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Money & Influence 08.11.2022

CNN: What a third White House campaign might mean for Donald Trump and his vast political war chest

"If you walk like a duck, sound like a duck, are a duck, you are supposed to register as a candidate," said Stephen Spaulding, a former Federal Election Commission lawyer who is now senior counsel for policy at the watchdog group Common Cause. Trump has "clearly bent over backwards to hint about what his intentions are," Spaulding said.

Money & Influence 08.10.2022

The Oregonian (Op-Ed): The leadership that money can’t buy

Our communities face urgent issues. Across Oregon, we struggle with the disparate impacts of an ongoing pandemic, wildfire displacement, economic hardship, racism and more. We desperately need elected leaders who understand these struggles firsthand – those who come from impacted communities themselves and who share our lived experiences. But who can afford to run for office? And if elected, who can afford to serve in office?

Pittsburgh Post-Gazette: Posh southwestern Pa. party spotlights how lawmakers and lobbyists mingle out of the public eye

“There’s so little trust that there has to be an environment of complete and utter transparency,” said Khalif Ali, executive director of Common Cause PA, a nonprofit government watchdog group.   “What we’re seeing with these situations — because of the campaign finance laws, donor disclosure, the wide-open structure of lobbying disclosure — there are a number of ways to circumvent the laws,” Mr. Ali said.

Insider: Trump-endorsed J.R. Majewski, an Ohio Republican running in one of the nation’s hottest congressional races, is violating federal law by not disclosing his personal finances

Catherine Turcer, executive director of Common Cause Ohio, a nonpartisan government watchdog organization, said all congressional candidates should follow the law about personal financial disclosures — especially in a race as close as the one for Ohio's 9th Congressional District. "It allows voters to consider the statements the candidates make, it allows voters to consider any conflicts of interest," Turcer said. "Transparency allows voters to be educated … and to know what each of the candidates are all about and how responsible they are."

Money & Influence 08.4.2022

Daily Beast: How a Trumpy Billionaire Is Single-Handedly Reshaping Campaigns

“There’s definitely disproportionate involvement of single-candidate super PACs this cycle,” Aaron Scherb of government watchdog Common Cause observed. “These groups tend to have a small number of donors, and they often silence and drown out the voices of small donors and everyday voters.” “Often these donors want something in return,” he said. ... “There’s definitely more danger of a quid pro quo with these groups,” Scherb said. “At the very least it creates the perception of corruption, which in many ways can be just as damaging.”

Money & Influence 07.23.2022

Daily Beast: Cawthorn Campaign Illegally Spent Funds It Wasn’t Supposed to Touch

Beth Rotman, director of ethics at watchdog Common Cause, told The Daily Beast there’s a third option. “In practice, many people may start spending this money in the primary and pay it back; it’s a risk, but it may not be uncommon,” Rotman said, pointing out that the Cawthorn campaign can raise money to pay down its debts. “He needs to make this right by fundraising, and a lot of rules require that he do that staying within contribution limits.”

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