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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."

Money & Influence 06.1.2018

The Intercept: In Three California House Races, Wealthy Democrats Have Spent $16 Million of Their Own Money So Far

“It goes to show how out of balance the way we pay for campaigns is,” said Stephen Spaulding, chief of strategy and external affairs for the reform group Common Cause. “The system makes it easier for wealthy individuals to mount campaigns, and harder for ordinary people to do so.”... If a self-funder happens to get into Congress, they bring to Washington a worldview that aligns with the top 1 percent. “Congress does not at all reflect the community it represents,” said Stephen Spaulding of Common Cause. “We have to figure out ways to change the system.”

TIME Op-Ed: The President’s Pardon Might Be About More Than Dinesh D’Souza. Just Look at Trump’s Own Legal Trouble

The President’s pardon of Dinesh D’Souza looks like an effort to dismiss his own apparent violations as no big deal. But violating campaign finance laws is a big deal, and no one is above the law — not even the President.

Money & Influence 04.28.2018

Washington Post: Tycoon Turned Candidate: Why Trone’s Critics Say He’s Trying to Buy a Seat in Congress

“The deck is certainly stacked against regular Marylanders,” said Damon Effingham of the Maryland chapter of Common Cause. “It’s not the power of your ideas that’s winning the day. It’s your outsized wealth.”

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