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  Press Release
For Immediate Release

June 28, 2000
1400 L STREET, N.W.
WASHINGTON, D.C.  20005 
WASHINGTON-- June 28, 2000 - The John E. Moss Foundation bestowed its highest honor today, the first annual "John E. Moss Public Service Award", on Senator McCain of Arizona for courage, independence and dedication to the public interest.  The award was presented by Congressman John D. Dingell, a close friend of Mr. Moss, Chairman of the Moss Foundation and senior member of the House of Representatives.

     "John McCain demonstrated courage and patriotism long before he ever came to the U.S. Senate," said Michael R. Lemov, Foundation president.  "His service as a military officer in time of war is well known and his tenure in the Senate has been characterized by unwavering commitment to improving the electoral process by eliminating the excessive influence of money on campaigns."

     "Despite differing opinions from some in political life, Senator McCain is the leading sponsor of the McCain-Feingold legislation," added Lemov.  "In both word and deed he continues to advocate the fight for reform in our voting system for the benefit of ordinary citizens.  That's why we have named him the first recipient of the John E. Moss award."

     John Moss, who represented Sacramento, California from 1953-1978, prided himself as a representative of all Americans, always standing up for the rights of the individual against special interests or the power of government.  He was described when he died in 1997 as "almost the prototypical congressman in terms of serving the people" and a "seeker of justice wherever he found it."

    The legacy of Mr. Moss' work includes the landmark 1966 Freedom of Information Act, which gave individual citizens access to government documents on demand; the Consumer Product Safety Act of 1970; and amendments to the Securities Act in 1975, which served as precursor to NASDAQ, the national electronic market.

     Mr. Moss inspired great loyalty among his own staff.  In August 1998 Lemov and Kathleen B. Benson, former administrative assistant to the Congressman, with the help of Members of Congress and friends of Mr. Moss co-founded The John E. Moss foundation to honor his memory.

     The purpose of the John E. Moss Public Service Award is to keep alive the qualities by which Mr. Moss lived.  Criteria for award selection are:

    • Integrity
    • Courage in advocating and maintaining difficult positions
    • Commitment to representing the broadest public interest.
    • Accomplishments in promoting effective, open and compassionate government
    • Demonstrated concern for improving opportunities for the disadvantaged
    • Independence of judgment
    • Promotion of government accountability

The Moss Foundation doesn't endorse specific legislative positions of any individual award recipient but acknowledges integrity and courage in the public stances of elected officials.

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