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Voting & Elections 03.16.2021

NBC Peacock – The Mehdi Hasan Show (VIDEO): The Fight Over the Massive Bill to Reform Voting Rights

Voter suppression efforts are escalating in 43 states, as are Republican efforts to block passage of H.R. 1, the massive voting rights bill just passed by House Dems. The Bulwark's Charlie Sykes and Stephen Spaulding of Common Cause help Mehdi understand what's in the bill and what's at stake.

New York Times: In Farewell Speech, Udall Says Senate Has Become ‘Graveyard for Progress’

“I’m not the first to say this in a farewell address, and I won’t be the last, but the Senate is broken,” Mr. Udall, Democrat of New Mexico, said on Tuesday in what is likely his final speech after 12 years in the deeply divided institution. “The Senate is broken,” he repeated for emphasis. For months, Americans have watched in anger as Congress remained mired in partisan paralysis over more pandemic relief, allowing unemployment benefits to lapse as many suffer from joblessness. Fewer people approve of the job lawmakers are doing in Washington than at almost any time in recent history. And the government watchdog group Common Cause ranked the current Congress the “least productive in history,” noting that only about 1 percent of bills introduced became law. Mr. Udall emphasized this dysfunctional state of affairs on the floor, calling on senators to gut the legislative filibuster — which effectively requires a 60-vote supermajority to advance any major legislation — and change a culture he said valued partisanship over the country’s best interests.

New York Times: Ann McBride Norton, First Woman to Run Common Cause, Dies at 75

When she retired from Common Cause in 1999, Archibald Cox, the Watergate prosecutor and longtime chairman of Common Cause, called her “a giant in the world of political reform,” a gifted organizer and an inspiring public speaker. “If I had her personality,” Mr. Cox said, “I would rule the world.”

Money & Influence 02.25.2020

Associated Press: Years of largesse give Bloomberg his own political machine

“He had the wealth to give away money for years to build friends, to build political allies, to build relationships, in ways that the average American doesn’t have, can’t do. That’s a huge advantage,” said Paul S. Ryan, a vice president at Common Cause, a government watchdog group.

HuffPost: States And Cities Have Already Shown Democrats’ Election Reforms Will Work

“When lawmakers draw their own lines, they lose all of their philosophical ideals and they become ugly monsters that are willing to cut out competitors, punish people from the other party and try to draw the most protective district for themselves so they don’t have to face serious competition for the next 10 years,” said Kathay Feng, national redistricting director at the good government group Common Cause, which championed the creation of California’s commission.

Broadcasting & Cable: Sen. John McCain Dies at 81

"Common Cause joins the nation in wishing peace and comfort to the family, friends, and colleagues of Senator John McCain," said Common Cause President Karen Hobert Flynn. "As a U.S. Senator, McCain worked with Senator Russ Feingold (D-WI) and Common Cause to pass significant campaign finance reform – the Bipartisan Campaign Reform Act (McCain-Feingold), which banned soft money and curbed corporate and labor union spending to influence elections. During that fight, McCain showed tenacity in bucking his party and its leadership to eventually pass the reform in 2002. Senator McCain’s courage, grit, and confidence inspired millions of Americans who will miss his voice in the U.S. Senate."

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