Julia Vaughn

Julia
Vaughn

Vaughn is director of Common Cause Indiana.

Full Biography

Vaughn is director of Common Cause Indiana.

Full Biography

February 16, 2017 3:40 PM

An Affront to the Process

Yesterday’s meeting of the House Elections Committee was as an affront to the public and the legislative process. Several hundred Hoosiers showed up on a weekday, with 24 hours notice given. They were there to show their support for HB1014, a bill that would create a citizens redistricting commission to take over the responsibility for drawing Congressional and state legislative districts. I am unaware of another bill that has attracted such a large crowd of…

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April 20, 2016 4:25 PM 2 Comments

Supremes Slam the Door on Transparency

According to the preamble of the Indiana Access to Public Records Act, “it is the public policy of the state that all person are entitled to full and complete information regarding the affairs of government and the official acts of those who represent them as public officials and employees.”  Now that the Indiana Supreme Court has handed down their decision in our lawsuit (with the Citizens Action Coalition and Energy Policy Institute) over access to emails between utility…

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April 5, 2016 3:37 PM

Big Victory for Fair Representation

Yesterday, the U.S. Supreme Court voted 8-0 in Evenwel v. Abbott to allow – but not require – states to count every resident when reshaping state legislative districts after each federal census.  The plaintiffs urged the court to declare that the Constitution requires states to draw districts based on their number of voters, a change that would have left communities with large concentrations of non-voters – such as children and non-citizen residents – severely underrepresented in state…

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February 5, 2016 3:30 PM 2 Comments

Grab for the Gavel

While Common Cause Indiana was certainly pleased to win the lawsuit we initiated against the Marion County judicial election process, we knew that the result would be a new system designed by the Indiana General Assembly, which is in and of itself, a cause for concern.  That fix is contained in SB352 and the public should be very concerned, because the legislature is poised to give us a process for choosing judges in Marion County that is just…

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November 9, 2015 7:01 PM 1 Comment

We Should Ground the Legislature for This Report Card

The latest installment of the Center for Public Integrity’s State Integrity Investigation is out and it’s clear that, despite the ethics reforms passed earlier this year by the General Assembly, Indiana still has a long way to go before we pass any ethics and transparency tests.  Our grade of D- should send a wake up call to any policy maker who thinks their job is finished by the reforms prompted by the Eric Turner, Troy Woodruff and Tony Bennett…

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October 3, 2015 11:31 AM

The Great Divide

The Special Interim Study Committee on Redistricting finally got underway yesterday and it was clear from the get-go it’s going to be a long road to passing real reform.  The few states that do redistricting right have gained that ability through the citizen initiative process; in Indiana, that’s not an option.  If redistricting is to be reformed here, it will have to be done by the very folks who benefit the most from the status quo – incumbent…

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August 11, 2015 4:36 PM 1 Comment

Really Rich and Mostly White

As rioting in Ferguson, Missouri continues to shine a spotlight on issues of race in this country, it’s important to consider some demographic statistics regarding presidential campaign fundraising just released by the Every Voice Center in their Color of Money report.  According to the report: Half of the $74 million in large individual donations raised directly by the top ten candidates came from 1 percent of the country’s zip codes. The typical income level for the…

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July 24, 2015 12:15 PM 1 Comment

Who’s in San Diego with ALEC?

Most of what’s wrong with politics today is on display from now through the weekend in a hotel in downtown San Diego, and you can be sure that there are plenty of Hoosier legislators on hand for the festivities.  It’s that time of year again – the American Legislative Exchange Council’s annual meeting opened earlier this week and the festival of closed-door deal making between state legislators, corporate executives and lobbyists continues through the weekend. No telling what kind…

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June 24, 2015 3:43 PM 1 Comment

Your Tax Dollars At Work

It appears the Indiana House of Representatives is prepared to spare no expense fighting an attempt by public interest groups to force them to follow the Access to Public Records Act, just like every other governmental entity in the state.  It’s galling enough that the House claims to be exempt from the law they wrote and are ignoring an opinion from the state Public Access Counselor, a position they created to arbitrate public records dispute.  Then, they quietly changed the…

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May 7, 2015 11:11 AM 1 Comment

Only So Much Transparency

Earlier this week Governor Pence signed the ethics reform legislation passed by the General Assembly in response to a trio of scandals involving former State Representative Eric Turner, former Superintendent of Public Education Tony Bennett and former INDOT official Troy Woodruff.  The law ushers in a new era of transparency regarding the financial interests of legislators and legislative candidates and was long overdue.  I appreciate that the legislative leadership made good on the promise they made to close loopholes and…

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