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Executive Ethics

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Politico: DeSantis top aide grilled over map that dismantled seat held by Black Democrat

Kathay Feng, Common Cause vice president for programs who was on hand for the trial, contended that Kelly’s testimony showed that the DeSantis administration was struggling to explain their actions. “There’s a lot of twisting and turning, there’s a lot of fabrication, there’s a lot of denial of history,” Feng said.

Orlando Sentinel: Fight teed up in federal court over controversial Florida congressional redistricting map

White Republicans won all North Florida congressional districts in the November elections after the map was redrawn. Attorneys for plaintiffs such as the NAACP and Common Cause Florida argue in the federal lawsuit that the overhaul to Congressional District 5 involved "intentional discrimination" and violated the U.S. Constitution's 14th Amendment and 15th Amendment. The 14th Amendment ensures equal protection, while the 15th Amendment prohibits denying or abridging the right to vote based on race. The Legislature passed the plan after DeSantis vetoed a proposal that could have led to electing a Black candidate in District 5, the attorneys wrote in a pre-trial brief filed Tuesday. "Gov. DeSantis was viscerally opposed to any district in North Florida in which Black voters could elect a representative of their choice - no matter how such a district was configured," the brief said. "He vetoed the Legislature's plan, and pushed through his own, not in spite of his plan's adverse impact on Black voting power, but precisely because of it. That is unconstitutional." "The evidence will show Governor DeSantis went into the 2022 congressional redistricting with one overriding goal: eliminating (the previous configuration of) Florida's Fifth Congressional District, a district where Black voters could elect their candidate of choice," said the brief filed Tuesday by the plaintiffs' attorneys.

CT Insider: In Connecticut’s smallest city, mayoral candidate’s Jan. 6 charges set up divisive Republican primary

Cheri Quickmire, executive director of the voter advocacy and election watchdog organization Common Cause in Connecticut, says the primary will be a test for Trump supporters and mainstream Republicans. "I don’t think he should be on the ballot," Quickmire said of DiGiovanni. "I think anyone who participated in an insurrection against the U.S. government should be disqualified."

Los Alamos Daily Post: Officials And Organizations Express Condolences On Passing Of Former New Mexico Gov. Bill Richardson

Common Cause New Mexico State Director Heather Ferguson: “He was one of the strongest Governors New Mexico ever had. While he might be remembered more for his diplomacy and the economic advances he brought to New Mexico (the film industry, the Spaceport, the Rail Runner to name a few) we remember him for his 2007 Ethics Reform Task Force. It spurred so much legislation over the subsequent decades—a Gift Ban, Public Financing of the PRC and state judicial races, limits on campaign contributions and an ethics commission. He was a champion you wanted to have in your corner—with courage, deft negation skills and a fighting spirit. We will miss him.” Former Executive Director Viki Harrison of the New Mexico Coalition to Abolish the Death Penalty & Founding Advisory Committee Members of Death Penalty Action: “Governor Richardson changed the course of history in New Mexico when he signed the bill to abolish the death penalty in March 2009. He became a champion of abolition and helped in many other places over the last decade. I lost a mentor and a friend and am devasted by this news – just messaged with him a couple of months ago. Sending much love to Barbara and the rest of the family.”

Money & Influence 09.2.2023

Newsday: Term-limited Bellone continues fundraising

Susan Lerner, executive director of the good government group Common Cause New York, said politicians should not hold fundraisers without declaring their intentions. "Common Cause/NY believes that candidates must explicitly announce what office they are running for when asking donors for money - and not build up a war chest for an unknown position," she said in a statement. "New York law must change so that candidates are only able to raise money once they've announced their campaign for an intended office."

NPR: How Florida's congressional map could change before the 2024 elections

Regardless of how the state court rules, plaintiffs in an ongoing federal lawsuit plan to proceed with their case, explained Kathay Feng, an attorney and vice president of programs for Common Cause Florida, one of the groups challenging the map. "If they come to a final remedy that is very narrowly focused, there is still an opportunity for the federal case to examine the entire state map as a whole," Feng said. Although plaintiffs suing in state court have agreed to skip a trial, that's not expected to happen in the federal case, Feng said: "We are fully prepared to go to trial in September."

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