Author Archives: JoanneR

Austin’s Campaign Finance System and Alternatives

On January 16, 2016 Common Ground hosted a discussion led by Sara E. Smith, staff attorney for Environment Texas, on the Austin Fair Campaign Chapter (AFCC), its shortcomings, and possible alternatives to it.  It became clear within just a few … Continue reading

Posted in Austin campaign finance, Clean Elections, Community Conversations, Electoral reform | Leave a comment

Ask Senate State Affairs Committee to Consider Judicial Selection Methods

The Texas Senate State Affairs Committee has an interim charge to  “examine the effect of eliminating straight-party voting for candidates for judicial office and make recommendations to ensure candidates are given individual consideration by voters.”  It is unusual for an … Continue reading

Posted in Judicial election campaigns, Money in Politics | Leave a comment

NRA: 100; public opinion: 0

On January 8, KUT broadcast an episode of On the Media called “Common Sense,” presenting a stunning example of a special interest’s success in influencing legislators and public policy to achieve results antithetical to public opinion. The special interest in … Continue reading

Posted in Media, Money in Politics | Leave a comment

Big wins for the people in Ohio, Maine and Seattle

In the recent November elections, various citizens’ ballot initiatives advanced the electoral voice of the people. Ohio passed the Bipartisan Redistricting Amendment (Issue 1 on the ballot) with 71% of the vote. And Seattle and Maine passed measures that limit … Continue reading

Posted in Uncategorized | 1 Comment

Bills We’re Following in the Texas Legislature

Common Ground for Texans has joined forces with other organizations to form the Texas Fair Courts Network and the Anti-Corruption Campaign. We have been working hard to oppose or support various bills that have come before the Texas House and … Continue reading

Posted in Constitutional Amendment, Legislation | Leave a comment

Rubio’s Benefactor Bemoans State of Campaign Donations

From NYTimes First Draft on Politics May 11, 2015 Norman Braman, the billionaire Miami auto dealer who is prepared to pour $10 million into Senator Marco Rubio’s “super PAC,” has an unexpected view of campaign donations. He hates them. “It’s … Continue reading

Posted in Money in Politics, Supreme Court | Leave a comment

An Unexpected and Welcome Ally Against Citizens United

[youtube]https://youtu.be/YaMDEKiuzNo[/youtube]U.S. Senator Lindsay Graham, South Carolina Republican, was asked on WMUR’s “Conversations with the Candidate” on April 10, 2015, “What specifically would you do to remove the influence of big money on politics?”   Sen. Graham, whom no one would call … Continue reading

Posted in Clean Elections, Constitutional Amendment, Corporate influence, Money in Politics, Supreme Court | Leave a comment

Film event: Pay 2 Play

Public Citizen Texas, Move To Amend, Texans for Public Justice, Texas Public Research Group, Common Cause Texas, Common Ground for Texans, Wolf-PAC, The League of Women Voters Austin Area Present “Pay 2 Play” Public Interest Pictures & Shoot First Inc. … Continue reading

Posted in Events, Money in Politics | Leave a comment

Money in Politics: Empirical evidence for what we all know

I just finished reading two papers that show without any doubt that money in politics is an excellent investment. Economic elites, and organized groups representing business interests, have substantial impacts on U.S. government policy, while mass-based interest groups and average citizens … Continue reading

Posted in Contacting Legislators, Money in Politics | Leave a comment

Democracy For All Amendment

A Senate vote on the Democracy For All Amendment (S.J. Res. 19) will take place on September 8, 2014.  Below is the text of the amendment.  Please call or email Senator Cornyn (202) 224-2934 or email Senator Cruz (202) 224-5922 … Continue reading

Posted in Constitutional Amendment, Contacting Legislators, Legislation, Money in Politics | 1 Comment