Common Ground Ranking Update

Scorecard Updates Rankings of Politicians’ Success Seeking Common Ground on Issues That Matter to Voters

Common Ground Committee updates their voter assistance tool, which scores politicians on working across the aisle

Wilton, CT, October 28, 2021 Common Ground Committee, Inc (CGC), a nonpartisan, citizen-led organization devoted to improving public discourse in politics, recently updated its Common Ground Scorecard. The average score for members of the House, Senate, and State governors increased to 29/110 from 26/110. Common Ground Committee designed the Scorecard as a tool for Americans. It is designed to show which lawmakers are most committed to working across the aisle in solving the issues that matter to their constituents. They can see how those representatives have performed on finding common ground and making bipartisan progress.

“Legislation requires cooperation just to get out of committees in Congress and be considered for a vote. That means partisanship gets in the way of solutions to the very real issues facing our nation,” said Bruce Bond, co-founder and CEO of Common Ground Committee. “We are delighted that since we launched the Scorecard in 2020, the average score has gone up by 3 points. This small increase is a sign we are moving in the right direction, but there is still a long way to go. Our hope is that Americans will use the Scorecard to assess their lawmakers’ performance on seeking common ground when deciding for whom to vote, and will push their representatives to continue moving towards a more collaborative culture.”

The highest-profile politicians have been scored, including the President and Vice President, Members of the United States Congress and state governors have been scored. Notable scores are as follows:

Key Political Figures:

●      President Joe Biden, 41/110 (down from 43/110)
●      Vice President Kamala Harris, 20/110 (no change since 2020)
●      House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, 0/110 (down from 29/110)
●      House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy, 37/110 (up from 36/110)
●      Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer, 30/110 (up from 29/110)
●      Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, 32/110 (up from 29/110)

Highest Scores Nationwide:

●      Representative Don Bacon (NE-2), 108/110
●      Representative Brian Fitzpatrick (PA-1), 100/110
●      Governor Spencer Cox (UT), 95/110
●      Representative Fred Upton (MI-6), 94/110
●      Representative Antonio Delgado (NY-19), 94/110
●      Representative Elaine Luria (VA-2), 93/110
●      Representative Dean Phillips (MN-3), 90/110
●      Representative Abigail Spanberger (VA-7          H), 90/110
●      Representative John Katko (NY-24), 90/110
●      Representative David Trone (MD-6), 90/110

Largest Improvement since October 2020:

●      Up 67: Representative David Trone (MD-6) 90/110
●      Up 64: Representative Ed Case (HI-1),  88/110
●      Up 59: Representative Kim Young (CA-39), 59/110
●      Up 55: Representative Antonio Delgado (NY-19),  94/110
●      Up 51: Representative Dutch Ruppersberger (MD-2),  80/110
●      Up 50: Governor Spencer Cox (UT) 95/110
●      Up 41: Representative Dean Phillips (MN-3),  90/110
●      Up 39: Representative Carolyn Bourdeaux (GA-7), 39/110
●      Up 36: Senator Todd Young (IN),  69/110
●      Up 35: Representative Kim Schrier (WA-8) 38/110
●      Up 33: Representative Dusty Johnson (SD-0),  70/110
●      Up 30: Senator Mitt Romney (UT), 55/110
●      Up 30: Representative Cindy Axne (IA-3), 39/110
●      Up 28: Representative Van Taylor (TX-3), 75/110
●      Up 27: Representative Jared Golden (ME-2), 56/110
●      Up 26: Senator Maggie Hassan (NH),  79/110
●      Up 25: Representative Tom Malinowski (NJ-7),  51/110
●      Up 25: Representative Angie Craig (MN-2), 64/110
●      Up 24: Senator Kevin Cramer (ND),  42/110
●      Up 24: Representative David McKinley (WV-1),  75/110
●      Up 23: Representative Raja Krishnamoorthi (IL-8),  63/110
●      Up 22: Representative Scott Peters (CA-52),  79/110
●      Up 21: Representative David Cicilline (RI-1),  50/110
●      Up 21: Senator Joni Ernst (IA), 35/110
●      Up 20: Representative Donald Payne, Jr. (NJ-10), 46/110
●      Up 20: Representative Chrissy Houlahan (PA-6),  44/110
●      Up 19: Representative Val Butler Demings (FL-10), 30/110
●      Up 19: Representative Don Bacon (NE-2),  108/110
●      Up 19: Representative John Curtis (UT-3),  58/110
●      Up 18: Senator Bill Cassidy (LA),  78/110
●      Up 18: Senator Ed Markey (MA), 41/110
●      Up 17: Governor Gretchen Whitmer (MI), 42/110
●      Up 17: Senator Chris Coons (DE),  64/110
●      Up 17: Representative Susan Wild (PA-7), 41/110
●      Up 17: Representative Guy Reschenthaler (PA-14), 25/110
●      Up 16: Representative Joe Neguse (CO-2), 41/110
●      Up 16: Senator Jerry Moran (KS),  77/110
●      Up 16: Representative Lisa Blunt Rochester (DE-0),  71/110
●      Up 16: Representative Stephanie Murphy (FL-7),  74/110
●      Up 16: Representative Conor Lamb (PA-17), 50/110
●      UP: 16: Representative Jack Bergman (MI-1), 42/110
●      Up 15: Representative Lucy McBath (GA-6),  39/110
●      Up 15: Representative Gus Bilirakis (FL-12), 54/110

This video provides a short walkthrough of the Scorecard and how to use it. A summary of the highest and lowest scorers can be found here.

Common Ground Committee does not endorse political candidates. The organization’s only goal in providing the Common Ground Scorecard is to provide Americans with an objective, up-to-date and easy-to-understand tool to discover how likely their elected officials or candidates for public office are to work with the opposite party to find common ground.

