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Saint Vincent forum to explore political scandals

Jeff Himler
| Friday, Sept. 21, 2018, 9:21 p.m.
Alison Dagnes
Alison Dagnes
Geoff Shepard
Geoff Shepard

Political scandals will be examined Oct. 10 during Saint Vincent College’s annual Civitas Forum on Principles and Policies for Public Life.

Beginning at 8:30 a.m. in the Fred M. Rogers Center of the Unity college, four speakers will address the theme, “Scandal in American Politics: Is There a New Normal?”

Presentations include:

  • Geoff Shepard, author of “The Real Watergate Scandal,” will present the first topic, “Special Prosecutors: Yesterday and Today.”

  • “What Sort of Investigations Do Democracies Have to Fear?” at 9:30 a.m., by Richard Reinsch of Liberty Fund, Inc.;
  • “When Two Tribes Go To War: Normalizing Scandal in an Age of Hyperpolarization,” at 10:30 a.m., by Alison Dagnes of Shippensburg University;
  • “Manufacturing Scandal to Cover Up Scandal,” at 11:30 a.m., by Julie Ponzi, senior editor of American Greatness.

Admission is free to this annual forum, which is presented by the Alex G. McKenna School of Business, Economics and Government’s Center for Political and Economic Thought. Registration and a light continental breakfast will begin at 8 a.m.

Shepard served for five years on the Nixon administration’s Domestic Council staff. He also worked on the Nixon Watergate defense team, helping to transcribe the White House tapes. His latest book, released in August, focuses on judicial and prosecutorial abuse in the Watergate trials. He holds degrees from Whittier College and Harvard Law School.

The founding editor and director of Liberty Fund’s journal, Law and Liberty, Reinsch has written two books and is co-authoring another, “A Constitution in Full: The Unwritten Foundation of American Liberty.”

Dagnes, a political science professor, previously was a producer for C-SPAN in Washington, D.C. She is the author of “Politics on Demand: The Effects of 24-Hour News on American Politics” and has edited two books on political scandal.

Ponzi holds a master’s degree in political philosophy and American politics from the Claremont Graduate University. She was a longtime contributor to the Ashbrook Center’s blog, No Left Turns.

Jeff Himler is a Tribune-Review staff writer. You can contact Jeff at 724-836-6622, jhimler@tribweb.com or via Twitter @jhimler_news.

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