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Boston Globe: Follow the money: Sheriffs’ campaign donations get a much-needed look

“Sheriffs and campaign finance — that is, who is donating to sheriffs’ campaigns — are a virtual blind spot that has not been covered enough,” said Keshia Morris Desir, Common Cause’s census and mass incarceration project manager and one of the authors of the report. “The role of the sheriff is not often talked about, but they have a huge impact on our daily lives. Sheriffs should be listening to their constituents and not wealthy special interests.” Beth Rotman, director of money in politics and ethics at Common Cause and a coauthor of the report, pointed to the need to reform campaign finance by limiting contributions from donors associated with entities seeking or doing business with the sheriffs’ offices. Rotman highlighted Connecticut and New York City’s example as evidence that it can be done. Both have strong “good government” programs, including limits on such campaign contributions and small-donor democracy programs, which is a form of public financing that seeks to replace the role of big money in electoral politics.

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 

Philadelphia Inquirer (Op-Ed): An end to sinister prison gerrymandering is a racial justice victory

Our democracy works best when every person, regardless of what they look like, where they live, or how much money they make, has equal voice in determining the direction of our country. But for too long, our racist history of policing and mass incarceration has undermined that ideal. Compounded with our redistricting processes that have repeatedly put the interests of partisan insiders over the needs of communities, lawmakers have fundamentally and intentionally diminished the power and voice of Black and brown people in our democracy. But here in Pennsylvania, we are finally taking steps in the right direction. This week, the Legislative Reapportionment Commission voted 3-2 to count incarcerated people in their home districts, rather than where they are incarcerated, ending the practice of prison gerrymandering here in the commonwealth.

Manafort and Cohen get off easy for financial crimes. Minorities get prison for voting

Manafort and Cohen get off easy for real crimes while minorities get prison for voting. Our criminal justice system undermines democracy and must change.

Voting & Elections 09.6.2018

USA Today Op-Ed: Manafort and Cohen get off easy for financial crimes. Minorities get prison for voting.

The Manafort and Cohen cases are also a disturbing reminder of how differently Americans are treated by our criminal justice system depending on their skin color, wealth and status. Earlier this year, a black woman in Texas was sentenced to five years in prison for unwittingly breaking state law by voting while still under community supervision for a previous fraud charge.

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