In order to “Take Back Our Republic” and place influence back in the hands of “We the People,” information is paramount. That’s why we believe that the public deserves to know who is exerting influence on the process. The Garden State’s loose disclosure rules for outside organizations is beginning to get noticed. There, an outside organization called Stronger Foundations, Inc. has spent $275,100 on two legislative primaries in the northern portion of the state. However, despite the sizeable amount, voters know almost nothing about this group. No information is available about who is funding this effort. Consequently, voters in New [...]
In an opinion piece titled "Integrity of democratic elections at stake," the Albuquerque Journal featured a response to those attempting to hide political contributions from the public. The piece was written by Executive Director John Pudner, and starts: Take Back Our Republic (www.takeback.org) is a nonpartisan organization dedicated to common-sense, conservative solutions to campaign finance reform. I ran political campaigns for decades before becoming the executive director of Take Back and I know how well-funded special interests manipulate the system for their own benefit. Please visit the Albuquerque Journal, the largest newspaper in New Mexico, and read the entire opinion [...]
Jacob Scott has been a familiar face in the Missouri Capitol since 2014, as he has become one of the top young staffers on the Senate side of the building. ...Outside of his work in the government, Scott still finds time for politics. He volunteers for a nonprofit called Take Back Our Republic, a group whose stated purpose is to change campaign financing to give more power to individuals rather than corporations and labor unions. He serves as a regional coordinator for several states, including Missouri. Read more HERE.
This week, Take Back Our Republic hosted a "Meet and Greet" with Executive Director John Pudner at The Chocolate Bar in Huntsville. Pudner also attended the Huntsville Tea Party meeting with Speaker Mac McCutcheon. During both events, Pudner discussed the need to bring power back to the people through campaign finance reform.
We have been studying states where lobbying has dramatically grown from 2006-15. Thirteen states rank in the top ten in either or both of the highest growth rate states or most significant raw growth states: California, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, Oklahoma, Pennsylvania, Texas, North Dakota, Maine, New York, Delaware, Indiana, Michigan, and Rhode Island. Today, we will take a look at the states on this list that rank in the top four in population (California, Texas, New York, and Pennsylvania) and their campaign finance laws. We start with California. The state ranks first in population, first in growth rate over our period, [...]
On Friday, Take Back Executive Director John Pudner was back on Boston Herald Drive to discuss campaign finance reform with hosts John Sapochetti and Rick Shaffer. Click HERE to listen to the interview and learn more about Take Back's efforts to spur individual participation in the American political system.
One of the key players we have been following in the Missouri battle over reform issues is Sen. Rob Schaaf (R- St. Joseph). This week, Schaaf released an op-ed attacking the failed bill that supposedly banned lobbyist gifts. The entire article can be read HERE. In short, Schaaf points out that the supposed “ban” would still allow for unlimited gifts so long as all members of a given chamber were invited to an event that the lobbyists were present. Moreover, lobbyists are allowed to give $40 in gifts to a given legislator per day so long the gift is either [...]
We have been closely following the ongoing dialogue in Missouri, a state where Take Back Our Republic has capitalized on the interest in reform to take multiple trips to organize for reform. In the Show Me State, there has been an ongoing battle between a coalition of Republican and Democrat lawmakers and the governor, who is hoping to use his 501c4, A New Missouri, Inc., to push for his agenda. Governor Greitens, elected in November and showing the potential of a rising star, is certainly touching on a significant number of conservative arguments. The new governor has talked about the [...]
Over the years, we've heard lots of ideas on how to improve the campaign finance system - at every level of government. Which proposals do you think should be top priority? Take the poll HERE!
In our study on lobbying, we go on quite the rabbit trail again this week as we look at a culture of corruption in New York. Like our most recent paper on the subject, we understand that we are being somewhat tangential. However, we continue to believe that loose laws and a culture where influence is held by the few leads to other problems. Consider one such example in the handling of stipends given to committee chairpersons. The system, which needs to be reconsidered even without this example of corruption, was recently openly abused. The New York Times authored a [...]