Research and Reports

Optimizing the Voter Experience

August 2, 2016

California's declining voter turnout is cause for concern, warranting significant and immediate action. In order to reduce the more than 40% of registered voters who do not currently vote because of process, time, or scheduling constraints, state legislators should look to modernize elections and improve the voting experience for all.

Politics, Power, and Presents

December 23, 2014

This report examines gifts provided and travel-related payments made to state legislators from special interest groups and includes ethics reform recommendations to prohibit or limit many of these activities.

Common Cause California Report: Jerry Brown Tax Campaign Looks to Legislative Staff for Help

April 18, 2012

Common Cause California's short report discusses Jerry Brown's efforts to get a tax measure on the November ballot. It reads in part: 'In addition to calling and mailing voters pleas to send signatures in, campaign supporters have asked some Democratic staff members in the Legislature to circulate petitions for the constitutional amendment on their time off.'

Common Cause California Report: Sacramento Television Coverage of the February 2008 Primary Election

September 23, 2011

A report from Common Cause California which analyses the electoral race coverage on local Sacramento television. It reads in part, 'In the early 2008 presidential campaign, the media had already limited the race to five candidates and provided little about their records or their plans if elected. Sixty-three percent of stories focused on political and tactical aspects of the campaign; nearly four times the number on candidates' background, ideas or policy proposals.'

Sacramento Television Coverage of the November 2010 General Election by Sacramento Media Group

March 9, 2011

This report out of California reads, in part, 'Television stations are licensed by the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) to use the publicly owned airwaves free of charge. In return, the stations pledge to serve the public interest and further democracy, especially during elections. During the month of October, 2010, the Sacramento Media Group (SMG) convened a group of community representatives from the League of Women Voters of Sacramento County, Access Sacramento, and other community groups to interview local station leaders.'

Report: Taking Elections off the Auction Block

May 13, 2010

This report dealing with elections in California reads, in part, 'California?s money-driven elections can be compared to three other states which have implemented full public financing for legislative campaigns: Maine, Arizona, and Connecticut. States that have full public financing, also known as Fair Elections programs, see low disparities in spending between winning candidates and their opponents, with two-thirds of candidates outspending their opponents, and by much smaller ratios than in California.'

Common Cause California Report, Executive Summary; Local Television Election Coverage

June 29, 2007

This Common Cause California Report Summary begins, 'In the fall of 2004, the Sacramento Media Group (SMG) ? an association of concerned citizens including members of California Common Cause, the League of Women Voters Sacramento and Access Sacramento, the local public access cable television ? joined a national campaign to evaluate how fairly and effectively local broadcast television stations used the public airwaves to educate voters about candidates and issues.'

Common Cause California Report: Sacramento Television Coverage of the November 2004 General Election-2

June 29, 2007

In the fall of 2004, the Sacramento Media Group (SMG) ? an association of concerned citizens including members of California Common Cause, the League of Women Voters Sacramento and Access Sacramento, the local public access cable television ? joined a national campaign to evaluate how fairly and effectively local broadcast television stations used the public airwaves to educate voters about candidates and issues.

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