise Hires New Executive Director; adds Former Presidential Candidate, Vice-Chairman of the Joint Chiefs, Business Leaders to advisory council

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

CONCORD, MA—American Promise, a national non-profit aimed at curbing outside election spending by foreign countries and special interests through a Constitutional amendment, announced the hiring of Bill Cortese as Executive Director, along with the addition of over a dozen new members to the American Promise advisory council.

“I am honored to lead this effort to provide a Constitutional solution to the challenge we see in outside money pouring into our political campaigns year after year. We are not going to beat big money with big money, but with the efforts of ordinary citizens across the political spectrum coming together and enabling our state legislatures to protect our elections from foreign interference and special interests,” said Cortese, a former Republican political adviser and Marine Corps veteran.

Former Democratic presidential candidate and founder of the new Forward Party, Andrew Yang, added, “Most people agree that the influence of money in elections is a problem. Jeff and the team at American Promise looked at the data and came up with a plan to actually solve that problem. A constitutional amendment is a huge endeavor, but their plan is a realistic and historically grounded approach that can work. I’m excited to be a part of making it happen.”

Maureen Kline, VP, Public Affairs & Sustainability, Pirelli Tire North America, said: “We have come to expect business and wealthy individuals to fund our political system. Do we really want the strategic direction of our society, what we prioritize and what programs we kill, what we tax and what we incentivize, to be determined by so few, and not by We, the People?” Pirelli has a global ban on campaign contributions.

“As someone involved at the nexus of the business community and government for many years, I know how important it is to be able to advocate for a cause and we should do everything in our power to protect that right. But when out-of-state billionaires, foreign interests and others can dump tens of millions of dollars into a so-called “super PAC” to influence an election and ensure that their preferred candidate wins, how are average Americans make their voices heard? We have a system now that favors out-of-state, and sometimes foreign special interests to the peril of our own citizens,” added David Black, the former CEO of the Harrisburg Chamber of Commerce.

Layla Zaidane, the President and CEO of the Millennial Action Project, said, “The quest for a more perfect union is the core of our democracy, and we must continually hold ourselves accountable to that ideal. As an optimistic realist I believe that when people work hard together, big change is possible. And in moments when cross-generational movements come together for a shared goal, big change is inevitable. This is that moment.”

Retired Admiral Bill Owens, the former Vice-Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff expressed concern over the national security threat that foreign dark money poses to our democracy, “Many forces are pushing against our American democracy. The forces of an untruthful media, the forces of foreign interference, and most importantly the forces of an unprecedented amount of money allowed to stream from wealthy individuals and corporate interests to affect the proceedings of our democracy. I believe strongly in American Promise’s goals to reform election spending so that the best interests of the American people are represented, “

“The new additions to our advisory council highlight our growing strength across the political spectrum from people who understand the importance of protecting our elections from foreign interference, special interests, and those who want to turn our elections into a playground for billionaires,” said American Promise President Jeff Clements.

Currently, twenty-two states have passed resolutions calling on Congress to address the issue of outside spending in political campaigns through a Constitutional Amendment, specifically to close the loophole that allows foreign countries and foreign corporate interests to make expenditures in American elections and to bring authority back to state legislatures to regulate elections within their respective state. American Promise continues to work with state, county, and local elected officials of both parties across the country to pass these resolutions and force the US Congress to act. 

The new members of the American Promise Advisory Council:

  • Danielle Allen, James Bryant Conant University Professor at Harvard University, and Director of Harvard’s Edmond J. Safra Center for Ethics, Cambridge, MA
  • Dave Black, former President/CEO, Harrisburg PA Chamber of Commerce, Harrisburg, PA
  • Reverend Mitchell Hescox, President & CEO, Evangelical Environmental Network, New Freedom, PA 
  • Maureen Kline, VP, Public Affairs & Sustainability, Pirelli Tire North America, Rome, GA
  • Dr. Charles E. Lewis, Jr., Director of the Congressional Research Institute for Social Work and Policy
  • U.S. Navy Admiral (Ret.) William A. Owens, former Vice-Chair, Joint Chiefs of Staff; former CEO, Nortel & Chair, AEA Investors, San Diego, CA
  • Trevor Potter, Counsel to Senator John McCain presidential campaign; former Commissioner, Federal Election Commission; President, Campaign Legal Center, Washington, DC
  • Robert Putnam, Research Professor, Harvard Kennedy School, Cambridge, MA
  • Ann Ravel, Former Commissioner & Chair, Federal Election Commission
  • Alex Renard, Managing Director, Renard Ventures; Founder, Cedar Ridge Outdoors; Republican candidate, State Senate 2018
  • Marnie Walsh, former American Promise Empowerment Coordinator
  • Andrew Yang, former Democratic presidential candidate and founder of the new Forward Party
  • Layla Zaidane, President & CEO, Millennial Action Project, Washington, DC

CONTACT 

Bill Cortese

203-885-5694

billc@americanpromise.net

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