2011-2012 Academic Year

Polarized Politics: Occupy and the Tea Party and the Impact on the 2012 Congressional Elections

Wednesday, April 18th, 2012

This discussion featured Dan Schnur, the Director of the Jesse M. Unruh Institute of Politics, Margita Thompson, the former Press Secretary for George W. Bush for President 2000, Victor Abalos, Director of Strategic Partnerships and Communications for CA Forward, and Christian Patterson, Vice President of the USC Political Science Undergraduate Association.


Road to the White House: The Final Discussion of Spring 2012

Wednesday, April 18th, 2012

The final discussion of the semester for the Road to the White House series features Dan Schnur, the Director of the Jesse M. Unruh Institute of Politics, Geoffrey Cowan, the Director of the Annenberg Center on Communication Leadership and Policy, and Dan Mazmanian, the Director of the Judith and John Bedrosian Center on Government and the Public Enterprise with two politically active students moderating in regards to reflecting on this past semester's campaign news.



China from a US Policy Perspective

Wednesday, April 11, 2012

The futures of China and the US are increasingly interlinked. From an economic perspective, US deficits are funded in large part through loans from China. Those loans in turn are funded through China's accumulated trade surpluses, which are vivid reminders of a declining US economic stature, at least in relative terms. Controversy swirls over the extent to which an undervalued Chinese currency is the root cause of such imbalances in trade and financial flows. From a geopolitical perspective China is emerging as a rival for US power and influence, both in the Asia Pacific region and well beyond. This is reflected in military terms as well as in a broader competition to secure energy resources and to exert political influence and other forms of soft power. These two largest national economies are also the largest contributors to greenhouse gas emissions, and so even the earth's biosphere is impacted by the extent to which China and the US can jointly exercise responsible environmental stewardship. Meanwhile, students, tourists, business entrepreneurs and NGOs contrinue to forge relationships with their counterparts directly, without specific reference to state-to-state relations. Moreover these phenomena are all intertwined, as scarce resources, economic dislocation, political considerations and social interactions all feedback upon each other. Our discussion will assess how these issues may factor into US policy deliberations and election year rhetoric and debate.



Politics, Media and the Presidential Primaries

Wednesday, April 12, 2012

Join CCLP for an insightful conversation on the Presidential election as the upcoming California primary grows in significance. Special guests include columnist and veteran political consultant Bob Shrum, author of No Excuses: Confessions of a Serial Campaigner, and Marylouise Oates, journalist, human rights activist and author of Making Peace and other novels. CCLP director Geoffrey Cowan will lead the discussion. 



Foreign Policy, the Presidency and Election 2012

Wednesday, March 28, 2012

Even while most American voters focus their attention on economic issues, foreign policy and global challenges still loom large for our next president. President Obama and the Republican candidates have outlined starkly different paths forward on matters ranging from the war in Afghanistan to the best way to confront the increased tensions over Iran's nuclear capabilities. Ongoing challenges with China and throughout the Pacific Rim, continuing economic problems in Europe, and the complexities of the US role in Latin and Africa represent only a few of the flash points to be debated in the months ahead. This event was co-sponsored by the Political Student Assembly. 


Special Interests in Politics

Wednesday, March 28, 2012

In a campaign season dominated by Super PAC's and a political culture in which money and lobbyists seem to rule, what role do special interests play in our political system? Join a panel of experts including Jack Abramoff, former Republican lobbyist, newly-turned ethics watchdog and author of Capitol Punishment: The Hard Truth About Washington Corruption From America's Most Notorious Lobbyist, and Bob Hertzberg, former Speaker of the California State Assembly and Co-Chair of reform group California Foward to discuss the impact of special interests in politics and the presidential election. 



Muslims In America

Thursday, March 22, 2012

Over a decade has passed since the terrorist attacks of 9/11 thrust a national spotlight on Muslims in America. In that time, the number of mosques in the U.S. has doubled, but Muslims have also faced widespread instances of racial profiling and religious attacks, as well as ongoing challenges being heard as part of the national political conversation. Join a panel of students and experts as they parse the complicated issue of what it means to be Muslim in America today. 



