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For immediate release January 29, 2007

For more information, contact:
Adam Mason, Iowa Citizens for Community Improvement
515-282-0484 or adam@iowacci.org

Berkley Bedell Headlines Voter Owned Iowa Clean Elections
(VOICE) Rally at Capitol

Des Moines, Iowa – Former U.S. Congressman Berkley Bedell and Iowans from all across the state rallied at the statehouse Monday, Jan. 29, to voice their support for Clean Election reform. The event featured a high-energy rally at noon in the capitol rotunda, including addresses from Bedell, Rep. Pam Jochum, former gubernatorial candidate Ed Fallon and others. The rally was co-sponsored by Iowa Citizens for Community Improvement and Iowa League of Women Voters, among others.

Speakers at the rally addressed the need for Voter-Owned Clean Elections reform in Iowa. Voter Owned Iowa Clean Elections (VOICE) is a system where candidates can choose to run using public funding instead of constantly fund raising and accepting monies from power groups hoping to wield their influence. It’s working in other states, and State Rep. Pam Jochum currently is working on House Study Bill 105 in the House, and companion legislation is planned in the State Senate.

“Democrat, Republican or Independent, the current election funding system and escalating campaign budgets trap candidates in a need to constantly fund raise, and push the cost of running for office out of reach for everyday Iowans.” said Iowa CCI member Charlie Day, from Des Moines. “VOICE would eliminate the need to fund raise and let elected officials focus more on the job at hand, as well as giving more people the chance to run for office.”

Berkley Bedell also headlined a reception at the office of Iowa Citizens for Community Improvement Monday evening from 6-8 pm. The public and press were invited for a short program focusing on VOICE, and what groups such as Iowa CCI are doing to educate Iowans on the issue.

The statehouse event is being sponsored by a broad coalition of groups, including Iowa Citizens for Community Improvement, the League of Women Voters of Iowa, The Progressive Coalition of Central Iowa, Iowa Citizen Action Network, Progressive Action for the Common Good, Women’s International League for Peace and Freedom, The Iowa United Methodist Conference, and others. Attendees took the opportunity to lobby their legislators in support of VOICE following the rally, meeting with over two dozen legislators.

Iowa Citizens for Community Improvement is a 32-year-old organization with thousands of members across Iowa from all walks of life who talk, act and get things done on critical issues impacting everyday Iowans. For more information or a complete copy of Iowa CCI’s 2007 legislative agenda, visit www.iowacci.org.

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