Ciaran O'Connor

Ciaran O'Connor

Ciaran O'Connor is the Chief Marketing Officer for Braver Angels.

“No Ballot No Buck”: A Trump Supporter’s Case for Campaign Finance Reform | Bill Fry with Host Ciaran O’Connor

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Bill Fry is retired Military, a Tea Party activist, and an avid Trump supporter. He’s also a longtime Braver Angels leader who is co-organizing “No Ballot No Buck,” a bipartisan campaign finance reform initiative in Ohio with his liberal counterpart Rob Weidenfeld. Bill talks to host Ciaran O’Connor about Braver Angels, Donald Trump, and working together to find surprising areas of convergence amidst a wider climate of acrimony.

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4 thoughts on ““No Ballot No Buck”: A Trump Supporter’s Case for Campaign Finance Reform | Bill Fry with Host Ciaran O’Connor”

  1. I appreciated having a better understanding of why someone would support Trump. Re 2nd amendment I would have liked to understand better how Bill thinks we limit his 2nd amendment rights. Trump says Democrats are going to take your guns but that is just not true. My family hunts. My sisters have weapons for self protection. I just think you should have to register your weapon (like you register your car), have to pass safety tests (like you do for your car), revisit those safety tests periodically (like you do for your car), and have red flag laws where Weapons can be removed if your mental health threatens others. And on racism, I think we are in a shift of moving from individual expressions of racism to structural ones. Is Bill aware of how the history of structural racism has kept people of color disadvantaged in housing, education, policing, incarceration, … I have to admit that I was uninformed until maybe 5 years ago too, so there is a need for education.

  2. These are wonderful. As a blue, I am so grateful for these recent podcast featuring perspectives of reds. Great questions Ciaran. Thank you. Best of luck with the Braver Angels experiment.

  3. paul vanryswyk

    I am a blue. Like you, I would like to see an amendment to protect campaign finance efforts from judicial review. Also like you, I am in complete agreement with you that Move to Amend is too liberal to get any support from conservatives.

    As an alternative to a constitutional amendment, there is another option which your group might consider. In his book “Engines of Liberty” David Cole discusses how the NRA was able to change judicial thinking on the second amendment. According to the book, prior to the 1970s, the predominant thinking on the second amendment was that it only protected the state’s right to maintain a militia. Through legal scholarship, the NRA was able to shift the thinking on the second amendment to its current interpretation that the second amendment is an individual rights issue.

    In an article in the April 2016 issue of the Atlantic magazine David Cole discusses how this process could be applied to reversing Citizens United. Changing things through legal scholarship may sound like a long shot but quite frankly so is a constitutional amendment.

    “How to Reverse Citizens United – What campaign finance reformers can learn from the NRA.”
    https://www.theatlantic.com/magazine/archive/2016/04/how-to-reverse-citizens-united/471504/

    I think another thing to consider is to educate people about how money affects the political system. From talking to people, I get the feeling that most people think of campaign contributions are a way of influencing politicians and that it is just politics as usual. I have been studying this problem for some time and have come to the conclusion that the current need for massive amounts of campaign money is corrupting everything from the election process to how politicians govern once they are in office. If people understood the scope of the problem better they might be more likely to support reform efforts.

    For example, you mention in your video how outside donors favor some candidates over others. This is true, but it is worse than that. In order to get on the ballot in a primary potential candidates must first meet with potential donors. That means voters only hear about candidates who pass muster with large donors who are often pushing extreme agendas.

    There are other ways that money corrupts the process. Members of Congress spend hours each day year around on the phone raising cash. Committee assignments are handed out based largely on fund raising prowess. I could go on but don’t want to take up too much of your time. Thank you for your video and for being a part of Braver Angels.

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