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USA Today: Sen. Dean Heller paid son at least $52,500 in campaign cash for social media consulting

“Any payment to a candidate’s family member that seems unusually high is a red flag for me,” said Paul S. Ryan, vice president for policy and litigation at Common Cause, a liberal-leaning nonprofit watchdog group. “Candidates should exercise an abundance of caution in this area and should be prepared to publicly justify such expenses to the public, the press and, most importantly, to the FEC.”

05.18.2018

Ars Tecnica: Cambridge Analytica files for bankruptcy amidst “siege” of negative attention

Stephen Spaulding, the chief of strategy at advocacy group Common Cause and a former special counsel at the FEC, told Ars that he guessed that listing was because of a pending legal complaint brought to the FEC. "The reason they would be listed in a bankruptcy would be that this pending legal action might leave them exposed legally and maybe that’s why it has to be disclosed," he said. "Why they’re listed as a creditor would be a question for a bankruptcy lawyer."

NBC Op-Ed: Trump lawyer Michael Cohen's lobbying just the tip of the iceberg for Washington influence peddlers

Along downtown Washington’s famous K Street — where you can’t travel a block without bumping into a half-dozen lobbyists — some people are struggling to understand why the unfolding saga of President Donald Trump “fixer” (and personal lawyer) Michael Cohen is such a big deal.

Washington Post: In new financial disclosure, Trump reports apparent payment through his personal attorney to adult-film star

Paul Ryan, a vice president at Common Cause, a government watchdog group, said Trump’s disclosure bolsters its Federal Election Commission complaint that the payment should have been reported by the campaign. Whenever Trump learned of the payment to Daniels -- which is still unclear -- he should have directed the campaign to report it, Ryan said. “Donald Trump’s reimbursement of Michael Cohen puts him in the middle of a campaign finance violation that he once denied knowing anything about,” Ryan said. “It’s a criminal violation because his payment amounts to knowledge that Cohen made this payment on his behalf, and campaign finance law violations become criminal violations when they are done knowingly and willingly.”

Reuters: Trump reimbursed attorney who paid porn star Stormy Daniels: disclosure

Common Cause, a nonpartisan watchdog group in Washington, has filed a complaint with the U.S. Federal Election Commission, claiming Trump broke the law when his campaign excluded details about the $130,000 payment in legally mandated filings. Trump’s acknowledgment that he reimbursed Cohen puts the president “at the middle of all of the campaign finance violations,” said Paul S. Ryan, head of litigation at Common Cause. “He knowingly and willfully caused his campaign to not disclose this expenditure, and that’s a criminal violation.”

Media & Democracy 05.16.2018

Broadcasting & Cable: Senate CRA Vote Gets D.C. Buzzing

"Despite the influence from big cable and telecommunications companies who have poured oceans of money in their attempt to kill net neutrality rules, the Senate stood on the side of the American people in voting to pass this resolution," said Michael Copps, special advisor to Common Cause and former Democratic FCC chairman.

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