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Yahoo! News/The Hill: Lobbying World

Virginia Kase Solomón will be the next president and CEO of Common Cause. Currently CEO of the League of Women Voters, she will start her new role in February and will be the first Hispanic person to lead the democratic watchdog. She succeeds Karen Hobert Flynn, who died this spring after three decades with the organization.

The Daily Beast: This Top GOP Recruit Has a Swampy Connection to a Trumpy Rep

Stephen Spaulding, vice president of policy at the good government group Common Cause, told The Daily Beast that the Sheehy-Zinke relationship—consisting of major campaign contributions, federal contracts, and favorable legislation—was the exact kind of “pungent mix” that gives voters the impression that elected officials put corporate money over the public interest. Americans, Spaulding said, are “rightly turned off” by such relationships. “It’s what gives rise to corruption and the appearance of corruption, and the perception that the public interest is taking a back seat to a corporation’s bottom line,” Spaulding said. “It is all too common in Washington and it’s why we need to strengthen laws to guard against pay to play politics.” Spaulding, of Common Cause, told The Daily Beast that he couldn’t think of any precedent where a sitting senator owned a private company that held federal contracts. Elected officials should observe “the highest ethical standards,” he said, and argued Sheehy’s constituents deserve to know whether he will cut all ties, including divestiture. “That should include severing any ties once in office from their former business that profits from government contracts,” Spaulding said.

Bergen Record/NorthJersey.com: If he doesn't resign, could indicted Bob Menendez be expelled from the Senate?

Impeachment has generally been held for civil officers and members of the judiciary and the executive branch, said Stephen Spaulding, vice president at Common Cause, a Washington, D.C.-based watchdog group.  “Anything can move quickly in the Senate if senators want to,” Spaulding said.  The punishment granted in Article I, Section 5, of the Constitution has been rare: The Senate has expelled 15 members since 1789, and the 14 cases other than Blount's occurred during the Civil War for support of the Confederacy.  “It’s a high bar,” Spaulding said. 

Money & Influence 09.13.2023

Associated Press: Santos misses extended deadline to file financial disclosure, blames fear of a ‘rushed job’

Stephen Spaulding, the vice president of policy at Common Cause, a watchdog group, described Santos’ reasoning as “nonsensical,” noting there was no reason that his federal tax obligations should prevent him from filing the necessary disclosure. “He is thumbing his nose at transparency requirements, his constituents and the public,” Spaulding said. “All the more reason to strengthen these penalties.” While it is not uncommon for representatives to file their disclosures late, few of them blow past the extended deadlines, according to Spaulding. “Everyone else seems to know how to comply with this,” he said. “It’s not onerous.”

Raw Story: Sold! Wealthy N.Y. congressman dumps up to $37.1 million in stocks and bonds amid pressure to divest

“When elected officials are trading stocks at a time when they’re supposed to be overseeing companies, we need to make sure that the public has the faith and confidence that elected officials are doing the bidding of the public interest and not trying to line their pockets and do what’s in their private interest,” Aaron Scherb, senior director of legislative affairs for Common Cause, a nonpartisan government reform organization, said at the time.

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