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  Harshbarger, Scott
AffiliationUnited Independent  
NameScott Harshbarger
Cambridge, Massachusetts , United States
Born December 01, 1941 (78 years)
Last ModifedRBH
Sep 12, 2015 02:02am
Tags Caucasian - Liberal - Anti-Death Penalty - Government Reform - Health Care Reform - Pro Environment - Pro-Affirmative Action - Pro-Choice - Pro-Civil Unions - Pro-Gay Marriage - Pro-Gun control - Pro-Labor -
InfoScott Harshbarger is the President and Chief Executive Officer of Common Cause, the nonpartisan citizens' lobby with more than 200,000 members nationwide. Harshbarger was elected to the post by the Common Cause National Governing Board in July 1999.

Harshbarger oversees all program activities, finances and communications for Common Cause, which for thirty years has been recognized as one of America's most effective grassroots citizens' lobbies.

Prior to joining Common Cause, Harshbarger served two terms as Massachusetts Attorney General (1991-1999) and was the Democratic nominee for Governor of Massachusetts in 1998. As Massachusetts' top law enforcement officer, Harshbarger won national recognition for his work in crime prevention, civil rights and hate crimes enforcement, elder protection, and prosecution of white-collar crime and public corruption. Elected President of the National Association of Attorney's General in 1996, Harshbarger was one of the nation's first Attorneys General to sue the tobacco industry to help recover smoking-related health care costs.

Before being elected Attorney General, Harshbarger was Middlesex County District Attorney (Mass.) for eight years, and the first General Counsel to the Massachusetts State Ethics Commission. Harshbarger has taught at Boston University Law School since 1980, is a visiting professor at Harvard Law School, and was named Hadley Professor of Criminal Justice and Law at Northeastern University.

Common Cause, described by Congressional Quarterly as a "passionate" and "persistent" public interest lobby, has worked since its founding in 1970 to reform the way federal and state governments operate, focusing its efforts on reducing the influence of money in politics, establishing high standards of government integrity, and ensuring government accountability. The organization's current national issue priorities include enacting effective campaign finance reform, upholding government ethics and ending corporate welfare.

Harshbarger is a 1964 graduate of Harvard College and a 1968 graduate of Harvard Law School, and is married to Judith B. Stephenson, an attorney and lecturer at Boston College Law School. They have five adult children.


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  11/03/1998 MA Governor Lost 47.38% (-3.43%)
  09/15/1998 MA Governor - D Primary Won 51.35% (+20.07%)
  11/08/1994 MA Attorney General Won 70.47% (+40.97%)
  11/06/1990 MA Attorney General Won 64.06% (+28.16%)
  09/19/1990 MA Attorney General - D Primary Won 53.56% (+7.15%)
  11/04/1986 Middlesex County District Attorney Won 99.98% (+99.97%)
  11/02/1982 Middlesex County District Attorney Won 74.00% (+48.00%)
  09/14/1982 Middlesex County District Attorney - D Primary Won 47.52% (+29.49%)
  09/12/1978 Middlesex County District Attorney - D Primary Lost 40.07% (-3.08%)
MA District 5 - Special D Primary - Sep 04, 2007 D Niki Tsongas