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Executive Ethics

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Courthouse News Service: DeSantis rejects GOP-drawn Florida redistricting map

“At the heart of the map that the governor is pushing, is to dismantle a district that has given Black communities in northern Florida the opportunity to elect a candidate of their choice. The governor’s actions are an effort to bully the Legislature or the courts into adopting a map that takes away people’s voting rights and is unconstitutional,” said Kathay Feng, the national redistricting director for Common Cause, a nonpartisan pro-democracy watchdog group. “Florida voters overwhelmingly adopted some of the strongest anti-gerrymandering protections in the nation — both against racial and partisan gerrymandering. The governor is ready to shred the Florida Constitution and the will of the people to advance his hyper-partisan, anti-Black ideology,” said Feng.

Associated Press: DeSantis, lawmakers sued by groups over congressional maps

Voter rights groups are suing Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis, his secretary of state and lawmakers in a bid to throw out redrawn congressional districts, saying the governor inappropriately influenced the once-a-decade process. The lawsuit was filed Friday in federal court in Tallahassee by Common Cause Florida and Fair Districts Now, two non-partisan groups advocating for good government. The complaint states DeSantis overstepped his executive powers to propose his own maps to favor Republicans. It says his plans violate state and federal laws protecting the redistricting process against partisan gerrymandering. DeSantis’ plans would likely eliminate two Black plurality districts. The lawsuit says his first plan also weakened one Hispanic district, favoring Republican candidates.

Voting & Elections 01.27.2022

VICE News: An Election Police Force Is an Absolutely Terrible Idea

“The governor of Florida does not have control over all Florida police departments or the FBI. And by proposing this integrity unit, it seems like that’s what he wants: personal, political goon squad,” said Sylvia Albert, director of voting and elections for Common Cause. “A police force under the authority of a political individual becomes a political army. That’s similar to, I don’t know, Russia?” Albert said. “In America, we have separation of powers. We have politicians, we have police, we have the judiciary. We have this in place to protect our democracy and to ensure that politicians do not use police as their personal army.”

New York Daily News: NYC Mayor Adams appoints younger brother as deputy NYPD commissioner in move that raises conflict-of-interest questions

“New Yorkers expect that public servants are hired based on their unique qualifications and not because they are the mayor’s brother,” Common Cause New York’s Executive Director Susan Lerner said in an email. “It is unclear whether a waiver from the Conflict of Interest Board would be required for this appointment,” Lerner said. She added: “Even with a waiver, the appointment of the Mayor’s close relative does not inspire public confidence.”

Voting & Elections 12.1.2021

The Hill: The Hill's Top Lobbyists 2021

Not all of those honored on this list are registered lobbyists. But they are all key players who the nation’s biggest companies, advocacy groups, labor unions and trade associations turn to when they want their voices heard in the nation’s capital. The ranks of policy experts, influencers and advocates run deep in Washington, but these are the people who stand out for delivering results for their clients in the halls of Congress and the administration. ... GRASSROOTS: Karen Hobert Flynn and Aaron Scherb, Common Cause 

NPR (Audio): Elected officials in Detroit face a widening federal public corruption probe

NEWMAN: The hope for many residents is that the current political upheaval will lead to reforms. Beth Rotman agrees. She's with the policy group Common Cause. BETH ROTMAN: Often, these scandals lead to more public awareness of how these ties can actually begin on the campaign trail and also in the relationships that form because of the connections between wealth and policy outcomes.

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