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Plain Dealer/Cleveland.com: Corporate jets, bribes and dark money: Householder trial spotlights weaknesses in Ohio ethics laws

Catherine Turcer, executive director of the good-government group Common Cause Ohio, said it’s “astonishing” that lawmakers have yet to take up any reforms in response to the Householder scandal. “It’s clear to me that the people in power like the structure that we have right now, and that they’re benefitting from the lack of transparency,” Turcer said. ... Turcer said there’s a public interest in limiting lawmakers’ and other politicians’ ability to accept trips on private jets. “Any time our lawmakers are given perks from folks who want something, it’s a problem if our goal is reducing quid pro quo,” Turcer said. ... Turcer, the good-government advocate, said a lack of transparency in political spending is the core issue behind the abuses revealed by the House Bill 6 scandal. She said campaign-finance laws won’t prevent future scandals. But they could discourage them, she said. “I look at them like guardrails,” Turcer said. “If we have a speed limit that’s 55, 65, 70. You have people who might go 72. They might even go 80. But they aren’t going 120.”

Arizona Republic: Hobbs reveals donations to inauguration; APS 'pleased' to give $250K for celebration at Capitol

"It is absolutely integral that the administration has a transparent and honest line of communication with Arizona and Arizona voters, as well as the different (news) outlets across the state, in order to ensure that Arizonans are able to access that information," said Jenny Guzman, program director for Common Cause Arizona, a government accountability group that launched its office in the Grand Canyon State this month.

CBS News: George Santos won a seat in Congress on a resume full of inconsistencies. Some supporters now want answers.

Ethics watchdogs are also monitoring developments. Susan Lerner, executive director for Common Cause New York, called on Santos to resign. Lerner told CBS News she had never seen an instance like this. "This is really, really breathtakingly shocking," Lerner said. "There have been instances where candidates have exaggerated their background…haven't seen anybody who's made up an entirely false life story." It's unclear whether House GOP leadership will urge any action. "There are always charlatans who will try and fool the system. And the question really is, can the system protect itself? And that's what we're going to see," Lerner said. "Can Congress set standards for who is appropriately a member of the House of Representatives or not?"

Wall Street Journal: George Santos Was Just Elected to Congress. He Faces Scrutiny Over His Résumé.

“When you have somebody who had almost no assets and now suddenly has millions—the question is, who does he owe allegiance to?” said Susan Lerner, executive director of the government-watchdog group Common Cause New York.

Money & Influence 12.20.2022

Daily Beast: Feds Are ‘Begging’ Congress to Stop Trump Donation Scam

Viki Harrison, director of constitutional convention and protecting dissent programs at Common Cause, said the FEC’s request should be a “wake-up call” for Congress. “This is an ever-changing field, and the bad actors are always going to try to find a way around the law, but these are all really good policies, and Congress should have implemented them,” Harrison told The Daily Beast, adding that, after multiple requests have gone unanswered, it “sounds like they’re begging” for help. Harrison said “there’s a lot of support from the public on the recurring donations issue, where they’re absolutely targeting elderly donors and using algorithms to do that.”

Insider: Top government ethics officer was late disclosing his personal finances on multiple occasions

"When the referees themselves don't follow the rules it sends a bad signal that the rules might not really matter," Aaron Scherb, senior director of legislative affairs at Common Cause, told Insider. "People who are in charge of ethics enforcement should be the No. 1 champions of fully complying with the letter and spirit of the law and all relevant regulations."

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