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Money & Influence 08.10.2022

The Oregonian (Op-Ed): The leadership that money can’t buy

Our communities face urgent issues. Across Oregon, we struggle with the disparate impacts of an ongoing pandemic, wildfire displacement, economic hardship, racism and more. We desperately need elected leaders who understand these struggles firsthand – those who come from impacted communities themselves and who share our lived experiences. But who can afford to run for office? And if elected, who can afford to serve in office?

Money & Influence 06.28.2022

Washington Post: Baker paused his bid, rivals sought his endorsement. Why hasn’t it come?

Joanne Antoine, executive director of Common Cause Maryland, said Baker also faces another dilemma: If he withdraws, he would be required to return the matching funds he received. So far, he has received nearly $1 million from the state. Baker wants more officers hired to ‘stop the slaughter’ in Baltimore “That may be why he chose to suspend without shutting it down, because he would need to return that money,” said Antoine, whose group is a proponent of the state’s public financing program and has worked on legislation to strengthen it. Antoine said Baker ending his campaign and possibly endorsing another could be seen as a candidate being “given money and indirectly using their visibility and support to help someone who is not in the program. … I do think it’s unclear as it relates to endorsements and we urge against it.”

Voting & Elections 05.4.2022

Washingtonian: Washington DC’s 500 Most Influential People

Aaron Scherb Common Cause Director, Legislative Affairs: Scherb co-led an umbrella advocacy group made up of 240 organizations to push for passage of the For the People Act, a comprehensive voting-rights package that Republicans opposed.

Money & Influence 03.15.2022

Business Insider: How more than $407 million in taxpayer money got locked away in a forgotten government fund — and lawmakers won't spend it or return it

The For the People Act "represents the boldest democracy reform since Watergate, and any funds currently available for the old system should be used for the new system of federal citizen-funded elections, which must pass so we can get big money out of politics," Beth Rotman, the director of money in politics and ethics for Common Cause, said prior to the bill's stall-out.

Voting & Elections 02.22.2022

Ms. Magazine (Op-Ed): Our Democracy Has Problems. Women Have Solutions.

My dream is to live in an inclusive democracy that lives up to its promise. Where everyone has a say in the future for their family and community; where anyone can run for public office; where everyone plays by the same fair rules; and where our government reflects who we are because people vote in high numbers. We must not yield to a cynicism that says we can never improve. Making the dream real means ensuring those who represent us are reflective and responsive to the people—not the wealthy who dominate campaign and lobbyist spending. It means ending voter suppression that silences Black and brown voters; replacing unaccountable secret money in elections with small dollar donor laws that shift power from wealthy special interests to the people; ending racial and partisan gerrymandering by shifting power from politicians to impartial commissions; and preventing election sabotage that would steal power from voters by overturning elections. —Karen Hobert Flynn, president of Common Cause

Voting & Elections 06.22.2021

Los Angeles Times: GOP set to block Democrats’ voting-rights bill in Senate. Activists plan pressure campaign

“Our summer of mobilization and grassroots actions to pass this bill will continue. Democracy will prevail. Failure is not an option,” Karen Hobert Flynn, president of government watchdog Common Cause, said in a statement.

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