Take Action

Get Common Cause Updates

Get breaking news and updates from Common Cause.

Take Action

Join the thousands across the country who instantly rally when there is a threat to our democracy.


Join the thousands across the country who instantly rally when there is a threat to our democracy.


Make a contribution to support Common Cause today.

Find Your State

News Clips

Read stories of Common Cause in the news.

  • Filter by Issue

  • Filter by Campaign

Boston Globe: R.I. Ethics Commission appointee resigns after Globe investigation into sexual harassment complaints

After hearing the news of the resignation, Common Cause Rhode Island executive director John M. Marion said, “It is a relief that Mr. Da Cruz will not be serving on the Ethics Commission. We are glad Governor McKee has acknowledged that the vetting process was flawed. We urge him to do due diligence when making future appointments.” Ethics Commission members should be carefully vetted because the panel has “extraordinary powers” provided for in the state constitution and because those appointments do not require the advice and consent of the state Senate, Marion said. “It has been a problem for some time that appointments to the Ethics Commission under multiple governors have been slow,” Marion said. “Sometimes that results in vacancies, which is not good for the commission. All the parties involved in these appointments, including the legislative leaders, should do their best to provide appointments that are both timely and well vetted.”

Boston Globe: New R.I. Ethics Commission appointee faced sexual harassment allegations from six women

But John M. Marion, executive director of Common Cause Rhode Island, said Da Cruz’s conduct as a member of the South Kingstown Town Council “makes him unfit to serve on such an important body as the Rhode Island Ethics Commission.” Ethics Commission appointments are arguably the most important that a governor makes, aside from choosing state judges, Marion said. Rhode Island’s constitution gives the Ethics Commission “extraordinary powers,” including removing elected officials from office, and Common Cause fought for a law that holds Ethics Commission members to a higher standard, including banning lobbyists from the panel, he said. “Potential appointees should be fully vetted so that people who are asked to serve meet the highest standards,” Marion said. “In this case, it appears that vetting, if it did occur, failed, or the governor overlooked some rather egregious behavior by his most recent appointee.” Marion said the town manager appeared to find the sexual harassment allegations against Da Cruz “serious enough to tell the victims that, but for the fact that the town’s sexual harassment policy did not cover elected officials, Mr. Da Cruz would have been disciplined.” On the Ethics Commission, Da Cruz will have jurisdiction over those same employees, should they still work for the town, Marion said, noting that Town Council has since changed its sexual harassment policy to include its own members. “Mr. Da Cruz was allowed to get away with this behavior only because the town’s policy did not include his position at the time,” Marion said, “and he should not be trusted with the critical work of the Ethics Commission.”

The Guardian: Ohio voted to protect abortion rights. Republicans are scheming to undo it

“There is a disconnect between what voters want and what the legislature wants,” said Catherine Turcer, executive director of Common Cause Ohio. “It just highlights how gerrymandered the state legislature is.”

The Capital Times: The Wisconsin Supreme Court’s ugly politics, explained

“The danger (with rhetoric surrounding impeaching Protasiewicz) is that you undermine significant confidence in the court,” said Jay Heck, executive director of the good government group Common Cause Wisconsin. “But one of the problems we have now is that’s not just a function of this past election, that is a function of things that have been occurring going back to 1997. “This is long-term. This is 25 years in the making.”

Albuquerque Journal (Op-Ed): Ethics issues likely affected Albuquerque city elections

Restoring public trust in government and elected officials has been the major thrust of Common Cause since its founding in the 1970s, when Watergate and Vietnam led to widespread disbelief that presidents and top officials were telling the truth. Fast forward 50 years, and public trust has declined even further — despite the efforts of many reformers to tighten ethical standards, require transparent campaign reporting, and safeguard elections.

Voting & Elections 11.8.2023

Fort Worth Star-Telegram: New Texas law puts Tarrant County Republican primary in ‘jeopardy,’ GOP leader says

Katya Ehresman, the voting rights program manager for Common Cause Texas, stressed that more voting isn’t a problem. Having more polling places in counties that are growing should always be a goal, she said. The real issue that should be addressed is the chronic underfunding of election system, she said. “The biggest issue is election administration and making sure that we can do that well funded and equitably, and that’s not something that Senate Bill 924 created an issue with,” Ehresman said. “That’s something that the state legislature has continued to avoid addressing.”

Join the movement over 1.5 million strong for democracy

Demand a democracy that works for us. Sign up for breaking news and updates.