Show Details for the week of November 17th, 2014

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On The Monitor this week:

  • Looking back at the underlying trends at play in the recent midterm elections – an interview with Thomas Ferguson
  • Revisiting the Don Siegelman Story – How the most notorious names in politics, used a kangaroo court to put an innocent man, behind bars – an interview with Steve Wimberly

More about this week’s guests:

Thomas Ferguson is professor of political science at the University of Massachusetts, Boston, senior fellow of the Roosevelt Institute and the author of Golden Rule: The Investment Theory of Party Competition and the Logic of Money-Driven Politics (University of Chicago Press, 1995).

Quote on the election results: “So after blowing through more money than any off year election in history, 2014 leave us with this: A war of all against all — all of the Republican Congress against all of the Democratic Executive Branch. There’s no single-minded wave like 2010: it is obvious that huge numbers of Americans detest both parties, and that one of the keys to the election’s outcome was the failure of the president’s supporters to turn out like they did in 2012. There’s nothing mystifying about their disenchantment: After six years in the White House, President Obama rescued the banks, but not most of the American people, whose incomes and job prospects continue to languish. Add to that what will likely prove to be a substantial Republican advantage in total spending, and the impression the White House conveyed of constantly being surprised by world events, and it is hardly surprising that we witnessed another installment of ‘seesaw politics.’ The interesting question for the future is how much longer this can go on, in a world in which both Europe and China are slowing down, the Fed is tapering, and the Republicans’ answers to what ails the economy comes basically out of the playbook of the George W. Bush administration: deregulation, more tax cuts for the wealthy, and further cuts in civilian spending to reduce an already shrunken deficit.”

One of Ferguson’s most recent articles is How Big Money Keeps Populism at Bay – When the 1 percent funds national campaigns, the reality of populism is in question.

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Writer/producer/director Steve Wimberly has worked in television production for many years with credits on shows for ABC, NBC, CBS, Fox, Discovery, A&E, HGTV, and others. Working his way up from the bottom, he has gone on to sell scripts and show ideas to major networks, and has won several national awards. Prior to producing and directing, Steve served as senior editor for the Discovery Networks, and HGTV. His credits include Stalked, Frenemies, Chasing Classic Cars, White House Christmas, Say Yes to the Dress, Judge Alex, Life’s Funniest Moments, Restore America, and was Post Production Manager for America’s Funniest Home Videos. Steve has a bachelor’s degree from Harvard, and an MBA from Emory University.

Filmmaker Steve Wimberly and Dana Siegelman are launching a Kickstarter campaign to make a film about Don Siegelman’s case. From the Kickstarter page:

“The prosecutorial misconduct in this case alone is used by law schools to teach a worst-case scenario to future prosecutors and judges. Yet, Don Siegelman remains locked in a jail cell, trapped from any objective standard. That’s why we must tell this story. The time has come to reveal all the dirty deals and inside cover-ups, and expose the people who were responsible.“The Siegelman conviction is a deep stain on the justice system” – Robert Abrams, Former New York Attorney GeneralFor the first time in history, 113 former Attorneys General from across the U.S. have signed a petition to protest the judicial abuses involved in Don Siegelman’s case. This is completely unprecedented in the history of American jurisprudence.”

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