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  • The common and continual mischiefs of the spirit of party are sufficient to make it the interest and duty of a wise people to discourage and restrain it.
    --George Washington, Farewell Address, September 26, 1796
  • I know of no safe depository of the ultimate powers of this society but the people themselves; and if we think them not enlightened enough to exercise their control with a wholesome discretion, the remedy is not to take it from them, but to inform their discretion.
    --Thomas Jefferson, Letter to William Charles Jarvis, September 28, 1820
  • There must be a positive passion for the public good… established in the minds of the people, or there can be no republican government, nor any real liberty: and this public passion must be superior to all private passions.
    --John Adams, letter to Mercy Warren, April 16, 1776
  • I never submitted the whole system of my opinions to the creed of any party of men … where I was capable of thinking for myself. Such an addiction is the last degradation of a free and moral agent. If I could not go to heaven but with a party, I would not go there at all.
    --Thomas Jefferson, Letter to Francis Hopkinson, March 13, 1789
  • Among the numerous advantages promised by a well-constructed Union, none deserves to be more accurately developed than its tendency to break and control the violence of faction.
    --James Madison, Federalist No. 10, November 23, 1787
  • If we move in mass, be it ever so circuitously, we shall attain our object; but if we break into squads, everyone pursuing the path he thinks most direct, we become an easy conquest to those who can now barely hold us in check.
    --Thomas Jefferson, letter to William Duane, 1811
  • Knowledge will forever govern ignorance: And a people who mean to be their own Governors, must arm themselves with the power which knowledge gives.
    --James Madison, letter to W.T. Barry, August 4, 1822
  • Government is instituted for the common good; for the protection, safety, prosperity, and happiness of the people; and not for profit, honor, or private interest of any one man, family, or class of men.
    --John Adams, Thoughts on Government, 1776
  • A popular Government, without popular information, or the means of acquiring it, is but a Prologue to a Farce or a Tragedy; or, perhaps both. Knowledge will forever govern ignorance: And a people who mean to be their own Governors, must arm themselves with the power which knowledge gives.
    --James Madison, letter to W.T. Barry, August 4, 1822
  • With malice toward none; with charity for all; with firmness in the right, as God gives us to see the right, let us strive on to finish the work we are in.
    --Abraham Lincoln, Second Inaugural Address, March 4, 1865
  • The alternate domination of one faction over another, sharpened by the spirit of revenge, natural to party dissension, which in different ages and countries has perpetrated the most horrid enormities, is itself a frightful despotism.
    --George Washington, Farewell Address, September 26, 1796
  • Liberty cannot be preserved without a general knowledge among the people.
    --John Adams, Dissertation on Canon and Feudal Law, 1765
  • … the public good, the real welfare of the great body of the people, is the supreme object to be pursued; and…no form of government whatever has any other value than as it may be fitted for the attainment of this object.
    --James Madison, Federalist No. 45, January 26, 1788
  • …that we here highly resolve that these dead shall not have died in vain—that this nation, under God, shall have a new birth of freedom—and that government of the people, by the people, for the people, shall not perish from the earth.
    --Abraham Lincoln, Gettysburg Address, November 19, 1863
  • In every political society, parties are unavoidable. A difference of interests, real or supposed, is the most natural and fruitful source of them. The great object should be to combat the evil.
    --James Madison, Parties, January 23, 1792
About Us

Are we really what we claim to be? Are we genuinely non-partisan, or is there some ideological agenda? Do we really represent "the common interest" rather than some special interest?

We recognize how bold our claim is to be above partisan and special interest politics, so we invite you to kick the tires. We don't claim perfection. But we're confident that if you take a close look at us, you'll conclude that we have a track record of honest and effective pursuit of our lofty aims.

Below are some of the most important features of who we are.

A Solid Reputation with Leaders from Across the Political Spectrum

How do those involved in the political process view us? Across the political spectrum, we are well respected for the honest, substantive way we brief policy issues. Read what various leaders are saying about us.

Fair and Accurate Issues Briefings and Representative Positions

When we brief an issue, we aim to provide the best factual evidence and fairest representation of the competing perspectives as we reasonably can. To help ensure the fairness and accuracy of our briefs, we interview those with expertise and important perspectives on the issue. We then provide draft briefs to those we interviewed to give them an opportunity to tell us if we've fairly captured their perspective. We keep improving the draft until there is a broad consensus among those involved with the issue that we have fairly and accurately represented the issue.

Do we succeed in our lofty aims to fully and fairly capture of the major issues of the day? Do we succeed in taking positions that are representative what a strong majority of common Idahoans would think if they have a chance to become fully informed?

Judge for yourself by reviewing our issues briefings and the positions we took on those issues. You can access them all on the left hand side of the website.

A Record of Positive Press Coverage

We've enjoyed extensive, positive press coverage. Below are a two examples.

  • Shortly after we launched three years ago, Idaho Public Television's Dialogue program did a show on us. It remains an outstanding introduction to us.
  • Hard-hitting Idaho Statesman columnist Dan Popkey wrote an excellent piece on us at the conclusion of our breakthrough 2006 legislative session.

To see more of the press coverage on us, CLICK HERE

Legal Organization

The Common Interest, Inc. is the legal entity that develops our policy briefs. It is a registered non-profit organization with the state of Idaho and is currently seeking 501(c)(3) non-profit status with the IRS.

The Common Interest's sister organization is The Common Interest in Action, Inc. It is the legal entity that identifies and then advocates for our members' positions in the Idaho Legislature. It is a registered non-profit organization with the state of Idaho and 501(c)(4) non-profit organization with the IRS. To learn more about The Common Interest in Action's impressive track record of legislative success on behalf of common sense solutions, CLICK HERE


Keith Allred is the founder and president. When he had the idea of founding The Common Interest, he asked knowledgable people around the state who the retired Republican and Democratic legislators were who had the best reputations for substance, integrity, independence, and working well across the aisle. He was delighted when those retired legislators agreed to join in founding and leading The Common Interest.

Laird Noh, retired Republican State Senator from Twin Falls, and Bruce Sweeney, retired Democratic State Senator from Lewiston join Keith as members of the board of directors for The Common Interest of Idaho, Inc.

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