Campaign finance reform, Majority Leader
Fred Wertheimer was born on January 9, 1939, in Brooklyn, New York. He is a graduate of the University of Michigan and Harvard Law School. From 1981 to 1995 he served as president of Common Cause, a nonpartisan citizens’ lobby, and he worked with Senator Mitchell on campaign finance reform issues while he was president of Common Cause. At the time of this interview he was president of Democracy 21, a nonprofit organization that promotes the government reform of campaign finance, lobbying, and ethics. He is married to Linda Wertheimer, the senior national correspondent for National Public Radio.
Interview includes discussion of: Wertheimer’s first impressions of Mitchell when they began working on campaign finance issues together; the state of campaign finance reform in the 1980s and early 1990s; process of creating the bill to ban soft money; working with Mitchell on campaign finance reform; Mitchell’s relationship with Senator Boren; and Mitchell’s toughness and integrity.
This recording and transcription are © 2011 Bowdoin College and are presented for private study, scholarship, or research only. For all other uses, including publication, reproduction, and quotation beyond “fair use” (Title 17, United States Code) permission must be obtained in writing from the George J. Mitchell Dept. of Special Collections & Archives, Bowdoin College Library, 3000 College Station, Brunswick, Maine 04011-8421, USA.