FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Auburn, AL_National non-profit Take Back Our Republic announced Wednesday the selection of Eric Yang as the state coordinator for the foundation_s Texas efforts (www.takeback.org/groups/view/Texas-state-coalition). Above all, the group pledges to promote non-partisan solutions to issues plaguing America_s campaign finance system, by pushing to restore power to the hands of voters.
_It frustrates me that political reform is viewed as solely a _liberal_ or Democratic notion,_ Yang said. _For far too long, conservatives have ceded ground to liberals on an issue uniquely predicated on the idea of human freedom and choice. Washington, built up on the bloated support of special interests, has become much more than a geographical location on a map, but an institution of the American government itself, an institution counter to the ideals of individual empowerment and political responsibility that form the bedrock of our representative democracy. As an independent who leans right on many political issues, I believe that I am in a unique position to share the message of reform with conservatives, otherwise ardent believers in liberty who currently oppose change solely because they view the term _campaign finance reform_ as liberal._
_But more importantly,_ Yang pointed out, _This is change that all of us stand to gain from _ not as Republicans, not as Democrats, but as American citizens with inalienable rights._ As expressed on TBOR_s website, _We believe that the way in which we elect our officials is not a partisan issue; it is an American issue. _Our organization was formed and is run by individuals who understand the political process from the inside out, and are now seeking to educate people about the power they have to shape the process from the outside in._
Take Back Our Republic (www.takeback.org), or TBOR, is based near the campus of Auburn University and 90 minutes from the Atlanta airport. Its mission is to conduct research, analysis and public education on conservative ideas for improving the financing of campaigns for public office. One such idea is to incentivize small campaign donations from private citizens. TBOR believes that if more Americans have a voice, politicians will focus less on a handful of large check writers at corporations, unions or special interest groups who expect something in return for their contributions.
TBOR Executive Director John Pudner said in many ways Texas was the most significant state for vetting any conservative solution due to having more conservative citizens than any other state in the Union. _We believe the discussion that has started in other TBOR state chapters about the pros and cons of offering tax credits for small campaign contributions, removing caps on direct contributions to candidates in return for curtailing _dark_ money and keeping foreign money out of our political system all must be vetted in Texas,_ Pudner said. _As a Texas native and resident who has carried and spread his home-state pride to the East Coast and whose many passions include no-beans chili and die-hard support for the Rangers, I believe Eric will help foster discussion across this tremendous state._
Yang is currently studying economics at Harvard University, where he has had the opportunity as the Harvard Undergraduate Economics Association_s vice president of outreach and a debate coach working with Boston high school students to lead efforts that empower his peers and the greater community with the most critical resource of all in a democracy _ information. His experience on the Harvard parliamentary debate team has equipped him to analyze and discuss multiple perspectives on both empirical and philosophical levels, enabling him to uniquely understand and unite the diversity of viewpoints on money in politics in a way that strives for fairness in the electoral process while also defending the right to free speech essential to any democracy.
_We are thrilled to have Eric join our team,_ Pudner said. _Through his work in Rep. Michael Burgess_ district office, (R, TX-26), Eric has witnessed firsthand the problematic disconnect between ordinary citizens and the federal government, one cause of which is an unfair electoral system that can affect the outcome of elections, and he has a fire to see the system improved from the inside so the voters have their rightful voice._
_I am really honored to have him on our side,_ he continued, _he can help us do great things in the state, but who I_m really counting on is the passionate citizens of Texas and the difference they_ll make when they see how much better politics could be._