Montana State University

Free video discussion about Congress and American politics set Feb. 6 at MSU

January 24, 2013

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MSU News Service
Tel: (406) 994-4571
msunews@montana.edu
Renowned congressional scholars Thomas E. Mann of the Brooking Institute and Norman Ornstein of the American Enterprise Institute will present "Mending a Broken Congress: A Conversation with Mann and Ornstein" at a free videoconference discussion set for 4:10 p.m. Wednesday, Feb. 6, in Room 103 of the Engineering and Physical Sciences (EPS) Building at Montana State University.

"We have asked these leading scholars to talk with us about Congress because there are so many issues hinging on congressional action and compromise," said Linda Young, department head and professor in the Department of Political Science. "Mann and Ornstein have both diagnosed the roots of the problem and charted the course of action needed by Congress to improve their performance. They also speak to how we, average citizens, can promote change in both Congress and the media to overcome asymmetric partisan polarization."

Mann and Ornstein have provided thoughtful scholarly commentary about the people's branch of government since their time on Capitol Hill as congressional fellows in the 1970s.

Mann is the W. Averell Harriman Chair and senior fellow in Governance Studies at The Brookings Institution. Between 1987 and 1999, he was director of governmental studies at Brookings. Before that, Mann was executive director of the American Political Science Association. A noted congressional scholar, Mann writes and speaks widely on American politics and policymaking, including campaigns, elections, campaign finance reform and the effectiveness of Congress.
Ornstein is a long-time observer of Congress and politics. He writes a weekly column for Roll Call called "Congress Inside Out" and is an election-eve analyst for CBS News. He served as co-director of the AEI-Brookings Election Reform Project and participates in AEI's Election Watch series. He also served as a senior counselor to the Continuity of Government Commission. Ornstein led a working group of scholars and practitioners that helped shape the law, known as McCain-Feingold, which reformed the campaign financing system.

Mann and Ornstein's recent books that they have co-written, "The Broken Branch" and "It's Worse Than it Looks," analyze the reasons for recent congressional dysfunction and provide possible solutions to the gridlock in Washington, DC.
The lecture is free; however, tickets are required for admission. To secure a seat, contact Betsy Anderson in the Department of Political Science at banderson@montana.edu or 994-4141 after Jan. 25.

The EPS Building is located just east of the Strand Union Building on the MSU campus. Parking is available in the pay lot at the corner of Grant Street and South 7th Avenue.

This event is presented by the MSU College of Letters and Science, Department of Political Science, Office of the President, Office of the Provost, ASMSU and the MSU Leadership Institute.

Jody Sanford (406) 994-7791, jody.sanford@montana.edu