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We, the undersigned groups who collectively represent thousands of Virginians, strongly urge you to send HB 2070, and its identical companion bill SB1424, back to the General Assembly with amendments to significantly strengthen the bills.
Our organizations and civic leaders urge the House of Representatives to amend congressional ethics rules to close a loophole that allows access to the House floor for some former members-turned-lobbyists during ceremonial events, such as the State of the Union address.
Along with a large bipartisan coalition, Sen. Russell Feingold (D-WI), former Sen. Lincoln Chafee (R-RI), and Common Cause are urging presidential and congressional candidates, as well as the media, to dedicate Wednesday, September 17 Constitution Day to constitutional issues and the importance of restoring the rule of law
Today, Common Cause called on the Inspector General of the Commerce Department to investigate Secretary Wilbur Ross’ significant investments in a shipping company closely linked to Russian President Vladimir Putin’s inner circle that came to light through the “Paradise Papers.”
Buried in the final pages of the tax bill’s handouts to deep-pocketed special interests is a troubling provision that would allow houses of worship to actively engage in partisan politicking. For more than a half century the Johnson Amendment has prohibited 501(c)(3)s, including religious organizations, from participating in political campaigns. If this bright line is removed the abuses will inevitably follow and the loopholes will be expanded. Overwhelmingly members of the clergy support the Johnson Amendment prohibition on political activity but there will inevitably be bad actors and money will change hands for endorsements and more. The mixing of partisan politics, religion and money would not end well and has no business in this legislation.
Americans deserve to know more about the Russian attack to sway the 2016 presidential race and Congress owes them some answers. Without undermining the investigation or any intelligence assets, Congress needs to share more of its findings with the American people. To date most of what citizens know about the attacks comes from media reports.