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Washington Post: A GOP lawmaker wants to repeal child labor laws in his state. He employs hundreds of minors.

“It’s really just a system of self-policing,” said Julia Vaughn, policy director of Common Cause Indiana, a government watchdog group. “Obviously, the individuals have widely varying abilities to police this . . . widely varying in their sensitivity to what constitutes a conflict or not. In their mind, they’re protecting the institution in that way,” Vaughn added. “I think, long term, just the opposite happens. The institution is hurt when we constantly have these kinds of situations when everybody outside the statehouse seems to see a conflict of interest, but nobody inside the statehouse can see it.”

Toledo Blade: Can bills from Ohio lawmakers prevent government shutdowns?

“It seems to be somewhat of an attempt to provide Republican cover to show how they’re against potential government shutdown while still voting to continue to create a government shutdown,” said Aaron Scherb, director of legislative affairs with Common Cause, a government watchdog. “It seems to be a political tool. If Republicans in Congress wanted to prevent a government shutdown, they could have,” he said. “They controlled all levels of government when it started.”

Money & Influence 01.29.2019

U.S. News & World Report: Small Donors Silenced by Big Money in Politics

"It gives an opportunity for folks who are not themselves independently wealthy," says Cheri Quickmire, executive director of Common Cause in Connecticut, which advocates for public financing. The funds also free up policymakers from some of the constant fundraising that often goes hand in hand with holding office, she adds. "They don't have to go around with their hands out saying, 'Please give me money.'"

Indianapolis Star: Lawmaker who employs youths and wants to gut child labor laws has no conflict, panel says

Julia Vaughn, the policy director for the political watchdog group Common Cause Indiana, has routinely criticized Indiana law on matters concerning lawmakers’ conflict of interest for its vagueness and because it allows individual lawmakers to determine their need for an ethics hearing. "Ultimately I think Sen. Perfect's constituents should be able to decide if this is outside the boundaries, or if it's not," she said, arguing transparency is the most important aspect of the process.

Voting & Elections 01.26.2019

TIME: Russia Wants to Undermine Trust in Elections. Here's How Rhode Island Is Fighting Back

“I’m optimistic that if Rhode Island is successful in proving that a precinct-based voting system can be efficiently audited, that other states with similar systems will take the leap,” says John Marion, executive director of Common Cause Rhode Island, who served as the initial force behind the state’s audit requirement. “I wasn’t sure that we’d be able to execute on that and have it go as smooth as it did,” he told the group at the conclusion of the pilot in January. “But,” he added, “I’ve walked away with the confidence that we can.”

Just Security (Op-Ed): Roger Stone Indictment Implicates Trump Campaign in Election Law Violations

The details of Stone’s allegedly illegal activities laid out in the indictment implicate the Trump campaign, and perhaps President Trump himself, in illegally soliciting a campaign contribution from a foreign national—namely, hacked emails damaging to Hillary Clinton, in the possession of WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange and originating with Russian military intelligence hackers.

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