Using the Common Ground Scorecard, Americans can search for public officials by name, state, or office held. They can also search using their own zip code to get a list of all the officials that represent them. The scorecard is the first-ever model to assess the degree to which elected public officials and candidates for office seek points of agreement on social and political issues through listening and productive conversation, ranking politicians up to a maximum of 110 points, using aggregated data from many sources including the Lugar Index, GovTrack, the Bipartisan Policy Center and others. Additional points can be earned via commitments to finding common ground going forward, which 23 lawmakers have made, or deducted for personal demonizing.

For interview requests, please contact Emily Cooper at ecooper@momentum-cg.com or 212-671-2086

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About Common Ground Committee
Common Ground Committee (CGC) (commongroundcommittee.org) is a nonpartisan, citizen-led organization that inspires action on polarizing issues by bringing prominent leaders with opposing views together in public forums to find common ground. Since its founding in 2009, CGC has held 14 public forums featuring panelists who have reached over 200 points of consensus. Panelists have included such notables as David Petraeus, Susan Rice, John Kerry, Condoleezza Rice, Michael Steele, Donna Brazile and Larry Kudlow, exploring issues ranging from race and income inequality to foreign policy. CGC is also responsible for the “Let’s Find Common Ground” podcast series and the Common Ground Scorecard, a voting tool which scores politicians and candidates for public office on their likelihood to find common ground with the opposite party. Free of political agenda and financial influence, CGC has a singular focus on bringing light, not heat, to public discourse.

Common Ground Committee Honors Bipartisan Group of Senators Behind the Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act

The Five Democrats and Republicans are Recognized as Part of CGC’s New “Spotlight on Common Ground” Initiative

Today Common Ground Committee (CGC), a nonpartisan, citizen-led nonprofit dedicated to reducing polarization, announces its Spotlight on Common Ground initiative to highlight instances of bipartisan cooperation across the nation, and the individuals who made them possible. This first iteration recognizes the 10 U.S. senators who helped craft the Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act, which passed in the Senate 69-30.

After months of negotiations this bipartisan group of senators — composed of five Democrats and Republicans — helped shepherd through a bill that could easily have been derailed given ideological differences and the forces driving the nation’s divided politics. These legislators were among those included in CGC’s Common Ground Scorecard, which ranks candidates for office and elected officials on their likelihood to work with the opposite party. The 10 senators have an average score of 49/110, higher than the average score of 31/110 for all current U.S. senators. Their individual scores are as follows:

  • Susan Collins (R-ME): 60/110
  • Rob Portman (R-OH): 50/110
  • Mitt Romney (R-UT): 25/110
  • Lisa Murkowski (R-AK): 50/110
  • Bill Cassidy (R-LA): 59/110
  • Kyrsten Sinema (D-AZ): 57/110
  • Joe Manchin (D-WV): 75/110 (15th highest in the country)
  • Mark Warner (D-VA): 47/110
  • Jeanne Shaheen (D-NH): 34/110
  • Jon Tester (D-MT): 42/110

“Too often, politicians are more focused on scoring political points than finding real solutions for the American people,” said Bruce Bond, co-founder and CEO of CGC. “These 10 senators reminded Americans what good can look like in the legislative process. We’re hopeful the passage of the Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act can be a foundation for future cooperation between the two parties.”

Common Ground Committee Hosts Panel With Black Race Reconciliator and Former White Supremacist

Daryl Davis and Ryan Lo’Ree will discuss how to reduce tensions in a conversation moderated by NYT columnist David Brooks

Wilton, CT, May 27, 2021- Common Ground Committee (CGC), a nonpartisan, citizen-led nonprofit dedicated to reducing polarization, announced their upcoming, free event that answers the question: “What does it take to combat hate?” Daryl Davis, an award-winning Black musician, race reconciliator and renowned lecturer, has used the power of human connection to convince hundreds of people to leave white supremacist groups. He is joined by Ryan Lo’Ree, a former white supremacist, now working to deradicalize people who have been lured into extremism and white supremacy. Their conversation will be moderated by NYT columnist David Brooks.

“Daryl and Ryan embody Common Ground Committee’s values, by bringing people together through positive conversations and mutual understanding. We are so pleased that they are joining David and CGC for this conversation,” said Bruce Bond, co-founder and CEO of Common Ground Committee. “Our podcast with Daryl last year remains one of our most sought-out of our ‘Let’s Find Common Ground’ series. At a time where division is at an all-time high, in the midst of national racial strife, we are grateful that they are willing to share their expertise, explain strategies that work to combat hate and show us how we can all play a part.”

This virtual panel discussion is presented in partnership with the Bridge Alliance and will kick off the National Week of Conversation 2021.

“We could not be more excited to partner with the Common Ground Committee to host this crucial conversation and kick off the National Week of Conversation,” said Debilyn Molineaux, president and CEO of the Bridge Alliance. “Now more than ever, it’s important to combat the division plaguing our country. Having open conversations is one of the most effective ways to do so. We look forward to hearing from Daryl and Ryan who showcase how conversations can heal divides and how we can learn to listen to each other.”

To attend this free event, please sign up online here.

For interview requests, please contact Emily Cooper at ecooper@momentum-cg.com or 212-671-2086.

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About Common Ground Committee

Common Ground Committee (CGC) (commongroundcommittee.org) is a nonpartisan, citizen-led organization that inspires action on polarizing issues by bringing prominent leaders with opposing views together in public forums to find common ground. Since its founding in 2009, CGC has held 14 forums featuring panelists who have reached over 200 points of consensus. Panelists have included such notables as David Petraeus, Susan Rice, John Kerry, Condoleezza Rice, Michael Steele, Donna Brazile and Larry Kudlow, exploring issues ranging from race and income inequality to foreign policy. CGC is also responsible for the “Let’s Find Common Ground” podcast and the Common Ground Scorecard, which scores politicians and candidates for public office on their likelihood to find common ground with the opposite party. Free of political agenda and financial influence, CGC has a singular focus on bringing light, not heat, to public discourse.

