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Money & Influence 05.17.2022

Public News Service: Clean Elections Groups Slam Supreme Court Ruling on Campaign Finance

Aaron Scherb, senior director of legislative affairs for Common Cause, said this means big donors can funnel huge amounts of cash directly to newly elected officials. "This decision is yet another example of the Supreme Court allowing more big money in politics and further opening the door to corruption and big moneyed interests calling the shots," Scherb contended. ... Scherb emphasized he hopes it will drum up more support for the DISCLOSE Act, which would require campaigns and groups spending money to influence politics to report more about their funding, but he is not optimistic. "We're not holding our breaths that 10 Senate Republicans would vote for something like this," Scherb acknowledged. "But if more big money is going to be spent in politics, it absolutely has to be disclosed. The public deserves to see who's trying to influence their voices and their votes."

Money & Influence 05.16.2022

Washington Times: Supreme Court sides with Sen. Ted Cruz in FEC case

“Today’s decision creates a shell game that will only serve to further undermine public faith in their elected officials. These loans could run into the millions of dollars and voters will now not know who bankrolled a candidate’s campaign until after the election,” said Karen Hobert Flynn, president of Common Cause.

Money & Influence 05.11.2022

Orange County Register (Op-Ed): End California’s Corridors of Corruption

Right now, appointed local officials cannot receive lavish contributions from wealthy interests when those interests are seeking favorable votes for contracts, licenses, permits, or land use entitlements. That’s common sense. But, bizarrely, the same is not true for local elected officials sitting on our city councils and boards of supervisors. They can accept big checks from wealthy interests and then immediately turn around and vote on the things those interests covet most. And those things are also the things that determine whether our neighborhoods are safe or dangerous, blighted or beautiful, traffic jammed or commuter friendly. Enter Senate Bill 1439, a bill authored by Democratic state Sen. Steve Glazer and co-authored by Republican state Sen. Scott Wilk. Supported by Common Cause and other good government groups, the bill would close this loophole in the state’s Political Reform Act, prohibiting local elected officials from accepting a contribution of more than $250 from someone seeking a license, permit or other entitlement while a decision is pending before the local elected officials.

Times Union/Tribune News Service: Push continues to restrict Cuomo from spending prior campaign money

ALBANY — Common Cause NY and ethics-minded lawmakers remain committed to preventing former Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo and other misbehaving elected officials from spending the campaign war chest they amassed while in office. "This is one instance, unfortunately among many, and it's time to deal with this gap of law," Common Cause NY Executive Director Susan Lerner said Tuesday at the Capitol.

Voting & Elections 05.4.2022

Washingtonian: Washington DC’s 500 Most Influential People

Aaron Scherb Common Cause Director, Legislative Affairs: Scherb co-led an umbrella advocacy group made up of 240 organizations to push for passage of the For the People Act, a comprehensive voting-rights package that Republicans opposed.

Money & Influence 04.25.2022

Boston Globe: US Supreme Court lets R.I. election finance disclosure law stand

John M. Marion, executive director of Common Cause Rhode Island, hailed the Supreme Court decision saying, “It’s good news for Rhode Island because it means that this fall Rhode Islanders will know the sources of money trying to influence their voters.” Marion described the 2012 Rhode Island law as “groundbreaking,” saying it was modeled after the proposed “DISCLOSE Act” introduced by US Senator Sheldon Whitehouse, a Rhode Island Democrat. Marion said the US Supreme Court was closely divided in the Citizens United case, but at the same time, eight of the nine justices upheld disclosure requirements – thereby rejecting the idea that the First Amendment protects the anonymity of donors in independent spending. “The Supreme Court has historically been very supportive of disclosure of campaign finance as a protection against corruption,” Marion said. “That is why this is important that the law remains strong.”

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