On a night that voters rejected a Presidential candidate who raised over $1 billion in campaign contributions for a candidate that raised less than half as much according to Bloomberg, voters in both states in which we had media tours delivered resounding ballot box victories for conservative solutions to campaign finance reform.
While Take Back Our Republic is only allowed a very limited amount of work on ballot referenda (and only on nonpartisan campaign finance reform initiatives), we do want to congratulation Chris Byrne and Mike Rubino who launched our efforts at www.takeback.org two years ago and later left Take Back and took positions with the Trump campaign under my former Breitbart boss and Steve Bannon. While I did personally predict the Trump win in a personal mass email September 9 to many friends and media outlets, we did not coordinate any efforts with the campaign but can offer congrats after the fact.
Back to the ballot efforts of Take Back; our members in Missouri and South Dakota asked us to tour both states (along with RepresentUS) and talk to media about the importance of campaign finance reform initiatives, and tonight we can report wins in both efforts:
- Missouri. Voters delivered a decisive 70% to 30% victory to limit big money dominance in Missouri. See this St. Louis Post-Dispatch story on us lauding the efforts by fellow conservative Fred Sauer to submit an anti-corruption amendment to their state constitution to stop the undue influence of big money. In a state that Trump won easily, voters passed this anti-corruption effort by a million votes!
- South Dakota. As you can see from the headline in the photo, we made a straight-forward appeal in South Dakota to Trump supporters to back campaign finance reform. Despite the Koch Brothers spending $600,000 at the last minute to try maintain the system of unlimited secret gifts and political contributions, the people won a fantastic victory 51% to 49% for Initiated Measure 22. A University of Indiana study indicated that corruption caused by the system costs each South Dakotan $1,300 per year. Take Back Board member Richard Painter toured the state with me in September to support the measure.
While the vast majority of our time is spent on policy (writing educational papers), building state chapters and other purely educational activities, we wanted to use the 1 percent of our time allocated to advocacy like this to make the point that conservatives and Republicans are as fed up with anyone about big money dominance in campaigns.
In past years, and other other issues, I have supported many Koch Brothers issues, but on campaign finance reform they and much of the establishment should enter a dialogue on these issues that are so important to rank-and-file conservatives as well as all Americans. A refusal to accept any such conservative solutions is at the heart of establishment candidates losing nominations to Trump or (from my campaign days) Dave Brat, or for the voters to insist on referenda to work around their legislators.
Whatever you think of the other issues of the Presidential campaign, Trump’s rise started when he said that people pay politicians to do whatever they want, and an MSNBC article summed up the primary motivator for Trump supporters with the TV story and headline, “Trump Supporters Agree: It’s the Political Money (Stupid).” Add his victory to our campaign finance reform victories in two red states tonight, and it should be clear that the time is now to enter a true dialogue and fix this issue.
Please email back or go to www.takeback.org to join your state Take Back Our Republic chapter and start a dialogue about the threat of foreign and other illicit money driving up our deficit and threatening our way of life.