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Voting & Elections 10.22.2021

Associated Press: Texas’ new elections chief joined Trump’s challenge in 2020

“In what world does it make sense to appoint someone who took an active role to discredit the will of voters?” said Stephanie Gomez, associate director of Common Cause Texas.

TIME: After Senate Republicans Block Voting Rights Legislation, the Filibuster Is Back in the Crosshairs

The reason Neil Gorsuch is sitting on the Supreme Court right now is because Senate Republicans carved out Supreme Court nominations from the filibuster rule, says Stephen Spaulding, senior counsel for public policy and government affairs at Common Cause, an advocacy organization focused on promoting democracy. Democrats did the same for President Barack Obama’s nominees were appointed to the D.C. circuit, he says. “It’s not unprecedented at all. It’s now a choice to keep the filibuster in place rather than pass legislation that would project the freedom to vote,” Spaulding says.

Voting & Elections 10.21.2021

New York Times: Texas Governor Appoints Former Trump Lawyer to Oversee Election Review

The appointment brought immediate criticism from Democrats and voting groups. “The timing of this announcement is clearly intended to subvert our democratic process in a way that allows Greg Abbott’s completely unsuitable nominee to oversee our 2022 elections without having to face confirmation hearings,” said Stephanie Gómez, the Texas associate director for Common Cause.

Money & Influence 10.21.2021

UPI/Medill News Service: California lawmaker accepted donations from oil firm linked to spill in her district

Stephen Spaulding, senior counsel for public policy at the non-partisan government watchdog organization Common Cause, said lawmakers in such competitive districts face heightened scrutiny from party members and donors to hold on to their seat. "When the balance of power hangs on a handful of seats, you will see resources shifted and prioritized for those particular members in swing districts," Spaulding said. "A candidate can face a number of pressures, but ultimately, it is up to the candidate to run the campaign pursuant to their vision and their values."

Voting & Elections 10.20.2021

Newsweek (Op-Ed): It's Time to Fix—Or Nix—The Senate Filibuster

Some of us believe the filibuster should be eliminated; others think reforms like a return to the "talking filibuster" can work, so long as there is a path to up-or-down votes on important legislation. The Freedom to Vote Act, a compromise measure recently introduced by Sen. Joe Manchin, is a fitting vehicle to usher in a new era of transparency and accountability.

NPR (Audio): Elected officials in Detroit face a widening federal public corruption probe

NEWMAN: The hope for many residents is that the current political upheaval will lead to reforms. Beth Rotman agrees. She's with the policy group Common Cause. BETH ROTMAN: Often, these scandals lead to more public awareness of how these ties can actually begin on the campaign trail and also in the relationships that form because of the connections between wealth and policy outcomes.

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