The Future of Federal Transport Policy

Wednesday, March 21, 2012

The House, the Senate, and the White House have all released dueling transportation spending bills - and we're not likely to see any of them passed this election year. Each version represents competing visions for federal leadership in US infrastructure and finance in an era where trillion-dollar deficits and unemployment still weight heavily on budgetary politics. The Senate Bill, sponsored by California's own Barbara Boxer, attempts to straddle the divide between the White House's urban-focused infrastructure policy and the House's growing anti-federalism. The Republican candidates have thrown their own wildcards into the equation by trash-talking on earmarks. In this session, we'll sort through what the various proposals - from infrastructure banks to REITS to privatization - mean for the future of US infrastructure and the Race for the White House. 

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Undocumented Students Unauthorized Immigrants and the Future of America

Tuesday, March 20, 2012

The California DREAM Act signed by Governor Jerry Brown gives undocumented immigrants the ability to apply for student financial aid benefits in the state of California, a major victory for proponents of opening public scholarships and grants to undocumented students. What implications will the state initiative have on the battle for the federal DREAM Act in Congress? Amid concerns from opponents of the bill about national security and fiscal sustainability, will President Obama be able to deliver in this crucial election year? How will the GOP presidential nominee approach immigration reform without alienating either Tea Party conservatives or Hispanic voters? Join a panel of experts and students as they explore the political environment surrounding the CA DREAM Act and the impact it will have on the federal level. 

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Politics, Media and the Presidential Primaries after Super Tuesday

Wednesday, March 7, 2012

Please join Geoffrey Baum, managing director of USC Annenberg's Center on Communication Leadership and Policy (CCLP) for an insightful conversation on the Presidential election following the Super Tuesday primaries and the unique dynamic between the candidates and the news media in this year's election.



Super Tuesday

Tuesday, March 6, 2012

As 10 states hold presidential primary or caucus elections on March 6th, more delegates stand up for grabs on Super Tuesday than on any other day of the primary election season. With each of the GOP nominee hopefuls rotating their turns at the top of the ticket, will the day's contests finally yield a clear front runner? Watch the Republican candidates - Newt Gingrich, Ron Paul, Mitt Romney and Rick Santorum - duke it out in the polls as a panel of students and experts interpret the results. Featuring:Charles Epting, Member, USC College Republicans and Dan Schnur, Director, Jesse M. Unruh Institute of Politics. Moderated by: Aaron Wong, President, USC College Republicans.


Recession and Recovery: How will the Economy Shape Election 2012?

Wednesday, February 29, 2012

Unemployment is at a four year low and the Down Jones industrial average is on the rise. Yet gasoline prices are rising and voters are still nervous about the current recovery. Should voters reward Obama for prowess, or blame him for the economy's ongoing challenges? And how do voters feel about the Republican alternatives? Join a panel of students and experts for a discussion about the economy and its impact on the presidential race.

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A Night of Sarah Palin: Screening of The Undefeated and You Betcha!

Thursday, February 23, 2012

The Undefeated treats Sarah Palin's career reverently, while You Betcha! criticizes the polarizing public figure. Join USC's School of Cinematic Arts and USC's Unruh Institute of Politics for an evening of juxtaposition, as we view one woman through two very different lenses. The event will begin with a 30-minute panel discussion about political documentary filmmaking and advocacy, media culture, celebrity politicians, and of course, Sarah Palin. 


The Future of Nuclear Power in the US Energy Supply

Wednesday, March 22, 2012

There are three obstacles to the future development of nuclear power: safety, waste disposal, and weapons proliferation. The current US administration has a mixed record regarding nuclear power, and the accident at the Fukushima nuclear power plans and Iran continues to create headlines about nuclear proliferation. Featuring Detlof von Winterfeldt, founding Director of the Institute for Civic Enterprise and Professor of Public Policy and Management, USC; Christian Patterson, Vice President, USC Political Science Undergraduate Association; Travis Glynn, USC Student and Public Safety Fellow, LA Mayor's Department of Homeland Security and Public Safety.



Republican Primaries and the News Media

Wednesday, February 15, 2012

Featuring Andrew Breitbart, Founder and publisher, Breitbart.com; Jon Fleischman, Founder and publisher, FlashReport.org; and Lizzy Breiter, USC College Republicans. Moderated by Jon Wilcox, CCLP instructor and former speechwriter for Governor Pete Wilson.



