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Money & Influence 08.1.2019

Daily Beast: Kris Kobach Uses Border Wall Group to Fund Senate Bid, Likely Illegally

The solicitation likely violated federal campaign finance laws, according to Paul S. Ryan, the vice president for policy and litigation at the group Common Cause. “At a minimum, this Kobach for Senate fundraising solicitation email appears to violate the ‘paid for by’ disclaimer requirement” for official campaign communications, Ryan said in an email, referencing the requirement that campaigns clearly disclose the financial sponsors—generally the campaigns themselves—behind official political communications. “If the Kobach committee did not pay fair market value for the cost of disseminating this email,” Ryan explained, “then the Kobach committee has arguably committed the more serious campaign finance law violation of receiving a corporate contribution in the form of a coordinated expenditure.”

Money & Influence 07.31.2019

New York Times: Abuse Victim’s 3 Billboards Called for Stronger Laws. Then the State Showed Up.

“Almost every jurisdiction I can think of is grappling at some level with how much is covered and at what threshold,” Beth Rotman, the director of the Money in Politics and Ethics program at Common Cause, a government reform group, said of social media and grass-roots mobilization. She called the dilemma the “million-dollar question” for ethics officials. “At a certain smaller threshold, these activities are not the same as paid lobbyists,” Ms. Rotman said. “The challenge becomes how we as a democracy track this when it becomes more than small dollar.”

Money & Influence 07.30.2019

Bloomberg Government: Trump’s Ex-HHS Chief Seeks Career Rehab With Old Campaign Cash

The proposal would establish “a new blueprint for federal politicians to rehabilitate their reputations after a scandal using other people’s money—specifically, using past electoral contributors’ money,” said election attorney Paul S. Ryan, vice president for policy and litigation at the watchdog group Common Cause.

Money & Influence 07.29.2019

ABC News: Outside fundraising groups plow ahead toward 2020, with or without Democratic nominee

"You're seeing that pretty much all the major candidates have problems when it comes to money in politics," Paul S. Ryan, the vice president of Policy & Litigation at Common Cause, a nonpartisan government watchdog organization. "They have some gaps [between] their campaign stump rhetoric and their actual practices trying to run competitive presidential campaigns."

The Guardian: The right to a free and fair vote in America might rest on this landmark court case

“I think the eyes of the nation are watching to see what happens here,” said Bob Phillips, the state director of the advocacy group Common Cause, a plaintiff in the case. “For other states, it might be, ‘Hey, if it can be done in North Carolina, it might be done in your state’. That’s what we tell advocates around the country.”

News & Observer: False testimony in NC gerrymandering trial? Judges exclude GOP expert witness claims.

“His testimony in his direct (examination) is just incorrect,” said Daniel Jacobson, a lawyer who represents the redistricting reform group Common Cause NC. “The numbers are wrong.” The three-judge panel overseeing the case agreed to strike parts of Johnson’s testimony.

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