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Voting & Elections 01.16.2019

Newsweek: Diversity in Congress: Ambitious Agenda Calls for Great Expectations

House watchers suggest that the 116th Congress might also have a chance at denting public corruption. House Resolution 1, the first bill introduced this year, is a sweeping proposal aimed at money in politics, voting reforms and ethics. Those issues have broad bipartisan support in many states and localities, according to Aaron Scherb, legislative affairs director at government watchdog Common Cause. “I think a lot of the reforms at the national level will help advance the ball for when there is a more favorable political climate after 2020,” he says. 

HuffPost: States And Cities Have Already Shown Democrats’ Election Reforms Will Work

“When lawmakers draw their own lines, they lose all of their philosophical ideals and they become ugly monsters that are willing to cut out competitors, punish people from the other party and try to draw the most protective district for themselves so they don’t have to face serious competition for the next 10 years,” said Kathay Feng, national redistricting director at the good government group Common Cause, which championed the creation of California’s commission.

Just Security (Op-Ed): Trump Campaign in Legal Jeopardy Over Manafort’s Sharing Data with Russian Agent

According to a court filing earlier this week, former 2016 Trump campaign chairman Paul Manafort shared presidential campaign polling data with Konstantin Kilimnik, a Russian citizen with ties to Russian intelligence. If the data Manafort shared with Kilimnik was used to materially guide spending by Russian nationals to influence the 2016 presidential election, then the Trump campaign seemingly received an “in-kind contribution” from the Russian nationals in the form of “coordinated expenditures” in violation of multiple federal campaign finance laws. A key link in the “coordination” here is the revelation of Manafort’s actions.

Voting & Elections 12.19.2018

New York Times: Why Deep Blue New York Is ‘Voter Suppression Land’

“Nothing is 100 percent guaranteed in Albany,” said Susan Lerner, the executive director of Common Cause New York, a government reform group. But she added: “I think it would be very very difficult for people who were elected on the promise that they were going to heed the voice of the voter, to then turn around and just have it be old-fashioned Albany business as usual.”

Money & Influence 12.19.2018

USA Today (Op-Ed): Republicans, don't be flip about Trump and hush money. Democracy isn't a partisan issue.

In Common Cause’s five-decade history, we have held both Democrats and Republicans accountable. We do this because of moments like this, when one party has moved so far in the wrong direction that it seems like democracy reform is a partisan issue. It is not, and we shouldn’t let Republican leaders in Congress make it one.

Money & Influence 12.18.2018

Washington Post: Are the Trump hush-money payments the most significant campaign finance violation ever?

“The FEC has found violations significantly larger in amount than the two Trump hush payments, and has a few more complaints still pending that allege much larger amounts in violation,” said Paul Ryan, an election law expert at Common Cause.

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