Tuesday, June 28, 2016

U.S.H.R. 4177: Tracking Online Donations to Election Campaigns

From the office of John Pudner:

Action Expected After Entire House Administration Committee Co-Sponsors
“Stop Foreign Donations Affecting our Elections Act of 2015”
Washington, DC – Amidst breaking Supreme Court decisions and partisan fighting over the House sit in, a rare point of unity emerged as every member of both political parties on the House Administration Committee agreed to co-sponsor the “Stop Foreign Donations Affecting Our Elections Act of 2015”(HR4177).
This measure amends the “Federal Election Campaign Act of 1971” to require credit verification value (CVV) and billing address for all online political contributions to federal candidates, thereby preventing foreign nationals from gaming the system.
Supporters hope the unanimous support of the first nine Members of Congress who will vote on the bill points to a vote in the near future. This support was rallied just six months after the December 9, 2015 announcement of the measure by Congressmen Paul Gosar (AZ-4), Louie Gohmert (TX-01), Walter Jones (NC-03) and John Pudner, Executive Director of Take Back Our Republic on Capitol Hill.
“A loophole exists in the current disclosure requirement for online donations that makes it relatively easy for bad actors to circumvent federal contribution levels,” Gosar said, adding that his new bill would “prohibit foreign nationals from cheating the system.”
Not only has the entire committee signed on in support of HR 4177, since last December the list of co-sponsors has dramatically grown to include U.S. Representatives from across the nation and across the aisle, including districts in 27 states.
“We know we have tremendous momentum and have every reason to believe that the U.S. House of Representatives will take action on this bill in short order,” said Pudner. “In Washington, DC, it is hard to get parties to agree that grass is green and the sky is blue. The fact that an entire committee is co-sponsoring a bill is proof that everyone can agree that we need to reform our campaign finance structure and make sure foreign money has no place in our system.”
Take Back Our Republic (www.takeback.org), or TBOR, is based near the campus of Auburn University and 90 minutes from the Atlanta airport. Its mission is to conduct research, analysis and public education on conservative ideas for improving the financing of campaigns for public office. One such idea is to incentivize small campaign donations from private citizens. TBOR believes that if more Americans have a voice, politicians will focus less on a handful of large check writers at corporations, unions or special interest groups who expect something in return for their contributions.

From time to time this web site finds it necessary to remind our international readers, especially those in Turkey who apparently sent money to Senator Paul in our name a few years ago...we like you, and we appreciate your support, but we believe it's necessary to play by the rules to win. If you support policies that are conservative to ultra-conservative on government spending, and liberal to libertarian on people and social issues, we want you to direct your money and energy into supporting those policies in your countries. And let us know who's doing the best job of drafting and implementing them, if you'd be so kind. 

You can, of course, support this web site, simply as a web site, by buying books from us. You can post comments expressing respect and moral support for the writers you want to encourage, too. That's legal, and encouraged...partly because, while showing due respect to U.S. writers and politicians, it keeps the amount of money flowing across international borders down to a tiny, token trickle, and encourages you to devote your serious fundraising to the issues on which you have a legitimate vote.

Meanwhile, we in the U.S. are notoriously uninformed about other countries. Our national news tends to hog attention even in the world news media. Online readers can help balance things by letting U.S. readers know what's going on in your countries. Of course, all we can legitimately do is buy books, donate to charities such as the Red Cross/Crescent or Oxfam, and post sympathetic words...but most of us could be doing more of that, anyway. My generation, as a generation, received atrociously poor education in history and geography during the fad for "social studies" classes in the public schools. You can help.

Just use your money to do the right thing in your own neighborhoods, please.