For Immediate Release
Wednesday, January 18, 2017
Adam Bozzi, ECU Communications Director, [email protected], 202-798-5253
Laura Friedenbach, Every Voice Press Secretary, [email protected], 202-459-9778
Groups delivered petitions with nearly 60,000 signatures opposing DeVos nomination
End Citizens United and Every Voice launching “Call Your Senator” campaign
As Betsy DeVos’s nomination hearing for Secretary of Education commenced yesterday, nearly 60,000 citizens joined forces to urge Senators to oppose her nomination. Money-in-politics reform groups, End Citizens United (ECU) and Every Voice, collaborated with a coalition of progressive organizations, led by Generation Progress, to hand-deliver petitions to the HELP Committee overseeing her hearing. DeVos and her family have donated hundreds of thousands of dollars to the campaigns of five Senators on that committee. Roughly half of the signatures demanded that Senators with this blatant conflict of interest recuse themselves, while the other half urged Senators to vote against the DeVos nomination.
The delivery of the petitions comes after a two-week campaign where End Citizens United and Every Voice have led a multifaceted national effort to pressure the five Senators to recuse themselves.
Last week, End Citizens United and Every Voice launched a wave of digital ads in the home states of the Senators on the HELP Committee who are facing a conflict of interest, as well as in Washington, DC. They also launched RecuseYourself.org, a comprehensive website that allows the public to: stay informed on the nomination; take action by using an easy-to-use tool to write letters to the editor; and share social media. This week, both groups will re-launch a call campaign to allow their members to directly voice concerns to the five Senators.
“Betsy DeVos and the five Senators who took her money are beneficiaries of a blatantly rigged system,” Tiffany Muller, End Citizens United Executive Director, said. “Nearly 60,000 everyday Americans — Americans who don’t have megadonor-style access to their Senators — have voiced their objections and it’s time for those Senators to listen. DeVos has explicitly stated that she expects something in return for her contributions, and the fact that these Senators have yet to do the ethical thing by recusing themselves is shameful.”
End Citizens United and Every Voice’s call for the Senators to recuse themselves has drawn local and national media attention. To date, the Senators continue to refuse to recuse themselves from the vote.