Media outlets in the Mideast and Russia both focus stories on credit card loophole
Planned Parenthood chapter spent 89% of $585,236 funds on political activity (Open Secrets study), leading to new support by TBAF for disclosure for c-4s that disregard the 50% limit
Congressmen Paul Gosar (R-AZ), Louie Gohmert (R-TX) and Walter Jones (R-NC) and I push reform legislation at a press conference
1. The headline in Al-Jazeera story from Bernie Sanders' campaign quote
The "search" for the problem would not take long. A quick read of USA Today a couple of weeks ago indicates an overseas religious movement appears to have given campaign contributions in the names of Americans of modest means who knew nothing about the candidates to whom they supposedly contributed. Keep in mind it was the Washington Post that reported the $174,000 that was given to President Obama's campaign in the name of a lady who said she had never given ANYTHING to the campaign. To be clear, we are not suggesting in any way that the campaign knew anything about this attempt to illegally contribute to someone else's name. But with bad actors - some overseas - willing to go so far as to give money IN THE NAME OF Americans, it is hard to believe there is no problem with those same people having someone type in thousands of $200 credit card contributions to a campaign that was not verifying the addresses supplied, with virtually no chance of being discovered.
2. Media Outlets Based in Mideast and Russia Apparently Take Loophole Seriously
Bad groups and individuals overseas are certainly aware of how easy it is to make these contributions, as both the official Russian newspaper Sputnik, and now the Mideastern media outlet Al-Jazeera wrote about one of two press conferences on this loophole. There are clearly groups and people in Russia, the Mideast, and through every region of the world that have money and a great incentive to impact US elections and policy. Why make it easy to have a bunch of people key in one credit card contribution after another without using the banks NORMAL verification process that is currently used unless a campaign opts out.
3. Planned Parenthood Biggest Violator of Limit on Political Spending in Open Secrets Report
Even political campaigns themselves do not spend 89% of their money on politics - there is always some overhead (rent, legal, accounting etc.). Therefore the Open Secrets report that a Planned Parenthood Chapter in St. Louis spent 89% of their money over a four year period - $523,006 - on politics was hard to imagine. In fact, while they were not the only violator, six of the top 13 violators in the report was by Planned Parenthood chapters.
I was quoted in this story the same day as Congressman Gosar's press conference (see next item), but had not seen the staggering numbers at that time.
While Take Back Action Fund (TBAF, a 501c4 itself) has supported the education papers outlining the policies of Take Back Our Republic (TBOR, a 501c3), this report led to an emergency call with those involved only with TBAF (Board member, top Volunteer Coordinator, etc. who do NOT hold positions with TBOR) to discuss how to address this report. TBAF would like to go further than the position papers outlined on the TBOR website and require that any 501c4 that willfully disregards the 50% limit (allocating over 60% toward political or repeatedly topping 50%) must disclose all donors. We want this to apply regardless of ideology, and if a pro-life group were spending anywhere near 89% of its total revenue on electing candidates TBAF would apply the same rule, just as we would voluntarily disclose donors if we did the same thing out of our budget (which in 2015 is a tiny fraction of these Planned Parenthood budgets, and we are nowhere near 50% of expenditures).
4. Congressmen Gosar, Gohmert, and Jones Unveil Legislation
In addition to advocating the new policy above, the members of TBAF were also supportive of the first legislation to come out of an Education Papers produced by TBOR. Despite being introduced at the end of the Congressional Session, two dozen Members of Congress co-sponsored the legislation despite it being introduced just days before the recess. The photo shows (left to right) me, Congressmen Paul Gosar (R-AZ), and Congressman Louie Gohmert (R-TX). Walter Jones (R-NC) is unfortunately not in the photo because he arrived from other Congressional matters shortly after photographer left.
The bottom line is this: In our quest for conservative solutions to campaign finance reform, we continue to strongly encourage conservatives to acknowledge Americans are fed up our current campaign finance system, which is why it was right up there with homeland security, size of government and taxes according to viewers of the last GOP debate. I also encourage progressives who have backed campaign finance reform not to in turn attack the first campaign finance reform proposal that introduced by some Republicans (and a couple of Democrats I will note).
This legislation is a chance for both to come together on one solution to one of many problems.
This blog site has been replaced by our new website www.takebackaction.org . Please click on it, we are leaving the blogs up until the time that website was established here, but no further posts are planned on this blog.
No group writes more hysterical comments than supporters of abolishing the electoral college (see our piece in the Hill with 6,225 shares from April and the piece that brought more than 1000 comments in the first couple of hours.) I know critics often post stream of conscience comments without researching, but many could have saved themselves from their embarrassing argument which I paraphrase as: Those who support the electoral college are siding with the 18th century small slave holding states that forced the Electoral College on the large non-slave states. Correcting their mistake before posting would have only required two quick google searches: First, click on 270 to Win and go to the first election where each state's electors were counted ( right image ), then click on the image on Wiki's history of slavery ( left image ). 1. If those who side with 18th century small states AGAINST large states are racists, then ... Alice in Wonderland. Comm
Take Back Action Fund or TBAF (also recognized by the IRS as Take Back Our Republic Action Fund) launched on May 5, 2015, three months after its sister organization Take Back Our Republic (Take Back). Some strong conservatives with deep experience in politics, campaigns, and government believed in the educational effort of Take Back, but sought to advocate policies and implement specific solutions activities which go beyond the scope of the efforts of Take Back. TBAF is a conservative, non-partisan 501(c)(4) organization, while Take Back is a 501(c)(3). (See details on www.takeback.org ) TBAF fills the void of center-right groups working to determine the “rules of the game.” For too long, some groups on the Left monopolized these terms - rules for redistricting, voter registration, ranked choice voting, voter ID - for partisan gain. TBAF supports reforming gerrymandering to allow the citizens’ true voices to be heard through compact districts based on communities