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Washington Times: California governor calls for U.S. constitutional amendment on gun control

Viki Harrison, director of constitutional convention programs at Common Cause, said her organization supports efforts to curb gun violence, but she said calling a convention “could put all of our civil rights up for grabs.” “A constitutional convention is not the way to go and could actually make reducing gun violence worse at the end of the day because gun interests could re-write the constitution,” she told The Washington Times. “With no rules in place, and many convention proponents advocating for the same number of delegates per state, gun control would not be the topic taken up at a convention.”

Tallahassee Democrat/Gannett: Alabama redistricting ruling 'opens the window to hope' for Florida challengers

“We’re very hopeful that what came out in Alabama will bode well for Florida,” said Kathay Feng, vice president of programs for Common Cause, which is among the plaintiffs suing Florida in federal court over the congressional map. Feng said justices clearly signaled that the “Voting Rights Act is not dead.” “Protections against racial gerrymandering are not dead and if the historical record and the facts show themselves to be worthy, the Supreme Court will find there is racial gerrymandering and will order” a remaking of the map, she added.

Salon: RFK Jr. and the con men candidates: more than a sideshow — they're a real threat to democracy

"We do not have a clear picture of who is pumping significant money into our elections," Stephen Spaulding, the vice president of policy at Common Cause, told Salon. Especially after the disastrous 2013 Supreme Court decision dismantling much campaign finance law, he explained, there's "a universe of money influencing our elections that are coming from somewhere in large amounts, but we don't know where it's coming from." While cautioning there's no legal way to distinguish real candidates from people who are in it for the grift, Spaulding did agree that campaign finance reform could make it less appealing to run for office merely as a brand-building or money-gathering exercise. He highlighted the DISCLOSE Act that Democrats support, but Republicans have filibustered to death in the Senate. The act would make dark money giving much more difficult, making it hard for candidates, both those sincerely running and those with ulterior motives, to enjoy the backing of wealthy interests who don't want their involvement known. He also called for the federal government to take more proactive steps to enforce laws that do exist, so people like Santos can be snagged before they get too far into the process — or even get elected. 

Voting & Elections 06.6.2023

Associated Press: Supreme Court tossed out heart of Voting Rights Act a decade ago, prompting wave of new voting rules

Voting rights groups say that does not mean voting is easy, and they have been responding to the restrictions with fresh strategies. In Georgia, for instance, Common Cause set up mobile printing stations across the state so voters could comply with new voter registration rules that require an ink signature on a printed form. “It’s only through the work of all these communities and groups on the ground that voters have access,” said Sylvia Albert, the group’s national director of voting and elections. “But doing this post-Shelby, courts are not recognizing the true damage those laws have had.”

Money & Influence 06.6.2023

The Lever: Ron DeSantis’ Crusade Against Campaign Finance Laws

Taken together, the group’s activities amount to “a complete end-run around our campaign finance rules, which are in place to curb corruption and the appearance of corruption,” said Stephen Spaulding, a vice president at the watchdog group Common Cause.

The New Yorker: How a Fringe Legal Theory Became a Threat to Democracy

Flight attendants use euphemistic doublespeak because, understandably, they want to avoid terms like “hijacking” and "September 11th.” For similar reasons, Jones spoke in broad terms, without directly invoking Trump or January 6th. (There were also other reasons for this, such as Common Cause’s nonpartisan status.) Even so, the implications were clear. At one point, an organizer sitting in the audience stood, using a cane, and gave an impromptu speech, urging listeners to imagine a Supreme Court opinion that enabled legislatures to rig elections at will. “There was a time when I used to think things like that couldn’t happen,” he said. “But then we had January 6th, Roe—these things can happen. They’re happening.”

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