Bob Edgar, president and CEO of Common Cause, the Washington-based advocacy group, spoke to a small group of Evanstonians Wednesday afternoon at a discussion and reception at the Northminster Presbyterian Church in northwest Evanston.

Bob Edgar, president and CEO of Common Cause, the Washington-based advocacy group, spoke to a small group of Evanstonians Wednesday afternoon at a discussion and reception at the Northminster Presbyterian Church in northwest Evanston.

Bob Edgar of Common Cause at Northminster Presbyterian Church.

Edgar, who served as a Democratic congressman from Pennsylvania from 1975 to 1987 before losing (“actually I didn’t lose; I came in second,” he quipped) to Sen. Arlen Spector in a bid for the U.S. Senate, served as general secretary of the National Council of Churches of Christ in the USA from 2000 to 2007 before taking the reins of Common Cause, which was founded 40 years ago by John Gardner as a non-partisan champion of campaign finance reform.

Today, he said, “we are dedicated to shining the spotlight on politics and money.” Specifically, the group is attempting to combat the influence of money from corporate sources unleashed last year by a decision of the U.S. Supreme Court in the Citizens United decision that Common Cause blamed for the infusion of more than $300 million into the 2010 elections.  The organization is also about to launch a drive to reform the tax code, an effort he defined as “fair taxation.”

Charles Bartling

A resident of Evanston since 1975, Chuck Bartling holds a master’s degree in journalism from Northwestern University and has extensive experience as a reporter and editor for daily newspapers, radio...

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