About Bridge Alliance

The Bridge Alliance is a coalition of over 90 organizations dedicated to U.S. revitalization. With each organization focusing on a different sector of the movement, our members represent a combined three million supporters in the burgeoning field of civic reform and civil discourse. In addition, more than one billion dollars has been invested towards improving government effectiveness nationwide. We act as a hub of information and connectivity for over 90 civic action organizations. We provide the infrastructure for our members to expand individually, collaborate on shared goals, and inform others that are invested in democracy revitalization. This generates a collective impact greater than any one group could make alone.

 

About National Conversation Project

National Week of Conversation 2021 (June 14-20), the fourth annual, is powered by the #ListenFirst Coalition (listenfirstcoalition.org) of 300+ organizations and invites Americans of all stripes to listen, extend grace, and discover common interests. Another courageous step following America Talks, we hope you’ll join this hopeful mission to defeat toxic polarization and heal America by transforming division and contempt into connection and understanding.

 

 

 

John Kasich, Julián Castro Find Common Ground on the New Economy

JOHN KASICH, JULIÁN CASTRO FIND COMMON GROUND ON THE NEW ECONOMY

Former Governor of Ohio and Obama HUD Secretary discuss government’s role in the economic recovery, job market for college graduates and more at University of Notre Dame

South Bend, IN April 15, 2021- On Wednesday night, Common Ground Committee (CGC), a nonpartisan, citizen-led organization devoted to reducing political polarization in the US, hosted its 14th public forum, which brought together former Ohio Governor  John Kasich and former HUD Sec. Julián Castro. The forum, titled Finding Common Ground on the New Economy, was held at the University of Notre Dame in front of a limited capacity audience. The forum was also broadcast virtually via Zoom and live-streamed on CGC’s Facebook and YouTube pages. The event was presented in partnership with the Rooney Center for the Study of American Democracy and BridgeND, the Notre Dame chapter of BridgeUSA.

Over the course of the evening, Gov. Kasich and Sec. Castro discussed the job market and the government’s role in setting the stage for an economic recovery amidst a rapidly changing landscape shaped by the COVID-19 pandemic.

“The nation longs for a return to normalcy, but that goal is harder to realize when we choose partisanship over progress,” said Bruce Bond, co-founder and CEO of CGC. “Last night, Gov. Kasich and Sec. Castro showed our audience and our leaders that real solutions can be attained if we make the commitment to put politics aside and find common ground.”

During the event, Gov. Kasich and Sec. Castro found points of common ground on a number of issues, including:

  • Infrastructure is a critical need in this country and Democrats and Republicans should be able to get behind the idea of investing in housing, roads, and bridges and technology needs.
  • The government should take a renewed look at Opportunity Zones so that there is greater capital investment in lower-income areas. But it should also look at eliminating ineffective corporate loopholes and subsidies.
  • High school students should be given the chance to earn college credits to help them get a leg-up in getting into their desired universities, and education institutions need to work on becoming more efficient. Programs that provide education and training opportunities that can be created through public/private partnerships should be encouraged.
  • Wealth inequality is a serious problem, but any program, including Universal Basic Income that would help people escape from economic hardship must thread the needle so that people are encouraged to work.

Kasich served as the 69th governor of Ohio from 2011-2019, and helped spur the creation of 500,000 new jobs in the state during his tenure. He is also a Senior Political Commentator for CNN, where he appears across a variety of programs. During the event, he discussed President Biden’s infrastructure plan noting that while there are aspects of the plan both sides can get behind, it shouldn’t be “rammed through the United States Senate on party line vote.” He also lamented the state of today’s politics.

“If Sec. Castro and I sat down together, we could come to agreement on issues like housing,” said Gov. Kasich. “The problem in politics today is everyone is in this to bang each other around. We’re not in that anymore so we can be pals.”

Prior to serving as the Secretary of Housing and Urban Development under President Obama from 2014-2017, Castro was Mayor of San Antonio. Under his leadership, America’s seventh largest city became a leader in the 21st century economy. Last night he spoke about the need to revamp the U.S. tax system in a way that benefits middle and lower-income communities — a point where he found agreement from Gov. Kasich in the form of Opportunity Zones. He also agreed with Gov. Kasich that the culture of our country needs to change.

Responding to Gov. Kasich’s call for the nation to shift away from a culture of “I” to one of “we”, Sec. Castro responded, “I think where we can find common ground is that we need to change that culture and find more unity in our country. We can tackle things like redistricting reform and ending Citizens United.”

The forum was moderated by Kelly Evans, host of CNBC’s The Exchange and co-host of Power Lunch. She joined the network in February 2012 as an on-air correspondent, reporting across CNBC’s Business Day programming.

This was CGC’s second live virtual forum following a discussion last year about the documentary Stars and Strife with David Brooks, Leon Panetta, Hawk Newsome, Katherine Gehl and David Smick. CGC previously partnered with Notre Dame and the Rooney Center in 2019 for a forum featuring Secretaries of State John Kerry and Condoleezza Rice. By demonstrating how people of differing views can find agreement without compromising core values, CGC aims to inspire the public, political leaders and the media to seek common ground, increase civic engagement and reduce polarization.

For interview requests, please contact Zachary Halper at zhalper@momentum-cg.com or 862-224-3233

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About Common Ground Committee

Common Ground Committee (CGC) (commongroundcommittee.org) is a nonpartisan, citizen-led organization that inspires action on polarizing issues by bringing prominent leaders with opposing views together in public forums to find common ground. Since its founding in 2009, CGC has held 14 forums featuring panelists who have reached over 200 points of consensus. Panelists have included such notables as David Petraeus, Susan Rice, John Kerry, Condoleezza Rice, Michael Steele, Donna Brazile and Larry Kudlow, exploring issues ranging from race and income inequality to foreign policy. CGC is also responsible for the “Let’s Find Common Ground” podcast and the Common Ground Scorecard, which scores politicians and candidates for public office on their likelihood to find common ground with the opposite party. Free of political agenda and financial influence, CGC has a singular focus on bringing light, not heat, to public discourse.

