Superlatives 2012

Most Outspoken

Regardless of your party affiliation, political persuasion and the lofty ideals of our democratic experiment, John Marion is your true representative at the State House. As executive director of …

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Regardless of your party affiliation, political persuasion and the lofty ideals of our democratic experiment, John Marion is your true representative at the State House. As executive director of Common Cause RI, the local chapter of a national nonprofit “good government” group, Marion is the chief watchdog for openness and honesty in a state with a reputation for neither. His work is nonpartisan, meaning he’s not so much interested in politics but process: is what the General Assembly is doing fair, transparent and legal? This type of dispassionate, observe-and-report approach to government is especially important in an election year. “We don’t get involved in back- ing candidates,” Marion says of his organization. “We make sure the election laws are the best we can be so that everyone can cast an informed ballot. We fight for better campaign finance laws to limit the influence of money in politics.” He’ll take his mission further this year: this past spring Mayor Taveras appointed him to chair the Open Providence Commission on Transparency and Accountability, and by the time you’re reading this he hopes the ink will be drying on what he calls “one of the strongest campaign finance disclosure laws in the nation.” Advocating for open government may not be an easy job, but here in Rogue’s Island, Marion never has to worry about running out of work