From the Tea Party to Occupy: How Populist Movements Shape American Politics

Wednesday, February 8, 2012

Tea Partiers and Occupiers are at opposite ends of the political spectrum, yet they both embrace the politics "of the people". What effect will these populist movements have on the upcoming state, congressional and presidential races? Featuring Jon Fleischman, founder and publisher, FlashReport.org; Larry Eason, President and founder, DotOrgPower; Alex Yebri, USC College Republicans; Fritz Pielstick, USC College Democrats.



Road to the White House: Competing Demographic Threats and Electoral Strategy: Failed Policy for Our Growing Elderly, Struggling Young Adults, and Immigrants

Wednesday, February 1, 2012

Professor Dowell Myers, a demographer and policy planner, relies on the latest census information and new forecasts to propose a more productive narrative for America. He critiques old misperceptions, spotlights uncontested truths, and finds grounds for new hope. A shared destiny with great promise links our generations and spans the demographic groups. The question remains whether this vision of fruitful connectedness can survive in a competitive political contest.



Florida Primary Watch

Monday, January 30, 2012

Featuring: Margita Thompson, Press Secretary, Bush for President 2000
Co-sponsored by the USC College Republicans. 


State of the Union

Wednesday, January 25, 2012

President Obama delivers his State of the Union address in the midst of economic uncertainty and on the eve of a historic presidential election. What message will he try to send to undecided voters during his address? After a tumultuous 2011, how will President Obama work with Congress? Can the President inspire hope for the future without setting unrealistic expectations during an uneven economic recovery? Join a panel of students and politics experts for a live screening of President Obama's State of the Union address and a discussion of his salient themes and priorities for 2012. 

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Battle for Congress

Wednesday, January 18, 2012

The battle for Congress quietly rages - with enormous implications for the next president's agenda and the nation. After a bruising year of fiscal fights between parties, how will each present their economic agendas in their pursuit of establishing a narrow majority? Here in California, how will recent redistricting affect the political slant of the state? A panel of students and political experts discuss the coming battle for the 113th Congress. 


Road to the White House 2012: State of the Campaign

Wednesday, January 18, 2012

Will South Carolina decide the Republican presidential nomination? What can we expect from the sitting president's campaign in response? How have the events of the campaign so far changed the road that lies ahead? A panel of students and political experts examine the political landscape and shed light on the campaign in the new year. Featuring Rob Stutzman, Former Deputy Chief of Staff for Communications for Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger, Hector De La Torre, former California State Assemblyman for the 50th District, Alex Davidson, Director of External Relations for the USC College Republicans, and Bobby Almeida, member of the USC College Democrats. 



Election 2012: The New Hampshire Primary 

Tuesday, January 10, 2012

Featuring Bill Simon, 2002 Republican Nominee for Governor of California and Alex Davidson, Director of External Relations, College Republicans. Moderated by Dan Schnur, Director, Jesse M. Unruh Institute of Politics. 



USC Dornsife/Los Angeles Times Poll Briefing Event

Tuesday, December 6, 2011

Los Angeles elected officials and their staffs joined the Unruh Institute of Politics Director Dan Schnur for a private briefing and review of 2011 USC Dornsife/LA Times poll results. The USC Dana and David Dornsife College of Letters, Arts and Sciences/Los Angeles Times Poll project is a series of statewide public opinion polls in California, designed to survey voter attitudes on a wide range of political, policy, social and cultural issues. Conducted at regular intervals throughout the year, the USC  Dornsife/Los Angeles Times Poll is one of the largest polls of registered voters in the state and has been widely cited, helping to inform the public and to encourage discourse on key political and policy issues. 



"Talking About Los Angeles" Conversation Series

Tuesday, December 6, 2011

Talking About Los Angeles is a series of six conversations designed to explore the most pressing issues facing LA. Through these dialogues candidates will be given the opportunity to express their ideas and discuss their vision for Los Angeles in 2013 and beyond. More than soundbites or clever debate tactics, this series is designed to be an honest exploration of the issues and will help shape the future of Los Angeles. Participating schools include: USC, UCLA, LMU, CSUN, and Harbor College.


