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Money & Influence 07.28.2021

Daily Beast: The RNC Is Ramping Up Its ‘Predatory’ Fundraising Machine

These new RNC tactics echo charges in a recent federal conviction of a scam PAC operator, according to Paul Ryan, vice president of policy and litigation at Common Cause, a campaign finance reform advocacy group. “The Justice Department noted in the charging document that the lies in the PAC’s fundraising emails constituted ‘material misrepresentations’ that misled potential donors,” Ryan told The Daily Beast. “The RNC is on notice that telling lies in fundraising emails can expose them to criminal prosecution for fraud.”

Media & Democracy 07.26.2021

Broadcasting & Cable: Trump Accused of Using PAC To Evade Facebook Ban

Common Cause, joined by almost two dozen more groups, have called on Facebook to prevent political action committees (PACS) affiliated with suspended accounts--the target is former President Trump--to violate the site's community standards. "If Facebook’s content moderation policies for public figures are to have any legitimacy, they must not be so easily circumvented. We urge Facebook to close this loophole and align its content moderation policies with campaign finance law to prevent politicians from using political committees under their control to evade enforcement actions," said Yosef Getachew, Common Cause media and democracy program director.

Money & Influence 07.20.2021

Associated Press: Complaint alleges group funneled data from RNC to lawmakers

ALEC could face additional legal jeopardy from complaints making similar allegations that the Center for Media and Democracy, in conjunction with the watchdog group Common Cause, says it is also filing with 15 Attorney General offices.

Media & Democracy 07.19.2021

VICE: Report Finds Big Telecom Spends $230,000 on Lobbying Every Day

“For years, Congressional efforts to pass legislation needed to address the nation’s long-standing disparities in connectivity have been stopped dead in their tracks in part because of aggressive industry lobbying and the oversized political influence of the largest ISPs,” Common Cause Media and Democracy Program Director Yosef Getachew said of the study. Getachew noted that efforts to improve broadband mapping, fund the deployment of competitive fiber, or even improve the standard definition of broadband have all repeatedly been scuttled by industry lobbying. At the same time, telecom lobbyists have worked tirelessly to undermine federal and state regulatory oversight of the heavy monopolized telecom industry.

Money & Influence 07.15.2021

CNN: Porsches, Gucci rings and billions of robocalls: Inside the PAC operation that raised millions by impersonating Donald Trump

"Self-enrichment is the defining characteristic of a scam PAC, regardless of what they're saying they're doing or in fact doing with the money," said Paul S. Ryan, the vice president of policy and litigation at the watchdog group Common Cause. "Just saying that you spent the money on robocalls doesn't negate allegations of scam PAC-i-ness." But a worst-case scenario, according to Ryan, of the watchdog group Common Cause, would play out like this: the FEC fines would continue to grow but a PAC "so deep in the red could just shut down. It could close its bank account, close its office or P.O. Box and, for all intents and purposes, disappear," said Ryan. And because PACs are typically corporations, said Ryan, "The people who set up the PAC are only personally financially liable under campaign finance law if they've knowingly and willfully violated the law."

Voting & Elections 07.14.2021

Associated Press: Biden blasts ‘un-American’ voting limits; Texas Dems act

“Administrative action, litigation, and organizing are critical to combat this, but these tactics are not a substitute for congressional action on the For the People Act and John Lewis Voting Rights Advancement Act,” Karen Hobert Flynn, president of the group Common Cause, said Tuesday. “As the president ramps up his use of the bully pulpit and engages with senators, we urge him to make clear that the Senate minority’s use of the filibuster—a Jim Crow relic, in the words of former President Obama—must never stand in the way of the freedom to vote.”

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