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Lamar State College - Port Arthur
Distinguished Lecture Series
News Release
Sunday, September 07, 2008

LSC-PA lecture series will feature polar-ideology political commentators

The nation’s turbulent political climate and the upcoming presidential election will be on the topic of discussion in the September 30 Distinguished Lecture Series presentation at Lamar State College-Port Arthur.

This lecture will feature two well-known personalities and long-time friends, who put their polar political differences aside to co-author the book “Common Ground: How to Stop the Partisan War that is Destroying America.”

Conservative writer Cal Thomas, one of America’s most widely-syndicated newspaper columnists, and liberal Bob Beckel, a long-time Democratic Party operative, wrote the book to show how they can find common ground on contentious issues when the national government cannot.

Beckel and Thomas look far beyond the presidential candidates’ images to examine the underlying strategies – both overt and beneath the radar – being used this year by the Democratic and Republican campaigns.

Beckel, a political analyst for Fox News since 2003, started his career in politics when he was in college by working for Robert Kennedy’s 1968 presidential campaign.

After a tour of duty with the Peace Corps, Beckel returned to politics with his own consulting firm. In 1977, Beckel joined the government as deputy assistant secretary of state and helped steer the controversial Panama Canal treaties through Congress. He moved to the Carter administration to head an effort to pass the Middle East and Salt II treaties. Beckel returned to the private sector in 1984 to manage Walter Mondale’s presidential campaign.

Thomas, a 40-year veteran of broadcast and print media, is the author of 10 books. He hosts a daily radio show on more than 300 stations and is a regular panelist on “Fox News Watch.” Thomas’ columns appear in more than 600 daily newspapers.

Previous speakers the LSC-PA Distinguished Lecture Series include former President Jimmy Carter, former astronaut James Lovell, former Polish president Lech Walesa, actors James Earl Jones and Edward James Olmos, Olympic medal winner Cathy Rigby, inner city high school principal Joe Clark, professional basketball star Cynthia Cooper, anti-crime TV show host John Walsh, NPR humorist Garrison Keillor and Animal Planet television star Jeff Corwin.

Distinguished Lecture Series presentations are free and open to the public. The event will begin at 7 p.m. in the Carl Parker Center, 1800 Lakeshore Drive on the Lamar State campus.






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