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Politics

Volume 85 (Fall 2013 - Spring 2014)

Seton Hall Law Professor Shows Students What a Law School Class Looks Like

Seton Hall Law professor, Ronald Riccio ran a mock law class for University students interested in learning how a class would be run on Tuesday, Nov. 19 in Young Auditorium.

Riccio is a law professor at Seton Hall and is a practicing lawyer from the law firm McElroy, Deutsch, Mulvaney and Carpenter.

Dylan Hankinson, a senior political science major attended the event and was impressed by Riccio. “After taking Dr. Bordelon’s class and being exposed to this seminar I feel ready to go off to law school, and a weight has been lifted.”

He also said that another reason he felt ready for law school, was because of Bordelon’s Media Law class, in which you go over almost all these cases, learn how to draft case dockets, and cover other types of law.

Dr. Gregory Bordelon, lecturer for the Political Science and Sociology Department said,“I wanted the students at Monmouth University to be exposed to the legal education which is different than an undergraduate experience, and Monmouth University has always had a good relationship with Seton Hall, Seton Hall’s strongest graduates have been from Monmouth University,” said Bordelon.

Hankinson said, “I expected Mr. Riccio to start throwing complicated terms at us, however everything he said for the most part I knew about and was able to follow on with the seminar, which was about First Amendment rights.”

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Univeristy Students Participate in United Nations Academic Impact Discussion Panel

The Political Science and Sociology Department sponsored a day trip to a United Nations Conference in New York City on Monday, November 18. Students and faculty were able to participate in a discussion with other universities for the third anniversary of the United Nations Academic Impact, an organization dedicated towards making a difference in education throughout the world.

The United Nations Academic Impact (UNAI) is dedicated to sharing a culture of intellectual social responsibility and provides a forum for young academics to come together to discuss their ideas and share personal experiences. The Conference was held in celebration of UNAI efforts over the past three years and promoting their future successes. Representing the University on the panel was Dr. Rekha Datta, an associate professor of political science and Daniel Roman, a junior political science major.

In an effort to introduce the various individuals who have been working to make a difference through the youth forum, Datta, along with several other scholars, discussed how far the UNAI has come since its creation in November of 2010. Each scholar, in their professional capacities, discussed the organizations that they are involved in and how they are directly related to the organization.

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“Cao Goes to Washington” Shows Battle Between Citizens and Party Lines

“Cao Goes to Washington” is a documentary about former Congressman Joseph Cao that was shown in the Pollack Theater on Nov. 12, directed by political documentarian, S. Leo Chiang, regarding Cao’s battle between the Affordable Care Act  and the Republican Party.

Chiang took those in attendance on a personal journey into Cao’s election into office in New Orleans, as a Republican Asian Congressman, from a place where a majority are Democratic, as well as African American. Views saw his struggle for reelection after voting “nay” for the Affordable Health Care Act (ACA) during the second voting for the House of Representatives.

Cao’s initially voted for the ACA, which he explained, “The people down here need it, my people need it, and the needs of the people for outweigh the party.”

While the people of New Orleans supported him, Republicans were disgruntled, and the Democrat’s claimed he was in the wrong party.

However, as the documentary unfolds, the audience learns that Cao is a Republican because he is conservative especially about pro-life issues. When the second round of voting commenced, Cao realized that the provisions for abortion were not changed and he took to the podium, to exclaim why he would not support the ACA and cast his vote “nay.”

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JFK Killed 50 Years Ago: What Actually Happened? Depends on Who You Ask

Conspiracy theories began swirling almost immediately after President John F. Kennedy’s assassination in Dallas on Nov. 22, 1963, and have never really stopped.

A spate of new books re-examining that moment in anticipation of the 50th anniversary has revived some theories, tried to squelch others and found intriguing new details of botched investigations or deliberate concealment by authorities.

There’s a ready audience: 61 percent of the American people believe that Lee Harvey Oswald did not act alone in killing the president, according to the most recent Gallup poll, released Friday. While the percentage of those who believe in a conspiracy is the lowest since the late 1960s, it confirms the public’s ongoing doubts about the “lone gunman” theory.

The likely conspirators?

