Hearing on Citizens United at 10: The Consequences for Democracy & Potential Responses By Congress

Written Testimony of John Pudner
Auburn, Alabama
U.S. House of Representatives
Committee on the Judiciary
Subcommittee on the Constitution, Civil Rights, and Civil Liberties
Hearing on Citizens United at 10: The Consequences for Democracy
& Potential Responses By Congress
February 6, 2020


As former political consultant and longtime conservative Republican, I ran an effort to reach 14
million Catholic and socially conservative Christians in 16 states for George W. Bush in 2000
and have advised many Republican campaigns, including former Representative Dave Brat’s
successful campaign that challenged former House Majority Leader Eric Cantor in Virginia. I’m
now the executive director of Take Back Our Republic. I formed Take Back Our Republic as a
full-time endeavor to correct the misconception that “campaign finance reform” was something
only progressives should support. In our first year, for example, we successfully helped recruit
52 Republicans to join 31 Democrats to sponsor a bill to discourage foreign donations to
campaigns. I also serve on the advisory council of American Promise.
Managing successful political campaigns for nearly three decades, I’ve seen firsthand the power
big money holds over our political system. This is a growing crisis that neither major political
party is solely responsible for creating, and that both major parties must act together to fix. One
necessary and critical step needed now is a Constitutional amendment so that the people, through
our representatives in Congress and the states, may enact reasonable limits and better address the
undue influence of money in elections. This amendment is necessary to set a sound foundation
for a system in which all Americans may exercise free speech and have representation in our
government, while better securing the fundamental role of the states in our federalist system —as
our nation’s founders intended.
As this hearing concerns the 10th Anniversary of the Citizens United Supreme Court decision, I
wanted to share with members of the Constitution Subcommittee my reasons for supporting a
constitutional amendment to address the unintended consequences, and unanticipated and
systemic effects, of that decision. I encourage members of Congress to work across the aisle to
make this historic and fundamental reform a reality. Thank you.
Attachment: I’m a Conservative Against Citizens United, John Pudner, The Hill, January 20,
2020.

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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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