Rooney Center for the Study of American Democracy

The mission of the Francis and Kathleen Rooney Center for the Study of American Democracy is to examine politics and policy making in the United States—leaving Notre Dame’s distinctive imprint on the study of American democracy. With a grounding in Notre Dame’s Catholic mission, the Center facilitates research on the critical issues facing America’s democratic system, and encourages Notre Dame’s students to be engaged in both civic and political life.

 

BridgeUSA

BridgeUSA believes good governance starts with constructive political discussion. The organization works with America’s future leaders on college campuses to foster spaces wherein a diverse range of ideas can engage one another through the practice of responsible discourse. BridgeUSA has chapters at colleges across the country, including University of Notre Dame.

 

 

The University of Notre Dame

Founded in 1842, the University of Notre Dame is a private, nonprofit Catholic university. One of America’s leading undergraduate teaching institutions, Notre Dame also has been at the forefront in research and scholarship. The aerodynamics of glider flight, the transmission of wireless messages, and the formulae for synthetic rubber were pioneered at the University. Today researchers are achieving breakthroughs in astrophysics, radiation chemistry, environmental sciences, tropical disease transmission, peace studies, cancer, robotics, and nanoelectronics.

Common Ground Event Promo

New Documentary Stars & Strife Spotlights Rise of Polarization and Hatred

NEW DOCUMENTARY STARS & STRIFE SPOTLIGHTS RISE OF POLARIZATION AND HATRED

Leon Panetta, David Smick join panel on the film and how Americans can come together amidst growing incivility and polarization

Wilton, CT, October X, 2020 – On October 19 at 7 pm ET, Common Ground Committee, Inc (CGC), in partnership with Bridge Alliance, will host a panel discussion on the new documentary, Stars and Strife, which examines the rise of anger and hate swelling in American culture through interviews with activists, elected officials and business leaders. 

The panel is made up of former CIA Director and Secretary of Defense Leon Panetta, director David Smick, Katherine Gehl, and Hawk Newsome moderated by noted political commentator David Brooks. They will talk about the documentary, and explore its wider themes, as Americans start to vote amidst unprecedented national challenges and sometimes vitriolic partisan conflict. They will also answer audience questions about the documentary and finding common ground more broadly.

“We cannot hope to address the myriad issues our nation faces when we stand divided,” said Erik Olsen, co-founder, and CEO of Common Ground Committee. “Our hope is that viewers will be inspired by Stars and Strife and this panel to seek common ground in their own lives and require it from their lawmakers.”

Stars and Strife explores systemic hatred, division, and the need for change through direct experiences of and diverse perspectives of an all-star cast. The documentary explores how to overcome divisions to meet the challenges we currently face and live up to our nation’s ideals.

“This has been an extraordinary year where the level of political and social hate and division knows no bounds,” said writer and director David Smick. “The winners: the growing hate industry that continues to become rich and powerful by creating division and fear. The losers: the American people who see serious problems go unaddressed. America has a common-sense middle of 65-70 percent of the country that needs to step forward to demand their leaders stop the extremist hate and for once put country before party.”

Register now to join the panel on October 19 and receive a link to watch the film in advance. There is no cost for this event, but entry is limited.

David Smick and Erik Olsen are available for interviews before and after the event on October 19. Please contact Emily Cooper at ecooper@momentum-cg.com or 212-671-2086.

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About Common Ground Committee
Common Ground Committee (CGC) (commongroundcommittee.org) is a nonpartisan, citizen-led organization that inspires action on polarizing issues by bringing prominent leaders with opposing views together in public forums to find common ground. Since its founding in 2009, CGC has held 11 forums featuring panelists who have reached over 200 points of consensus. Panelist pairs have included such notables as David Petraeus and Susan Rice, John Kerry and Condoleezza Rice, Michael Steele and Donna Brazile, and Larry Kudlow and Barney Frank, exploring issues ranging from race and income inequality to foreign policy. Free of political agenda and financial influence, CGC has a singular focus on bringing light, not heat, to public discourse.

New Common Ground Scorecard Rates Politician’s Commitment to Seek Agreement on Issues that Matters to Voters 

New Common Ground Scorecard Rates Politician’s Commitment to Seek Agreement on Issues that Matters to Voters 

Newly released voter assistance tool scores politicians’ success at working across the aisle

Wilton, CT, September 10, 2020  – Common Ground Committee, Inc (CGC), a nonpartisan, citizen-led organization devoted to improving public discourse in politics, has launched its newest initiative: the Common Ground Scorecard. The scorecard is the first-ever model to assess the degree to which elected public officials and candidates for office seek points of agreement on social and political issues through listening and productive conversation, ranking politicians up to a maximum of 110 points, using aggregated data from the Lugar Index, GovTrack, the Bipartisan Policy Center and other data sources. Additional points can be earned via commitments to finding common ground going forward, or deducted for personal demonizing.

Voters will head to the polls this November amidst unprecedented challenges. This new landscape necessitates a tool to help Americans see which candidates are most committed to working across the aisle to solve these issues. Using the Common Ground Scorecard, voters can search for public officials by name, state, or office held. They can also search using their own zip code to get a list of the officials that will appear on their ballots. They can see how those representatives have performed on finding common ground and making bipartisan progress.

“As we head towards a critical election cycle, it’s become increasingly clear that partisanship is getting in the way of solutions to the very real issues facing our nation,” said Bruce Bond, co-founder and CEO of Common Ground Committee. “Our hope is that the Scorecard will be a tool Americans will use to help them choose who they will vote for in the 2020 election.”

