Left of Center: Kent Willis of the ACLU on Climategate

Attorney General Ken Cuccinelli has invoked the Patriot Act-inspired Virginia Fraud Against Taxpayers Act to demand that the University of Virginia turn over years of private correspondence between former professor Michael Mann and other climate researchers. The demand conspicously omits one requirement of FATA — spelling out exactly how Mann would have committed fraud against the state.

Facing a precendent-setting first-ever use of FATA against an institution of higher education, the university is fighting back. Virginia ACLU Executive Director Kent Willis explains how the Virginia ACLU, the Union of Concerned Scientists and the American Association of University Professors are joining forces to file a friend-of-the-court brief arguing that Cuccinelli is way out of line, threatening academic freedom with a thinly-veiled political stunt. The outcome of this battle will say volumes about what academic freedom really amounts to in Virginia.

Left of Center: Healthcare Reform: What’s Right and What’s Left?

Obama and the Democratic Congress passed landmark healthcare reform after a rancorous year-long struggle. Republicans are threatening to make “Repeal and Replace” their fall campaign slogan, while Obama has welcomed that referendum and polls have shown a bump in public support for the reform now that it’s law.

What did the law get right? How much will it really do for cost-cutting, expanding coverage, and improving quality? What major flaws of our system remain yet to be dealt with? How will the average American be impacted by the reform? What will it mean for political fortunes in the fall and beyond?

Leading this month’s Left of Center discussion are three University of Virginia professors:

Continue reading “Left of Center: Healthcare Reform: What’s Right and What’s Left?”

Left of Center: How Tom Perriello Won

On November 4, 2008, Democrat Tom Perriello achieved what almost no one thought he could do. He defeated Republican incumbent Virgil Goode by only 745 votes. What were the factors that led to Perriello’s victory? Well, on January 5, 2009, the group Left of Center sponsored a panel discussion to explore that question, and to look ahead to what it means for Democrats in the 5th District.

  • 1:00 – Introduction from Brevy Cannon of Left of Center
  • 2:45 – Presentation by Brian Bills, Perriello’s personal assistant during the campaign
  • 20:17 – Presentation by Kellie Palmer, who worked on a voter registration campaign in the rural southside
  • 33:00 – Presentation by Rachel Klarman
  • 43:00 – Comments from Will Goldsmith, News Editor at C-Ville Weekly
  • 50:00 – Comments from Lindsay Barnes, Reporter from the Hook
  • 56:00 – Comments from Fred Hudson, Chairman of the 5th District Democratic Party
  • 1:10:30 – Question and answer period begins