PRESS RELEASE from McCain-Palin 2008


For Immediate Release
Monday, September 15, 2008       
Contact: Press Office

ARLINGTON, VA -- The McCain-Palin 2008 campaign today announced the formation of the Honest and Open Election Committee, with a mission to ensure that every qualified citizen has the opportunity to vote in a fair and transparent manner. The committee will work with state and local election officials to anticipate, and where possible resolve in advance, problems likely to arise on Election Day.

The advisory committee will be co-chaired by former United States Senators John C. Danforth and Warren B. Rudman. The committee also includes current and former members of Congress and former state secretaries of state, election officials, and state attorneys general, along with prominent academic experts in election law. The diverse composition of the committee reflects the McCain-Palin campaign's desire to put partisan politics aside in the hope of seeing a fair and transparent election in November.

The committee will advise the campaign with respect to policy and actual or potential legal proceedings involving the campaign laws and practices in various states working towards avoiding litigation when possible.

"The purpose of the Honest and Open Election Committee is to resolve potential voting problems in advance of Election Day to bolster voters' confidence in the system," said Rudman. "We believe that elections should be decided by voters, not lawyers."

The Honest and Open Election Committee requested a dialogue between the McCain-Palin campaign and both the Democratic National Committee and the Obama-Biden campaign in letters sent today.

"We stand ready to work with you in a cooperative manner on issues that, if not handled properly, are likely to become adversarial," the letter states. "Let's show the American people that our two parties can together develop a transparent and open process in every voting place in the country. Experience has shown that careful, advance planning that anticipates and addresses problems and creates solutions can substantially reduce issues on Election Day."

In an effort to discuss these issues with the top election officials in each state, the McCain-Palin election committee sent those officials a letter offering assistance. The McCain-Palin election committee also launched a website at

"Our committee will assist election officials across the country to make sure that federal and state voting regulations are understood and upheld. It is a reflection of the campaign's commitment to tackling tough problems in a bi-partisan manner," Danforth said.


John C. Danforth, Co-Chair--Former U.S. Senator; currently, Partner, Bryan Cave LLP; former Missouri Attorney General; former Ambassador to the United Nations

Warren B. Rudman, Co-Chair--Former U.S. Senator; currently, Co-Chairman, Stonebridge International LLC; Of Counsel, Paul, Weiss, Rifkind, Wharton & Garrison LLP; Co-Chair, Concord Coalition; former New Hampshire Attorney General; former Chair, Senate Ethics Committee

John F. Bibby--Professor Emeritus of Political Science, University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee

Brigida Benitez--Partner, WilmerHale; Co-Chair, Leadership Council of the Hispanic Bar Association; Director, Women's Bar Association; Past President, Hispanic Bar Association of the District of Columbia

Lovida H. Coleman, Jr.--Partner, Sutherland Asbill & Brennan LLP; former law clerk, Judge Wilfred Feinberg, U.S. Court of Appeals, Second Circuit; Election Observer in Pakistan, Haiti, and Chile; former Trustee, Rand Corporation

Tom Davis--U.S. House of Representatives; Ranking Member, House Government Reform and Oversight Committee; former Chairman, Board of Supervisors, Fairfax County

Rita DiMartino--Former Principal U.S. Delegate, Inter-American Commission of Women; National Commission on Electoral Reform; Board Chairman Emeritus, National Council of La Raza

Charles Fried--Professor of Law, Harvard Law School; former Solicitor General of the U.S.; former Associate Justice of the Supreme Judicial Court of Massachusetts

Jack Goldsmith--Professor of Law, Harvard Law School; former Assistant Attorney General, Office of Legal Counsel, U.S. Department of Justice

Bill Jones--Board Chairman and Director, Pacific Ethanol, Inc.; former California Secretary of State; former California state legislator

Daniel Hays Lowenstein--Professor of Law, UCLA; founding Chair, California Fair Political Practices Commission; former Board Member, Common Cause; former redistricting counsel for California Democratic Congressional Delegation; author of first American textbook on election law; Co-Editor, Election Law Journal

Ronald D. Michaelson--Visiting Professor, University of Illinois at Springfield; Board Member, Illinois Campaign for Political Reform; former Executive Director, Illinois State Board of Elections; former Advisory Committee, Federal Election Commission; former Chair, Council on Governmental Ethics Laws

Susan Molinari--Senior Principal, Bracewell-Guiliani (effective October 6); Co-Chair, We Vote '08; former Member U.S. House of Representatives

Ralph Munro--Director, The Prepared Response Company; former Washington Secretary of State; Member, Carter Baker Commission on Election Reforms; former President, National Association of Secretaries of State

Sandra Schultz Newman--Shareholder and Chair, National Appellate Practice Group, Cozen O'Connor; former Pennsylvania Supreme Court Justice; former judge on state Commonwealth Court; former Montgomery County (PA) Assistant District Attorney; Chairman, Fair Vote Committee in Pennsylvania

Robert Parker--Partner, Paul, Weiss, Rifkind, Wharton & Garrison LLP

James Petro--Partner, Waite, Schneider, Bayless & Chesley; former Ohio Attorney General

Cameron P. Quinn--Adjunct Professor, George Mason School of Law; former Secretary, Virginia State Board of Elections

Daniel B. Rodriguez--Professor of Law, University of Texas Law School at Austin; former Dean, University of San Diego School of Law; former Professor, University of California, Boalt Hall School of Law

Larry D. Thompson--Senior Vice President of Government Affairs, General Counsel, and Secretary, PepsiCo, Inc.; former Deputy Attorney General; former U.S. Attorney for the Northern District of Georgia; former Independent Counsel

Richard Williamson--Partner, Winston & Strawn; former Assistant Secretary of State; former Ambassador and Representative to the United Nations

For more information about the Honest and Open Election Committee, please send request to, or visit the Web site at