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Common Cause v. Senators Burr, Loeffler, Feinstein and Inhofe (STOCK Act)

Legal Filings

On March 20, 2020, Common Cause filed complaints with the Senate Select Committee on Ethics, Securities and Exchange Commission and Department of Justice calling for investigations of Senators Richard Burr, Kelly Loeffler, James Inhofe and Dianne Feinstein to determine whether the Senators violated the Stop Trading on Congressional Knowledge Act of 2012 (STOCK Act), the Securities Exchange Act, the U.S. Criminal Code and other federal laws and regulations regarding stock trading applicable to Members of Congress. Specifically, Common Cause requested an investigation of whether these Senators engaged in illegal insider trading by trading stocks based on material, nonpublic information regarding the COVID-19 coronavirus pandemic received in private, confidential briefings for Senators by officials from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases and other government officials.

Money & Influence 01.22.2020

Common Cause v. Our Revolution (“Soft Money” Violation)

Legal Filings

On January 22, 2020, Common Cause filed a complaint with the Federal Election Commission (FEC) alleging reason to believe that Our Revolution, a nonprofit political organization established by Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-VT) in 2016 and now supporting his 2020 presidential campaign, violated the federal ‘soft money’ ban. The complaint documents that Our Revolution has solicited contributions explicitly to elect Sanders president, received contributions far in excess of the applicable $5,000 contribution limit and spent funds in connection with federal elections, including current voter mobilization efforts supporting Sanders in Iowa.

Money & Influence 09.27.2019

Ukrainegate Campaign Finance Violation: No “Quid Pro Quo” Necessary & July 25 Phone Call Only “Tip of the Iceberg”

Fact Sheet

On September 23, 2019, Common Cause filed a complaint with the Department of Justice (DOJ) and the Federal Election Commission (FEC) alleging reason to believe that President Trump, Rudy Giuliani and other political operatives violated the federal law ban on soliciting, or substantially assisting the solicitation of, a “contribution” from a foreign national. The following is a summary of the law and facts detailed in the complaint, as well as some additional background information.

Money & Influence 09.23.2019

Common Cause v. Trump (Ukraine Contribution Solicitation)

Legal Filings

On September 23, 2019, Common Cause filed a complaint with the U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ) and the Federal Election Commission (FEC) alleging that President Donald Trump, his personal attorney Rudy Giuliani, and other political operatives illegally solicited a political contribution from a foreign national—by urging Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky and other Ukrainian officials to investigate Hunter Biden and 2020 presidential candidate Joe Biden.

Money & Influence 08.12.2019

ALEC in Texas: Undercovering the Influence of the American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC) in the Texas Legislature

Research and Reports

The report reveals which members of the Texas legislature have ties to ALEC and which recent state bills can be traced back to the organization. Additionally, the report documents how ALEC abuses its public charity status with the IRS, effectively making its corporate donors eligible for tax breaks for its funding of ALEC.

Money & Influence 08.2.2019

Common Cause v. Kobach

Legal Filings

On August 2, 2019, Common Cause filed complaints with the Department of Justice (DOJ) and the Federal Election Commission (FEC) alleging reason to believe that solicitations for campaign contributions to former Kansas Secretary of State Kris Kobach’s Senate campaign distributed by We Build the Wall, Inc. violated multiple campaign finance laws. The email solicitation appears to violate the ban on corporate contributions to a federal candidate and the prohibition on candidates spending “soft money” in connection with their election. The email also lacks the “paid for by” disclaimer required by federal law when candidates solicit political contributions. 

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