Community Forum Coming Oct. 1 to MCCC:
Election 2004: How Will New Jersey Vote and Why?

8-25-04

The United States is arguably facing the most important election in decades, with an electorate more polarized and more equally split than ever before. The candidates have defined their “hot button” issues, but are these the issues that will drive New Jersey voters to the polls?

On Oct. 1, Mercer County Community College, in partnership with The Times of Trenton and the Eagleton Institute of Politics at Rutgers University, will host a Community Forum: “Election 2004: How Will New Jersey Vote and Why?” The program received a grant from Public Broadcasting Services’ (PBS) “By the People.”

The forum will offer the public an opportunity to hear different perspectives on the issues and assessments on how successful the candidates have been in reaching New Jersey voters. A distinguished panel of experts in their fields, moderated by Ingrid Reed, director of the Eagleton New Jersey Project, will present opinions, analysis and debate. Panelists include:

Miguel Centeno, Director of the Princeton Institute for International and Regional Affairs of the Woodrow Wilson School at Princeton University, will discuss “The War on Terrorism and U.S. Relations with Other Nations.”

Joseph Seneca, Professor at the Edward J. Bloustein School of Planning & Public Policy at Rutgers University and Chairman of the New Jersey Council of Economic Advisors, will speak on “The Domestic Economy.”

Roger Bodman, Senior Partner, Public Strategies Impact and Republican political analyst, will present “The Republican Perspective.”

Julie Roginsky, Political and Public Relations Consultant, Comprehensive Communications Group and Democratic political analyst, will present “The Democratic Perspective.”

The public is invited to participate, including voters, representatives of government agencies, educators, students, political and citizen interest groups, the media and elected officials.

The forum takes place at the Conference Center on the campus of Mercer County Community College, 1200 Old Trenton Road, West Windsor. Registration and continental breakfast begin at 8:30 a.m., followed by a straw poll. Presentations are from 9:15 to 11 a.m., with questions from the audience until noon.

Participants are asked to register before September 22. The fee is $20 per person, which includes continental breakfast. There is a 10% discount for groups of three or more. Seniors and students pay $10. For more information call Lorna Strang at (609) 586-4800 extension 3856, or e-mail strangl@mccc.edu.

BACKGROUND ON THE PANELISTS:

Miguel Angel Centeno is Professor of Sociology at Princeton University, Master of Wilson College and Director of the Princeton Institute for International and Regional Affairs. He is the author of “Mexico in the 1990s” (1991), “Democracy within Reason: Technocratic Revolution in Mexico” (2nd. 1997), “Blood and Debt: War and Statemaking in Latin America” (2002) and the editor of “Toward a New Cuba” (1997), “The Politics of Expertise in Latin America” (1997), “The Other Mirror: Grand Theory and Latin America,” (2000), and “Mapping the Global Web” (2001). He is currently working on two book projects: “The Historical Atlas of Globalization and The Triumph and Dilemmas of Liberalism”. He has also written and produced a 6 hour CD-ROM version of his course on “The Western Way of War”. He serves as an editor for several journals including World Politics. He has received grants from the Harry Frank Guggenheim Foundation, the National Science Foundation, the National Endowment for the Humanities, and the Woodrow Wilson Foundation, and has been a Fulbright scholar in Russia and Mexico.

Roger A. Bodman is widely respected for his depth of knowledge of state government and politics. He served in two separate cabinet posts in the administration of former Governor Tom Kean. As the State Commissioner of Transportation, Mr. Bodman was the chief advisor to the Governor on transportation matters and Chairman of New Jersey Transit. He also served as the State Commissioner of Labor, where he implemented extensive legislative reforms of the unemployment insurance program. Earlier in his career, Mr. Bodman was Chief of Staff for former New Jersey Congressman James Courter, and district office manager for former New Jersey Congresswoman Millicent Fenwick. In addition, Mr. Bodman was Vice Chairman of the New Jersey Bush for President Committee in 1988. He served as campaign manager for Tom Kean for Governor and in 1987, was appointed by the Governor to chair the Study Commission on Regulatory Efficiency, for which he received the Alliance for Action’s “Eagle Award.” Mr. Bodman is a visiting professor at Rutgers University’s Eagleton Institute of Politics and is a frequent political commentator on New Jersey Network programs

Joseph J. Seneca is University Professor at the Edward J. Bloustein School of Planning & Public Policy. He is Chairman of the New Jersey Council of Economic Advisors. The Council prepares semi-annual economic outlooks and advises the Governor and Legislature on economic policy and economic development. He has taught at all levels throughout his career at Rutgers and has received numerous awards for exemplary teaching and contributions to public service. His latest publication is The Beginning of the End of Sprawl?, a Rutgers Regional Report co-authored with James W. Hughes. He is the author of numerous articles, reports, and books on economic policy, public finance, environmental regulation, and state economic development. He was named the 2002 Educator of the Year by the Research and Development Council of New Jersey. Between 1991 and 2003 he served as Vice President for Academic Affairs at Rutgers. In this capacity he was the university’s chief academic officer responsible for overseeing and coordinating all academic policies and programs.

Julie Roginsky has extensive experience in government, politics and public relations on both the federal and state levels. After working at EMILY’S LIST in Washington, DC, and Portland, Maine, she returned to New Jersey to become political director and campaign manager for Congressman Frank Pallone, Jr. In 1999, Ms. Roginsky was tapped to run the statewide General Assembly coordinated campaign by then-Assembly Democratic Leader Joseph V. Doria, Jr. and in 2000, she served as the communications director for the New Jersey Democratic State Committee’s coordinated campaign, which included work on behalf of Vice President Al Gore, Senate candidate Jon S. Corzine and New Jersey’s congressional candidates. Upon Senator Corzine’s election, Ms. Roginsky was appointed as his Washington press secretary. In 2002, she returned to New Jersey to begin a political consulting and public relations firm with an extensive statewide client list that has evolved into the Comprehensive Communications Group. Ms. Roginsky provides regular commentary for New Jersey Network, News 12 New Jersey and Fox News Channel.

MODERATOR, Ingrid W. Reed, directs the Eagleton New Jersey Project, an initiative designed to reinforce and expand the contributions of the Eagleton Institute of Politics at Rutgers University to the governance and politics of its home state. Among its initiatives are programs on better campaign activity, welfare reform, government and information technology, and state planning and governance. Her work has increasingly focused on improving New Jerseys elections campaigns. She is co-author of reports of the 1998 and 2000 New Jersey Congressional Campaigns. Before joining Eagleton, Reed served as assistant dean of Princeton University’s Woodrow Wilson School of Public and International Affairs, and as vice president for public affairs and corporate secretary of The Rockefeller University in New York. Ms. Reed has a wide range of experiences in state politics and planning, governance and community affairs. She has chaired the Capital City Redevelopment Corporation, is a founder and board member of New Jersey Future, and serves on the board of the New Jersey Conservation Foundation and on the Regional Plan Association, New Jersey Committee.

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