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Money & Influence 07.9.2020

Washington Post: States that raced to reopen let businesses write their own rules, documents show

Across the country, moves to reopen the economy before containing the virus offered a lesson in “how the political system accommodates the needs of business,” said Paul S. Ryan, vice president of policy and litigation at the watchdog group Common Cause.

Money & Influence 05.22.2020

Associated Press: Nebraska sees increase in lobbyists, spending on lobbyists

Lobbyists in Nebraska raked in more cash than ever last year and more people joined their ranks to try to influence public officials, according to a new report. Lobbyists collected $19.4 million in gross earnings in 2019, according to Common Cause Nebraska. The government watchdog group said the total is a record, up from $17.8 million in 2018. Jack Gould, the group’s issues chairman, said lobbyists are getting more involved in campaign

Money & Influence 05.20.2020

HuffPost: Digital Ad Makers Making Millions Off Of Trump’s Reelection Campaign

The Trump campaign is obfuscating its spending thanks to a loophole that the FEC has failed to close. Unlike payments to credit card companies, which must be itemized by individual vendor, payments to consultants who then outsource the work do not have to be broken out, said Paul Ryan, a campaign finance lawyer with Common Cause. “The lack of transparency to the public is a problem,” he said.

Money & Influence 05.14.2020

Daily Beast: How Susan Collins’ Small Business Bill Helped Bail Out Big Ones

Noting that the initial draft of the PPP did not have that “carve-in” for chains, Common Cause’s Beth Rotman, an expert in money and politics, told the Daily Beast, “Essentially a combination of wealthy special interests together with well-placed contributors at a critical moment bought a revision to our stimulus package that defined small business as including big business because they owned large franchises made up of hundreds of smaller entities. They were following the law they helped write.” 

New York Times: Ann McBride Norton, First Woman to Run Common Cause, Dies at 75

When she retired from Common Cause in 1999, Archibald Cox, the Watergate prosecutor and longtime chairman of Common Cause, called her “a giant in the world of political reform,” a gifted organizer and an inspiring public speaker. “If I had her personality,” Mr. Cox said, “I would rule the world.”

Voting & Elections 05.6.2020

Washington Post: Ann McBride Norton, who led Common Cause and championed campaign-finance laws, dies at 75

“Saints are those who agree with your cause and will fight for it until the bitter end,” McBride observed in her mellifluous Louisiana lilt. “Sinners are those who vehemently oppose your cause and will to the day they die. People in the first two categories will never switch their opinions. It’s the savables, those caught in the middle, we all try to sway because there’s hope for them.”

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