The poll found that 13 percent believe the Mafia and 13 percent think the federal government was involved; seven percent named the CIA; five percent each believe Cuban leader Fidel Castro, “special interests” and political groups were responsible; the Ku Klux Klan, then-Vice President Lyndon Johnson and the Soviet Union each drew three percent.

The belief in a conspiracy hasn’t diminished in nearly 50 years of polling. Doubts also persist about the findings of the Warren Commission, which was created by Johnson, after he became president, to investigate the assassination and was led by Supreme Court Chief Justice Earl Warren.

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National Security Agency: What Information Do They Keep and What are They Looking For?

Ever since details of the surveillance programs enacted by the National Security Agency (NSA) surfaced in June, the revelations of the United States electronic data gathering initiatives, domestically and internationally, have dominated global headlines and have raised new questions concerning individuals’ expectations of privacy in the 21st century digital age.

Information regarding what has been referred to as, domestic spying program by much of the American media, was leaked by former NSA data analyst, Edward Snowden. He revealed scores of documents to the world’s press regarding the existence of several NSA data mining initiatives, such as the now infamous PRISM program, aimed at combating the organization efforts of global terrorist groups via the monitoring of internet and cellular traffic - that is, the frequency, points of origin, and, in some cases, the content of the personal communications of potentially millions of electronics users around the world, American citizens included.

Perhaps the most scathing revelation leaked from Russia by Snowden is the aforementioned PRISM program. From formerly classified presentation slides, now available for the viewing of the general public on Wikipedia, it has been learned that the U.S. government has been working to collect the internet browsing habits of American citizens since at least 2007. This was also the year that, according to the leaked documents, Microsoft began to provide the NSA with their users’ data.

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Bus Trip Goes to Asbury Park Convention Hall to see Christie Accept Second Term as Governor

The Political Science Club sponsored a bus trip to the winning candidate of the Governor’s Race’s victory party and speech, last Tuesday night. A mixed group of graduate students, undergraduates, and members of the community gathered on the bus that left at 8 pm to go to Asbury Park Convention Hall where Governor Elect Chris Christie’s victory party was held.

The bus picked up everyone who reserved a seat behind the Rebecca Stanford Student Center. Students and people of the community were able to get their tickets online for free.

Upon arrival to the Convention Hall, students had to present their tickets and go through a short security tent set up out front of the entrance. Once inside on the main floor was a stage set up where Christie was going to give his acceptance speech on the main floor. Food and drinks were offered in a separate hall connected to the main floor.

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My Night at Governor Chris Christie’s Victory Party

Every state and federal election my University’s Political Science Club takes a bus to the campaigning headquarters of the two different parties. This year I decided to jump on the board and get the full on experience. However, this year the professor in charge could not leave until 8 pm, so we could only go to the winning campaigns victory party.

The Bus

The bus was outside of our University’s student center, waiting for all the political science junkies to get excited to go to the Headquarters of non-other than the Governor Re-Elect Chris Christie. It was large and in charge (fitting I know), with comfy seats and TV screens pulled down, reminding me of what real political journalist ride on following their assigned candidate. We figured, as the political science group, that there would really only be other fellow members. What we did not expect was not know the majority of the people on the bus. There were graduate students, undergradrautes and people from the community alike all on board to have a night of political nerdiness. While on the bus waiting for the official call that we all knew was coming, I got the tweet that we were heading to the right party to hear the right Candidate give his acceptance speech.

Getting into the Party

When entering the Asbury Park Convention Hall we all had tickets and ID’s in hand. While waiting a woman working for staff went around informing all the women in the group they could not have a bag bigger than the size of a wallet for security reasons. This my friends is to make sure that no one was carrying in any weapons to such an event as the  Governor’s accepting his speech to be a Governor again. Luckily I did not have a bag much bigger than the size of a fist, in preparation for such and ideal, and got in without a problem. 

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Voters Raise Minimum Wage

New Jersey voters passed a constitutional amendment to raise the state’s minimum wage from $7.25 to $8.25 and to tie future minimum wage increases to inflation. This raise will affect businesses and workers alike.

The amendment passed 60 percent to 40 percent, according to USA Today.com. Before the vote, Gov. Chris Christie had vetoed the bill (A2162) passed by the New Jersey Legislature in 2012. The Legislature voted to have it placed on the ballot where it passed on Nov. 5.

