As TBAF President John Pudner (left in photo) “recovers” from a redeye flight from Phoenix with a full day of meetings in the Midwest, let me share a recap of the cause for TBAF’s celebration in Arizona yesterday:
John met with Constantin Querard (center of photo), the TBAF lobbyist who led the fight to kill HCR 2015 - a measure which would have made it nearly impossible for voters to work around obstinate state politicians by passing laws through statewide referenda. Both met in Phoenix with TBAF Board member Matt Braynard (right in photo), who spearheaded the effort that registered tens of thousands of new voters in Arizona this year (LAA Announces Look Ahead Arizona: $2 Million Patriotic Voter Registration Drive), following up on previous voter registration efforts featured in this New York Times article (Ex-Trump Campaign Aides Start Voter Registration Effort).
TBAF first hired Querard, better known as CQ, after John was featured in the NewsMax article GOP Should Not Take Away Initiative, Referendum From the People. At a time in which voters’ trust in their elected leaders is near all-time lows, the ability to take an issue straight to the voters across the country is imperative.
Campaigns & Elections Magazine showcased John’s first stunning statewide Initiative & Referendum win, in which his multifaceted campaign resulted in 67% of Black voters in the city of Mobile and 67% of rural white voters uniting to defeat “tax reform” legislation put forth by a popular Republican Governor that would have actually increased taxes (Defeating the Alabama tax referendum). John’s playbook for rallying divergent communities is part of the reason TBAF is now 5-0 in state referenda, with wins in North Dakota, South Dakota, Alabama, Ohio and Michigan.
The Alabama project was the first time John teamed up with Grover Norquist of Americans for Tax Reform, who is also referenced in the NY Times story documenting Braynard’s efforts (above).
It was also Campaigns & Elections that named CQ as one of Arizona’s top 5 GOP influencers, and the Arizona Capitol Times in 2015 named him Best Campaign Consultant. The following year, Ted Cruz tapped him to run his Arizona campaign and delegate operations. When John saw some Arizona politicians attempting to deny people the right to vote on laws affecting them, he knew CQ was the partner TBAF needed to stop the legislation.
The combined work of John, CQ and the rest of the TBAF team has resulted in more registered voters with the power to hold their politicians accountable at the ballot box via I&R. TBAF looks forward to many future successes in Arizona, and to replicating them in many other states.