Midterm elections to be discussed at forum

Nayeli Pelayo

Two of the top national pollsters from the Republican and Democratic Parties are scheduled to come speak at CSUN for the 2010 Eugene Price Forum.

Geoff Garin, a well-known advisor who works for Hart and Associates, has worked with several politicians including Hilary Clinton and he will be representing the Democratic Party.

Greg Stimple, on the Republican side, has worked with politicians such as John McCain.

“These pollsters that we have on the panel are those who do research and work for one of the two parties,” said Martin Saiz, chairman of the political science department.

The moderator will be Sam Popkin a professor from UC San Diego.

Saiz said Popkin is famous for his work in political science.

“These pollsters that we have on the panel are those who do research and work for one of the two parties,” Saiz said.

Saiz said he encourages students to attend because citizens elect representatives and those representatives make decisions for the public, hence it is wise to know about polling, voting campaigns and elections.

“The purpose is to inform the general public about issues coming up in the next election,” Saiz said. “This is a democracy and we need to be informed on the people we elect.”

Each year the political science department uses the Eugene Price Endowment to host a public seminar at CSUN. The Eugene Price Endowment will help fund the $1,000 honorarium given to each of the speakers as well as their travel expenses.

The two pollsters will speak about their experience in politics. They are expected to cover ideas and strategies the two parties are using and there will be a discussion on campaign tactics, Saiz said. This will be followed by a question and answer period during which the audience will get to address the speakers with questions or comments.

“It’s hard to gauge the number of people coming,” said Lawrence Becker, political science associate professor. “Hopefully, we get a good mix especially as we get closer to the election.”

Saiz and Becker said Garin was a college roommate of CSUN’s provost, Harry Hellenbrand and it was Garin who recommended Stimple.

“We just asked him (Garin) to come and everyone else fell in line,” Saiz said.

Becker said they have been trying to get the word out regarding the events in a variety of ways including, giving in-class announcements, passing out flyers and putting up posters. They have also invited other campuses and local groups including USC and UCLA.

“It will be great for people interested in going into politics,” said Becker, one of the main leaders spearheading this event. “These three know a lot about campaigns.”

Freshman Christian Vidal, 18, music major, said this event would be useful for him because he has not done much research for these upcoming elections.

“I have a couple of friends that are really into politics, I’m sure they would attend,” Vidal said.