A GOP Mega-Donor, Baseball Player & Rock Star Walk Into a Dallas Bar…

…and talk about campaign finance reform.

Some in Dallas may have done a double take at the sight of Executive Director John Pudner walking into a bar with the developer of the Dallas skyline, a former major league baseball player, and was that the Foo Fighter’s frontman?

Pudner’s opportunity to talk one-on-one with the other three about the growing momentum in most state chapters for conservative solutions for campaign finance reform advocated by came courtesy of Bill Shireman, who organized a series of events bringing together corporations and activists to dialogue on issues of mutual interest.

The quick composite sketch by Pudner’s high school daughter taken from photos at the event include from left-to-right:

Trammell S. Crow (left in photo) gave half a million to a GOP Presidential effort, then took the lead in creating the world’s biggest Earth Day event in his hometown of Dallas, Texas. Crow and his family built much of the Dallas skyline, and last week he drew the new heads of the EPA and the Energy Department to Dallas. Crow serves on Shireman’s Future 500, which has offered support for Take Back Our Republic’s expansion, and is a partner, along with Pudner, in Shireman’s plan to engage related educational discussions.

Doug Nickle (2nd from left) is the Regional Director for Take Back Our Republic, building efforts from small states like New Mexico to major states like California, where he stood out as a conservative and baseball star at Cal-Berkeley. Nickle did not really wear his old team cap into the bar, though he might as well have: Pudner followed up intense meetings on campaign finance reform by showing attendees major league baseball cards featuring Nickle.

Former Nirvana drummer and Foo Fighters founder Dave Grohl wasn’t really the one discussing the need for a People Powered Playbook with Pudner; it was Lucas Welch of the Pluribus Project of the Aspen Institute, a dead ringer for Grohl. Pudner and Nickle suspected the reason they were allowed to pass  200 people waiting to be served Texas barbecue was because Welch was being mistaken for Grohl, not an unusual occurrence.  (Pudner’s daughter did take the artistic liberty of adding a couple inches to Welch’s hairstyle to emphasize the likeness.)

Shireman’s event offered hundreds of other great conversations and presentations from the Right (Lisa Nelson of ALEC) to the Left (Senator Sheldon Whitehouse, D-RI) and multiple points between.  Pudner is grateful for the opportunity to address campaign finance reform with such a distinguished gathering, both from the podium and in working groups.   Walking into a bar with Crow, Nickle and Welch was a highlight of a region-hopping couple of weeks for Take Back Our Republic, with media appearances in Tucker Carlson’s Daily Caller, the New York Times and by the top TV journalist in Wisconsin preceding, and coming up, radio from Birmingham (listen Monday 9-11 a.m. CT) and Boston CBS (Wednesday night) .

(Below, Shireman and Crow kicked off four days of events Wednesday night.)


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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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