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Voting & Elections 12.18.2023

Georgia Public Broadcasting: Voting rights decision may curb push to diversify Georgia, Alabama utility commissions

Aunna Dennis, executive director of Common Cause Georgia, said even if marginalized groups of people don’t exactly know what the Public Service Commission is or does, they do see the impact on their bills and on their health. “They may not directly know the jargon, but they do know what’s impacting them,” she said.

Raw Story/The Hartmann Report: The Secret GOP Plot to Change our Constitution Slithers Forward

Common Cause and the Center for Media and Democracy have been at the forefront of sounding the alarm and I’ve hot-linked their names to their most recent articles about the work they’re doing to try to stop the billionaire machine devoted to rewriting our Constitution. Please check them out, get on their mailing lists, and spread the word. This is one of those things that Republicans on the Court could use to seemingly spring out of nowhere and bring down our democracy once and for all.

ProPublica: The Judiciary Has Policed Itself for Decades. It Doesn’t Work.

Common Cause, a nonpartisan watchdog group, revealed that Thomas didn’t report that source of income on his financial disclosures, despite a legal requirement to do so. The New York Times also raised the possibility that Thomas may have flown on Crow’s jet at least three times. If Thomas had, in fact, taken those flights and Crow footed the bill, the justice failed to disclose that, too. The conference told the lawmakers and Common Cause that the Financial Disclosure Committee would look into both issues. Early in 2012, the committee held a meeting. Some of the judges in attendance expected a serious conversation about how to handle the matter. If there is “reasonable cause” to believe a judge might have intentionally falsified a disclosure or omitted information, the conference, through the Financial Disclosure Committee, is supposed to refer the case to the attorney general. Instead, the committee’s chair, a Kentucky district judge and President Bill Clinton appointee named Joseph H. McKinley Jr., said immediately that he had decided to end the inquiry, explaining that Thomas already amended his filings to include Ginni’s source of income, according to one of the judges in the room.

Baltimore Sun: SUBSCRIBER ONLY ‘Sustained, egregious, and damaging to your reputation’: Baltimore County officials, residents criticize council chair for inspector general amendments

The League of Women Voters of Baltimore County, Common Cause Maryland, and the Association of Inspectors General, an industry group, all issued statements in support of the inspector general and opposing any legislation that would undermine the office’s ability to “perform its work in an effective and independent manner.” Joanne Antoine, the executive director of Common Cause Maryland and a member of the Blue Ribbon Commission, said Jones’ amendments were a “slap in the face” to everyone who had worked on the commission. “These amendments are disrespectful, not only to myself and others who served on the commission but to the taxpayers who invested in our work,” she said. “The last-minute weakening amendments being proposed by Council Chair Jones not only undermine the purpose of the office, but shield the bad actors seeking to use county resources for their own interests.” “If he refuses [to withdraw his bill], we urge the County Council to reject the amendments put before them and support the effort to create a truly independent OIG with the resources it needs to be effective.”

WGCU (NPR): Gulf Coast Live: Meet the new Executive Director of Common Cause Florida, a nonpartisan nonprofit that works to uphold the core values of American democracy

Common Cause Florida is a nonpartisan, nonprofit organization that has been working for nearly 50 years to uphold the core values of American democracy, including an open, accountable government that is of, by, and for the people. They focus on issues around voting, and ensuring that every vote counts, that every eligible voter gets their chance to have a say, and that our elections represent the will of the people. Our guest today, Amy Keith, started working for Common Cause Florida about a year and a half ago as Florida Program Director, leading the organization’s voting rights, redistricting, and accountability work, including its federal congressional redistricting case that’s still working its way through the system. As of December 1st she now serves as the organization’s Executive Director.

Colorado Newsline (Op-Ed): To protect our democracy, Donald Trump must be barred from the Colorado ballot

Following this ruling, Colorado Common Cause and former Colorado Secretary of State Mary Estill Buchanan filed an amicus brief in the Colorado Supreme Court asserting that former President Donald Trump should be excluded from the ballot under the 14th Amendment for his role in the January 6th insurrection. Specifically, Common Cause’s amicus brief urges that the Court affirm the findings of the District Court that Donald Trump engaged in insurrection against the Constitution of the United States, and that the Court reverse the finding that the disqualification clause does not apply to the presidency.

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