BOSTON – _When we launched Take Back Our Republic in January, we were told no Republicans were concerned about money in politics,_ according to John Pudner, who commented from Boston after an interview with a conservative talk radio show, just prior to the GOP debate. Eight months later, multiple Republican candidates for President felt the issue was important enough to address during the Presidential debate on CNN. Pudner affirms that _[campaign finance reform] vindicates that candidates from both parties understand that Americans want solutions to money in politics._ While the group takes no position on which candidate is right or wrong, only that their need to address money in politics points out that it is an issue whose time has come.
Presidential hopeful, Dr. Ben Carson was assumed that he had no chance of winning because he was not connected to money. _You know when I entered this race, all the political pundits said it’s impossible…there’s no way that you can raise what you need in order to compete successfully,” Carson continued, “I, in no way, am willing to get in the bed with special interest group or lick the boots of billionaires. … But the pundits forgot about one thing; and that is the people. And they are really in charge.”
Governor Jeb Bush and Businessman Donald Trump have battled over which one was immune from the undue influence of politics. _The one guy that had some special interests that I know of that tried to get me to change my views on something — that was generous and gave me money — was Donald Trump. He wanted casino gambling in Florida,_ Bush affirmed.
Trump has suggested he_s the only candidate who is not impacted by money in politics. _The donors, the special interests, the lobbyists have very strong power over these people,_ said Trump. He declared that he turned down $5 million and would have up to triple the contributions that Bush had, if he had accepted it. _I’m spending all of my money, I turn down so much_ Trump continued, _…Right now, from special interests and donors, I could have double and triple what [Bush] has got. I’ve turned it down_.So I will tell you I understand the game. I’ve been on the other side all of my life. And they have a lot of control over our politicians._
Pudner said that he appreciates those candidates and others from implicitly realizing the need to address money in politics without taking any position on who has the best approach.
_We appreciated Mr. Trump raising the issue in the first debate,_ Pudner said. _We would like to see him and other candidates put forward conservative solutions to this issue _ because the solution cannot be limited to only billionaires running for office because they are immune to special interest and other big donors.
_We hope all candidates will consider our solution on stopping credit card contributions without address verification to make sure non-American citizens are not choosing our candidates via illegal political contributions. Other improvements might be to give tax credits of up to $200 to let average Americans give the first $200 they would have given to the IRS to a candidate or cause of their choice. In addition to increasing disclosure and allowing more contributions to go directly to candidates, who can be held accountable, instead of third parties._
Take Back Our Republic distributed additional Policy Papers on those issues to help educate the public. They can be found at www.takeback.org.
For more information or questions call John Pudner at 404.606.3163.