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Raleigh News & Observer: Town hall by town hall, some stirrings of democracy in North Carolina

Tuesday’s meeting was the sixth in a series of 19 statewide town halls sponsored by the good-government advocacy group Common Cause North Carolina. Several years ago in Raleigh, Moral Mondays protesters descended on the Legislative Building to protest the legislature’s actions. That movement faded during the COVID pandemic. Now Common Cause is seeking to rally people where they live. Gino Nuzzolillo, a 25-year-old staffer at Common Cause, conceived the town hall series and led the one at Gibsonville. “We can’t keep going to Raleigh,” he said. “We have to build a base in other places.” Across the state, Common Cause said more than 30 local advocacy groups have joined the effort.

Voting & Elections 07.30.2023

Honolulu Civil Beat: Editorial Board Interview: Camron Hurt Of Common Cause Hawaii

The Civil Beat Editorial Board spoke on Tuesday with the program director of Common Cause Hawaii. Camron Hurt said the organization under his leadership will focus on elections, voting access, government transparency and campaign finance reform. Hurt began by explaining what Common Cause does.

Charlotte Observer: NC abortion bill didn’t need to move at ‘light speed,’ transparency advocates say

Common Cause NC, an open government advocacy group, has pushed for legislation to require 24 hours between the time a bill has been introduced and the time it goes to committee and at least 24 hours before a bill goes to a floor vote. “We didn’t even have 12 hours with this bill — and it was a 40-page-long bill,” Jane Pinsky, a program director with Common Cause, said. “It’s impossible to expect a legislator to do their job if they have 10 minutes to read a 40-page bill.” Pinsky said that people, regardless of their opinion on abortion, should be concerned when there isn’t openness and transparency in the legislative process. “This is supposed to be a deliberative process,” she said. “It is not supposed to be a rushed process.”

Atlanta Journal-Constitution: Hijacked: Georgia bills thought to be dead revived in final days

“When things are added at the last minute, they don’t go through that same process. Meaningful discussion and opportunity for input doesn’t exist in the same way,” said Anne Gray Herring, a policy analyst for Common Cause Georgia, which advocates for government transparency. “Sometimes new versions (are introduced) right before a hearing and the public hasn’t had meaningful time to review the proposal.”

Media & Democracy 02.19.2023

Salon: Joe Biden's agenda faces an unprecedented onslaught of dark money: The FCC is just the start

"It's clear the industry sees no problems with the status quo," said Getachew. "In a Senate where the Democratic majority is not high, they only need a couple of Democrats to tilt the balance in their favor." Lobbying campaigns against Sohn, Getachew noted, have included those from the Fraternal Order of Police, which has opposed Sohn on the grounds that she personally supports end-to-end encrypted messaging (over which the FCC has no jurisdiction). The FOP argues it can delay police efforts to access cell phone records. Everyone involved understands that "law enforcement access issues are not in the purview of the FCC," said Getachew. The FOP's opposition to Sohn, he suggested, is "driven by a larger industry."

Boston Globe: Massachusetts Senate leaders making push to abolish term limits on chamber’s president

“Without term limits, you run the risk of having leaders who must either be politically disposed, forced out under ethical clouds, or rarely, they might just lose interest and leave voluntarily. None of those scenarios are healthy,” said Geoff Foster, executive director of Common Cause Massachusetts. “Term limits are really important to ensure stable transitions of power.”

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