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Associated Press: Cuomo's drive to dominate led to success, and his downfall

“The country was mesmerized by Gov. Cuomo’s blunt talk about the pandemic, but he didn’t even follow the experts,” said Susan Lerner, executive director of Common Cause, a good government group that has long butted heads with Cuomo. “That’s emblematic of his style: The performance looks great, but when you get into the details, there are big holes and very little substance.”

Money & Influence 07.24.2021

Texas Tribune/Salon: Greg Abbott promised “transparency" for border wall funding — but donors clearly using fake names

"It makes sense, certainly, that you have an executive saying that we are going to disclose where the funds are coming from," Rotman said. "But if that's not meaningful disclosure ... when it's just a pledge, then it's not really worth the paper that it's written on." Rotman said Abbott could start by adding language to the website asking donors to certify that they use their legal name. His office could also list donor names on the website contemporaneously for the public — as opposed to only providing them in response to open records requests — and add software that would prevent donors from listing incomplete names. "If you think it's important, then you have to say I'm not going to let somebody write down Donnie Darko and give me the cash," she said. "There are a lot of well-developed states and a lot of well-developed models. It's very possible for Texas to do this in a way that Texans will have disclosure in the way that the governor has promised."

Voting & Elections 06.26.2021

Salon: GOP using new laws to drive out local Democratic election officials — and not just in Georgia

"What's driving these efforts is anti-democratic sentiment," Sylvia Albert, executive director of the nonprofit good government group Common Cause, said in an interview with Salon. "These individuals attempted to overturn an election and they were unable to do so. So they are now attempting to change the rules so that next time they can overturn the will of the people." Depending on the state, "these individuals might now have the power to close polling stations or limit voting machine access," Albert warned. "This is part and parcel of a very anti-democratic push to make sure that people who vote against you don't get to vote and if they accidentally do, 'Don't worry, we'll throw out their votes.'"

06.19.2021

CNN (VIDEO): Common Cause's Stephen Spaulding Discusses The For the People Act on CNN’s Smerconish

Stephen Spaulding, Common Cause Sr. Counsel for Policy & Government Affairs, discusses The For the People Act on ABC News Live the day before the bill was scheduled for markup in the Senate Rules Committee.

Forbes: Trump Ethics Critics Take Rare Shot At Biden Over Jobs For Top Aides’ Kids

Beth Rotman, a director at the left-leaning watchdog group Common Cause, told Forbes the hires send a message that “powerful family ties may just land you your very own career,” warning it’s “unhealthy for our democracy to continue down this path” and calling for a “competitive hiring process.”

Associated Press: Lawmakers eye more exemptions to target “abuse’” of FOIA

Claire Snyder-Hall, program director for Common Cause Delaware, a good-government group, said the bill would allow public bodies to deny FOIA requests that they consider “inconvenient or embarrassing.” “How will ambiguous and expansive words like “unduly burdensome,” “intended to disrupt” and “abusive” be interpreted in practice?” she asked. “The problem is that the language in the bill is so broad that it could easily be used by corrupt officials to hide information they do not want public to know about,” Synder-Hall added. ”.... It is a basic premise of our system of government that we cannot rely on the goodwill of people in power.”

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