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Muskie School and Osher Lifelong Learning Institute to Host Maine’s Top Political Minds for Fall Speaker Series

PORTLAND— We’ve come a long way since President John F. Kennedy characterized politics as “a noble calling,” to today, when the nation’s political system is routinely described as “dysfunctional” and the political atmosphere in Washington and Augusta as “poisonous.” This fall, the Muskie School of Public Service and Osher Lifelong Learning Institute at the University of Southern Maine will host the series “Politics Then and Now, In Maine and the Nation” to examine this evolution and the future of politics in the state and country.

The eight-week series brings the state’s top political minds together to address the following questions: How was politics “played” in earlier times, in Maine and the nation? How has that changed, and why? What will it take to get back on course? And what does Maine have to teach the nation in this regard? 

All events will be held on Thursday afternoons, from 4 to 5:30 p.m., in Lee Community Hall or Hannaford Lecture Hall on the USM Portland campus. The series is free and open to the public. Seating cannot be reserved.

Speakers will include:

September 19: Former U.S. Congressman Tom Allen

September 26: Former U.S. Senator George Mitchell

October 3: Former Maine Governor Kenneth Curtis

October 10: Former Maine Senate President and House Speaker Elizabeth Mitchell

October 17: U.S. Senator Angus King

October 24: Speaker to be announced

October 31: Former U.S. Congressman Barney Frank

November 7: Future Prospects: Panel discussion with former Maine State Senator Cynthia Dill; Maine House Republican Leader Ken Fredette; and University of Maine Professor of Political Science Amy Fried

“Politics Then and Now, in Maine and the Nation” is sponsored by the Bangor Daily News, Bernstein Shur, Cutler Family Fund, Dead River Company, Drummond Woodsum, F.L. Putnam Investment Management Company, the Sun Journal, Maine Community Foundation, Mainebiz, Peter Mills, and the Portland Press Herald & Maine Sunday Telegram.

For series details and speaker locations, please see "Politics Then and Now, In Maine and the Nation."