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Newsweek: Mitch McConnell's 'Legislative Graveyard' Helping Current Congress to Be the Least Productive in History, Report Says

"The House of Representatives passed nearly 10 democracy reform bills, often with bipartisan support, this session, but Majority Leader Mitch McConnell blocked debate and markups on all of these bills and refused to allow a vote," Common Cause's director of legislative affairs, Aaron Scherb, said. The 2020 Democracy Scorecard, one of the group's initiatives, provides data on every current member of the House of Representatives and Senate, including their votes and co-sponsorships of democracy reform bills. Scherb told Newsweek that McConnell has been instrumental in blocking the current Congress from enacting laws. "There have been hundreds that have been passed by the House at this point. There have only been 158 enacted laws by this 116th Congress to this point. Yet there are hundreds of bills that have passed the House but continue to sit in Senate Majority Leader McConnell's desk, or his 'legislative graveyard' as it's been called," he said.

Money & Influence 09.10.2020

Washington Post (EDITORIAL): Authorities must get to the bottom of Postmaster DeJoy’s alleged manipulation of campaign donations

If the allegations are true, Mr. DeJoy would be in violation of federal election laws that prohibit so-called straw donations because they are a way of evading transparency requirements and contribution limits that are so crucial to the conduct of fair elections. Other possible violations include prohibited use of corporate money and coercion of employees. There is a five-year federal statute of limitations, but there is no time limit in North Carolina for the prosecution of felonies, including campaign violations. North Carolina Attorney General Josh Stein (D) said an investigation is warranted and Common Cause North Carolina on Wednesday filed a complaint. Even Mr. Trump, with his high tolerance of wrongdoing by his allies, acknowledged the need for investigation. We urge Congress and North Carolina authorities to act expeditiously in getting to the bottom of this troubling matter.

Money & Influence 09.9.2020

Associated Press: Postal Service changes delay prescription drugs

Common Cause North Carolina filed a formal complaint with the state Board of Elections Wednesday and asked North Carolina Attorney General Josh Stein to investigate the allegations. House Democrats are investigating. “This troubling fundraising scheme allegedly perpetrated by Louis DeJoy has the appearance of bypassing North Carolina’s campaign finance limits in order to illicitly buy political access and curry favor with elected officials,” said Bob Phillips, executive director of Common Cause North Carolina. “These allegations should be thoroughly investigated and, if true, Mr. DeJoy must be held accountable.”

Money & Influence 09.9.2020

HuffPost: Criminal Complaint Filed In North Carolina Against Postmaster General Louis DeJoy

Common Cause and its North Carolina affiliate filed the complaint with the North Carolina Attorney General’s office on Wednesday, as the five-year federal statute of limitations for the alleged crimes has passed. There is no statute of limitations for felonies in North Carolina. “This troubling fundraising scheme allegedly perpetrated by Louis DeJoy has the appearance of bypassing North Carolina’s campaign finance limits in order to illicitly buy political access and curry favor with elected officials,” Bob Phillips, executive director of Common Cause NC, said in a statement. “These allegations should be thoroughly investigated and, if true, Mr. DeJoy must be held accountable.”

Money & Influence 08.29.2020

CNN: Kanye West's strange presidential bid unravels thanks to a messy ballot access operation

Under federal law, presidential candidates must file monthly reports in an election year if they have raised or spent $100,000 -- or anticipate doing so during the course of the year, said Paul Ryan, an election law expert who oversees policy and litigation at Common Cause. The bigger legal jeopardy might be for the Trump campaign if evidence ever emerged that they operated in concert with West to benefit the President's reelection, Ryan said. "If the Trump campaign is asking Kayne West to do these things -- qualify for the ballot, etc. -- then arguably the Trump campaign is soliciting an illegally large, in-kind contributions to the Trump campaign in the form of every penny Kanye West spends," he said.

Money & Influence 08.28.2020

VICE News: Kanye West Is Breaking Campaign Finance Law and Keeping His GOP Backers a Secret

“He’s either violating the reporting requirements or doesn’t anticipate to spend $100,000 or more on his presidential campaign, and the latter part seems unlikely,” said Paul S. Ryan, the head of litigation at the good government group Common Cause. “He’s missed an FEC reporting deadline on August 20 and is in [likely] violation of the law.” ... But if West simply refused to comply, the FEC would have to step in and actually vote to bring him to court. Since Trump has failed to nominate enough people for a quorum on the FEC’s commission, that means the organization is totally toothless. And if his campaign continues to refuse to follow the law, it might be impossible to know exactly how deep the GOP’s involvement in West’s campaign is until well after the November election. “The law wasn’t designed to deal with the wealthy spoiler candidate who’s trying to avoid disclosure to help another candidate,” said Ryan. “Kanye West isn’t the typical candidate so this enforcement mechanism isn’t going to work for his campaign.”

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