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Money & Influence 09.23.2019

Washington Post: Trump denies explicitly tying U.S. military aid to demand for Ukrainian probe of Biden

The nonprofit government watchdog group Common Cause also on Monday filed complaints with the Federal Election Commission and the Department of Justice on the matter. The organization accused Trump and Giuliani of illegally soliciting a political contribution from Zelensky and Ukranian officials by allegedly urging them to investigate Biden.

Money & Influence 09.23.2019

Just Security (Op-Ed): The “Quid” is a Crime: No Need to Prove “Pro Quo” in Ukrainegate

Late last week allegations surfaced in The Wall Street Journal that during a July 25th phone call President Donald Trump had repeatedly pressured Ukraine’s President Volodymyr Zelensky to investigate Hunter Biden and 2020 presidential candidate Joe Biden. If these allegations are true, some of which were admitted by the President himself on Sunday, it looks like Trump has violated federal campaign finance laws. Again. Trump’s personal attorney Rudy Giuliani seems to be on the hook for violations, too.

Voting & Elections 09.23.2019

NBC News: Republicans may have found a crafty way to keep Democrats down in Texas

“This is part of a very clear strategy by the Texas GOP to keep the demographic changes we’re seeing in Texas from being reflected at the ballot box,” said Anthony Gutierrez, the executive director of the Texas branch of the government watchdog group Common Cause. “This is one of the ways they could use a third-party candidacy to knock off a percentage point or two from a Democrat, allowing Republicans to retain power for a bit longer than maybe they otherwise would have.”

Voting & Elections 09.19.2019

NBC News: McConnell changes position and backs $250 million for election security

Aaron Scherb, director of legislative affairs at Common Cause, said that far more is needed to secure the election system. "Providing $250 million in additional election security funding is like asking an army to go fight a war with horses and bayonets," Scherb said. The House passed a bill that would give states nearly three times more — $600 million.

Money & Influence 09.19.2019

Washington Post: Hogan raising ‘dark’ money to boost his agenda, stop costly education plan

“People who want access and influence over a public official are going to open their wallets and write a check. And they don’t really care” into which account “the elected official is depositing that check,” said Paul S. Ryan, vice president of policy and litigation at the nonprofit Common Cause, a government watchdog group. “The law is not up to date in most places with this practice.”

New York Times: In North Carolina, New Political Maps Don’t End Old Disputes

Common Cause North Carolina, one of the plaintiffs in the lawsuit that led to the redrafting, will submit a formal comment on the maps later, its deputy director, Brent Laurenz, said. “We were a little disappointed in the lack of public engagement in the process,” he said, and legislators in the House appeared to have tweaked some districts “more than needed.” “You still had politicians walking up there carving up their own districts to their advantage,” he said. “It was illuminating, I guess, to see them go up there.”

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