Monmouth College’s Robin Johnson has served as the moderator for two lively and informative post-election forums on campus, bringing in a balanced and engaging panel to discuss the elections of 2010 and 2012.
Now, the college’s well-connected political science lecturer is bringing that format to radio, hosting “Talking Politics,” a half-hour public affairs interview program on KBUR-AM 1490. The show airs Fridays at 10 a.m., following the news. Podcasts of previous programs are available on the station’s website: http://www.kbur.com
Guests during April, the first month of the program, included Iowa governor Terry Branstad, who has also visited Johnson’s college classroom via Skype, Chicago Tribune political reporter Rick Pearson and Des Moines Register political columnist Kathy Obradovich. Pearson was also on the panel for both of the college’s post-election forums.
“We are happy to have someone with Robin’s extensive background in public affairs join us,” said John Pritchard, owner of Pritchard Broadcasting, the parent company of KBUR-AM. “He is using his 30-plus years of experience to give listeners an inside view of decision making, strategic considerations and other key factors that drive federal, state and local politics.”
A 1980 Monmouth College graduate, Johnson has served on the board of directors of the National Council for Public Private Partnerships, as director of local government affairs for the Illinois Comptroller’s office and on the issues development staff of the Illinois Speaker of the House. He has authored more than 100 articles and reports on local government, politics and policy.
As someone who has been inside campaign strategy meetings and policy discussions in his role as a political consultant, Johnson brings a level of knowledge about campaigns and governing that can help listeners understand the choices facing public officials and the consequences of their decisions. He has written polls, speeches and copy for TV and radio ads, developed campaign messages and micro-targeted voters – all aspects of modern campaigns.
“My goal is to interview elected officials, journalists, pundits, consultants, policy experts and academics leading up to the Iowa caucuses in 2016, which kicks off the next presidential election cycle,” said Johnson, who joined Monmouth’s faculty in 2000.
In addition to Gov. Branstad, Johnson’s students have interacted with Sen. Dick Durbin, Rep. Cheri Bustos and authors such as Richard Longworth, Sasha Issenberg and Dale Maharidge. With such a track record for attracting noteworthy speakers, Johnson’s listeners should be in for a fascinating show.