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Voting & Elections 04.26.2024

USA Today: Nebraska removes two-year waiting period for felons to vote

RISE is among the 31 member groups that make up the Nebraska Voting Rights Restoration Coalition, which counts Common Cause Nebraska among its members. Gavin Geis, the Executive Director, says restoring voting rights helps reduce recidivism by creating stronger community ties. "It's a way of engaging people in their communities that was cut off before," Geis said. "So beyond getting to vote on who represents you, I think this helps tie people back into their neighbors and their community in a way that will hopefully reduce the reasons why one ends up back in prison."

Orlando Sentinel: Judges urged to reconsider Florida federal redistricting case

Attorneys for groups such as Common Cause Florida and the Florida NAACP and other plaintiffs filed a motion Wednesday urging a three-judge panel to look again at whether the redistricting plan was passed in 2022 with a racially discriminatory motive. Wednesday’s motion for reconsideration said the judges incorrectly found that DeSantis’ intent “was all but irrelevant.” The lawsuit alleged that the map involved intentional discrimination and violated the U.S. Constitution’s 14th Amendment and 15th Amendment. The 14th Amendment ensures equal protection, while the 15th Amendment prohibits denying or abridging the right to vote based on race. “First, the court erred by treating the governor as an outsider to the legislative process,” Wednesday’s motion said. “Unlike private citizens advocating for legislative action, the governor is himself a state actor directly subject to the Fourteenth and Fifteenth Amendments. He may not discriminate on the basis of race when using state authority, any more than the Legislature can. No case law supports the notion that, where multiple state actors act jointly to bring about the challenged conduct, all of them must be driven by illegal consideration of race.”

New York Times: In Immunity Case, Trump Can Lose in Ways That Amount to a Win

“If the court orders additional proceedings in the district court, holding trial before the election will become virtually impossible,” said a brief supporting Mr. Smith from Common Cause, a watchdog group.

Money & Influence 04.24.2024

Cleveland.com/The Plain Dealer (Op-Ed): For the sake of our state, it’s time to pull out HB 6, root and branch

For the past four years, a heavy cloud has hung over Ohio and our state legislature in the form of House Bill 6 and disgraced former Speaker Larry Householder. The HB 6 scheme has been a textbook example of corruption, embarrassing Ohioans with endless indictments, guilty verdicts and negative news stories. Now, four years later, it still dominates headlines, with the recent revelation of payments to conservative groups to support Gov. Mike DeWine, Lt. Gov. John Husted, and Senate President Matt Huffman.

Money & Influence 04.24.2024

Daily Beast: Trump’s New Legal Bills Are Hiding an $8 Million Mystery

Aaron Scherb, senior director of legislative affairs at good government watchdog Common Cause, agreed with Fischer’s assessment that the payments may violate reporting and corporate contribution laws. “By a legal sleight of hand, it appears that Trump world is trying to hide the true recipients of these donations,” Scherb told The Daily Beast. He noted that corporations aren’t allowed to donate directly to these committees, and that corporations can’t reimburse contributors. The payments, Scherb said, must be “thoroughly investigated to ensure that all entities and individuals are complying with the law.” “Shenanigans like this are reason #1000 why we need the DISCLOSE Act, which Senate Republicans have blocked at least five times in the last several years,” Scherb added.

Vanity Fair: Jack Smith’s One Job Is to Take Donald Trump to Trial Before the Election. (The Supreme Court May Not Let Him.)

One voting rights group, Common Cause, had the wherewithal to spell out, in no uncertain terms, that the justices are already tipping the scales in favor of Trump and that the public would be well within its right to view the justices as partisan hacks if they drag things out any further. “If this Court’s delay in disposing of this appeal has the result of preventing the case from going to trial prior to the election—or going to trial at all—it would give many Americans the sense that the Court, through its arbitrary and unexplained management of its own docket, has played partisan favorites in the midst of a heated presidential election,” the group wrote in a public filing.

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