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Recap of 2012 election planned for 'Politics and Competition' Bulen Symposium at IUPUI

Bulen symposium
Bulen symposium

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November 12, 2012

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The 2012 Bulen Symposium on American Politics will recap the election season with: “Us Versus Them: Politics and Competition.”

The symposium will take place at the Indiana University-Purdue University Indianapolis Campus Center, 420 University Blvd., from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. Thursday, Nov. 29. It is presented by the Department of Political Science in the IU School of Liberal Arts at IUPUI and co-sponsored by Indiana Humanities.

IUPUI students may attend the event at no charge. The cost for others is $35, which includes lunch. Registration is available online. Visitor parking is available for a fee at the Vermont Street parking garage.

From the Iowa caucus to Inauguration Day, in presidential elections the game of politics captivates America, said Aaron Dusso, an assistant professor in the political science department and the organizer of the event.

Partisanship is the force that determines which side of that debate one is on, and it is partisanship that turns politics into sport, he said. “It’s us versus them.”

Following the sports analogy, the symposium brings varied perspectives on the game of politics. The starting lineup includes Indianapolis Mayor Greg Ballard and the chairs of the Indiana State Republican and Democratic parties, Eric Holcomb and Daniel J. Parker, who will provide an inside-the-locker-room look at the election season. Anne Hathaway, president of Hathaway Strategies and program director at the 2012 Republican National Convention, will provide a national perspective on the presidential election results.

From the sidelines, a media panel will give a bird's-eye view on reporters’ roles and views on the political action. Media participants include Amos Brown, host of “Afternoons With Amos” on WTLC-AM; Jim Shella, political reporter for WISH TV and host and producer of “Indiana Week in Review”; and Mary Beth Schneider, state government and political reporter for The Indianapolis Star. Expert commentator Alan I. Abramowitz, the Alben W. Barkley Professor of Political Science at Emory University, will weigh in on the game, focusing on the role of partisanship and polarization.

The event begins with a welcome from William Blomquist, dean of the IU School of Liberal Arts at IUPUI and a professor of political science, followed by:
•9:10 a.m. -- Morning keynote address, Anne Hathaway
•10 a.m. -- Media panel
•11:15 a.m. -- Alan I. Abramowitz, “Voting in an Era of Polarization: The 2012 Elections and Beyond”
•Noon -- Lunch
•1:15 p.m. -- Afternoon keynote address, Indianapolis Mayor Greg Ballard
•2 p.m. -- State of the Party, Eric Holcomb and Daniel J. Parker
The symposium, a biennial event that coincides with the national elections, is named for L. Keith Bulen, a leading political figure from Indiana who served at the block, precinct, ward, county, district, state, national and international levels. Prominent individuals from both parties joined in 1998 to honor both his life and contributions by establishing the symposium.