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Money & Influence 09.10.2020

Connecticut’s Citizens’ Election Program Shifted the Balance of Power to the People

Research and Reports

Citizen-funded elections lead to healthier democracies and offer a guide to all citizens who believe that democracy is out of balance. Common Cause has been leading the nonpartisan charge for healthier democracy for 50 years, working at the national level and on the ground, state by state. We demand a democracy that works for all of us, but we can only do this together. Join us.

Money & Influence 08.31.2020

Common Cause Comments in FEC Billionaire Transfer Rulemaking

Legal Filings

On August 31, 2020, Common Cause filed comments urging the Federal Election Commission (FEC) to conduct a rulemaking proceeding in order to adopt a regulation to prohibit billionaires like Michael Bloomberg from evading federal law limits on contributions to party committees by routing funds through their own campaign committees. Bloomberg’s $18 million contribution to the Democratic National Committee—and hundreds of thousands of dollars in-kind contributions to state Democratic party committees—from his self-financed presidential campaign committee took advantage of a longstanding allowance for candidates to transfer unlimited leftover campaign funds to party committees. Previously those funds were raised under existing contribution limits, but Bloomberg self-financed his campaign to the tune or more than $1 billion.

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.

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