Richard Painter with the Conservative Case for Campaign Finance Reform

Can’t wait to read this.  Release:

Take Back Our Republic Publishes Book by former President George W. Bush White House Aide:  

“Taxation Only with Representation:  The Conservative Conscience and Campaign Finance Reform” by Richard W. Painter


Author Richard Painter was President George W. Bush’s chief White House ethics lawyer, and he is now a law professor at the University of Minnesota.  He wrote the book throughout 2014 and 2015 with the financial support of a full year residential fellowship from Harvard University’s Safra Center for Ethics.

Painter’s book discusses in detail:

  • How the current system of campaign finance undermines the system of participatory democracy envisioned by the original Tea Party and the founding fathers of our Country.
  • The fact that conservative political thinkers from Edmund Burke to Barry Goldwater have warned against the corrupting influence of costly elections.
  • Campaign money is driving the growth of excessive government spending and regulation and encourages the growth of inefficient and corrupt government sponsored enterprises (GSEs).
  • Campaign money is silencing the voice of social conservatives and faith-based voters on virtually every issue, ranging from protection of human life and religious freedom to school choice, drugs, pornography and gambling.
  • Campaign money is increasingly likely to originate outside the United States, giving sovereign wealth funds, foreign governments and even terrorist organizations ample opportunity to influence our government and undermine our national security and independence.


The principal solution Painter proposes is to allow ordinary voters to participate in funding political campaigns out of their tax dollars.   His proposed “Taxation only with Representation” amendment or statute can be enacted at the national or state level and does not run afoul of any existing first amendment rights in the Constitution.  It provides:

Neither the government of the United States nor any state or subdivision thereof shall levy an income tax, sales tax, property tax, inheritance tax or any other tax upon any natural person over 18 years of age who is a citizen of the United States or upon his or her estate unless the United States government or the state levying said taxes pays an amount totaling at least two hundred dollars within the same calendar year or within the immediately following calendar year to the campaign of one or more candidates for elected federal or state or local office chosen by such citizen for whom such citizen is also eligible to vote or running for office in the state in which the citizen resides.  A citizen’s right to designate taxpayer funded political contributions pursuant to this amendment is waived in any year in which the citizen fails to designate a recipient of such payment or dies before designating a recipient of such payment. Every five years after adoption of this amendment, Congress shall by statute or, in the event Congress shall not enact such a statute, the United States Treasury shall by regulation, adjust the taxpayer funded political contribution amount to be more or less than two hundred dollars to reflect changes in the purchasing power of the United States dollar within the preceding five years. 

Painter proposes that the private sector develop innovative solutions to bring more small donors into the fray.  For example, a “Democracy Dollars” program in which retailers would, in place of making their own contributions to PACs, allow customers to give money to candidates of their choice based on customer loyalty points.  Painter urges that when the private sector tries to help citizens solve the campaign finance problem, government must not be allowed to stand in the way.

Take Back Our Republic has printed 5,000 copies in the first printing, more than 1,000 of which will be distributed in New Hampshire and Iowa in late January and early February.

The book can be found on or at or by contacting Take Back Our Republic at 334-329-7258.  A complimentary PDF version is attached as well.



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