The highest-profile politicians have been scored, in addition to all state lawmakers. The average score is 26 and the median is 25. Notable scores are as follows:

  • President Donald Trump, -20/110
  • Vice President Mike Pence, 20/110
  • Former Vice President Joe Biden, 43/110
  • Senator Kamala Harris, 20/110
  • House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, 29/110
  • House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy, 36/110
  • Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, 29/110
  • Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer, 29/110

This video provides a short walkthrough of the scorecard and how to use it. A summary of the highest and lowest scorers can be found here.

Common Ground Committee does not endorse political candidates. The organization’s only goal in providing the Common Ground Scorecard is to provide voters with an objective, up-to-date and easy-to-understand tool to discover how likely their elected officials or candidates for public office are to work with the opposite party to find common ground.

For interview requests, please contact Zachary Halper at zhalper@momentum-cg.com or 862-224-3233

About Common Ground Committee
Common Ground Committee (CGC) is a nonpartisan, citizen-led organization that inspires action on polarizing issues by bringing prominent leaders with opposing views together in public forums to find common ground. Since its founding in 2009, CGC has held 11 forums featuring panelists who have reached over 200 points of consensus. Panelist pairs have included such notables as David Petraeus and Susan Rice, John Kerry and Condoleezza Rice, Michael Steele and Donna Brazile, and Larry Kudlow and Barney Frank, exploring issues ranging from race and income inequality to foreign policy. Free of political agenda and financial influence, CGC has a singular focus on bringing light, not heat, to public discourse.

Chris Wallace, Maggie Haberman Find Common Ground on the Media’s Role in a “FAKE NEWS” era

Journalists from Fox News and The New York Times discuss the role and obligations of the media in an event at Columbia Journalism School

New York, NY February 26, 2020 – On Tuesday night, Common Ground Committee (CGC), a nonpartisan, citizen-led organization devoted to improving public discourse in politics, hosted its 12th public forum, which brought together Fox News Sunday Host Chris Wallace and The New York Times White House Correspondent Maggie Haberman. The forum, titled “Facts, Fake News and the Media” was held on the campus of Columbia Journalism School.

On the agenda for the evening were a host of topics including President Trump’s impact on the media and how political coverage has changed in what has become a divisive political environment – especially in the midst of a highly contested election.

“As we head towards a critical election cycle, Americans will rely on the media for fair and accurate reporting of the candidates,” said Bruce Bond, co-founder, and CEO of CGC. “Last night’s discussion was full of important insights from two of the media’s best. We hope the audience was inspired by their words and will continue to push for reporting that puts facts before rhetoric.”

During the event, Wallace and Haberman came to an agreement on a number of issues including:

  • Donald Trump is making a concerted effort to delegitimize and attack the media, but journalists should not respond with attacks in kind.
  • The public should recognize that Fox News isn’t the only news outlet with a point of view.
  • Most news consumers can tell the difference between opinion and news.
  • Twitter is ultimately just noise and clutter.
  • The collapse of local news has substantial, long-term effects that reach beyond politics.
  • It’s important for the public to read opinions they don’t agree with and consume news in a holistic way from varied sources.

Wallace, the host of Fox News Sunday, is one of the country’s most prominent political journalists. Over his decades-long career, he reported from the ABC News desk as a senior correspondent for Primetime and 20/20, and as an anchor on NBC News’ Meet the Press. During the event, he spoke about the decline of local news and how that will affect communities.

“People enjoy watching the Trump show but that doesn’t generally affect people’s day-to-day lives,” said Wallace. “To have a disintegration of local news coverage affects you far more than who’s up or down in Washington. Nothing good happens when people aren’t watching.”

Wallace also spoke about the role of media in the Trump era and the importance of separating fact from opinion. “Our role is to be observers, umpires and fact-checkers,” he said. “It’s not to be advocates or opponents.”

Haberman, The New York Times White House correspondent, and CNN political analyst, is one of the most respected and influential voices in national affairs journalism today. A seasoned veteran of political reporting, she covered City Hall for the New York Daily News, the 2008 U.S. Presidential campaign and other political races for the New York Post, as well as national affairs as a senior reporter for Politico.

Last night, she spoke about the current perception of the media. “Public trust in media has been declining for a long time, and Trump has just thrown accelerant on it,” Haberman said. “We are in this moment of time where we have readers who don’t understand what reporters are supposed to do. We are not supposed to give you the reality you want – we are giving you what the reality is.”

The event was moderated by Linda Feldmann, The Christian Science Monitor’s Washington Bureau Chief and Senior Political and White House Correspondent. She has covered every presidential election since 1996. The event ended on a hopeful note with both journalists citing their jobs as sources of joy and inspiration. While the media landscape is changing, Haberman and Wallace both agree that quality journalism will continue to play a pivotal role in American politics.

This was CGC’s second forum of the year, having previously brought together General David Petraeus and Ambassador Susan Rice for a discussion on foreign policy at George Mason University. By demonstrating how people of differing views can find agreement without compromising core values, CGC aims to inspire the public, political leaders and the media to seek common ground, increase civic engagement and reduce polarization for a stronger nation.

For interview requests, please contact Zachary Halper at zhalper@momentum-cg.com or 862-224-3233.

Common Ground Committee

Common Ground Committee (CGC) (commongroundcommittee.org) is a non-partisan, citizen-led organization that inspires action on polarizing issues by bringing prominent leaders with opposing views together in public forums to find common ground. Since its founding in 2009, CGC has held nine forums featuring 26 panelists who have reached over 200 points of consensus. Panelists have included such notables as Michael Steele, Donna Brazile, Barney Frank, and Larry Kudlow, John Kerry and Condoleezza Rice exploring issues ranging from race and income inequality to taxes and entitlements. Free of political agenda and financial influence, CGC has a singular focus on bringing light, not heat, to public discourse.

