Every time John Pudner walked in a legislative office this week in North Carolina, the legislators volunteered that they already knew about him and his mention from the Insider. Colin Campbell’s updates. We thank him for letting us post this article and encourage anyone who has any dealings with North Carolina government or politics to subscribe today:
A conservative-leaning campaign finance reform group is eyeing North Carolina for legislation that would restrict unverified credit card campaign donations — a likely source of foreign money in American elections. John Pudner, the executive director of Take Back Our Republic, was at the Legislative Building Tuesday to meet with legislators and seek sponsors for the proposals and other measures the group is advocating in Congress and in statehouses across the country.
Pudner is pushing to update state campaign finance law with a provision similar to a bill that’s currently in Congress: The Stop Foreign Donations Affecting Our Elections Act, sponsored by U.S. Rep. Paul Gosar, R-Arizona, and U.S. Sen. Amy Klobuchar, D-Minnesota. The bill would require political committees taking online credit card contributions to use the card verification process — which typically includes a billing address — and decline payments from foreign locations unless they’re from an American citizen living abroad. Pudner says there have been instances of foreign entities using debit gift cards to make illegal contributions from abroad. He said he sees potential to pass the bill in North Carolina during the short session. Take Back Our Republic is also advocating for an Ohio-style redistricting reform model, but he said that’s less likely to surface in North Carolina in the near-term. Pudner, a conservative political consultant, started Take Back Our Republic in 2015 after working on the campaign of Rep. Dave Brat, who pulled off an upset victory over then-House Majority Leader Eric Cantor.