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Election 2010 & Midwest

Barry McNamara
David Wilhelm
Four distinguished political observers will analyze the impact of the 2010 midterm elections on the Midwest in a Nov. 30 forum sponsored by Monmouth College as part of its “Midwest Matters” initiative.

Titled “Election 2010: What It Means For The Midwest,” the free forum will be held at 7 p.m. in the college’s Wells Theater.

Participating panelists will be David Wilhelm, manager of Bill Clinton’s 1992 presidential campaign; Mike Glover, political reporter for the Associated Press; Rick Pearson, political reporter for the Chicago Tribune; and Steve Grubbs, founder of Victory Enterprises, Inc., a political communications company specializing in media, polling and mail.

MC political science lecturer Robin Johnson will moderate the forum, which will review results of the 2010 election in the Midwest, examine their impact on federal and state policy decisions, and preview the 2012 presidential campaign. Johnson, a former councilman for the City of Monmouth, is a governmental relations, public policy and political consultant with experience as a consultant or manager for dozens of state and local campaigns in Illinois, Iowa and Indiana.

“The Midwest has been the critical battleground region in recent elections and will play a decisive role in the 2012 presidential campaign,” said Johnson, who earned a bachelor’s degree in government from Monmouth College and a master’s degree in public administration from Western Illinois University. “The panel brings together politicos, pundits and professors to analyze the 2010 results and gauge the impact on the Midwest region.”

Called a firm believer in the idea that every individual should possess the tools to make the most of their God-given potential, Wilhelm is an entrepreneur at heart. Among the many start-ups he has launched or backed are Hopewell Ventures, Adena Ventures and New Harvest Power, companies designed to bring sustainable job and wealth creation to the central Appalachian region and the rural Midwest.

In addition to managing Clinton’s campaign, Wilhelm has also managed campaigns for Vice President Joe Biden, Chicago mayor Richard Daley and the late Sen. Paul Simon. More recently, Wilhelm co-chaired the successful campaign to renew Ohio’s innovative “Third Frontier” job creation program and, in 2008, was one of the first superdelegates to support the candidacy of then-Senator Barack Obama for the presidency.

Glover got his start in the newspaper business in 1974, working three years in Fort Dodge, Iowa, and three years in Bloomington, Ill. In 1980, he went to work for the Associated Press in Des Moines, Iowa, covering the legislature and politics. He has covered Iowa’s leadoff precinct caucuses and traveled the country for the last three presidential election cycles.

An award-winning journalist, Pearson has been the Tribune’s political reporter since 1998. He was the newspaper’s chief correspondent covering the 2000 and 2004 campaigns of President George W. Bush, and he also covered Sen. John McCain’s 2000 GOP bid for the White House. For the 2008 campaign, Pearson was the Tribune’s chief Iowa correspondent for that state’s caucuses, beginning in July 2007. This year, Pearson began doing political reporting and analysis for WGN-TV.

Grubbs has extensive experience in government and politics, serving six years in the Iowa House of Representatives from 1991 to 1997. During the 1996 presidential campaign, he was the state co-chair of Sen. Bob Dole’s Iowa campaign and, in 2000, he served as senior advisor to the “Forbes for President” national campaign. During the 1997-98 campaign cycle, he served as state chairman of the Republican Party of Iowa. Since 1998, his Victory Enterprises organization has assisted more than 500 campaigns with media, polling and mail.

Through its “Midwest Matters” initiative, Monmouth College seeks to be a catalyst for innovation and change that will add value and enrich lives. By exchanging ideas about the region’s economy, culture and future potential, the college hopes to not only educate its students about important Midwest issues, but to be a part of the solution, as well.