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“While neither party will have 60 seats in the Senate any time soon, there are a number of options being considered to get his bill across the finish line,” said Aaron Scherb, director of legislative affairs for the watchdog nonprofit group Common Cause, which supports the bill.

Voting & Elections 01.14.2021

TIME: After Georgia Flips Blue, Voting Rights Advocates Brace for New Voting Restrictions

Voting rights groups say the atmosphere in Georgia has been increasingly tense in recent months as they’ve worked to get out the vote. Aunna Dennis, executive director of Common Cause Georgia, has been wary of what she describes as “angry mobs” at the Capitol, explaining that “there has been a hostile presence with the Stop the Steal rallies.” As a Black woman, she feels particularly unsafe around the area which she is used to visiting as she does her election protection work, she adds.

Philadelphia Inquirer: First it was ‘fraud,’ then they just didn’t like the rules: How Pa. Republicans justified trying to overturn an election

“Part of democracy is being willing to accept the results of a legitimate election, even when it doesn’t favor you. We’ve just lost sight of that,” said Khalif Ali, executive director of Common Cause Pennsylvania, a nonpartisan advocacy group that supports voting rights. “Now what we’re hearing is this rhetoric that is leading people to believe democracy doesn’t work if it doesn’t get me my outcome. ....That rhetoric is absolutely decimating confidence in our democracy.”

New York Times: Will Congress pass ethics changes swiftly after Trump leaves office?

Actually, the I.G. protection component of the reform package has received early action in the House, according to Aaron Scherb of Common Cause, one of the watchdog groups pushing for these changes. On Jan. 5, the eve of the Capitol riot, the bipartisan Inspector General Protection Act — introduced by Representatives Ted Lieu, Democrat of California, and Jody Hice, Republican of Georgia — passed the House by voice vote. The act would help protect inspectors general from retaliation, for example by requiring the executive branch to notify Congress before placing an I.G. on administrative leave. And it would help ensure that vacant I.G. slots are filled promptly by requiring the executive to provide Congress an explanation for failing to nominate an I.G. after an extended vacancy.

ABC News: Experts say echo chambers from apps like Parler and Gab contributed to attack on Capitol

Experts like Jesse Littlewood, vice president of campaigns at the nonpartisan watchdog group Common Cause, say the lack of moderation on apps like Parler is normalizing hate speech and other forms of "toxic" online content. "These platforms are where individuals can see their worldview reflected and encouraged, even if in complete opposition to the facts," said Littlewood. "This avoidable tragedy [on Wednesday] was fomented for weeks based on the president and his Republican allies amplifying disinformation about the results of the election."

Money & Influence 01.11.2021

CNN: The House can impeach Donald Trump, but it can't stop him from fundraising in the future

Disqualification "has no bearing on the political committee money he already has raised, and it would have no bearing on his ability to continue to raise money into a political committee," said Paul S. Ryan, a top lawyer with the watchdog group Common Cause. Although Twitter's decision Friday night to permanently ban Trump from its platform immediately cut the President off from his 88.7 million followers, Trump and his campaign committee still have "an enormously valuable asset in their email list," Ryan said.

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