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Politico: New Mexico governor candidate profited from high-risk insurance plans

Much of the enforcement of New Mexico’s conflict of interest and vote recusal rules revolves around voluntary compliance and having other legislators police each other, said Viki Harrison with Common Cause New Mexico, which advocates for stricter ethics laws. New Mexico legislators are not paid a salary and serve only part-time. “When you police yourselves there’s always going to be questions around transparency and cronyism,” she said.

Money & Influence 05.29.2018

Associated Press: Keystone XL Developer Showers Nebraska With Campaign Cash

TransCanada's spending in Nebraska is high compared to many companies that lobby state officials, said Jack Gould, issues chairman of Common Cause Nebraska, a political watchdog group. In addition to the campaign contributions, TransCanada has previously reported spending more than $1.2 million on lobbying in Nebraska between 2006 and mid-2017. "I guess from their perspective, they're doing what they think they need to do to get the pipeline built," Gould said.

Money & Influence 05.28.2018

Washington Post: Good-government or quid pro quo? Anti-Dominion pledge raises eyebrows in Richmond.

Stephen Spaulding, chief of strategy for the good-government watchdog Common Cause, said he was “sympathetic” to Clean Virginia’s “overall policy goals” but found the emailed offer “problematic” — particularly because it was sent to official state email accounts, which should not be used for campaign purposes.

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."

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