About Columbia School of Journalism

For more than a century, the Columbia Journalism School has been preparing journalists in programs that stress academic rigor, ethics, journalistic inquiry, and professional practice. Founded with a gift from Joseph Pulitzer, the school opened in 1912 and offers Master of Science, Master of Arts, Master of Science in Data Journalism, a joint Master of Science degree in Computer Science and Journalism, The Knight-Bagehot Fellowship in Economics and Business Journalism and a Doctor of Philosophy in Communications. It houses the Columbia Journalism Review, the Brown Institute for Media Innovation, The Tow Center for Digital Journalism, The Ira A. Lipman Center for Journalism and Civil and Human Rights and the Dart Center for Journalism and Trauma. The school also administers many of the leading journalism awards, including the Alfred I. DuPont-Columbia University Awards, the Maria Moors Cabot Prizes, the John Chancellor Award, the John B. Oakes Award for Distinguished Environmental Journalism, the Dart Awards for Excellence in Coverage of Trauma, the Paul Tobenkin Memorial Award, and the Mike Berger Award.

General David Petraeus, Ambassador Susan Rice Find Common Ground On The “New Cold War” At Public Forum

Leaders in foreign affairs come together on China, Syria and more at George Mason University

Fairfax, VA November 21, 2019 – On Tuesday night, Common Ground Committee (CGC), a nonpartisan, citizen-led organization devoted to improving public discourse in politics, hosted its 11th public forum, which brought together former CIA Director General David Petraeus (Independent) and National Security Advisor Susan Rice (Democrat). The forum, titled “Finding Common Ground on the New Cold War,” was co-hosted by the Schar School of Policy and Government at George Mason University and held on the Fairfax campus of the University.

“In an era where gridlock and demonization have become the norm in our politics, this conversation proves there is a path forward,” said Bruce Bond, co-founder and CEO of CGC. “General Petraeus and Ambassador Rice are not of the same political party and did disagree on some issues while in government; nonetheless, they worked together to advance US foreign policy during their time serving in the Obama Administration, and Tuesday night’s discussion proved that constructive dialogue and cooperation can still be achieved. We hope the audience was inspired by their words to engage in more productive and civil dialogue, especially as we approach the holiday season.”

During the event, General Petraeus and Ambassador Rice came to agreements on a number of topics, including:

  • The decision to withdraw from Syria was, as Senator McConnell assessed, “a grave strategic mistake,” represented an abandonment of our Syrian partners on the ground (who lost more than 10,000 of their ranks in the fight to defeat ISIS, and may allow ISIS to reconstitute). That said, the subsequent decision to allow US and coalition forces to support their Syrian Democratic Force partners in a substantial portion of NE Syria will salvage some of the gains that would have been lost by full withdrawal.
  • President Trump’s call with Ukraine President Zelinsky bore no resemblance to normal protocol in past administrations and was largely focused on topics that were more relevant to domestic political interests than national security interests.
  • The U.S.-China relationship is the most consequential in the world, and all other foreign policy initiatives should be filtered through a prism that asks what the effect of an initiative will be on the U.S.-China relationship – in order to make that relationship as mutually beneficial as is possible, while also recognizing that there are inevitably areas of competition as well as mutual interests.
  • U.S. domestic political divisions and disruption of democracy in our nation’s capital (which is particularly evident at the present time, but dates back several administrations) are among our greatest national security risks, especially given the need to respond to the numerous complex challenges facing the world and the U.S. today.

During his 37-year career in the US Army, General Petraeus served in countries ranging from Cold War Europe, Central America, Haiti, and Bosnia to Kuwait, Iraq, and Afghanistan, overseeing counterinsurgency campaigns in the latter two.  He culminated his career with six consecutive commands as a general officer, five of which were in combat. After retiring from the military, he served as Director of the CIA and led initiatives to combat the global war on terror. He is now a partner in a global investment firm and the chair of the firm’s global institute, as well as a member of various boards of directors, a personal venture capitalist, and a supporter of numerous think tanks and veterans organizations.

During the event, General Petraeus called for the passage of additional cybersecurity legislation, urging members of Congress to put politics aside, and address the numerous challenges facing the country, not the least of which is securing the 2020 elections. “Not only have we been shooting behind the target on cybersecurity, it looks like we’re falling behind,” said General Petraeus. “This is an issue that has gotten trapped in politics and ignores the common ground that should clearly exist – e.g., that we should not allow foreign interference in our elections.”

Ambassador Rice is one of the country’s most prominent diplomats and national security strategists. As the United States National Security Advisor (2013-2017), she helped shape foreign and national security policy. Prior to that, she served as U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations (2009-2013), advancing America’s foreign policy objectives while strengthening global security.

During the evening, Ambassador Rice reiterated the danger our domestic divisions pose to U.S. national security and called for the creation of a mandatory civilian service. “Every day on social media, our adversaries are throwing salt in the wounds of our divisions,” said Ambassador Rice. “If we bring people together from all backgrounds on projects for the common good, we can begin to heal. It’s hard to hate someone if you actually know them.”

The event was moderated by Craig Melvin, a news anchor on NBC News’ “TODAY,” a co-host of 3rd Hour TODAY, an anchor on MSNBC Live, and a host of “Dateline.” His breaking news coverage and reporting appears across all NBC News and MSNBC platforms.

“The Schar School was thrilled at the response to this conversation,” said Mark J. Rozell, dean of the Schar School. “It’s a rare sight in this era of polarization to see productive and respectful discussion of difficult foreign policy issues, but General Petraeus and Ambassador Rice gave our students a model of what that can look like.”

This was CGC’s second forum of the year exploring foreign policy, having previously brought together former Secretaries of State John Kerry and Condoleezza Rice at the University of Notre Dame to explore America’s role in the world. By demonstrating how people of differing views can find agreement without compromising core values, CGC aims to inspire the public, political leaders and the media to seek common ground, increase civic engagement and reduce polarization for a stronger nation.

For interview requests, please contact Zachary Halper at zhalper@momentum-cg.com or 862-224-3233.

