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Money & Influence 01.13.2022

Associated Press: Tech companies spend millions on California political gifts

“Not every behested payment is nefarious, but every behested payment deserves scrutiny,” said Jonathan Mehta Stein, executive director at the good government group California Common Cause. “And the explosion of behested payments recently certainly creates a perception among the public that corporations and players in state politics are using this as an avenue to get around our pay-to-play rules.”

Money & Influence 01.12.2022

NPR / Kaiser Health News: Medicaid pays millions for patient transportation. Sometimes the ride never comes

Such contributions can help companies buy access to government officials, said Paul S. Ryan, a vice president at the government watchdog group Common Cause. "Anytime a special interest doing business with the government can make big contributions to public officials handing out contracts or making other government decisions, it's a cause for concern," he said. "Average, everyday Americans can't buy the same influence."

Salon: Are Dems really "winning" redistricting — in the face of voter-restriction laws and GOP extremists?

"These maps intentionally discriminate against Georgians of color by silencing our voices at the ballot box," Aunna Dennis, executive director of Common Cause Georgia, the lead plaintiff in the case, said in a statement.

New York Times: Republican Gerrymander of North Carolina Maps Is Upheld in Court

“The evidence clearly showed that Republican legislative leaders brazenly ignored legal requirements designed to protect voting rights for Black North Carolinians,” the group’s executive director, Bob Phillips, said in a statement. “If allowed to stand, these extreme gerrymanders would cause profound and lasting harm to the people of our state.”

Associated Press: Judges let North Carolina GOP redistricting plans stand

“We are confident that the people of North Carolina will ultimately prevail in our fight for fair maps,” Bob Phillips with the state affiliate of Common Cause — one of the lawsuits’ plaintiffs — said after the ruling’s release.

Philadelphia Inquirer: Pennsylvania Republicans want a lot more power in redistricting for state maps

“This is absolutely a regression from what we already have,” said Khalif Ali, the head of Common Cause Pennsylvania, a nonpartisan good-government group. “When I was reading through it, I was just amazed.”

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