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Voting & Elections 12.1.2020

Voice of America: No Evidence of Fraud That Would Void Biden Victory, Barr Says

Sylvia Albert, director of voting and elections at the watchdog group Common Cause, said Barr’s comments that the DOJ was unable to find substantive evidence of fraud could potentially put him in Trump’s crosshairs.    “The president seems to fire anybody who states a fact that he does not agree with,” Albert said.   In its assessment of the November 3 election, Common Cause said it had uncovered instances of routine Election Day problems such as malfunctioning machines and long lines but no evidence of fraud.    Albert criticized Barr for toeing Trump’s line on voter fraud before belatedly stating the obvious.     “The attorney general has for the past month continued to help the president undermine people's confidence in the election, so I'm not going to give him a prize for telling the truth when he's told it a month late,” Albert said in an interview with VOA.  

The Hill: Talk of self-pardon for Trump heats up

Paul S. Ryan, vice president of policy and litigation at Common Cause, has written to the DOJ, Federal Elections Commission and the Southern District of New York asking for investigations into campaign finance violations pertaining to Trump’s hush money payments to two women and over the president’s request that Ukraine investigate Biden for corruption. Ryan said federal officials should feel duty-bound to investigate even when Trump is out of office, but said he fears the political pressure to look the other way will be too great. “I don’t think politics should play a role, but it probably will,” Ryan said. “I suspect, against my own wishes, that a Biden DOJ will probably not pursue crimes against his predecessor. We have a history in this country of presidents looking the other way and letting bygones be bygones. That’s not good for democracy in terms of election law and future precedent. But Biden may find it necessary for democracy writ large to try and move the country forward.”

Money & Influence 12.1.2020

HuffPost: Trump’s ‘Save America’ PAC Could Pay For Big Macs, Hush Money … Pretty Much Anything

“It’ll be a slush fund,” said Paul S. Ryan, a campaign finance lawyer with Common Cause. “Trump could decide to pay himself $1 million a year out of this fund. That’s legal. He could pay [his children] Don Jr. and Ivanka, if he wanted to. It’s pretty clear that this is a classic bait-and-switch scheme.”

Associated Press: Critics look to pressure GOP over Indiana redistricting

“The General Assembly won’t do it— we understand the motivations why they won’t do it,” said Julia Vaughn, Common Cause Indiana’s policy director. “So we’re creating this parallel, this shadow, process that will demonstrate to Hoosiers and the Legislature alike that there is a way to do this in the public interest, out in the open so that everybody can see.”

Voting & Elections 11.30.2020

Salon: Appeals court rejects Trump's attempt to block certification of Pennsylvania's election results

"Once again, this court decision is a win for voters," declared Suzanne Almeida, elections adviser for Common Cause Pennsylvania. "We're glad that this court, also, recognized the lack of evidence and lack of merit in this lawsuit. In America, voters choose our elected officials. Pennsylvania's voters made a collective decision, weeks ago, and that decision needs to be honored."

Voting & Elections 11.25.2020

Inside Sources (Op-Ed): We Are Thankful for Our (Imperfect) Democracy

Our democracy has endured wars, pandemics, natural disasters and now a lawless president. And despite that, next year will likely bring more unexpected challenges that we’ll confront as a nation. We nonetheless must be thankful for what we have, as imperfect as our system is. Change has often been cyclical, and following the scandals of the Trump administration, we may soon have a once-in-a-generation opportunity. If one thing is clear, it’s that we’re on the doorstep of passing a comprehensive reform package to put “we the people” back in charge of our democracy.

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