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Center for Policy Studies
Public Affairs Discussion Group

What I Learned About American Electoral Politics: Memoirs (in brief) of a 2014 Congressional Candidate

Michael Wager, J.D. - Taft Stettinius and Hollister LLP
Friday February 6, 2015
12:30-1:30 p.m.
Dampeer Room
Kelvin Smith Library
Case Western Reserve University

Dear Colleagues:

Michael Wager is an attorney with Taft Stettinius and Hollister LLP. He has been active in many civic and quasi-governmental bodies, including as a member and Chair of the Cleveland-Cuyahoga County Port Authority. Early in his career he served as a congressional aide, and in 2012 he was Finance Chair for Senator Sherrod Brown's re-election campaign. He has taught courses in Judicial and in Urban politics for our department of political science.

In short, when he chose to run for Congress, Mr. Wager knew a great deal about politics and government. Yet he still found the experience educational, even though not successful. Join us as he reflects on what he learned.

All best regards,
Joe White
Luxenberg Family Professor of Public Policy and Director, Center for Policy Studies

About Our Guest

Michael Wager earned his B.A. from American University in 1973 and his J.D. from New York University School of Law in 1981, where he was Editor-in-Chief of the Journal of International Law and Politics. He also earned his MA from Columbia University in 1976. During the 1970s, he worked as a staff member for U.S. Representatives Charles Vanik and Mary Rose Oakar of Ohio, as well as Senator Lawton Chiles. More recently, he served as U.S. Senator Sherrod Brown's campaign finance chair.

As an attorney with Taft Stettinius & Hollister, Mr. Wager specializes in corporate governance, strategic growth, and corporate compliance and FCPA investigations. Before joining Taft, he was a partner at Squire Sanders & Dempsey LLP. He is past Chair of the board of the Cleveland-Cuyahoga County Port Authority, and has served on many other boards including the Clean Ohio Council, Northeast Ohio Development Fund, Cuyahoga County Renewable Energy Task Force, the White House Business Council, Cleveland Jewish Federation, Jewish National Fund, University Hospitals Seidman Cancer Center, West Side Ecumenical Ministry, the Gateway Economic Development Corporation of Greater Cleveland, the Quicken Loans Arena (formerly Gund Arena), Michael Anthony Holdings Inc., Reynard American Partners, L.P., American Speedy Printing Centers and Sembcorp Utilities (formerly Cascal N.V.).

Where We Meet

The Friday Public Affairs Lunch convenes each Friday when classes are in session, from 12:30 p.m. to 1:30 p.m. We usually meet in the Dampeer Room of Kelvin Smith Library. The Dampeer Room is on the second floor of the library. If you get off the elevators, turn right, pass the first bank of tables, and turn right again. Occasionally we need to use a different room; that will always be announced in the weekly e-mails.

Parking Possibilities

The most convenient parking is the lot underneath Severance Hall. We regret that it is not free. From that lot there is an elevator up to street level (labeled as for the Thwing Center); it is less than 50 yards from that exit to the library entrance. You can get from the Severance garage to the library without going outside. Near the entry gates - just to the right if you were driving out - there is a door into a corridor. Walk down the corridor and there will be another door. Beyond that door you'll find the entrance to an elevator which goes up to an entrance right inside the doors to Kelvin Smith Library.

Friday Lunch Upcoming Topics and Speakers:

February 13: Is It Time for a New U.S. Grand Strategy? With Patrick Doherty, Co-Director of the Strategic Innovation Lab, Weatherhead School of Management.

February 20: The Warren Commission and the Academy: Exploring Truth in a Political World. With Judge (ret.) Burt W. Griffin.

February 27: When the Police Use Deadly Force. Kevin Nietert, Chief of Police, South Euclid Ohio

March 6: What Explains the Price of Gasoline? With Steven W. Percy, former Chairman and CEO, BP of America.

March 13: Spring Break

March 20: TBD

March 27: Talking Turkey: Some Personal (and Historical) Perspectives on Turkish Politics and Society. With John Grabowski, Krieger-Mueller Associate Professor in Applied History; Senior Vice President for Research and Publications, Western Reserve Historical Society.

April 3: Origins and Prospects of the 'Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant. With Karl C. Kaltenthaler, Professor of Political Science, University of Akron.

April 10:
Obama's White House and Management Style: A Recipe for Success or Failure? With David B. Cohen, Professor of Political Science, University of Akron.

April 17: TBD

April 24: TBD
February 2, 2015

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Upcoming Events

The Prison at Guantanamo Bay and America's "Commitment to Justice"

A discussion with Assistant Federal Public Defender Carlos Warner, J.D., Monday February 9, 2015, 4:15-5:45 p.m., Tinkham Veale University Center, Ballroom A, Case Western Reserve University, 11308 Bellflower Road, Cleveland, OH 44106. Sponsored by the Center for Policy Studies.

In his State of the Union address, President Obama proclaimed that, "As Americans, we have a profound commitment to justice -- so it makes no sense to spend three million dollars per prisoner to keep open a prison that the world condemns and terrorists use to recruit." He added that he had worked "to cut the population of GTMO in half... and I will not relent in my determination to shut it down. It's not who we are."

Meanwhile, leading Republican senators have proposed legislation to force Obama to keep the remaining prisoners there.

We can see this as a clash between Congress and the President, or some Democrats and almost all Republicans. But amid that conflict in Washington we should try to understand what happens in the prison at Guantanamo Bay itself. How is the prison run? In Boumediene v. Bush, the Supreme Court ruled that prisoners had access to the federal courts to challenge their confinement. That means they have access to public defenders. How real is that right, and what do public defenders find when they try to represent these clients?

Anonymity and Technology

A discussion with federal judge Alex Kozinski of the U.S. Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals, Thursday, February 5, 2015, 4:30-5:35 p.m., Moot Courtroom (A59), Case Western Reserve University School of Law, 11075 East Boulevard, Cleveland, OH 44106-7148. Sponsored by the Spangenberg Center for Law, Technology & the Arts

Evolving technology has stimulated two divergent trends: We conduct so many of our economic and social interactions behind the pane of a computer screen that our lives feel more anonymous than ever before; yet reliance on technology also means that our daily routines are increasingly monitored, chronicled and analyzed by an endless array of prying eyes, not least of which those of the federal government. We all think anonymity is great for us, but we’re not so sure we trust other people with it. This lecture discusses these paradoxical trends inherent in technological evolution, and assesses how we can sculpt laws and policies that take into account both the good and the bad aspects of anonymity.

Judge Alex Kozinski is a prolific writer on a wide range of issues. His work has appeared in several prominent law journals as well as in the New York Times and Slate. Judge Kozinski's influence as a Circuit Judge has been particularly pronounced in the field of intellectual property law. Most recently, he wrote the majority opinion in Garcia v. Google, rejecting Google's argument that it has a First Amendment right to continue hosting the controversial clip Innocence of Muslims on the basis that it allegedly infringes actress Lee Garcia's copyright.

February 2015




































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