But Senator Warren Rudman did more than just bemoan the Washington state of affairs. He worked hard to set things right while serving on Capitol Hill, and continued his efforts long after he had returned to private life. While he is rightly remembered for his legislative accomplishments as senator, especially on deficit reduction, there is a little-known aspect of his post-Senate career that bears special note.
Taking a page from the maverick Republican President Theodore Roosevelt, Rudman devoted a portion of his final years to challenging the Washington power establishment – and especially his own party – to pass campaign finance reform. Writing in The Washington Post in 2010, he cited decades of Republican leadership on reform, beginning with Roosevelt's own claim in 1904 that “contributions by corporations…for any political purpose should be forbidden by law,” and called on his fellow Republicans to “return to our roots [and] enact the only real and lasting solution I know: citizen-funded elections.”