Christie said that raising the minimum wage was not a good idea.  He said it was, “Just an irresponsible thing to do.” He has also called it “a truly ridiculous idea” to write the minimum wage increases into the state constitution, according to a USA Today article.

“The money doesn’t come off a magic money tree. The money comes from the pockets and the hard work of the small-business owners,” Christie said.

Aimee Parks, Assistant Director of Human Resources for Student Employment said that there are 1,048 Federal Work Study (FWS) placement students. Parks said that there will be meetings regarding the effects of the new wage. She also said this will make student positions more competitive. “Our office expects more students will want to work on campus and on campus [jobs] will be even more competitive. It will be a good motivator for students to sign up for their job in advance next fall,” said Parks.

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Five Years Since the Economic Crisis: Where Are We Now?

President Obama announced the five-year anniversary of the financial crisis at his address to the nation last month, reminding Americans that we have yet to fully recover from the economic collapse of the 2008.

The 2008 financial crisis, known worldwide as the Global Financial Crisis, has had immediate and long-term effects on our nation’s economy that we are still recovering from today and most likely will be for many years to come.

According to an article from CNN, the economic crisis resulted in the failure of hundreds of large and small businesses and contributed to a vast decline in consumer wealth estimated in trillions of U.S. dollars.

The downturn in American economic activity also led to the 2008-2012 recession; argued by many economists to be the worst recession our country has seen since the Great Depression of the 1930s.

It has been five years since the crisis began and thousands of U.S. citizens and their families, small and large corporations, investment banks, as well as our national government are still struggling to recuperate.

Despite government attempts to remedy the economy after the financial collapse, there has been minimal economic recovery, an article from CNN explains. For example , the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009 attempted to save and create jobs as well as provide temporary relief for those impacted by the recession, but has not had worked as anticipated according to the article.

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Special New Jersey Senatorial Election Voter Turnout at All Time Low

On Oct. 17, Democrat Cory Booker won the special election to be U.S Senator for New Jersey against Republican Steve Lonegan. They both ran for an aggressive two months to finish Sen. Frank Lautenberg term after he passed away while in office last June at age 89. Unfortunately, the turnout was extremely low for this election.

“Voter turnout in the special election was about 24 percent of registered voters. That’s the lowest turnout for a statewide election since at least 1920, which is as far back as state records go.

“That even includes elections in off-years when there is no statewide office, such as Governor or U.S. Senator on the ballot,” said Patrick Murray, Director of Monmouth University Polling Institute.

One reason to explain what happened during the special election is that many people were unaware of said election, according to Murray.

Murray continues, “Part of this had to do with the fact that New Jersey has never had a special election, let alone one that was so close to the regular election – and on a Wednesday to boot.

Monmouth University Polling Institute found that even among voters who almost always go out to vote, about 1-in-10 were still unaware of the special election just days before it occurred.”

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Is Lobbying Good for Politics?

The Effects on Lobbying in the American Political System


We know that Congressmen are not all math wizzes who can foresee all outcomes when it comes to economic theory; they are not seasoned scientists who can cite the effects every decision has on the environment. Apart from hearings, advisors, and constituents like you and me, who really informs politicians and government officials?

Thomas Boggs is a 72-year-old resident. He has practiced law, worked as a coordinator in the White House, and found success in these fields.

He is also a certified lobbyist. Lobbying is something anyone can do. Lobbying requires a five  minute conversation with your local member of Congress on any topic or issue.

Every major company hires lobbyist ranging from pharmaceuticals to automobiles business hire lobbying firms to have someone promoting their interests, to law makers. Top lobbying firms like the one Boggs is a senior partner for make from $20 to $40 million a year.

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Contact Information

CAMPUS LOCATION
The Outlook
Jules L. Plangere Jr. Center for Communication
and Instructional Technology (CCIT)
Room 260, 2nd floor

MAILING ADDRESS
The Outlook
Monmouth University
400 Cedar Ave, West Long Branch, New Jersey
07764

Phone: (732) 571-3481 | Fax: (732) 263-5151
Email: outlook@monmouth.edu