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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.”

Austin American-Statesman (Op-Ed): Fair redistricting can help keep lawmakers accountable to the people

This is our year to flip the script and make sure we the people drive this process, not the politicians. That’s why it’s critical that we the people have a say in how our maps are drawn. When the people are prioritized in our democracy, we will have certainty that maps are drawn to benefit us, not the politicians. State legislators must give us ample opportunity to review the maps, weigh in with our own thoughts, and voice our feedback. State legislators should outline an accessible process for multiple statewide public hearings for as many Texans as possible to be heard.

Voting & Elections 09.21.2021

New York Times: Progressives Worry Their Priorities Will Be Left Behind, Despite Biden’s Bold Words

Stephen Spaulding, a senior counsel at Common Cause, said that engaged Democratic voters were attuned to the filibuster, the Senate’s signature procedural weapon that requires a 60-vote supermajority to advance most bills. “They will have serious questions if it’s not reformed and there is no action to protect voting rights or reproductive rights, both of which are under attack in states across the country,” he said. “They will ask the question: ‘Why did you care more about a Senate rule than these priorities?’”

Voting & Elections 09.15.2021

Washington Post: Pennsylvania GOP lawmakers approve wide-ranging subpoenas for personal information of 2020 voters

Khalif Ali, executive director of Common Cause Pennsylvania, a good-government advocacy group that works on issues related to voter access, called the subpoenas approved Wednesday a “frightening violation of voters’ privacy and an egregious abuse of power.” “There’s no explanation about what they intend to do with the information, or why they think they need it,” he said in a statement. “They also have not announced any plans for security measures to protect the information from disclosure. … Pennsylvanians deserve to have their private information protected by the people they elected to office, not used as political fodder to appease lies told by a former president.”

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."

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