Media contact: Noelle Lemoine, communications assistant; tele: (413) 597-4277; email: [email protected]
WILLIAMSTOWN, Mass., April 30, 2001 — Former Presidential candidate Gary Bauer and former White House Chief-of-Staff John Podesta will headline the Williams College Debate Union’s spring debate on Wednesday, May 2. The debate will begin at 8 p.m. in Chapin Hall and panelists will argue the question “Should the government fund the community activities of religious organizations?”
Brad Verter, visiting assistant professor in American religion and Joe Gallagher ’03, from Carmel, NY will join Bauer on the “yes” side. Podesta will be joined on the “no” team by James Pethica, visiting assistant professor of English, and Joel Iams ’01, from Bethesda, MD.
The topic took on new importance recently when subsidizing faith-based charities emerged as a centerpiece of President Bush’s social agenda. It also provides a context for the broader question of what the proper relationship between church and state should be. At the end of the Oxford-style debate, the audience will determine the winning side in a poll conducted as they exit. The event is free and open to the public.
Bauer was a presidential candidate in the 2000 election and is president of the Family Research Council. Under President Ronald Reagan he served as Chief Domestic Policy Advisor and in the Department of Education as a deputy undersecretary and undersecretary of education. He is one of the most influential conservatives in Washington through his work in the religious right. Bauer’s platform is anti-abortion, against affirmative action, and for prayer and the 10 commandments in schools. He supports increasing funding for defense and law enforcement while cutting money for the arts, welfare, and environmental programs.
Bauer is the author of multiple books, most recently “Our Hopes, Our Dreams: A Vision for America” (1996). He graduated from Georgetown Law School and Georgetown College.
Podesta served as President Clinton’s White House Chief of Staff from October 1998 to January 2001. He was instrumental in forming the administration’s stance on issues of foreign policy, the economy, trade and the environment. Earlier Podesta served as the Assistant to the President, Staff Secretary, and Deputy Chief of Staff.
Podesta is an expert in technology policy and issues of privacy, government information, telecommunications security and regulatory policy. He has written a book and numerous articles, and lectured widely on these topics. Podesta now teaches as a visiting professor at Georgetown University Law Center, his alma mater.