Conservative Southerner out of place at Harvard?

My wife barely muffled her laugh when I told her I was taking the message of Take Back Our Republic to Harvard Law students last Monday and Tuesday. Then Wednesday my one friend who had graduated from Harvard law passed away (click on image below for story or click here), and Friday I learned a brilliant conservative undergrad from Harvard plans to intern with us. Before this “Harvard week” I had spent a total of 3 hours on Harvard’s campus my entire life.

Admittedly I never expected to present to a room full of law students at Harvard. My weekly schedule in college included 20 hours a week in a conservative US Senate office, 20 hours working the desk at the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel and 20 hours as an editor at the Marquette Tribune. Let’s just say my focus on extra curricula over class work did not exactly leave me with a GPA that would have admitted me to Harvard Law.

I must say I was pleasantly surprised at how open the Harvard Law students were to engaging in discussions (photo from presentation here) about my conservative solutions that we present in our Educational Pages on the Take Back Our Republic website.

Ironically and sadly, the day after I left Harvard I learned that my one friend who was a Harvard Law grad, Marc Marotta, passed away and I posted the story here. Like the law students with whom I spent two days, Marc was certainly a liberal. However, he was always willing to engage conservatives like me and Jared Thomas (former State AFP Director and now with Secretary of State Brian Kemp of Georgia) in conversation. Marc’s funeral Mass is tomorrow afternoon at Gesu Church in Milwaukee, where I was married.

Finally on Friday, we learned that a brilliant conservative undergrad from Harvard is expected to intern with us this summer. We will save that announcement, but are very excited about what can be accomplished in the months ahead as more and more focus is put on money in politics and we seek to educate the public on possible approaches to the issue.

Please sign up for regular updates at, or call the TAKE BACK office at334.329.7258 for more information on how you can help educate residents in your state.

Have a great week. Mine will be back by the Auburn University campus instead of Harvard, but I thank those in Boston for making me feel welcome last week and thoughts go out to those mourning in the funeral at my old stomping grounds in Milwaukee tomorrow.

John Pudner, Executive Director

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Take Back Our Republic strive to be the leading organization in promoting a culture in politics where character and ideas are the basis of being elected and every election is financed with transparency, primarily by the people to be represented and not by outside interests. Headquartered in Auburn, AL since 2015, TBOR has strong financial backing, an engaged board, more than 100 volunteer coordinators in 47 states, and a staff who stands by our mission.



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