• 2020 Election Series with Dan Schnur: The Influence of Media on Elections
    December 5, 2019
    8:00 am - 9:30 am

Our 2020 Election Series will be looking at critical issues and trends, candidate’s positions on domestic and foreign policy, insight on US voters, and analysis of the primaries. The talks will be moderated by Dan Schnur, a Professor at USC’s Annenberg School of Communications, UC Berkeley’s Institute of Governmental Studies, and Director for the “California Influencers” project, a statewide program in which the state’s foremost experts in politics, policy and government discussed the 2018 campaign on a regular basis through the November election.

Our second talk in the series on December 5, 2019 will be with Todd Purdum, who covers politics for The Atlantic, POLITICO and Vanity Fair. The talk will focus on how changes in news media have impacted campaigns, the growing polarization in American politics, and how impeachment could affect the election. The talk will be moderated by LAWACTH Board Member Dan Schnur, a Professor at the University of Southern California’s Annenberg School of Communications and the University of California – Berkeley’s Institute of Governmental Studies.

Todd S. Purdum joined The Atlantic in 2018 as a staff writer and California correspondent covering politics and culture. He is also a senior writer at POLITICO and a contributing editor at Vanity Fair. He was formerly with the New York Times, where he worked for 23 years, covering politics from city hall to the White House. He also served as diplomatic correspondent and Los Angeles bureau chief. During the 2016 presidential election, Purdum wrote extensively about Hillary Clinton, Donald Trump and the legacy of Barack Obama. He recently published Something Wonderful: Rodgers and Hammerstein’s Broadway Revolution (2018).

Purdum is a native of Macomb, Ill., and a graduate of Princeton University. He is the author of the book An Idea Whose Time Has Come: Two Presidents, Two Parties and the Battle for the Civil Rights Act of 1964 and he is currently writing a biography of Oscar Hammerstein II and Richard Rodgers. He lives in Los Angeles with his wife, Dee Dee Myers, the former Clinton White House press secretary and current Executive Vice President and Director of Worldwide Corporate Communications and Public Affairs at Warner Bros, and their two children

Dan Schnur is a Professor at the University of Southern California’s Annenberg School of Communications, the University of California – Berkeley’s Institute of Governmental Studies and Pepperdine University’s School of Public Policy, where he teaches courses in politics, communications and leadership. Dan is currently the director of the Sacramento Bee’s “California Influencers” series, in which he leads a weekly online conversation among 100 of the state’s most respected experts in politics, government and public policy.

He has been teaching courses in politics, communications and leadership at UC-Berkeley since 1996 and at USC since 2004. Dan has also taught at the John F. Kennedy School of Government’s Institute of Politics at Harvard University and George Washington University’s Graduate School of Political Management. He is the founder of the USC/LA Times statewide political poll.

Previously, Dan worked on four presidential and three gubernatorial campaigns as one of California’s leading political strategists. He served as the national Director of Communications for the 2000 presidential campaign of U.S. Senator John McCain and was the chief media spokesman for California Governor Pete Wilson.

In 2010, Dan was appointed Chairman of the California Fair Political Practices Commission (FPPC), where he implemented groundbreaking campaign finance disclosure requirements. Dan also was a founder and cochairman of the Voices of Reform project, the bi-partisan statewide effort whose work laid the foundation for California’s landmark redistricting reform.

After completing his FPPC term, Dan registered as a No Party Preference voter and launched Fixing California, an organization dedicated to campaign finance and political reform. In 2014, Dan ran for statewide office as a non-partisan candidate for California Secretary of State.

Dan has been an advisor to the William & Melinda Gates Foundation, the William and Flora Hewlett Foundation, the Broad Education Foundation, the Pew Charitable Trusts, the James Irvine Foundation, the Public Policy Institute of California and the Stuart Foundation on a variety of K-12 education and college and workforce preparedness efforts.

Dan’s commentaries have appeared in several newspapers, including the Los Angeles Times, the San Francisco Chronicle, the Sacramento Bee, the Wall Street Journal, the Washington Post, and the New York Times. In addition, he has been an analyst and political commentator for CNN, MSNBC, Fox News, and National Public Radio.

Kal Eisenberg understood that our democracy was built on a foundation of spirited but respectful civic discourse and political dialogue. This breakfast series is named in that spirit, and in his memory.

Please reserve by December 3rd at 12:00 p.m. Cancellations must be made by December 3rd at 12:00 p.m to secure a refund.


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