Year in Politics

Wednesday, November 30, 2011

A panel discussion of this year's BIGGEST political events and a look into what might happen in the political world in 2012. Features Michael Wissot, Political Analyst, KABC Talk Radio; Christian Patterson, Political Student Assembly; Rihao Gao, Political Student Assembly. Moderated by: Dan Schnur, Director, Jesse M. Unruh Institute of Politics; Elyse Perlmutter-Gumbiner, Executive Producer, Annenberg TV News. Co-sponsored by USC's Political Student Assembly. 



Road to the White House 2012: Pick a President, Not a Party

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Combining modern technology with the age-old American value of free voice and the power of choice, Americans Elect offers voters the opportunity online to nominate a presidental ticket on the ballot to qualify in all 50 states. Featuring: Kahlil Byrd, Chief Executive Officer, Americans Elect; Darry Sragow, Professor, USC Department of Political Science; Christian Grose, Professor, USC Department of Political Science; and Asher Feldman, Editor in Chief, Daily Trojan. 



Road to the White House 2012

Wednesday, November 9, 2011

The USC Annenberg School’s Center on Communication Leadership and Policy (CCLP), in partnership with USC’s Unruh Institute and Bedrosian Center, presents a conversation on the 2012 presidential election, featuring CCLP faculty fellow Tom Hollihan, author of Uncivil Wars: Political Campaigns in a Media Age. Hollihan, communication professor Gordon Stables and members of the Trojan Debate Squad talk about the media’s role in influencing public perception of issues in the 2012 presidential election.



Road to the White House 2012: The Age of Obama: Race and Politics in America

Wednesday, November 2, 2011

As America’s first minority president faces the prospect of reelection, how will he and his Republican challengers address race in 2012? How will the candidates tackle the topic of immigration reform and appeal to Latino voters? A panel of political experts break down the politics of race in Election 2012. 




Road to the White House 2012: What Do Voters Want in Health Reform?

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

The 2010 health reform legislation has become a hot button in the early debates for the 2012 Presidential election. But voters remain conflicted about what they want in their health system and what they demand from their politicians. This session will explore changes in public preferences in contrast with the provisions of existing law. The critical issue is whether the candidates will be able to reconcile the public’s desire for reform with political realities. Featuring Director of Graduate Program in Health Mike Nichol and Master of Health Administration candidates (2012) Susan Lam and Amit Pabla to discuss what voters want in healthcare reform. Moderated by Bedrosian Center Director Dan Mazmanian.



The Unruh Institute's Political Internship Information Session: "The Value of Getting Involved" Panel Discussion

Thursday, October 20, 2011

Students can learn more about Spring and Summer Internships in Los Angeles, Sacramento and Washington D.C.! Hear from:Greg Label, Director of the GWU Semester in Washington Program; Wayne Glass, Professor of the Practice of International Relations and Problems Without Passports Washington D.C. Summer Program; Darren McDivitt, Director of the Political Courage Test at Project Vote Smart; Torey Van Oot, Political Reporter for the Sacramento Bee and former intern for Roll Call and Congress Now; Debbie Oh, USC Student and former Intern for the White House Office of Presidential Correspondence; and Andrew Arnold, former Intern for Los Angeles Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa. The panel is moderated by Dr. Art Auerbach, Professor, Department of Political Science at USC. 


Road to the White House 2012: Richard Reeves on Presidential Leadership

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

A USC Annenberg journalism professor, Reeves has authored biographies of Ronald Reagan, Richard Nixon, and John Kennedy, among others. His latest book is Daring Young Men: The Heroism and Triumph of The Berlin Airlift-June 1948-May 1949. Professor Reeves will discuss the 2012 presidential election in comparison with other campaigns during times of economic crisis, including 1936, 1980 and 1992. Also, as author of the CCLP white paper Bridging the Political Divide in the 2008 Presidential Election, he will discuss prospects for bipartisan cooperation in 2012.



Road to the White House 2012: The Politics of Education: Fixing Our Public Schools

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

As we look to the presidential election, what impact will the politics of education have on the prospective presidential candidates? Issues such as school funding, charter schools, and teacher recruitment and promotion point to stark differences in opinions amongst teachers unions, school administrators, and other stakeholders. How will Obama’s Race to the Top program affect the voters’ pick for president? 



