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Source New Mexico: The blind spot in the state’s most expensive election so far this year

Dede Feldman, a former state lawmaker and spokesperson for Common Cause New Mexico, said voters deserve to know who signs candidates’ paychecks and where potential conflicts of interest lie. That’s also true for district attorney candidates, she said. “It's not a good look when candidates do not disclose their finances,” she said. Feldman said more candidates need to file disclosures, but that won’t go nearly far enough. They also need to take them more seriously. “The chief duty of elected officials is to act in the public interest, and not their private interests. But when no one knows what their private interests are, there's no way to really enforce conflict of interest,” she said.

Salon/Yahoo! News: "Imbalance of power": Expert says Stormy Daniels' damning testimony may be "very damaging" to Trump

Watchdog group Common Cause filed a complaint claiming the payment was an “in-kind contribution” to Trump’s campaign, but the FEC failed to support their general counsel’s recommendation to investigate amid partisan deadlock. Cohen ultimately pleaded guilty to election finance violations, and said the Trump Organization reimbursed him.

Money & Influence 05.1.2024

CAL Matters/Mercury News: California passed a law to stop ‘pay to play’ in local politics. After two years, legislators want to gut it

California Common Cause and California Clean Money Campaign — the main supporters of the 2022 law — argued the bill would favor certain industries, reduce transparency and allow local elected officials to accept large donations outside the 18-month period the bill proposed. “For many lengthy projects that take longer than nine months, these changes would allow for large contributions to be made while a matter is pending” as long as the check is written outside the window, said Pedro Hernandez, legal and policy director of California Common Cause. Jonathan Mehta Stein, executive director of the group, called the bill’s advancement a “​special interest triumph.” “Our democracy is in dire trouble at the national level. The least we can offer Californians is high-integrity, trustworthy governance here at home,” he said in a statement.

Money & Influence 04.30.2024

Yahoo! News/ The Guardian: Revealed: Tyson Foods dumps millions of pounds of toxic pollutants into US rivers and lakes

Big ag’s influence on state politics is “endemic”, according to Gavin Geis from Common Cause Nebraska, a non-partisan elections watchdog. “The big money spent on lobbying and campaigns by corporate agriculture has played a major role in resisting stronger regulation – despite clear signals such as high levels of nitrates in our groundwater and cancers in rural communities that we need more oversight for farmers across the board,” said Geis.

Money & Influence 04.29.2024

Wisconsin Examiner (Op-Ed): To be truly fair Wisconsin courts must be free from big political money

The unprecedented and obscenely high amount of political money being raised and spent in Wisconsin Supreme Court elections is a fairly new and horrific development in our state. It wasn’t always this way here and it cannot and should not continue. 

Money & Influence 04.24.2024

Cleveland.com/The Plain Dealer (Op-Ed): For the sake of our state, it’s time to pull out HB 6, root and branch

For the past four years, a heavy cloud has hung over Ohio and our state legislature in the form of House Bill 6 and disgraced former Speaker Larry Householder. The HB 6 scheme has been a textbook example of corruption, embarrassing Ohioans with endless indictments, guilty verdicts and negative news stories. Now, four years later, it still dominates headlines, with the recent revelation of payments to conservative groups to support Gov. Mike DeWine, Lt. Gov. John Husted, and Senate President Matt Huffman.

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