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Common Cause is a watchdog group based in Washington, D.C. with chapters in 35 states. It was founded in 1970 by John W. Gardner, a Republican, who was the former Secretary of Health, Education, and Welfare in the administration of President Lyndon Johnson as well as chair of the National Urban Coalition, an advocacy group for minorities and the working poor in urban areas. As initially founded, Common Cause was prominently known for its efforts to bring about an end to the Vietnam War and lower the voting age from 21 to 18.Sometimes identified as liberal-leaning, Common Cause has also been identified as nonpartisan and advocates government reform. It is identified with the reformist "good government" movement and is often described as a watchdog group. The organization's tagline is "holding power accountable" and its stated mission is to "work to create open, honest, and accountable government that serves the public interest; promote equal rights, opportunity, and representation for all; and empower all people to make their voices heard in the political process."The group is organized as a 501(c)4 organization, though its sister organization, the Common Cause Educational Fund, is a 501(c)(3) organization.

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