Since 1999, Taxpayers for Common Sense (TCS) has honored lawmakers and citizen activists whose leadership and dedication have made a difference to taxpayers across America with the “Mr. Smith Goes to Washington” Award. Capturing the passion in thespirit of the classic film of the same name, these modern-day Davids took on the Goliaths of out-of-control federal spending and scored a victory for the American taxpayer.
2010: Senator Claire McCaskill (D-MO) and Representative Jeff Flake (R-AZ) were each honored for their tenacity fighting for transparent and accountable federal spending – tackling earmark reform, seeking to decrease the influence of special interests, and working on behalf of taxpayers.
2005: Senator John Sununu (R-NH) is the 2005 recipient of the “Mr. Smith Goes to Washington” Award to recognize his efforts to promote fiscal responsibility and eliminate wasteful governmental spending, particularly on energy issues.
2004: Representatives Steve Chabot (R-OH) and Robert Andrews (D-NJ) were honored for their combined leadership on behalf of taxpayers in fighting to eliminate wasteful timber subsides in Alaska's Tongass National Forest.
2003: Senator Peter Fitzgerald (R-IL) was honored for his leadership in fighting cronyism in state government. His struggle against waste in the federal government has earned him praise across party divides.
2001: Senator John McCain (R-AZ) and Sen. Carl Levin (D-MI) were honored for leading the battle in Congress for a new round of military base closures.
Four dedicated Eastern Maryland residents, known as the Cecil County Quartet, were honored as grassroots recipients for leading the effort to stop a $90 million Army Corps of Engineers plan to deepen by five feet the C&D Canal that connects the Chesapeake and Delaware Bays.
2000: Senator Russ Feingold (D-WI), Rep. Thomas Petri (R-WI), and Rep. Peter Defazio were honored for leading the battle in Congress to stop the $450 million Animas La-Plata (ALP) water project in southwestern Colorado.
Arkansas rice farmer Jerry Lee Bogard of Stuttgart and Attorney David Carruth of Clarendon, AR were honored as citzen activist awardees for helping stop a $319 million Army Corps of Engineers irrigation project in Eastern Arkansas.
1999: Rep. Ellen Tauscher and Friends of the River were honored for together opposing and defeating a last-minute $300 million in unneeded and ill-conceived water projects that had been slipped into the water authorization bill.