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Greg Bluestein

Michelle Nunn’s centrist listicle: Five ways to fix Washington

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Athens – Senate candidate Michelle Nunn is pursuing a down-the-middle approach to reach independent voters who would otherwise blanch at voting for a Democrat. And the list of legislative proposals she unveiled here today speaks volumes about that approach.

As if inspired by Buzzfeed, the former nonprofit executive unfurled her “five ideas to make washington work for Georgia again.” They are, for the most part, not controversial and nonpartisan. In other words, perfect for a candidate who already is preparing for a tough November contest against a well-financed GOP opponent.

“It’s a starting point to making Congress work again for Georgians and across the nation,” she told a crowd of at least 50 volunteers in a cramped room at the student center. “This campaign will be decided upon by the participation of citizens, and I hope you’ll come to us with your creative ideas.”

Her pitches include a lifetime ban on former members of Congress becoming lobbyists, a bid to block lawmakers from getting paid if Congress fails to adopt a budget, a fiscal note for every proposal, new campaign finance disclosure requirements and a pledge to meet with every senator her first year.

It’s campaign stump material as she nears a May 20 primary against several fellow Democratic rivals. But it also lays the groundwork for her centrist appeal for “collaboration, problem solving and getting things done.”

Most of these ideas have floated around Capitol Hill before to no avail. Sens. Jon Tester and Michael Bennet pushed the lobbyist ban in 2012 and the Senate has passed a version of the “No Budget, No Pay” proposal. Requiring a price tag for every bill is a perennial push by transparency advocates in Washington.

Nunn, though, urged her supporters not to be tempered by the past.

“I know we have in this room the kind of optimism and idealism and creativity that we need to unleash across the nation.”

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