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Media & Democracy 04.15.2019

Broadcasting & Cable: Prometheus Et al. Fire Back at FCC Over Ownership Dereg

“The Third Circuit has told the FCC on multiple occasions to examine how its media ownership rules impact race and gender ownership diversity," said Michael Copps, former FCC chairman and special advisor to Common Cause (one of the petitioners). "The FCC has not only failed to assess the impact of its rules on minority ownership but has also abandoned its rules all together. We urge the Court to reverse this unlawful decision and require the FCC to fulfill its statutory mandate to promote race and gender diversity in media ownership.” 

Money & Influence 04.13.2019

The Intercept: These House Democrats Pledged Not to Take Corporate Cash — But They're Using a Loophole to Do It Anyway

“If a candidate has pledged not to take corporate PAC funds, I would expect that candidate to likewise forego trade association PAC funds because the money’s coming from the same place: corporate stockholders, executives and administrative personnel,” said Paul S. Ryan, the vice president of Common Cause, which opposes corporate money in politics. “A candidate can cite a technical distinction between corporate and trade association PACs in an effort to wiggle out of the pledge, but there’s no principled distinction between the two.”

New York Times: What Is He So Afraid of?

The release of the returns would let “Americans decide whether the president is making decisions that benefit his businesses at the expense of American taxpayers,” Aaron Scherb of Common Cause, the government watchdog group, has written in USA Today. “If Trump has significant debt to banks and/or individuals in certain countries, some of which might be adversaries of the United States, we must know because his foreign policy decisions might be compromised.”

USA Today (Op-Ed): The president is not above the law

"People have got to know whether or not their president is a crook." President Richard Nixon famously said this line during the Watergate scandal in 1973, and Americans deserve to know what President Donald Trump is trying to hide by continually refusing to release his tax returns.

Money & Influence 04.1.2019

ABA Journal: Catch and Kill: Can tabloids hide behind the First Amendment?

One Sunday morning in February of last year, Paul S. Ryan, an attorney at Common Cause, a grassroots organization that works to uphold democratic principles, got up early, as he regularly does, and read through the latest news. When he came to a story in the New York Times he had been following, he drank some coffee, ate breakfast with his wife and young son, and went to work.Ryan, who is Common Cause’s vice president of policy and litigation, does not regularly work on weekends. But the Times story had new details in an evolving scandal in which the company that owns the National Enquirer had paid $150,000 to former Playboy model Karen McDougal to buy the rights to a story about her affair with Donald Trump before he became president.

Voting & Elections 03.27.2019


David Vance, the National Media Strategist at government watchdog organization Common Cause, told Newsweek that the Husted decision had enabled state legislatures to use purges of rolls to suppress voters. "In greenlighting Ohio’s voter roll purges, the Husted ruling has inspired a variety of methods to remove voters from the polls for partisan gain," he said. "The Arizona bill is just the latest example of voter suppression tactics stemming from the Husted decision. It appears to be nothing more than another attempt by politicians to dictate who will vote and who won’t for their own advantage. We should be looking for ways to get more Americans to vote, not making it more difficult for those that do vote to cast their ballots."

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