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04.30.2018

ABC News: Trump campaign has paid portions of Michael Cohen's legal fees: Sources

"They're on shaky legal ground," said Stephen Spaulding, chief of strategy at the nonprofit watchdog group Common Cause. "It sounds like they are really pushing the envelope … If the campaign were to say they are campaign-related payments, then maybe it's okay to use campaign funds. But he can't have it both ways."

04.30.2018

Associated Press: Sprint, T-Mobile Have to Sell $26.5B Deal to Antitrust Cops

Advocacy organizations said the deal will likely lead to higher cellphone plans because there will be less competition. Michael Copps, a former FCC chairman and an adviser to the watchdog group Common Cause, said consumers will "lose a lot of the innovation and competitive spirit that T-Mobile had" when it was challenging not just AT&T and Verizon, but Sprint as well.

New York Times: The Sheldon Silver Trial: Take Two

“I have no doubt that Silver will put forward the same defense, which is that it’s business as usual in Albany and therefore not illegal,” said Susan Lerner, executive director of Common Cause New York. “That’s why it’s so important that the first jury rejected this argument, and we expect that the second jury will do the same.”

Money & Influence 04.28.2018

Washington Post: Tycoon Turned Candidate: Why Trone’s Critics Say He’s Trying to Buy a Seat in Congress

“The deck is certainly stacked against regular Marylanders,” said Damon Effingham of the Maryland chapter of Common Cause. “It’s not the power of your ideas that’s winning the day. It’s your outsized wealth.”

04.27.2018

Associated Press: North Carolina map opponents ask US Supreme Court to affirm

Common Cause, the League of Women Voters and others said they filed motions Friday asking justices affirm a January lower court decision striking down the current boundaries as partisan gerrymanders. That three-judge panel's order to redraw the map immediately was delayed by justices during the appeal, so the 2016 boundaries are being used in this year's elections. The Common Cause motion requested oral arguments as an alternative if justices don't automatically uphold the lower ruling. Republican legislators who approved the map have two weeks to respond.

04.27.2018

USA Today: With Congress stalled on sexual harassment legislation, lawmakers can escape sanctions by quitting

“When members resign, they can evade accountability,” said Stephen Spaulding, chief of strategy for Common Cause, a nonprofit group that advocates for strong ethics and campaign finance requirements. “Voters don’t get the answers that they would otherwise get … and (lawmakers) are able to really put a cloak over whatever violations they may have committed,” Spaulding said.

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