Road to the White House 2012: Is California's Climate Change Policy the Right Step Forward?

Wednesday, October 5, 2011

Throughout US history the paths to reform have often been paved with obstacles. California is seen as the leader in the climate change strategies. But is California’s climate change policy the right path forward? Join a panel of experts, moderated by Dan Mazmanian, to explore environmental issues facing voters. 



United States Supreme Court: A Preview

Monday, October 3, 2011

The USC Gould School of Law and the USC Student Chapters of The American Constitution Society and The Federalist Society present a panel on the 2011 U.S. Supreme Court Term. Panelists discuss and debate upcoming cases, the dynamics of the Court and Court's future. Moderated by Elizabeth Garrett, USC Provost and Senior Vice President for Academic Affairs, Frances R. and John J. Duggan Professor of Law, Political Science and Public Policy, the panel features: Rebecca Brown, Newton Professor of Constitutional Law, USC Gould School of Law; Jeffery Fisher, Co-Director, Supreme Court Litigation Clinic, Stanford Law School; and Michael McConnell, Richard and Frances Mallery Professor of Law, Stanford Law School and Former Judge, U.S. 10th Circuit Court of Appeals. 


Road to the White House 2012: Texas vs. California: Economic Myths and Reality

Wednesday, September 28, 2011

The USC Annenberg School’s Center on Communication Leadership and Policy (CCLP) presents a discussion on the 2012 elections, featuring CCLP Senior Fellow Narda Zacchino, who is currently working on a book about California that focuses on the oft-made comparisons between California and Texas. Joining her will be Annenberg Professor and Truthdig Editor Robert Scheer. 



Road to the White House 2012: Richard K. Green and the Impact of the Housing Market on Elections

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

California led the nation in foreclosures this July, with over 56,000 homes going into foreclosure. While this number is down 16% from last year, it remains high. In fact, filings in the state of California represented over 26% of new filings nationwide. Join Richard K. Green, Director of the USC Lusk Center for Real Estate, for an in-depth look at the housing market and the fiscal issues that may affect the elections both statewide and nationwide.



A Constitution for the 21st Century

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

September 2011 marks the 224-year anniversary of the signing of the American Constitution, which is the oldest written constitution in the world still in effect today. While other countries with much younger constitutions have repeatedly amended or entirely rewritten their constitutions, the U.S. Constitution is noteworthy for its relatively small number of amendments – only 27 in 224 years.In recognition of this year's Constitution Day, USC students will host a round-table discussion on a U.S. Constitution for the 21st century.



GOP Candidates Debate

Wednesday, September 7, 2011

Join the Unruh Institute of Politics and Annenberg for a live viewing of the Republican Presidential Candidates Debate. Post-debate discussion will follow. (For more information, please click here) 


Road to the White House 2012:

America's Search for a New Ethos

Wednesday, September 7, 2011

The USC Annenberg School’s Center on Communication Leadership and Policy (CCLP) presents a roundtable discussion on the 2012 elections featuring CCLP senior fellow Morley Winograd and Mike Hais, co-authors of the forthcoming Millennial Momentum: How a New Generation Is Remaking America. 


Road to the White House 2012:

Obama and the Republicans

Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Voters are unhappy about the economy and Barack Obama is taking the brunt of it. But Americans don't have much faith in the Republicans to make things better either. Who can emerge from the GOP primary to take on Obama? Which party can convince the voters that they can get the economy moving again? A panel of political experts break down the promises, policies, and pitfalls we can expect from the presidential hopefuls in the months ahead. (For more information, click here.) 


California Common Cause

July 22, 2011-July 24, 2011

The application deadline for California Common Cause's 2nd Annual Student Activist Training is just two weeks away! Applications are due June 30th and will take place on UC Berkeley's Campus from July 22-24th. Only 30 students this year will be accepted, so get your applications in soon! Apply here. 


Campus Progressive National Conference

July 6, 2011-July 7, 2011

Previous speakers have included Barack Obama, Bill Clinton, Nancy Pelosi, John Lewis, Linda Sanchez, Susan Rice, Van Jones, Samantha Power, Seymour Hersh, Majora Carter, John Oliver, Ryan Gosling, and Fat Joe. For more information, click here. 


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