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Money & Influence 06.19.2018

Politico: Democrats dodge campaign finance law

“It has long been the case that Democrats, while on the campaign stump, advocate for campaign finance reform while their own campaign lawyers behind the scenes are weakening or even gutting campaign finance laws,” Paul S. Ryan said.

HuffPost: Let’s Call The Supreme Court’s Gerrymander Inaction What It Really Is: A GOP Win

If the Supreme Court does someday set limits on partisan gerrymandering, the details of the new standard will affect how quickly challengers can move to strike down a map. Kathay Feng, national redistricting director at Common Cause, said the court could require challengers to wait a few elections to show that one party had obtained a durable advantage. Alternatively, the court could require challengers to show only that the party in power intentionally drew a map to put the other party at a disadvantage. A more aggressive standard like that, Feng said, would allow lawsuits to move forward sooner.

Business Insider: Trump could be in a world of new legal trouble after New York's attorney general accused his charity of 'willful and knowing' crimes

Paul S. Ryan, the vice president of policy and litigation at the watchdog group Common Cause, told Business Insider that such coordination could be in violation of what is known as the "soft money ban," adding that the Iowa event and the distribution of the funds raised during it "were timed to create goodwill and earned media for the Trump campaign in the week leading up to the Iowa caucuses."

Associated Press: US Supreme Court justices: No definitive ruling on partisan districts

“Today, the U.S. Supreme Court today did not to address the unconstitutionality of one of the most partisan gerrymanders of state legislative districts (2011) in American history, but we remain hopeful that standing can be addressed and we can win justice in the courts. We even more urgently renew our call on the Wisconsin Legislature to replace this broken system with a transparent, non-partisan process modeled after our neighbor, Iowa, in time for the 2021 redistricting cycle, if not before.” - Jay Heck, executive director of Common Cause in Wisconsin

New York Times: Will the Justice Department Investigate the Trump Foundation?

“There are certainly grounds to open an investigation on the merits,” said Paul S. Ryan, vice president for policy and litigation at the campaign finance advocacy group Common Cause. “But the F.E.C. has been dismissing complaints that I think are much stronger slam dunks than this.”

New York Times: Candidate for Georgia Governor Bought Condo From Lobbyist

Sara Henderson, executive director of Common Cause Georgia, a government watchdog group, said that such cozy relationships raised suspicions of pay-to-play. “Lobbyists and elected officials should never be involved in business deals together,” she said. “It gives the impression that the lobbyist and their interests will find favor with that official when it comes to awarding contracts and determining public policy that might financially benefit them.”