FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
July 9, 2014
The Centrist Project Voice Endorses Susan Collins, Larry Pressler, Michelle Nunn,
Greg Orman and Jill Bossi for U.S. Senate
Candidates Focused on Core Issues of Broad Importance to Americans
Washington, DC — The Centrist Project Voice, the nation’s first political action committee supporting candidates ready to set aside partisan politics and focus on the core issues of critical importance to all Americans, today announced that it has endorsed the following candidates running for U.S. senate seats this fall: Susan Collins of Maine, Larry Pressler of South Dakota, Michelle Nunn of Georgia, Greg Orman of Kansas, and Jill Bossi of South Carolina.
"The Centrist Project Voice is pleased to be able to support Susan Collins, Larry Pressler, Michelle Nunn, Greg Orman, and Jill Bossi in their bids to serve the American people by focusing on the critical and mainstream issues that face our country," said Centrist Project Founder Charles Wheelan, a senior lecturer and policy fellow at the Rockefeller Center at Dartmouth College and the bestselling author of Naked Economics. "Each of these candidates embody the Centrist Principles, (fiscal responsibility, environmental stewardship, social tolerance, economic opportunity and a pragmatic approach to solving core policy challenges) as being the bedrock for how to approach public policy matters in the Senate in order to break the partisan deadlock that grips Congress and move America forward."
"Our nation needs different kinds of leaders—people [who] will fight to end the point scoring and political bickering that is going on right now in Washington," Nunn said. "We need more leaders who will bring common-sense and a collaborative sensibility to our broken political process."
“We are on the verge of something truly historic,” said Larry Pressler. “It has been decades since this kind of reform-minded movement has organized. The fact that it is coming from both sides of the aisle makes it all the more remarkable.”
The Centrist Project Voice is designed to empower the neglected but growing political middle by channeling the support of centrist Americans from across the country to a handful of key U.S. Senate candidates. With control of the Senate up for grabs in 2014, the election of but a few pragmatic moderates who band together as a coalition would have a disproportionate impact on the chamber as a whole.
“This is about fighting back against the extremists in both parties,” said Wheelan. “Instead of throwing up our hands at the dysfunction and partisanship, we’ve found a way for Americans who are fed up with the extreme right and the extreme left to do something constructive about it.”
About the Candidates:
First elected in 1996, Maine Senator Susan Collins is serving her third term in the United States Senate. Known for her work in facilitating bipartisan compromise, Senator Collins is a key leader in the U.S. Congress. She is respected by colleagues on both sides of the aisle. Her record demonstrates significant legislative accomplishments in such critical areas as homeland security, national defense, disaster response, education, business development, and health care. She helped lead the successful repeal of “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell”, helped repeal a $50 billion tax break from the tobacco industry, and worked on a major overhaul of our nation’s intelligence community to make us safer from terrorism. She is a tireless advocate for education and a champion for small business.
After serving two terms in the House of Representatives, Larry Pressler served South Dakota for three terms from 1979 to 1997 as a Republican senator. During his service in the Senate, he was chairman of the Commerce Committee and authored the Telecommunications Act of 1996, which was the first overhaul of telecommunications law in more than 60 years. He is running as an Independent to break the partisan deadlock that grips Congress and to bring new approaches to the challenges we face as a nation in contrast to the established parties which he views as bankrupt of new ideas.
Michelle Nunn has more than two decades of experience in public service and community volunteerism. As the CEO of Points of Light Foundation, the non-profit founded by President George H. W. Bush, she leads the nation’s largest organization dedicated to volunteer service. Nunn was a founder and Executive Director of Hands on Atlanta and later Hands on Network, which merged with Points of Light in 2007. Her candidacy represents an opportunity for moderates to gain ground in the Senate. Nunn is a pro-business Democrat running a campaign with bi-partisan appeal.
Greg Orman is running against incumbent Senator Pat Roberts to represent Kansas as an Independent and to offer solutions to a deeply flawed political system. After earning an economics degree from Princeton in 1991, Orman joined McKinsey & Company, a management consulting firm. Less than a year later he started Environmental Lighting Concepts (ELC), which designed energy efficient lighting systems for commercial and industrial companies. ELC rapidly expanded nationwide, and in 1997 Orman sold a majority stake of the company to Kansas City Power & Light. He would soon direct KCP&L’s entire portfolio of competitive businesses, which he grew from $100 million to almost a billion dollars in annual revenue. In 2004, Orman co-founded Denali Partners, LLC, which provides capital and management services to help small businesses thrive. Orman co-founded the Common Sense Coalition in 2010 to give voice to the millions of independents and centrists across the country and to offer common-sense solutions to the nation’s most pressing problems. As Mr. Orman is not accepting PAC donations, supporters can contribute at www.ormanforsenate.org/donate
Jill Bossi is running as the American Party candidate to fill the unexpired term of former South Carolina senator Jim DeMint. She is an experienced corporate executive who was most recently Vice President and Chief Procurement Officer of the American Red Cross. Bossi has also held senior management roles at companies such as Bank of America, Experian, and Verizon. She will bring her business experience to bear by advancing pragmatic and fiscally-sound legislation to address central policy issues.
Polls and other research have found that Americans are not nearly as polarized as the Congress that purports to represent them. Pew Research released a report last month confirming that Republicans and Democrats are moving further apart, and that politicians are listening to the most polarized segments of the electorate.
Yet the same report found that most Americans are not ideological warriors and would welcome pragmatic problem solving in Washington. The Pew analysis noted, “These [partisan] sentiments are not shared by all – or even most – Americans. The majority do not have uniformly conservative or liberal views. Most do not see either party as a threat to the nation. And more believe their representatives in government should meet halfway to resolve contentious disputes rather than hold out for more of what they want.” The Centrist Project Voice is designed to provide an electoral outlet for that potentially robust political middle.
For more information about the candidates The Centrist Project Voice endorses and to support their campaigns visit www.centristproject.org/featured_candidates. Visit The Centrist Project at www.centristproject.org for updates on our progress to end gridlock in Washington and to join the effort.
ABOUT THE CENTRIST PROJECT VOICE
The Centrist Project Voice is a separate segregated fund (SSF) of The Centrist Project. It is the first PAC to promote centrist candidates regardless of party affiliation. The Centrist Project is a 501(c)4 membership organization focused breaking the gridlock in Washington by changing political incentives and helping elect responsible leaders. Its Centrist Principles include fiscal responsibility, environmental stewardship, social tolerance, economic opportunity and a pragmatic approach to solving policy challenges. For more information about the candidates The Centrist Project Voice endorses and to support their campaigns visit www.centristproject.org/featured_candidates. Visit The Centrist Project at www.centristproject.org for updates on our progress to end gridlock in Washington and to join the effort.
To speak with Charles Wheelan or any of the endorsed candidates please contact:
CORRECTION: This release has been updated to correct an earlier version that mistakenly indicated Senator Collins' support for the Affordable Care Act, which in fact she voted against. We regret the error.