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Media & Democracy 10.2.2020

Bloomberg: FCC, Broadcasters Get Top Court Hearing on Ownership Rules

Advocacy organizations led by Prometheus Radio Project are fighting the FCC changes. They called the 3rd Circuit ruling an “unremarkable” decision that merely required the commission to explain how the changes would affect its longstanding goal of increasing ownership diversity. The FCC may not “expressly embrace ownership diversity as an important policy goal yet fail to reasonably consider how its repeal of major broadcast-ownership restrictions would affect that goal,” argued the group, which includes Common Cause and the National Organization for Women.

Newsweek: Mitch McConnell's 'Legislative Graveyard' Helping Current Congress to Be the Least Productive in History, Report Says

"The House of Representatives passed nearly 10 democracy reform bills, often with bipartisan support, this session, but Majority Leader Mitch McConnell blocked debate and markups on all of these bills and refused to allow a vote," Common Cause's director of legislative affairs, Aaron Scherb, said. The 2020 Democracy Scorecard, one of the group's initiatives, provides data on every current member of the House of Representatives and Senate, including their votes and co-sponsorships of democracy reform bills. Scherb told Newsweek that McConnell has been instrumental in blocking the current Congress from enacting laws. "There have been hundreds that have been passed by the House at this point. There have only been 158 enacted laws by this 116th Congress to this point. Yet there are hundreds of bills that have passed the House but continue to sit in Senate Majority Leader McConnell's desk, or his 'legislative graveyard' as it's been called," he said.

Media & Democracy 07.17.2020

NPR: Twitter Attack Underscores Broad Cyber Risks Still Facing U.S. Elections

"[The] hack occurred in an age when the current president conducts official business on his Twitter account," said Karen Hobert Flynn, president of Common Cause. "Federal agencies such as the Census Bureau and the Center for Disease Control also share news and information through social media. It is time for real government oversight and for meaningful legislation to safeguard these important yet extremely vulnerable platforms."

Media & Democracy 06.24.2020

Salon: Trump's 2020 election app harvests intimate user data, including location: report

Yosef Getachew, Media & Democracy Program Director at Common Cause, expressed a similar sentiment.  We have a "glaring lack of privacy protections [in] this country," Getachew told Salon, pointing out that there is "no federal framework for privacy." Regarding the Trump app specifically, Getachew noted that it is "pretty invasive, and one of the things that we would like to see in a federal framework is some sort of data minimization policy, where your company or service provider is only required to collect data necessary to run the surface."

Media & Democracy 05.12.2020

The Nation: Journalism Cannot Be a Covid-19 Casualty

“Local media is a critical source of news and information for communities, holds our government accountable, and plays an important role in our civic engagement,” argues former member of the Federal Communications Commission Michael Copps, who now counsels Common Cause on media issues. “But the health crisis our nation faces combined with the long-term decline in local news has left many communities without adequate sources of trustworthy news on the pandemic and has created a void in civic information. Congress must act now to ensure local news is adequately funded in order to meet the information needs of communities.”

Media & Democracy 02.11.2020

Multichannel News: T-Mobile-Sprint Decision Draws Crowd

“We are deeply disappointed in the Court’s decision to approve the T-Mobile-Sprint merger, which will have significant consequences for consumers and competition," said Michael Copps, special advisor to Common Cause and former Democratic FCC chairman. "All of the evidence in this proceeding shows that this merger is inherently illegal under antitrust law. Even evidence presented at the trial revealed the companies’ executives acknowledged prices for wireless service would rise if the merger was approved. The Court’s decision will reduce the wireless market from four to three national carriers, undoubtedly raising prices on wireless customers."

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