Former congressmen to argue for more civility in politics

Two former U.S. congressmen will discuss the 2012 presidential campaigns and the collapse of civil political debate during a Sept. 17 Congress to Campus event at Penn State Erie, The Behrend College.

The former lawmakers – Richard Stallings, an Idaho Democrat, and Steven Kuykendall, a California Republican – will share their experiences as candidates and office-holders and will suggest ways to restore courtesy and respect to our ongoing political discussions. Their presentation, part of the Speaker Series at Penn State Behrend, will begin at 7:30 p.m. in the Reed Auditorium, in the Reed Union Building. Admission is free and open to the public.

“Many Americans would prefer to see some way for politicians to get along in Washington,” said Robert Speel, associate professor of political science at Penn State Behrend. “These guys have been there. They know what works well, what doesn’t and how students can get involved if they want to change things.”

Stallings was first elected to the U.S. House of Representatives in 1984. He served four terms before losing a 1992 Senate bid.

Kuykendall represented California’s 36th District from 1999 until 2001. He now works as a consultant.

The men’s visit to Penn State Behrend was organized through the John C. Stennis Center for Public Service Leadership and the U.S. Association of Former Members of Congress. The groups have offered programs at more than 170 colleges and universities since 1996.

Stallings and Kuykendall will spend two days at Penn State Behrend. They will speak to political science and communications classes and will meet with students who are interested in congressional internships.

Their public talk, “Civility in Politics and the 2012 Elections,” is sponsored by the Janet Neff Sample Center for Manners and Civility, the Harriet Behrend Ninow Memorial Lecture Series Fund, the Division of Student Affairs, the Penn State Behrend political science program and the student activity fee.

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Last Updated September 12, 2012