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Money & Influence 06.25.2018

McClathcy: Hawley campaign paid attorneys to screen Mizzou emails for public release

"Any expense that would not exist if this person wasn’t running for office is a permissible use of campaign funds," said Paul S. Ryan, vice president for policy and litigation at Common Cause, a government watchdog group. "It’s kind of a good thing that Hawley’s using campaign funds that are subject to limits and disclosure to pay for these political expenses," Ryan said. Some politicians, including President Donald Trump, have used funds not subject to disclosure or contribution limits to raise money for legal bills, he said.

Money & Influence 06.19.2018

Politico: Democrats dodge campaign finance law

“It has long been the case that Democrats, while on the campaign stump, advocate for campaign finance reform while their own campaign lawyers behind the scenes are weakening or even gutting campaign finance laws,” Paul S. Ryan said.

Business Insider: Trump could be in a world of new legal trouble after New York's attorney general accused his charity of 'willful and knowing' crimes

Paul S. Ryan, the vice president of policy and litigation at the watchdog group Common Cause, told Business Insider that such coordination could be in violation of what is known as the "soft money ban," adding that the Iowa event and the distribution of the funds raised during it "were timed to create goodwill and earned media for the Trump campaign in the week leading up to the Iowa caucuses."

New York Times: Will the Justice Department Investigate the Trump Foundation?

“There are certainly grounds to open an investigation on the merits,” said Paul S. Ryan, vice president for policy and litigation at the campaign finance advocacy group Common Cause. “But the F.E.C. has been dismissing complaints that I think are much stronger slam dunks than this.”

Money & Influence 06.14.2018

Reuters: New York sues Trump, his foundation, over 'self-dealing'

Paul S. Ryan, head of litigation at Common Cause, a nonpartisan watchdog group in Washington, said the New York filing provides details of actions that could also violate a federal ban on campaigns funneling “soft money” through nonprofits. “This involvement of the Trump campaign in the foundation’s disbursements right before the Iowa caucuses may very well violate the campaign finance law soft money ban,” Ryan said in an interview.

Money & Influence 06.1.2018

The Intercept: In Three California House Races, Wealthy Democrats Have Spent $16 Million of Their Own Money So Far

“It goes to show how out of balance the way we pay for campaigns is,” said Stephen Spaulding, chief of strategy and external affairs for the reform group Common Cause. “The system makes it easier for wealthy individuals to mount campaigns, and harder for ordinary people to do so.”... If a self-funder happens to get into Congress, they bring to Washington a worldview that aligns with the top 1 percent. “Congress does not at all reflect the community it represents,” said Stephen Spaulding of Common Cause. “We have to figure out ways to change the system.”

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