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Voting & Elections 05.24.2018

Wall Street Journal: Remember the Age of Paper Ballots? It’s Back

“The fact is that this is really serious, and it needs the attention that a hostile invasion would get,” says Susannah Goodman, director of a voting-integrity campaign for Common Cause, the government-watchdog group based in Washington, D.C. “Because they did it with bits not bullets, we haven’t responded in the way that we need to,” she says.

Associated Press: ACLU Sues Over Battleground Ohio's Congressional Districts

Catherine Turcer, executive director of Common Cause Ohio, which helped lead the Issue 1 effort, said "even one more election using gerrymandered districts is too many." "This litigation may give Ohioans the fair districts they deserve in 2020 and may strengthen the protections of Issue 1 in the next redistricting cycle," she said.

Media & Democracy 05.23.2018

The Hollywood Reporter: Sinclair Laying Groundwork For Fox News Competitor

Former FCC commissioner Michael Copps, who has loudly opposed Sinclair's $3.9 billion takeover of Tribune, says the company is "trying to look as nonthreatening as possible and make this deal look as innocuous as possible." In early May, 21st Century Fox agreed to snap up seven TV stations from Sinclair in a $910 million deal that could help Sinclair get regulatory approval for its Tribune bid. Publicly, Sinclair leadership has denied rumors of a Fox News challenge. But Copps is unmoved: "Watch what they do and not what they say."

Money & Influence 05.22.2018

Bloomberg: Your Questions About Trump Jr.’s Foreign Campaign Meetings, Answered

In March, the advocacy group Common Cause alleged that Cambridge Analytica -- the firm that, through a U.K. affiliate, obtained personal data on up to 87 million Facebook users as part of its work for the Trump campaign -- violated election law by letting foreign nationals participate in the U.S. political decision-making process. Common Cause made its complaint to the Federal Election Commission and the Justice Department.

USA Today: Sen. Dean Heller paid son at least $52,500 in campaign cash for social media consulting

“Any payment to a candidate’s family member that seems unusually high is a red flag for me,” said Paul S. Ryan, vice president for policy and litigation at Common Cause, a liberal-leaning nonprofit watchdog group. “Candidates should exercise an abundance of caution in this area and should be prepared to publicly justify such expenses to the public, the press and, most importantly, to the FEC.”


Ars Tecnica: Cambridge Analytica files for bankruptcy amidst “siege” of negative attention

Stephen Spaulding, the chief of strategy at advocacy group Common Cause and a former special counsel at the FEC, told Ars that he guessed that listing was because of a pending legal complaint brought to the FEC. "The reason they would be listed in a bankruptcy would be that this pending legal action might leave them exposed legally and maybe that’s why it has to be disclosed," he said. "Why they’re listed as a creditor would be a question for a bankruptcy lawyer."

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