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Money & Influence 05.24.2022

Los Angeles Times: Garcetti’s India nomination has stalled. So his parents hired lobbyists to help him

Many Washington, D.C., lobbying firms have a minimum monthly retainer of $10,000 or $15,000, but some firms charge $50,000 a month, or occasionally more, said Beth Rotman, director of money in politics and ethics at Common Cause, a good-government organization. She likened Garcetti’s parents to a couple that shells out to get their child into a top school. “It’s a bit like when the parents hire the most expensive coach they can find to get them into the most expensive university,” Rotman said. ... “Lobbyists know how to move the wheels,” said Common Cause’s Rotman. Lobbyists have relationships with specific lawmakers and may represent multiple interests or help raise funds for the lawmaker, making sure that their clients donate, she said.

Voting & Elections 05.4.2022

Washingtonian: Washington DC’s 500 Most Influential People

Aaron Scherb Common Cause Director, Legislative Affairs: Scherb co-led an umbrella advocacy group made up of 240 organizations to push for passage of the For the People Act, a comprehensive voting-rights package that Republicans opposed.

Media & Democracy 04.11.2022

Grid: How Big Tech is quietly pushing for watered-down state privacy laws

“I can generally say that there’s certainly the potential for influence from industry giving money to legislators,” said Yosef Getachew, director of the Media and Democracy Program at Common Cause. ... Getachew noted that the implications of privacy laws extend well past traditional technology companies. “A lot of the telecom companies have engaged in certain data practices that implicate them and privacy bills, and a lot of telecom companies are working businesses outside of the traditional telecom model,” said Getachew. “So for example, take Comcast — they provide a cable service, broadband service and mobile service. They are potentially using all those data points interchangeably to build profiles and learn more about the customer base.”

Money & Influence 12.1.2021

Daily Beast: Dark-Money Group Paid Former Trump AG to Ask for Pardons—and He Never Registered as a Lobbyist

Paul S. Ryan, vice president of litigation at government watchdog Common Cause, pointed out that the laws surrounding lobbying for pardons specifically are fuzzy, and before Trump’s final months relatively untested. But he also noted that a number of Trump lobbyists saw fit to disclose that work. “Other lobbyists tied to Trump have reported massive income lobbying the administration for pardons. Any failure by Whitaker to disclose hundreds of thousands of dollars received to lobby the Trump administration warrants close scrutiny,” Ryan told The Daily Beast.

Voting & Elections 12.1.2021

The Hill: The Hill's Top Lobbyists 2021

Not all of those honored on this list are registered lobbyists. But they are all key players who the nation’s biggest companies, advocacy groups, labor unions and trade associations turn to when they want their voices heard in the nation’s capital. The ranks of policy experts, influencers and advocates run deep in Washington, but these are the people who stand out for delivering results for their clients in the halls of Congress and the administration. ... GRASSROOTS: Karen Hobert Flynn and Aaron Scherb, Common Cause 

Media & Democracy 07.19.2021

VICE: Report Finds Big Telecom Spends $230,000 on Lobbying Every Day

“For years, Congressional efforts to pass legislation needed to address the nation’s long-standing disparities in connectivity have been stopped dead in their tracks in part because of aggressive industry lobbying and the oversized political influence of the largest ISPs,” Common Cause Media and Democracy Program Director Yosef Getachew said of the study. Getachew noted that efforts to improve broadband mapping, fund the deployment of competitive fiber, or even improve the standard definition of broadband have all repeatedly been scuttled by industry lobbying. At the same time, telecom lobbyists have worked tirelessly to undermine federal and state regulatory oversight of the heavy monopolized telecom industry.

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