Common Ground Committee

Common Ground Committee (CGC) (commongroundcommittee.org) is a non-partisan, citizen-led organization that inspires action on polarizing issues by bringing prominent leaders with opposing views together in public forums to find common ground. Since its founding in 2009, CGC has held nine forums featuring 26 panelists who have reached over 200 points of consensus. Panelists have included such notables as Michael Steele, Donna Brazile, Barney Frank and Larry Kudlow, John Kerry and Condoleezza Rice exploring issues ranging from race and income inequality to taxes and entitlements. Free of political agenda and financial influence, CGC has a singular focus on bringing light, not heat, to public discourse.

Schar School of Policy and Government

The Schar School of Policy and Government at George Mason University prepares undergraduate and graduate students to be leaders and managers who solve problems and advance the public good.  Learning from professors with real-world experience, students gain the applicable skills and the practical knowledge to lead government agencies and nonprofit organizations, develop public policies and program, create innovative consulting solutions, and/or provide expert policy analysis. Located where policy happens – just 3 miles from the Pentagon, 4 miles from the White House, and 6 miles from the US Capitol Building, students are connected to jobs, internships, networking, and experiences that can only be found in the Washington, DC, area.  Schar School alumni apply what they learned in the classroom to pursue fulfilling and meaningful careers.  Graduates are doing consequential work at leading employers including the US Department of State, USAID, the World Bank, the United Nations, the National Endowment for Democracy, Deloitte, Booz Allen Hamilton, and many others. For more information, go to:  schar.gmu.edu.

Democrat Barney Frank, Republican Chris Shays Take On Congressional Gridlock At Public Event

Former Congressmen gave inside look at legislative process, discussed how to get things done in DC

Irvington, NY, July 10, 2019 – Last night, Common Ground Committee (CGC), a nonpartisan, citizen-led organization devoted to improving public discourse in politics, hosted its latest conversation, which brought together former Representatives Barney Frank (D-MA) and Chris Shays (R-CT) for a discussion on how Congress can get back to doing the people’s work in a polarized country. The event was held at The Nantucket Project’s new headquarters and theater in the round, TNP on the Hudson, in Irvington, NY.

By demonstrating how people of opposing views can find agreement without compromising core values, CGC aims to inspire the public, political leaders and the media to seek common ground, increase civic engagement and reduce polarization for a stronger nation. CGC brought together former Secretaries of State John Kerry and Condoleezza Rice to explore America’s role in the world at the University of Notre Dame in March.

“It can sometimes feel as if the polarization and gridlock that has engulfed Congress is too overwhelming to stop. Last night’s conversation proves there is a path forward,” said Bruce Bond, co-founder and CEO of CGC. “Although Rep. Frank and Shays are of different parties and pursued very different policy agendas as members of Congress, they proved that constructive dialogue and cooperation between Democrats and Republicans is possible. We hope tonight’s audience was inspired by their words to play a more active role in ensuring their representatives represent the majority of the electorate.”

During the event, entitled “It’s Time for a Frank Conversation,” Reps. Frank and Shays came to a number of points of consensus including:

  • Impeachment of the president is a bad idea because the government would shut down and nothing will get done
  • The biggest crisis in the Republican party is that they think government shouldn’t work
  • There are more Americans in the middle of the political spectrum than there are on the far left and right
  • The “all or nothing” mentality is counterproductive. It’s better to make some progress than none

During his 32 years in Congress, Rep. Frank achieved notable bipartisan success, working with Sen. Alan Simpson (R-WY) on immigration reform and receiving praise from notable members of the Bush Administration including Fed Chairman Ben Bernake for his work during the financial crisis. Last night he called for increased participation in primary elections as one of the most important things citizens can do to effect real change. “The middle of the country isn’t being heard because they’re not voting in primaries,” said Rep. Frank. “The failure of more moderate Americans to vote in primaries is one of the main reasons we are in this situation today.”

Rep. Shays, who served Connecticut’s 4th district from 1987-2008, also found numerous areas of bipartisan cooperation in his career. He most notably cosponsored the Bipartisan Campaign Reform Act of 2002 with Rep. Marty Meehan (D-MA). “I would call for Americans to vote for a presidential candidate, regardless of party, who is willing to work with both sides of the aisle,” said Rep. Shays. “But most importantly, vote for someone who speaks to our better nature.”

The Nantucket Project, an organization that gathers curious people to explore ideas and connect with one another through shared meaning and conversation, cohosted the event. This is the first in a new series of conversations to be held regularly at TNP on the Hudson.

“This event encapsulated what we strive for with The Nantucket Project,” said TNP CEO Tom Scott. “We believe in the spirit of common ground and conversation, and Reps. Frank and Shays delivered that last night.”

About Common Ground Committee
Common Ground Committee (CGC) (commongroundcommittee.org) is a nonpartisan, citizen-led organization that inspires action on polarizing issues by bringing prominent leaders with opposing views together in public forums to find common ground. Since its founding in 2009, CGC has held ten forums featuring 28 panelists who have reached over 200 points of consensus. Panelists have included such notables as John Kerry, Condoleezza Rice, Michael Steele, Donna Brazile and Larry Kudlow, exploring issues ranging from race and income inequality to foreign policy. Common Ground Committee partners with the widely respected Christian Science Monitor to moderate its forums. Free of political agenda and financial influence, CGC has a singular focus on bringing light, not heat, to public discourse.

About The Nantucket Project
The Nantucket Project gathers curious people to share meaning in service of interpersonal connection and stronger communities. Our gatherings – in neighborhoods nationwide, at our home, TNP on the Hudson, in Irvington, New York and each fall on Nantucket Island in Massachusetts – are filled with heart and wonder. Where big ideas and compelling stories are shared through live conversation, original films, and unforgettable experiences. Where people connect and neighborhoods grow.

For interview requests, please contact Zachary Halper at zhalper@momentum-cg.com or 862-224-3233.

