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NBC News: Texas GOP gets a win with Supreme Court ruling on alleged racial redistricting

Anthony Gutierrez of Common Cause Texas called the ruling a severe blow to voting rights. "It is time for Texans to take up the fight for fair maps by establishing an independent redistricting commission," he said. "In a democracy, politicians have no business choosing their voters, it is the voters who should be choosing their politicians."

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.

Politico: Supreme Court sends back N.C. gerrymandering case, mostly rejects Texas map challenge

Gerrymandering critics used the ruling to call for reforms in how state political maps are drawn, including broader use of independent commissions instead of having state legislatures draw the districts. "It is time for voters to take up the fight to pass redistricting reform at the state and local level because a narrow Supreme Court majority under Chief Justice John Roberts has failed to protect the voting rights of minority communities,” Common Cause president Karen Hobert Flynn said in a statement.

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.

HuffPost: Let’s Call The Supreme Court’s Gerrymander Inaction What It Really Is: A GOP Win

If the Supreme Court does someday set limits on partisan gerrymandering, the details of the new standard will affect how quickly challengers can move to strike down a map. Kathay Feng, national redistricting director at Common Cause, said the court could require challengers to wait a few elections to show that one party had obtained a durable advantage. Alternatively, the court could require challengers to show only that the party in power intentionally drew a map to put the other party at a disadvantage. A more aggressive standard like that, Feng said, would allow lawsuits to move forward sooner.

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