“We already pay for congressional campaigns, we just label it ‘the national debt.’ Interests that donate to campaigns often get what they want from legislation, and we all pay for that; by comparison, public financing seems like a bargain.”- Lee Hamilton
Our Chairs are former Senators Bill Bradley, Bob Kerrey, Warren Rudman and Alan Simpson.
Bill Bradley was a three-time basketball All-American at Princeton, an Olympic gold medalist, a Rhodes scholar and a professional player for ten years with the New York Knicks.
Elected to the Senate from New Jersey in 1978, 1984 and 1990, he authored extensive legislation — including the Tax Reform Act of 1986. While in office Bradley gained a reputation as a reform-minded Democrat, influential on environmental, labor and income tax issues.
Disillusioned with Capitol Hill, Mr. Bradley retired from the Senate in 1996 to teach at Stanford, the University of Maryland and Notre Dame. In 2000, Bradley re-entered the political arena, losing to Al Gore in a bid for the Democratic presidential nomination.
Since then, he has been active as a speaker, articulating his vision for the future of the United States. He is also a managing director for the investment firm Allen & Co., Inc.
His major books include Life on the Run (1987), Time Present, Time Past: A Memoir (1997), Values of the Game (1998), The Journey From Here (2000), and The New American Story (2007).
Bob Kerrey was born in Lincoln, Nebraska and attended the local public schools before graduating from the University of Nebraska-Lincoln. Afterwards, he served in the United States Navy SEAL Special Forces unit, losing the lower part of one leg in the Vietnam War. He received the Congressional Medal of Honor for his service.
Returning to Nebraska, he operated a chain of restaurants and fitness centers from 1972 to 1982 before running for Governor against incumbent Charles Thone, winning, and serving as Governor of Nebraska from 1983 to 1987. He refused to run for re-election in 1986, but two years later, ran for the Senate against appointed incumbent David Karnes and defeated him by a wide margin. He was reelected to the Senate in 1994 and served as the chairman of the Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee for the 104th Congress before retiring in 2001. An attempt to gain the 1992 Democratic nomination for president failed due to a lack of fundraising and poor results in early primary.
After leaving public office, Kerrey served as a member of the National Commission on Terrorist Attacks Upon the United States (popularly known as the “9/11 Commission”), and as President of the New School University in New York City until June of 2010.
A member of a political family — his father served both as Governor of Wyoming, and as United Stated Senator from — Al Simpson chose to follow in his father’s footsteps and began his own political career in 1964 when he was elected to the Wyoming State Legislature as a state representative of his native Park County. He served for the next 13 years in the Wyoming House of Representatives, holding the offices of Majority Whip, Majority Floor Leader, and Speaker Pro-Tem.
In 1978, Al ran for, and was elected to, the United States Senate. After a successful term, he was re-elected in 1984 with 78% of the vote and then again in 1990 to a third term with 65% of the vote. Following his first term in the Senate, Al was elected by his peers to the position of the Assistant Majority Leader in 1984 and served in that capacity until 1994. In 1995, he was ousted from his position as Republican Whip by Trent Lott of Mississippi, and did not seek reelection in 1996. Unusual for a Republican, Simpson has been an outspoken advocate for abortion rights, gay rights, and feminist issues.
From January of 1998 until June 2000, Al was visiting Lecturer and the Director of the Institute of Politics at Harvard University’s John F. Kennedy School of Government. In the fall of 2000, he returned to his Alma Mater, the University of Wyoming, as a Visiting Lecturer in the Political Science Department. He is also a partner in the Cody and Denver law firm of Burg Simpson Eldredge Hersh & Jardine, P.C. and a consultant in the Washington D.C. government relations firm, The Tongour-Simpson Group. He continues to serve on numerous corporate and non-profit Boards and travel throughout the country giving speeches on a variety of subjects. In 2010, Simpson was appointed to co-chair President Barack Obama‘s fiscal commission with co-chair Erskine Bowles.
His book published by William Morrow Company, Right in the Old Gazoo: A Lifetime of Scrapping with the Press, chronicles his personal experiences and views of the Fourth Estate.
Warren Rudman served as an ACR Chair until his death in November, 2012. Warren was Co-Chairman of Stonebridge International LLC and Of Counsel to Paul, Weiss, Rifkind, Wharton and Garrison LLP. He previously served two terms in the U.S. Senate as a Republican representing New Hampshire, was Chairman of the President’s Foreign Intelligence Advisory Board during the Clinton Administration and was Co-Chair of the U.S. Commission on National Security which called for the establishment of a department of homeland security just six months prior to the 9/11 attack.
While in the Senate, he served on the Senate Select Committee investigating arms transfers to Iran, as well as the Senate Appropriations, Intelligence, Governmental Affairs, Ethics Committees and on the Permanent Subcommittee on Investigations. Mr. Rudman previously served as Attorney General of the State of New Hampshire from 1970 to 1976. In the corporate arena, he currently serves on the board of several funds of the Dreyfus Corporation and on the board of Boston Scientific. He was Lead Director for Raytheon and served on the boards of the Chubb Corporation and Allied Waste. In addition, he led major internal reviews on corporate governance and business practices for Fannie Mae, Boeing and the National Association of Securities Dealers, among others.
Senator Rudman co-founded the Concord Coalition, a non-profit focused on America’s fiscal situation. He was a former member of the Board of the Council on Foreign Relations and was an honorary trustee of the Aspen Institute and Brookings.