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Trust But Verify: WSJK (Champaign, IL) Fox News Interview

Updated: Jan 11, 2023

TBAF President John Pudner continued on his radio tour across America when he recently spoke in Champaign, Ilinois about not only the importance of strong, pro law-and-order judicial candidates, but also the importance of having election laws that trust voters but verify authenticity to ensure our Republic has secure elections.

The following transcript from this interview is presented in its entirety with minor edits:


Judges, ballots, Utah, signature, Democrats, Michigan.


John Pudner, Stevie Jay, and Diane Ducey.

Stevie Jay 00:00

John Pudner used to be this insider in Washington, President of Take Back Action Fund. He was a Bush 2000 aide and the only person in US history to run a campaign defeating a majority leader in the primary. John Pudner, who is now holed up somewhere in Milwaukee. John, how are you doing?

John Pudner 00:22

Fantastic. Great to be a little up the road from you.

Stevie Jay 00:25

Not far from home. We all have connections here in the studio in Milwaukee.

Diane Ducey 00:29

Yes we do. It's a great town!

Stevie Jay 00:31

Alright, where are we?

John Pudner 00:38

Yeah, these court appointments are interesting. Certainly, crime is gonna be front and center again as we go through these hearings with these judges.

Stevie Jay 00:48

Well, I mean, what happened to law and order? What happened to, "This is the law and you have to follow it. This is not arbitrary. It's not a suggestion." And yet, we have people in positions of power that aren't enforcing it?

John Pudner 01:04

No, and they made a run politically for defunding the police and realized that was a disaster. You had the public reaction, lots of referenda, even in Minneapolis, and they lost that big referendum, but these judicial appointees, that's another way to do it, to enact these policies, and I think you're seeing it in some of the judges that are up for their nominations yesterday and today.

Stevie Jay 01:32

John, you know Washington. What sense does this make to let people out of prison, to essentially go soft, and crime rages? Don't they see the consequences of the decision?

John Pudner 01:47

Yeah, I think they do, which is why from a P.R. perspective, Democrats did a lot of, "They were going to put more money into police", and kind of reversed themselves in the election campaigns to get through the Midterms. But, then when you see some of these appointees, I mean, the criminals they'll release, the judge from Massachusetts nominated who wanted to throw the book at one criminal, she thought, and that was a woman who had a violent ex-boyfriend who got a stun gun to protect herself. I mean, that's the one she wanted to convict. So, yeah, these cases are scary.

Stevie Jay 02:25

With the Senate, which was so critical, with the Senate staying with the Democrats, the Republicans could have easily thwarted this with even a simple majority of 51, not going to happen. So, you're going to have a whole bunch of judges like this coming down, right?

John Pudner 02:41

We will. And the question is, depending on how the Georgia Senate race goes, is it just Manchin who can decide one is too out of line and cross the aisle on that, or Sinema in Arizona is the only other one who we've seen is willing to break. But, that's really what they're down to. Is getting the questioning to be so tough on a nominee that those two come on board? Obviously, it's easier when you're going through some of these state elections and these issues can be in front of the voters. I mean, you have another one up here in Wisconsin, (which will decide who) controls the state Supreme Court, that's gonna have a couple of conservatives running, but it's a 4-3 ballot. Obviously, going to the ballot box for judges is one thing, having the public still outraged at a particular jab today. The pressure to lose the nomination is something different. That's a higher threshold.

Stevie Jay 03:34

I am not optimistic about the democracy. I truly am not with the way we have a 40-day election season and the drop boxes, which to me, are very vulnerable. Where do you see all of that going? I don't see the Democrats interested in changing or making it more or less, shall I say, making me less skeptical of the system, right or wrong, good or bad, honest or not honest. They're too many gaps.

John Pudner 04:00

Well, look at Michigan and the referenda they just passed. Everyone was caught up in governor's races and everything else, but that referendum the day passed did things like saying you cannot require signature matches on mail-in ballots? I mean, I was the one who said you can do mail-in correctly if you do it like Utah or Florida and you're actually verifying signature just like you verify an ID at the ballot box. Well, what they (Michigan) did was they passed a referenda saying you can't do that and you can't in the future enact voter ID in Michigan. So, that was done at the ballot box because they used just deceptive language, sneaking it through, and having no one with the money to fight it. But, if judges in other states take that as a model, then there's no verification on who's voting. I'm one who hasn't said 2020 was stolen, but I have said that the rules are rigged. I think that's a distinction that you can make and, if they're gonna continue to rig rules like they just did Michigan it gets very difficult.

Stevie Jay 04:57

But if you rig rules, you don't compare signatures, who's this from? I mean... then people like me that are very skeptical of the system would say, "Well you can't verify, thus, I doubt it."

John Pudner 05:11

Correct, and particularly with these mass mailings of applications for absentee ballots in Michigan are then at the bottom, where there actually is mass mail-in of ballots in 2020. I think if you're not gonna have a signature advantage there, you always get Nevada, whihc was the worst example of mail-in abuse, Utah is the best example that you can run it. Two states right by each other, and a bit on the Utah system, where they have an absolute match on the signatures, they kick that out if it's not matching, I mean, a husband can't sign for a wife. And then, you go the real wild west in Nevada, where ballots are mailed all at once, everyone knows they're sitting in mailboxes, and now you're gonna say, "You can't even match." So, you're right to be skeptical.

Stevie Jay 05:56

Pathway to cheating their brains out, period. There's just no arguing that, and I don't understand why you wouldn't want to verify if the vote is from a particular person, and I've never understood why if the signature is doctored chicken scratch, how you would ever know if it's the same. You're not a handwriting expert.

John Pudner 06:16

You're right. Now if you invest in it, like Utah has recently, they have machines that watch and really match them, and when the machine doesn't say this matches the signature on file, it kicks it out, and the person is called, so you can do a system if you want to.

Stevie Jay 06:33

Why would they want to? Things are going splendidly, I would think for them. Anyway, John, tell people what you're doing how they can connect with you.

John Pudner 06:43

Sure. is the best place to sign up - just three words, We're election reform. That's our focus. These are our current issues and if you want to get involved in your Illinois or anywhere else, just sign up. We'll keep you in touch.

Stevie Jay 07:00

Good, normal American, friends. That's why you left Washington. Well done, John. Well done.

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