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Abuse of Power

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The Guardian: How Ohio Republicans ignore voters – and the governor – in power grab to pass laws

According to Catherine Turcer, the executive director of the government watchdog group Common Cause Ohio, which is part of the Citizens Not Politicians coalition, the group has trained about 2,000 volunteers to collect petition signatures. “It’s clear there’s this disconnect between what it is that ordinary Ohioans want, and what it is that the state legislature chooses to do,” said Turcer. “There is real interest in ensuring that we have accountable government.”

Yahoo! News/WCMH: Ohio GOP at odds over future of House Bill 6

“At the end of the day, this corrupt legislation means that we don’t have money we could be spending on other things,” Executive Director of Common Cause Ohio Catherine Turcer said. HB6, in part, gave two Ohio Valley Electric Corporation (OVEC) coal plants a consistent stream of revenue, from Ohioans. “To the tune of $153,000 per day,” Turcer said.

Voting & Elections 01.30.2024

Associated Press: Indiana legislation would add extra verification steps to prove voters are eligible

Julia Vaughn, executive director of transparency and voting advocacy group Common Cause Indiana, said that 30-day timeframe is unfair. She worries the bill could catch people who become lawful citizens and voters whose names are still on the temporary list. “The failsafe has to move like clockwork right?” she said. “And in the real world, clockwork doesn’t always happen.”

Amicus Brief Filed to Uphold Constitution in Trump’s SCOTUS Case 

Today, Common Cause filed an amicus brief to the Supreme Court of the United States asserting that former President Donald Trump should be excluded from the Colorado ballot under the 14th Amendment for his role in the January 6 insurrection at the U.S. Capitol. The case comes on appeal after Colorado’s High Court recently ruled that the “disqualification clause” of the 14th Amendment applied to Presidents, thus making former President Trump ineligible for the state ballot. Colorado Common Cause filed an amicus brief in the Colorado Supreme Court’s case, ultimately aligning with the court’s final ruling.

Georgia Recorder: Georgia House approves revised prosecutor oversight commission as Senate investigates Willis

Common Cause Georgia executive director Aunna Dennis called the measure a politically motivated bill that does not provide a clear roadmap of checks and balances it is supposed to adhere to. A better step would be to correct some of the deficiencies in last year’s bill that established the oversight commission, Dennis said in a statement. “Prosecutors who defend our state constitution should be able to do so safely,” she said. “How are prosecutors able to defend themselves from challenging corruption in our government without the proper protections?”

Money & Influence 01.28.2024

Albuquerque Journal (Op-Ed): NM elected officials still under the influence of alcohol industry

The alcohol industry is at it again. For three decades the industry, its powerful lobbyists and its allies in the hospitality industry have been successful in staving off increases in the state’s alcohol excise tax with arguments about how even a modest increase will hurt restaurants and local breweries. Increased prices for alcohol won’t result in less drinking anyhow, they say. The argument was most recently echoed in an Albuquerque Journal editorial. Meanwhile New Mexico is No. 1 nationwide in alcohol-related deaths and alcohol now accounts for one in five deaths of working age New Mexicans. Treatment programs are hard to come by, and not only families are paying the price. A recent study by the UNM Department of Economics says that excessive alcohol consumption costs New Mexicans $2.77 per drink in the form of crime, domestic violence, DWI and Medicaid payments.

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