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Voting & Elections 05.2.2024

Washingtonian: Washington DC’s 500 Most Influential People of 2024

Virginia Kase Solomón - Common Cause President and CEO Solomón, who came to Common Cause in February, has backed the John Lewis Voting Rights Advancement Act, a stalled effort to modernize the 1965 Voting Rights Act meant to combat voter suppression. First job: Blockbuster Video. Worst career advice she ever received: “To be more realistic about my goals because I was a teenage mom and I should be happy just to have a steady income.” Song currently on repeat: “Dance the Night” by Dua Lipa.

Washingtonian: Washington DC’s 500 Most Influential People of 2024

Aaron Scherb Common Cause Senior Director, Legislative Affairs Scherb helps craft pro-democratic reforms in such areas as redistricting, campaign finance, and voting rights, coordinating with Congress members and allies on drafts for proposed legislation. Hometown: South Bend, Indiana. First job: Delivering newspapers for the South Bend Tribune. Lesson from that job: “People appreciated and often recognized the small things, like making sure their newspaper was fully wrapped in plastic when it was raining or snowing.”

Money & Influence 05.1.2024

CAL Matters/Mercury News: California passed a law to stop ‘pay to play’ in local politics. After two years, legislators want to gut it

California Common Cause and California Clean Money Campaign — the main supporters of the 2022 law — argued the bill would favor certain industries, reduce transparency and allow local elected officials to accept large donations outside the 18-month period the bill proposed. “For many lengthy projects that take longer than nine months, these changes would allow for large contributions to be made while a matter is pending” as long as the check is written outside the window, said Pedro Hernandez, legal and policy director of California Common Cause. Jonathan Mehta Stein, executive director of the group, called the bill’s advancement a “​special interest triumph.” “Our democracy is in dire trouble at the national level. The least we can offer Californians is high-integrity, trustworthy governance here at home,” he said in a statement.

Money & Influence 04.30.2024

Yahoo! News/ The Guardian: Revealed: Tyson Foods dumps millions of pounds of toxic pollutants into US rivers and lakes

Big ag’s influence on state politics is “endemic”, according to Gavin Geis from Common Cause Nebraska, a non-partisan elections watchdog. “The big money spent on lobbying and campaigns by corporate agriculture has played a major role in resisting stronger regulation – despite clear signals such as high levels of nitrates in our groundwater and cancers in rural communities that we need more oversight for farmers across the board,” said Geis.

Money & Influence 04.29.2024

Wisconsin Examiner (Op-Ed): To be truly fair Wisconsin courts must be free from big political money

The unprecedented and obscenely high amount of political money being raised and spent in Wisconsin Supreme Court elections is a fairly new and horrific development in our state. It wasn’t always this way here and it cannot and should not continue. 

Media & Democracy 04.26.2024

Forbes: FCC Votes To Restore Net Neutrality: A Win For Consumers And Democracy

Former FCC Commissioner and Common Cause Special Adviser Michael Copps shared his perspective on the importance of reinstating net neutrality: “If I weren't out of the country today, I would be personally at the FCC jumping up and down, saluting the majority for reinstituting the network neutrality rules that were so foolishly eliminated by the previous Commission.” Copps has been a staunch advocate for an open Internet for over two decades, emphasizing that the reinstated rules are not only moderate but have previously been upheld in court, proving their efficacy and necessity. Ishan Mehta, Common Cause media and democracy program director, articulated the broader implications of the FCC’s decision, emphasizing that "The restoration of net neutrality is a victory for every American household, and it is a victory for democracy. Today’s vote returns control of the Internet to the American people instead of corporate interests.” The Internet, he argues, serves as a virtual public square essential for civic engagement and the organization of social justice movements in the U.S., highlighting the democratic necessity of equitable Internet access.

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