New Report, Conference Highlight Democracy's Vulnerability

Posted by Dale Eisman on November 7, 2017


Amid mounting evidence connecting President Trump, his family and his cabinet to the Russian government, a report issued this morning by Common Cause highlights how Russia’s cyber-campaign to disrupt the 2016 election has laid bare vulnerabilities in American democracy.

“Putin, Trump, and Democracy’s Slippery Slope Toward Oligarchy” examines the history of Russian attempts to influence elections in the U.S. and its allies and how those intrusions have intensified in recent years.

The report details how the Russians exploited weaknesses in America’s election infrastructure to hack into state voting systems, flouted campaign finance laws to finance ads crafted to exploit divisions in the U,S. electorate, and took advantage of Facebook, Twitter and other social media companies to spread misinformation and help the Trump campaign.

The 20-page report also pulls together previously published reports of the Trump organization’s business dealings in Russia, including plans to develop condominiums, commercial properties, and a hotel in Moscow; Trump’s pursuit of those deals continued even as he sought the presidency.

Today’s release comes as Common Cause hosts an all-day conference, Turning Cynicism Into Confidence: Advancing Democratic Integrity in Our Democracy, the fifth annual gathering in the organization’s “Blueprint for a Great Democracy” series. The conference will bring together more than 100 reform advocates from across the U.S. to explore strategies for strengthening democracy’s resilience and bolstering citizen confidence in democratic institutions.

The conference, which begins at 10 this morning, will be livestreamed at www.commoncause.org/blueprint. The agenda is available here.

Speakers include Watergate prosecutor Richard Ben-Veniste; former U.S. Rep. Elizabeth Holtzman, who was a member of the House Judiciary Committee during the Nixon impeachment hearings in 1974; Norm Eisen, who was the White House ethics adviser during the Obama administration; and Omar Ashmawy, staff director of the Office of Congressional Ethics.

The Blueprint conferences are sponsored by Common Cause with the generous support of the WhyNot Initiative.

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Office: Common Cause National

Issues: Voting and Elections, Ethics, Media and Democracy, Money in Politics

Tags: Registration and Voting Systems, Disclosure

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