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BREAKING: Speaker Hubbard Found Guilty

BREAKING: Speaker Hubbard Found Guilty

June 11, 2016 @ 5:09 am
by admin
in Blog

AUBURN, AL – Late Friday night word came from the courthouse seven miles from our campaign finance reform headquarters that a jury convicted Speaker Mike Hubbard on 12 felony ethics violations, each carrying up to 20 years in prison. (see


Over the 30 years I spent running political campaigns before starting Take Back Our Republic, my path intersected that of Speaker Hubbard many times.  But the most memorable was the night I announced Dave Brat’s upset of Eric Cantor after being outspent $5 million to $200,000: alone among the flood of congratulatory — if incredulous — messages were harsh, critical words from Hubbard and his top consultant.  Not inspired by Republican loyalties, but by a corrupt campaign finance culture that believes that there is no place for grassroots candidates to challenge the pre-selected darlings of a few big money special interests.



I never viewed Mike Hubbard as an enemy, despite the texts in response to launching Dave Brat’s campaign that asked two years ago tonight (this is the 2-year anniversary of Brats’ win) whether I was partying with Nancy Pelosi and that denounced economics professor Brat as a “tea party nut.”  Nor do I want to kick him while he is down.  But I can’t overlook this glaring example of what is wrong with the current campaign finance system.


I don’t claim to know whether, in Alabama, Republican Hubbard will win on appeal, or whether the state’s last Democratic governor deserves the time he is spending in prison. I don’t know whether, in New York, the Republican leader of the Senate and Democratic leader of the House deserve their recent prison sentences. I don’t know whether, in Virginia, the last Republican Governor’s conviction will be upheld by the Supreme Court or whether the new investigation into the current Democratic governor will lead to indictments.


And no, I don’t know if the FBI will indict Hillary Clinton or how the Trump University case will be decided.


I do feel confident someone deserves to go to jail for the hundreds of thousands of dollars that a political consultant funneled from a Mexican businessman to a San Diego candidate. (see story and photo below from San Diego’s Channel 7)


After decades in the business prior to starting Take Back Our Republic, I am confident that the campaign finance system in place invites corruption of good people by making it easy to hide hundreds of millions of dollars in political contributions by using LLCs, 527s, 501c4s and unverified credit card contributions. Thank you to all of the Members who have taken an important first step by co-sponsoring HR4177 to stop the latter.


I often tell people that our conservative solutions to campaign finance reform may not be their top priority – BUT as long as the system allows specials interests to trade millions in campaign contributions for billions in taxpayer money – they will never get their top priority. We first meed conservative solutions to campaign reform such as:


  1. Stopping massive foreign and other corrupt political contributions by closing dark money by enacting measures like HR4177.
  2. Enabling average Americans to use the first $200 they would have sent the IRS to instead use a tax credit to use that money to hold politicians accountable with a contribution for or against them – as discussed at a recent White House briefing.


If you have had enough – please join our the fight at Wouldn’t you rather make a contribution to fix the system? To those who say my request at this time takes advantage of a conviction to raise money, I say we gave up making money on running campaigns to take pay cuts to instead work to fix the system so we have fewer future stories of political convictions.


Please make your tax deductible contribution today and on Monday call (202) 224-3121 and ask that your Member of Congress vote to co-sponsor HR4177.


John Pudner



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