Community activist calling for statewide political campaign finance reform in Illinois


Chicago, IL (May 28, 2015)_ National non-profit Take Back Our Republic announced Friday the selection of community activist Maria Buckley as the state coordinator for the foundation_s Illinois efforts. 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.

_Campaign finance reform is something more people should be talking about,_ Buckley said. _I was thrilled when I was approached with this opportunity to work for a better future in Illinois and I jumped at the chance. We spend so much time worrying about who we elect to lead us, but if those leaders don_t feel a financial responsibility to the people they represent, it doesn_t matter. And, more people will get involved with who we elect if they know leaders feel this responsibility and that their voice as voters is being heard._

Take Back Our Republic, 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 his priority in selecting an Illinois coordinator was someone with a passion for the directive and a drive to see the message spread. And that_s what he found with Buckley. First convinced of the need for change in America_s political system at a young age during her father_s campaign for state office. This early exposure to politics at the local level sparked deep appreciation for grassroots efforts and the exchange of ideas. While studying political science and history at the University of Chicago, Buckley made a name for herself in the community by devoting her energies to educating and mentoring local schoolgirls in the hopes they, too, would grow to engage their communities.

Buckley said campaign finance reform isn_t an issue that has a lot of exposure, but when it is presented it gets many young people excited as they see that it is integral to restoring rightful government representation. However, they don_t always know how to help make this change. That_s something she hopes to change by spreading that message across Illinois. 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._

_We are thrilled to have Maria join our team,_ Pudner said. _Her motivation to change the way the political game is played and put true electoral power in the hands of voters is unrivaled in the young people TBOR has worked with. Maria_s knowledge of the political system and love for the people of Illinois will make her a huge asset in helping us reach the masses with ways we can help them better their government._

_I am honored to be working with Maria,_ he continued, _but I most look forward to seeing the Illinois residents she_ll help us reach and the work they_ll do to make their own voices heard._

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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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