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Executive Ethics

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Voting & Elections 04.22.2023

Tribune News Service/Inside Sources/Las Vegas Sun (Op-Ed): Election denialism is still a threat

The lifting of bans on former president Trump by Twitter and Facebook hammers home the point that there is little interest from social media platforms in combating election disinformation. The platforms are scaling back content moderation at a time when consistent enforcement of civic integrity policies can be most impactful. The next year is pivotal, not just in state legislatures but for people's attitudes toward democracy and the information they receive about it.

Common Cause Veterans Kathay Feng and Stephen Spaulding Step Into VP Roles

Common Cause is pleased to announce that two Common Cause veterans have stepped into the role of vice president at the government watchdog. Longtime Common Cause leader Kathay Feng will step into the role of Vice President for Programs and Stephen Spaulding is returning to Common Cause from his role as Policy Director of the U.S. Senate Rules Committee and will serve as Vice President for Policy & External Affairs. Together the two will help lead Common Cause’s national efforts to reduce barriers to a more representative democracy. They will also support efforts for the organization’s 30 state operations working to create a 21st Century democracy that works for everyone.

Charleston Gazette-Mail: As Morrisey mounts gubernatorial run, environmental advocates fear he has damaged WV's climate future

“Attorney General Morrisey should know better,” Aaron Scherb, senior legislative affairs director at Common Cause, a Washington, D.C.-based government watchdog group, said in a phone interview. Common Cause filed complaints with the Department of Justice and the Federal Election Commission against Trump in 2018 alleging a $130,000 payment to Stephanie Clifford, a pornographic actress known as Stormy Daniels, was an unreported in-kind contribution to Trump’s 2016 presidential campaign committee in violation of federal law. “[T]he former president deserves the same treatment as any American,” Scherb said. Scherb argued that some Republican elected officials attacking Trump’s indictment are pandering for his support with their eyes on higher office.

Voting & Elections 03.29.2023

Miami Herald (Op-Ed): Speak up, Floridians, before the Legislature takes away our right to speak freely

We are being silenced in Florida, with dangerous legislation making its way through the state Legislature that could stifle the ability of everyday Floridians to speak freely. House Bill 991 and the companion bill Senate Bill 1220 would dramatically change our state’s defamation laws and allow for monetary judgments when elected officials or others think they’ve been slighted on social media or in critical press reports. By doing away with the long-held standard of proving actual malice or ill intent in a defamation case, Florida would be inviting frivolous lawsuits to proliferate and arming elected officials and others with the ability to silence outspoken critics.

Omaha World-Herald: Nebraska Gov. Pillen not releasing event schedule, criticized for lack of access, accountability

Gavin Geis, executive director for Common Cause Nebraska, said he believes Pillen should continue the tradition of governors sharing their schedule with the public. “Government transparency and accountability are not just enshrined in state law but are what Nebraskans expect from elected leaders,” he said. “The governor’s schedule gives us all insight into his priorities and helps keep the public informed about the work he’s doing on our behalf,” Geis continued. “While it may be an afterthought for some, it’s an important part of bringing voters into the hard work of governing.”

Honolulu Civil Beat: ‘Pay To Play’: Hawaii Moves To Expand The Ban On Contractor Campaign Donations

Heather Ferguson, director of state operations for Common Cause, said the good-government group supports extending Hawaii’s ban on contractor donations to include at least the officers of a contracted entity. “It erodes public trust when contractors are allowed to contribute to campaigns because of the public perception of those donations due to many of the high-profile federal cases,” Ferguson said. “It would be helpful for the public to know that contractors can’t use campaign contributions as an additional way to bid for a job.”

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