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Abuse of Power

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Politico/Yahoo! News: New House maps in New York stall as deadline for June primaries nears

“Conducting business behind closed doors is unacceptable,” Common Cause New York executive director Susan Lerner said. “Open your doors to the people. The people who live in congressional districts deserve a say in who will represent them.”

Colorado Newsline: Trump brief asks Supreme Court to put ‘decisive end’ to 14th Amendment challenges

Colorado Common Cause, which supported the plaintiffs’ case with an amicus, or friend-of-the-court, brief before the Colorado Supreme Court, on Friday urged the U.S. Supreme Court “to set a critical legal precedent to safeguard the future of American democracy.” “The Supreme Court must embrace its role as an active defender of our Constitution, or else it may crumble under the immense pressure it will surely face in the years to come,” Aly Belknap, the group’s executive director, said in a statement.

Media & Democracy 01.17.2024

NPR Morning Edition (AUDIO): The GOP needs more of its voters to cast ballots early. What's the problem?

Despite endorsing Bank Your Vote, on the trail, Trump has continued to cast doubt on the legitimacy and security of mail voting in particular. Aaron Scherb with Common Cause says this is a huge hurdle for the RNC. He says Republicans across the country have been maligning mail voting since 2020. He says it's going to be hard for them to convince their voters to get over a distrust they created. AARON SCHERB: So getting voters to, like, unlearn or unhear those messages is tough to undo that damage. And so I think that's what this Bank the Vote program is trying to essentially do. It's somewhat analogous to getting a jury to unhear extremely damaging information that's presented against a defendant.

Voting & Elections 01.15.2024

New York Times: Candidates Lay Groundwork For Fraud Cries Before Caucuses

“This follows the general playbook, the election denier playbook of just pre-emptively laying the groundwork for claims of fraud in the event of a loss,” said Emma Steiner, the Information Accountability Project Manager at Common Cause. “It’s sort of future-proofing.”

Cleveland.com/The Plain Dealer: $15k on tickets. $2k/month on meals. Inside a Cleveland-area House rep’s campaign spending

Catherine Turcer, executive director of Common Cause Ohio, which advocates for better government ethics laws and transparency in campaign finance, reviewed Patton’s audits. She said the most obvious aggrieved party to questionable campaign spending would be the donors. But in a less-direct way, she said problems arise in a representative democracy when public officials can enrich themselves in the process via interested donors. “Campaign cash is not a slush fund,” she said. “It is intended to be spent to get yourself elected.” Moreover, she questioned why five audits spanning two secretaries of state (some occurred under now-Lt. Gov. Jon Husted). She said they seem to have caught on to something wrong 10 years ago but declined to take any action on a troubling pattern. “It doesn’t look like they truly took the next step to do a little more digging,” she said. “You shouldn’t leave an audit with more questions than you started. And how would they not have more questions.”

Voting & Elections 01.12.2024

Washington Post: Maryland Elections Board member arrested on Jan. 6 riot charges, resigns

“After the 2024 election, the General Assembly should seriously consider whether the process for selecting board members needs to be changed. This should be a wake-up call,” Morgan Drayton, policy and engagement manager at the nonpartisan government watchdog group Common Cause Maryland, said in a statement. “It is sickening to think that Ayala was making decisions about our elections after allegedly participating in the attempted insurrection. His disrespect for the voices of Maryland voters and his disregard for the peaceful transfer of power stands in direct contrast to the duties of the Board of Elections.”

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