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New York Times: Pennsylvania G.O.P.’s Push for More Power Over Judiciary Raises Alarms

“We are in the last legislative session of this,” said Alexa Grant, a program advocate with Common Cause. “So we are the last line of defense.”

NPR (AUDIO): 6-Month Delay In Census Redistricting Data Could Throw Elections Into Chaos

There's a tension between the bureau having enough time to produce accurate information and states and localities having to meet redistricting deadlines. And that could create ideal conditions for gerrymandering, says Kathay Feng, national redistricting director for Common Cause, a government watchdog group. "There is a quiet conversation going on in legislatures right now about whether the delay actually might be a helpful game changer to allow them to pass midnight bills and do the dirty work outside of the scrutiny of the public," Feng says.  "We are heading into a redistricting cycle where it will be a bare-knuckle battle for control," Feng says. "Those who are in power are going to use every tool in the toolbox to try to eke out a win. And if that means passing gerrymandered maps in the dead of night, they're going to do it."

Money & Influence 01.31.2021

Cleveland Plain Dealer (Op-Ed): A blueprint to end the corrupting influence of dark money in Ohio

This is not FirstEnergy’s first bailout nor first pay-to-play scandal. Ohio needs to make it the utility’s last scandal by shining a light on dark money and adding conflict-free members to the PUCO.

Pro Publica / Richmond Times-Dispatch: “The People We Serve Are Paying Too Much for Energy:” Virginia Lawmakers Are Targeting Dominion Energy

Paul Seamus Ryan, vice president of policy and litigation at Common Cause, a government accountability organization, agreed but said Norment should recuse himself anyway. “I think it’s really important for public officials to avoid even the appearance of a conflict of interest or corruption,” he said.

Voting & Elections 01.14.2021

TIME: After Georgia Flips Blue, Voting Rights Advocates Brace for New Voting Restrictions

Voting rights groups say the atmosphere in Georgia has been increasingly tense in recent months as they’ve worked to get out the vote. Aunna Dennis, executive director of Common Cause Georgia, has been wary of what she describes as “angry mobs” at the Capitol, explaining that “there has been a hostile presence with the Stop the Steal rallies.” As a Black woman, she feels particularly unsafe around the area which she is used to visiting as she does her election protection work, she adds.

Associated Press: Judge blocks fees set by tainted Ohio nuclear bailout law

Common Cause Ohio, a progressive good-government group, urged DeWine to require additional financial disclosure for utilities commission applicants. “Ohioans should be able to ‘follow the money’; such disclosure will help Governor DeWine identify conflicts of interest and could help head off future problems,” Executive Director Catherine Turcer said in a statement.

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