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Cleveland.com/The Plain Dealer: FirstEnergy made secret $1 million payment for ‘Husted campaign’ in 2017, documents show

Catherine Turcer, executive director of Common Cause Ohio, said the records showing the payment is another example of why Ohio needs greater transparency in political spending. We're still learning about public officials proximity to a bribery scandal after years of a swarm of criminal, civil, and regulatory investigations, she said. The complicated picture is a feature and not a bug, she said. The system is built to hide malfeasance. "What we do know from this is the governor and lieutenant governor are very comfortable in a dark money system and figured out how to maximize the loophole in transparency to benefit themselves, their friends, and their family," she said. "The governor and lieutenant governor have figured out a way to make dark money work for them."

Washington Times: Defendants not named ‘Trump’ usually go to trial years after indictment

Meanwhile, the fair election advocacy group Common Cause filed a brief supporting Mr. Smith at the Supreme Court in the D.C. case over Mr. Trump's claim of absolute immunity, saying the justices must decide the issue swiftly so the trial can take place before the November election and, ironically, so politics don't appear to be at play. "The American people deserve a trial and a verdict on these serious charges before they go to the polls in November," said Virginia Kase Solomón, president of Common Cause. "The presumptive Republican presidential nominee stands criminally charged with conspiracy and obstruction stemming from his attempts to overturn the results of the 2020 election. It is critically important that the Supreme Court rule quickly, as it has in past presidential cases, so that justice can be rendered before Americans cast their ballots."

Common Cause Urges SCOTUS to Rule Quickly in Trump v. U.S. to Avoid Perception of Bias

Today, Common Cause filed an amicus brief in the Supreme Court of the United States urging the court to decide Donald J. Trump v. United States expeditiously in order to avoid perceptions of political bias and to allow a lower court trial of the former president on conspiracy and corruption charges to be held before the November presidential election.

Star Tribune/Yahoo! News: 'Book Senator Hoffman to speak': DFL state senator's consulting firm raises ethical questions

Annastacia Belladonna-Carrera, executive director of Common Cause Minnesota, a nonprofit that advocates for government transparency, also had concerns. She said, "Sen. Hoffman's use of this title for marketing his consulting business as 'senator', along with the use of pictures taken while at the Capitol campus, can arguably be seen as him leveraging his public role for private gain." Belladonna-Carrera suggested the legislative branch could benefit from having clearer rules for lawmakers. "This branch of government — I would argue the most public facing and accountable to the people particularly because of what it does and who it is supposed to be working for — is once again the one with the least accountability and transparency," she said.


NBC News: Wisconsin voters approve two GOP-backed ballot measures that will change how elections are run

“In the April elections Wisconsin tends to have low turnout, and not many people are going to look at these [closely]. Maybe they’ll read it and think, ‘yeah, that sounds reasonable,’” Jay Heck, the executive director of Common Cause Wisconsin, the state’s branch of the national nonpartisan government watchdog group, said ahead of the results. “But they are both the product of election denial.” Their impact could be notable, Heck suggested. With avenues for additional funding roped off, and with the scope of who can volunteer as poll workers narrowed, the possibility of additional conspiracy theories and chaos during and following another close race this fall — the state’s past two presidential elections were both decided by fewer than 23,000 votes — could be more likely. “Unless the Legislature fully funds election administration, which the Republican-controlled Legislature never has done and never will do, then this leaves election clerks all over the state of Wisconsin without the resources to run elections” well, he said.

Miami Herald/Orlando Sentinel (Editorial): Lawmakers make it easier for corruption to flourish

Common Cause Florida and eight other groups are urging DeSantis to veto the bill, calling the personal knowledge standard “an unreasonably high evidentiary hurdle that has never existed in the 50-year history of the Commission. Instead, complaints should continue to require the filer to certify that the information is true to the best of their knowledge, which already discourages false and frivolous complaints.”

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