Former Wisconsin State Sens. Tim Cullen and Dale Schultz will speak at a public forum, “Doing the People’s Business,” in UW–Platteville's 103 Doudna Hall today from 5:30-7:30 p.m.
Cullen, a Democrat, and Schultz, a Republican, have more than 50 years of combined state legislative service. They will discuss bringing civility back into the political process, addressing how elected officials can work in collaboration in an era of polarization and creating a system of effective government that puts the best interests of the people first.
“I am hoping that the forum will produce the following outcomes,” said Dr. Rosalyn Broussard, professor of political science and chair of the Department of Interdisciplinary Studies. “First, how political cooperation is more beneficial than a lack of cooperation. Second, that democracy is a marketplace of ideas that benefits from a diversity of opinions. For instance, the Anti-Federalist held a different view than the Federalist. The Federalist wanted a centralized government and the Anti-Federalist wanted a decentralized government; if not for the Anti-Federalist, we would not have a Bill of Rights.
"Third, one can disagree with someone’s views on policies without being disagreeable and painting your opponent as an evil person. Lastly, I hope that students understand that the growing polarization in Congress and state government, and throughout society, is not only counter-productive but damaging to society as a whole.”
“In this election cycle more than any other in my lifetime, a discussion of civility and bipartisanship feels necessary and vital,” said Dr. Travis Nelson, associate professor of political science and chair of the Department of Social Sciences at UW–Platteville. “Consider this forum an antidote to the toxicity of other political discourse.”
Cullen’s newly released book, Ringside Seat: Wisconsin Politics, the 1970s to Scott Walker, will be available for purchase.
UW–Platteville’s Department of Social Sciences and Department of Interdisciplinary Studies are sponsoring the forum. All are welcome.