Town Hall Debate Question Leads to Secret Contributions Discussion


ST LOUIS, MO - OCTOBER 09: Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump (L) and Democratic presidential nominee former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton during the town hall debate at Washington University on October 9, 2016 in St Louis, Missouri. This is the second of three presidential debates scheduled prior to the November 8th election. (Photo by Scott Olson/Getty Images)

With all the distractions associated with the last Presidential debate, most will not remember the name Beth Miller, but we at Take Back Our Republic continue to work to make certain that the conversation she sparked there continues. Miller, an undecided voter, was chosen to pose a question to the candidates and she was the individual who ignored the drama and instead, asked about something that truly matters to voters – the influence money can have on campaigns and elected officials.

Congratulations to Beth Miller, who asked that question leading to a discussion we must have about secret political contributions. While most watching the debate have never heard of Beth Miller, countless surveys and polls show the issue she brought to the table is of significant concern to voters.

It is interesting that it required an audience question to get someone to bring up an issue that led to a discussion of dark – or secret – political contributions, and let both candidates talk about the problems of corporate giving – but with all the twists and turns of this particular campaign season, we can understand why important issues are neglected. That is why it is critical for Take Back Our Republic to continue to amplify this discussion and continue working toward implementing conservative solutions for campaign finance reform.

When Miller was given the microphone, she said, “Good evening. Perhaps the most important aspect of this election is the Supreme Court Justice. What would you prioritize as the most important aspect of selecting a Supreme Court justice?”

Below are excerpts from the transcript of the dialogue the followed:

CLINTON: I would want to see the Supreme Court reverse Citizens United and get dark, unaccountable money out of our politics.

TRUMP: I’m not taking all of this big money from all of these different corporations like she’s doing.

Both candidates went deeper into the question too – but the important issue here is that it is being discussed and continues to be a major issue to voters. We will leave the judging of which candidate gave a better answer to you, but the fact that a simple question by an attendee started a discussion on our broken campaign finance system, shows this issue permeates all aspects of the political debate.

It’s a start to the conversation – a good start, in fact. Now that campaign finance reform is being viewed as a top five issue by key voting groups, why are the candidates almost never asked about the issue? We should ask that questions to journalists over and over again. While the drama may get ratings, if the moderators put it in the back seat, voters will be able to learn more about the issues they actually care about – like this dark money/secret political contribution problem facing us today.

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Take Back Our Republic strive to be the leading organization in promoting a culture in politics where character and ideas are the basis of being elected and every election is financed with transparency, primarily by the people to be represented and not by outside interests. Headquartered in Auburn, AL since 2015, TBOR has strong financial backing, an engaged board, more than 100 volunteer coordinators in 47 states, and a staff who stands by our mission.



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