Common Ground Committee Hosts John Kerry, Condoleezza Rice for Forum on America’s Foreign Policy

Former Secretaries of State seek to find consensus on nation’s role in the world

March 19, 2019, at the university of Notre Dame’s DeBartolo Performing Arts Center

South Bend, IN, February 15, 2019 – Today, Common Ground Committee(CGC), a nonprofit organization devoted to improving public discourse in politics, announced its tenth public forum, which will bring together former Secretaries of State John Kerry (Democrat) and Condoleezza Rice (Republican). The forum,titled “Finding Common Ground on America’s Role in the World,” will be held on March 19, 2019, at the University of Notre Dame’s DeBartolo Performing Arts Center. The program will start at 7:00 PM and be moderated by Howard LaFranchi, Diplomacy Correspondent for CGC’s media partner, The Christian Science Monitor.

The event is cosponsored by BridgeND, a chapter of BridgeUSA, a student-organized and managed nonprofit organization that advocates for constructive, responsible political discussion on college campuses across the country. Faculty-led cosponsoring organizations are Rooney Center for the Study of American Democracy and the Notre Dame International Security Center (NDISC).

With many studies and surveys showing that the U.S. population has become more politically divided, civil discourse has taken a hit. According to a recent poll by Marist, nearly 80 percent of Americans are concerned that the lack of civility in politics will lead to violence. With the country increasingly divided on party lines, Kerry and Rice, Secretaries of State for the Barack Obama and George W. Bush administrations, respectively, will offer a model for civil public discourse as they look to find common ground on America’s role in the world.

Kerry and Rice pursued vastly different strategies as Secretaries of State but have also praised each other’s efforts pursuing peace between Israel and Palestine. In 2014, then Secretary of State John Kerry unveiled the official portrait of former Secretary Rice – a Notre Dame alumna – at a White House ceremony that the Associated Press called “a rare display of bipartisan civility.” The event is anticipated to be a passionate, yet respectful discussion as these two top US diplomats debate current hotspots and the state of America’s foreign affairs.

Since 2009, Common Ground Committee has held nine forums during which over 200 points of consensus have been reached. For example, former DNC and RNC chairs Donna Brazile and Michael Steele recently agreed that voting districts should be drawn by citizens’ commissions, not politicians. Previous forum topics have included race, taxes, and economic opportunity in the Trump era. The March 19 event will be the first forum since 2011 that focuses on foreign policy.

“At Common Ground Committee, we are focused on bringing light, not heat to public discourse. The nation needs to see people with different views work together on issues without compromising their fundamental principles,” said Bruce Bond, CGC’s Co-Founder and CEO. “Secretaries Rice and Kerry have consistently represented the country’s better instincts on discourse. Despite working for administrations that had very different views on foreign policy, attendees can look forward to a robust but civil conversation between these two leaders as they provide insight and find common ground on America’s role in the world.”

“BridgeND was founded on the belief that democracy depends on the ability to engage with opposing viewpoints in a civil manner,” said Christian McGrew, former President of BridgeND and Executive Board, BridgeUSA. “Secretaries Kerry and Rice are both exemplars of this mission, and BridgeND is thrilled to bring these two distinguished speakers to Notre Dame’s campus to demonstrate the possibilities of constructive discourse. We anticipate a lively and enlightening discussion on America’s role in the world.”

The event is free and open to the public. Tickets will be available starting Tuesday, February 19 at 8:00 AM at the DeBartolo Performing Arts Center website or in person. For any ticket-related questions, please call the Ticket Office at 574-631-2800.

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Common Ground Committee
Common Ground Committee (CGC) (commongroundcommittee.org) is a non-partisan, citizen-led organization that inspires action on polarizing issues by bringing prominent leaders with opposing views together in public forums to find common ground. Since its founding in 2009, CGC has held nine forums featuring 26 panelists who have reached over 200 points of consensus. Panelists have included such notables as Michael Steele, Donna Brazile, Barney Frank and Larry Kudlow, exploring issues ranging from race and income inequality to taxes and entitlements. Common Ground Committee partners with the widely respected Christian Science Monitor to moderate its forums. Free of political agenda and financial influence, CGC has a singular focus on bringing light, not heat, to public discourse.

BridgeUSA
BridgeUSA believes good governance starts with constructive political discussion. The organization works with America’s future leaders on college campuses to foster spaces wherein a diverse range of ideas can engage one another through the practice of responsible discourse. BridgeUSA has chapters at colleges across the country, including University of Notre Dame.

The University of Notre Dame
Founded in 1842, the University of Notre Dame is a private, nonprofit Catholic university. One of America’s leading undergraduate teaching institutions, Notre Dame also has been at the forefront in research and scholarship. The aerodynamics of glider flight, the transmission of wireless messages, and the formulae for synthetic rubber were pioneered at the University. Today researchers are achieving breakthroughs in astrophysics, radiation chemistry, environmental sciences, tropical disease transmission, peace studies, cancer, robotics, and nanoelectronics.

Rooney Center for the Study of American Democracy
The mission of the Francis and Kathleen Rooney Center for the Study of American Democracy is to examine politics and policy making in the United States—leaving Notre Dame’s distinctive imprint on the study of American democracy. With a grounding in Notre Dame’s Catholic mission, the Center facilitates research on the critical issues facing America’s democratic system, and encourages Notre Dame’s students to be engaged in both civic and political life.

Notre Dame International Security Center
The Notre Dame International Security Center was established in 2008 to provide a forum where leading scholars in national security studies from Notre Dame and elsewhere could come together to explore some of the most pressing issues in national security policy. The center is directed by Professor Michael Desch.

John Kerry
John Kerry was Secretary of State for the Obama Administration from 2013-2017. A member of the Democratic party, he was elected as Senator of Massachusetts in 1985, serving in that position for 28 years.

Condoleezza Rice
Condoleezza Rice is a political scientist and diplomat. She served as National Security Advisor during George W. Bush’s first term before being named Secretary of State in 2005. Rice received her master’s degree in political science from University of Notre Dame.

Contact
Zach Halper
zhalper@momentum-cg.com