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US political spending getting more secretive with IRS change

July 20, 2018 @ 8:15 pm
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Political spending in the U.S. is about to become even more secretive after the IRS this week dropped a requirement that many nonprofits have to provide lists of their major donors. John Pudner, executive director of Take Back Our Republic, a conservative group that calls for election spending transparency, has been pushing for regulations on credit-card campaign donations, arguing that they make it easier to hide foreign contributions. Dropping disclosure requirements for the IRS is a step in the wrong direction, he said. "Anything that looks like an easy way to funnel money illicitly," he said, "is logically going to [...]

TBOR Campaigns in North Dakota And Congratulates Tuesday’s (Unnamed) Alabama Winners

July 18, 2018 @ 3:38 am
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in Blog
Take Back Our Republic congratulates all the nominees selected in the primary in our home state of Alabama tonight. We will not mention names in this post since we must be careful not to promote candidates as they enter the general election - but Executive Director John Pudner's former employer the Alabama Farmers Federation scored a huge upset in a Lt. Governor's primary. Ironically, the current Governor of Alabama also won an upset election for Lt. Governor when Pudner was still running the political operation at the Alabama Farmers' Federation eight years ago. While awkwardly avoiding the names in this [...]

John Pudner on North Dakota Radio KFGO

July 16, 2018 @ 8:08 pm
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Earlier today Executive Director John Pudner joined Tyler Axness on Fargo's KFGO to discuss the North Dakota Anti-corruption Act along with other campaign finance reform concerns and how foreign money can be funneled into our elections. To listen to the interview in its entirety click below.

Pudner talks Supreme Court, NRA, and Planned Parenthood

July 9, 2018 @ 6:48 pm
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The hatred of — and love for — the NRA and Planned Parenthood will drive much of nastiness of the upcoming secret money political campaign to win or stop a decisive 50th Senate vote (from West Virginia, North Dakota, Indiana, Alaska, or Maine) for Donald Trump’s Supreme Court nominee. One Supreme Court judge could reverse cases like the 2000 Stenberg v. Carhart, forcing states to allow late-term partial-birth abortions or the 2008 Columbia v. Heller decision forcing them to allow their residents to buy handguns — meaning nothing is more important to the NRA and Planned Parenthood than the next Supreme [...]

Charities Increasingly an Outlet for Political Giving

July 6, 2018 @ 3:27 pm
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AUBURN, AL- Charitable giving, in an ideal world, should be a completely a-political outlet for funds. Sadly, new research shows that many are circumventing campaign finance laws by aiming to influence policy through charitable giving. An outstanding paper by the National Bureau of Economic Research can be found here: http://www.nber.org/papers/w24451. This research says that 7.1% of charitable giving is politically motivated, that a district’s charitable experience a drop in the immediate period after a congressman leaves office, and that this outlet is becoming a major way for those who are impacted by legislation to influence outcomes. We believe in charitable [...]

Steyer Props up Struggling Dem Candidate

July 2, 2018 @ 7:13 pm
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AUBURN, AL- The idea that “one person can make a difference” is something we all want to believe in. Unfortunately, instead of the “anyone can make a difference” concept that inspires hope, we are seeing that the “one person” really means “only a superrich individual,” a sad reality that shows how broken our system truly is. In one gubernatorial race Billionaire and campaign mega-funder Tom Steyer single-handedly gave $1 million to prop up a candidate who otherwise struggled to raise the funds needed to keep pace. While Take Back Our Republic strives NOT promote or attack candidates by name during [...]

Why Bother? Controlled “Non-profits” Make Mockery of Campaign Finance Laws

June 29, 2018 @ 8:30 pm
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AUBURN, AL- There is a reason 501c4 organizations exist, and we do not want to paint all with a broad brush. In a pluralistic society, it is natural that organizations that speak to specific issues would exist, and it is understandable why some donors would value both the anonymity and unlimited capacity that the entities can offer. It is not hard to imagine why, given the intense feelings on either side of the abortion debate, a pro-choicer would want to give to the Planned Parenthood Action Fund or a pro-lifer would open their checkbook for the Susan B. Anthony List. [...]

Facebook Making (Awkward) Strides Toward Eliminating Foreign Influence

June 28, 2018 @ 5:13 pm
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AUBURN, AL- File this under the header “Well, at least they are trying.” As Facebook bolsters its efforts to eliminate foreign entities from advertising politically, it is finding plenty of challenges. In response to the justified heat over Facebook’s failure to police Russian influence on its platform, the social media site is now requiring those wishing to advertise political messages to verify their identity as an American citizen. Until that is done, Facebook will block ads deemed to be political in nature. Ads will also require a “Paid for by” disclaimer and be stored in an accessible database. But, it [...]

Maine Becomes 1st State to Use Ranked Choice Voting Statewide

June 27, 2018 @ 8:56 pm
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AUBURN, AL- Earlier this month, Maine became the first state to utilize ranked choice voting for a statewide election. Despite opposition from the current governor, the process seems to have gone relatively smoothly. While businessman Shawn Moody won the Republican gubernatorial primary with 56% of the vote, Democrats needed to wait 8 days while the votes were sent to Augusta to be tabulated due to no candidate receiving a majority on the first ballot. When the process was concluded, AG Janet Mills was declared the winner with 54%. Similarly, the Democrat nominee for the state’s 2nd congressional district, State Rep. [...]

Executive Director John Pudner Joins the Rob (re)Port

June 26, 2018 @ 7:55 pm
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Take Back's Executive Director John Pudner joined Rob Port of Fargo based radio station WDAY's Rob (re)Port to discuss the North Dakota Anti-Corruption Amendment. To listen to Johns full discussion with one of the amendments biggest detractors click below.