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NPR (Audio): Elected officials in Detroit face a widening federal public corruption probe

NEWMAN: The hope for many residents is that the current political upheaval will lead to reforms. Beth Rotman agrees. She's with the policy group Common Cause. BETH ROTMAN: Often, these scandals lead to more public awareness of how these ties can actually begin on the campaign trail and also in the relationships that form because of the connections between wealth and policy outcomes.

Money & Influence 10.13.2021

Daily Beast: Time Is Running Out to Indict Trump for His Sex Hush Money Payment to Stormy Daniels

“It seems that if the Department of Justice were going to charge Trump, it would do so this month before the statute of limitations on the most significant charges related to the illegally large contribution runs,” said Paul S. Ryan, vice president of policy and litigation at the government watchdog group Common Cause. Ryan’s signature is on two complaints, one to the Federal Election Commission and another to the DOJ, that tried to hold Trump accountable for the hush money payment.

Associated Press: Former Cabinet secretary defends auto dealerships from Tesla

Heather Ferguson, executive director of the government accountability group Common Cause New Mexico, said the quick transition by Ortiz from Cabinet secretary to industry spokesman smacks of crony capitalism. “The perception this creates, on the heels of the Tesla deal, is concerning,” Ferguson said. “Each one of these things chips away at the state’s national reputation as to whether businesses can come in and get a fair shake. It hurts our economy.”

Voting & Elections 10.3.2021

Inside Sources/Tribune News Service (Op-Ed): 2020 Election Audits: Bad for Public Trust, Good for Fundraisers

Those who are manufacturing doubts about our election results have a strong profit motive: they need to keep the doubts alive to keep the dollars flowing.  But the rest of us can stop falling for their scam, and stop subsidizing these unfounded attacks on America’s elections.

AFP/Barron's: Big Lie 2.0: Trump Bids To Remake US Democracy In His Image

Government watchdog Common Cause is backing the Freedom to Vote Act, introduced by the Democrats in Congress on Tuesday, which would ban removing election officials for partisan political purposes. "His Big Lie has just been metastasizing and really undermining trust in our elections in a way that is very dangerous," Stephen Spaulding, senior counsel at the organization, told AFP. But Spaulding believes the greatest remedy to electoral dark arts remains robust turnout at the ballot box. "In 2020, we had the highest voter turnout in more than a century in the middle of a pandemic, so voters really showed up," he said. "So ultimately, voters need to continue to show up in record numbers."

Voting & Elections 09.10.2021

Sacramento Bee/Inside Sources (Op-Ed): Congress must make Constitution’s promise a reality

Constitution Day honors our founding charter, as amended. It celebrates an enduring commitment to freedom and a democracy where all of us are supposed to have an equal voice in the decisions that affect our country, no matter our ZIP code, what we look like, or how much money we have in the bank. But from its inception, the Constitution denied democracy — at times violently — to whole swaths of people: indigenous people; enslaved people; Black people; women; the unhoused; immigrants; those who do not own property — the list goes on, as does the dishonorable legacy of excluding so many for so long. Yet with vision matched by struggle, the Constitution’s dynamism — how we understand who and what it protects — has expanded. For more than two centuries, people have worked and even died for their constitutional rights. This includes heroes like Diane Nash, who led the Freedom Riders, and civil rights litigators like Justice Thurgood Marshall. New generations of leaders today continue to labor, including in the wake of deadly police violence against Black Americans, attacks on reproductive freedom, and a gutted Voting Rights Act. And it includes the late Congressman John Lewis, who was beaten by police as he marched for the freedom to vote, and who said in his final words that “democracy is not a state. It is an act.”

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