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Money & Influence 07.17.2018

Vox: The government is making it easier for “dark money” donors to go unnamed

“Large amounts of foreign national donations to a politically active nonprofit could be a red flag to IRS staff that could trigger greater scrutiny,” Paul S. Ryan, vice president at the watchdog group Common Cause said. “But such red flags will no longer be visible to IRS staff. President Trump’s Treasury Department has struck a blow to US democracy with this rule change.”

Money & Influence 07.2.2018

Associated Press: Dark-Money Groups Targeting GOP Lawmakers Tied to Dem Lawyer

"All sides play the game," said Bob Phillips, executive director of Common Cause North Carolina. "The world we live in these days."

Money & Influence 06.25.2018

McClathcy: Hawley campaign paid attorneys to screen Mizzou emails for public release

"Any expense that would not exist if this person wasn’t running for office is a permissible use of campaign funds," said Paul S. Ryan, vice president for policy and litigation at Common Cause, a government watchdog group. "It’s kind of a good thing that Hawley’s using campaign funds that are subject to limits and disclosure to pay for these political expenses," Ryan said. Some politicians, including President Donald Trump, have used funds not subject to disclosure or contribution limits to raise money for legal bills, he said.

ABC News: Watchdog groups press embattled EPA chief Pruitt for transparency on legal defense fund

“There remains no record of the operations and fundraising of your legal defense fund,” the letter said. “If a legal defense fund is not carefully set up and administered, there are many ways the Fund may run afoul of executive branch ethics rules. Given the large number of ethics scandals now under investigation at the EPA, further scandals should be avoided by you and the agency.”

Money & Influence 06.19.2018

Politico: Democrats dodge campaign finance law

“It has long been the case that Democrats, while on the campaign stump, advocate for campaign finance reform while their own campaign lawyers behind the scenes are weakening or even gutting campaign finance laws,” Paul S. Ryan said.

Business Insider: Trump could be in a world of new legal trouble after New York's attorney general accused his charity of 'willful and knowing' crimes

Paul S. Ryan, the vice president of policy and litigation at the watchdog group Common Cause, told Business Insider that such coordination could be in violation of what is known as the "soft money ban," adding that the Iowa event and the distribution of the funds raised during it "were timed to create goodwill and earned media for the Trump campaign in the week leading up to the Iowa caucuses."

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