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Money & Influence 01.20.2023

Bloomberg: Ohio’s Historic Corruption Case Tests Limits of Citizens United

“We’ve legalized bribery in our campaign finance system,” said Catherine Turcer, executive director of Common Cause Ohio and a longtime Ohio advocate of campaign finance and government reform. “This case proves we’ve essentially set the stage for Ohioans to be taken advantage of. And they were.”

CBS News: George Santos' backers include a migrant smuggler, a big Trump donor and the cousin of a sanctioned Russian oligarch

"This member of Congress has flaunted campaign finance laws," Susan Lerner, the executive director of Common Cause/New York said. "There is no respect for the rules or the voters." According to Lerner, the personal financial disclosures made by candidates are critical for voters to have at their disposal prior to casting their vote. She says  "porous" campaign finance laws and lack of enforcement from the FEC have allowed this particular situation to devolve.

Money & Influence 12.30.2022

Associated Press: FEC levies $30K penalty tied to Kobach’s 2020 US Senate bid

The agreement came more than three years after two watchdog groups, Common Cause and the Campaign Legal Center, filed formal complaints about a July 2019 fundraising email for Kobach’s U.S. Senate campaign. Kobach, who is a polarizing advocate of tough immigration measures, lost the Republican primary for an open U.S. Senate seat in August 2020.

Voting & Elections 12.28.2022

Minnesota Public Radio: Democrats see ‘mandate’ to rewrite election laws

Common Cause Minnesota Executive Director Annastacia Belladonna-Carrera said narrow DFL margins could also doom election law changes. “Now that the Democrats have the House and the Senate, wow, easy peasy, we're just going to roll with all of these reforms, that's not going to be the case,” Belladonna-Carrera said. “There are still intra-caucus dynamics, there is over-promising. And only five months in the legislative session.”

Money & Influence 12.20.2022

Daily Beast: Feds Are ‘Begging’ Congress to Stop Trump Donation Scam

Viki Harrison, director of constitutional convention and protecting dissent programs at Common Cause, said the FEC’s request should be a “wake-up call” for Congress. “This is an ever-changing field, and the bad actors are always going to try to find a way around the law, but these are all really good policies, and Congress should have implemented them,” Harrison told The Daily Beast, adding that, after multiple requests have gone unanswered, it “sounds like they’re begging” for help. Harrison said “there’s a lot of support from the public on the recurring donations issue, where they’re absolutely targeting elderly donors and using algorithms to do that.”

Money & Influence 12.20.2022

Associated Press: Gambling interests gave GOP group behind pro-DeWine PACs $1M

The approach obscures the sway donors have on politicians’ decisions, said Catherine Turcer, executive director of Common Cause Ohio, a government watchdog group. “Ohioans should be able to follow the money so that they’re able to identify who is attempting to influence public policy,” she said. “Instead, we are left with political ads that have a disclaimer or a ‘paid for by’ that is from an organization that we actually have to work to figure out where they got their funding.”

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