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Charlotte Observer: NC abortion bill didn’t need to move at ‘light speed,’ transparency advocates say

Common Cause NC, an open government advocacy group, has pushed for legislation to require 24 hours between the time a bill has been introduced and the time it goes to committee and at least 24 hours before a bill goes to a floor vote. “We didn’t even have 12 hours with this bill — and it was a 40-page-long bill,” Jane Pinsky, a program director with Common Cause, said. “It’s impossible to expect a legislator to do their job if they have 10 minutes to read a 40-page bill.” Pinsky said that people, regardless of their opinion on abortion, should be concerned when there isn’t openness and transparency in the legislative process. “This is supposed to be a deliberative process,” she said. “It is not supposed to be a rushed process.”

Atlanta Journal-Constitution: Hijacked: Georgia bills thought to be dead revived in final days

“When things are added at the last minute, they don’t go through that same process. Meaningful discussion and opportunity for input doesn’t exist in the same way,” said Anne Gray Herring, a policy analyst for Common Cause Georgia, which advocates for government transparency. “Sometimes new versions (are introduced) right before a hearing and the public hasn’t had meaningful time to review the proposal.”

Media & Democracy 02.19.2023

Salon: Joe Biden's agenda faces an unprecedented onslaught of dark money: The FCC is just the start

"It's clear the industry sees no problems with the status quo," said Getachew. "In a Senate where the Democratic majority is not high, they only need a couple of Democrats to tilt the balance in their favor." Lobbying campaigns against Sohn, Getachew noted, have included those from the Fraternal Order of Police, which has opposed Sohn on the grounds that she personally supports end-to-end encrypted messaging (over which the FCC has no jurisdiction). The FOP argues it can delay police efforts to access cell phone records. Everyone involved understands that "law enforcement access issues are not in the purview of the FCC," said Getachew. The FOP's opposition to Sohn, he suggested, is "driven by a larger industry."

Boston Globe: Massachusetts Senate leaders making push to abolish term limits on chamber’s president

“Without term limits, you run the risk of having leaders who must either be politically disposed, forced out under ethical clouds, or rarely, they might just lose interest and leave voluntarily. None of those scenarios are healthy,” said Geoff Foster, executive director of Common Cause Massachusetts. “Term limits are really important to ensure stable transitions of power.”

Voting & Elections 08.17.2022

Indianapolis Star (Op-Ed): Jan. 6 insurrection 'startling' but catalyst to continue to fight for democracy

Not every member of my generation has given up on democracy. Motivated by the turmoil of present day American politics, we have taken to political activism. Protests are a peaceful way to express concern or disagreement. However, activism can only push the political agenda so far. While protests bring attention to issues, they don’t always force politicians to enact the change citizens want. We’ve got to follow up our protests with informed voting in every election and persuade our peers to do the same.

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?

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