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Published August 27, 2019
The University of Wyoming American Heritage Center’s (AHC) Simpson Institute for Western Politics and Leadership will host a panel discussion on the theme “The Constitution, Congress and the Presidency: What are the Limits of Power?” Tuesday, Sept. 17.
The event, which is free and open to the public, is set for 3:45 p.m. in the Stock Growers Room in the Centennial Complex. Free parking is available in the Centennial Complex lot, but patrons must register their vehicles at the AHC front desk. For more information about the UW campus and directions, visit www.uwyo.edu/tps/.
The discussion will feature retired U.S. Sen. Alan Simpson and former members of Congress, Scott Klug, of Wisconsin, and Brian Baird, of Washington.
The event commemorates Constitution Day, which observes the recognition of the U.S. Constitution and those who have become U.S. citizens. Delegates to the Constitutional Convention signed the document Sept. 17, 1787, in Philadelphia, and Constitution Day is regularly marked on that date.
In addition to the public program, the former members of Congress will participate in other activities at UW as well as at Laramie County Community College’s Albany County campus and the UW Lab School.
The former members of Congress are visiting UW through “Congress to Campus,” a program that allows college students to interact with former members of Congress by sending bipartisan pairs -- one Democrat and one Republican -- to campuses across the country. The former members provide students with insights into the realities of American democracy by sharing their experiences of both achievement and occasional frustration, explaining the often-misunderstood ways of Congress and Washington. The former members of Congress also will deliver an important message about bipartisan cooperation.
Baird served in the House of Representatives from 1999-2011, while Klug served from 1991-1999.
Baird, who represented Washington’s 3rd congressional district, holds a Ph.D. and master’s degree in clinical psychology from the University of Wyoming; practiced clinically for 20 years; taught graduate courses on research and statistics; has written three books; served as a university president; and was an adviser to the National Academy of Sciences, Engineering and Medicine. In Congress, he chaired the science and technology subcommittees on energy and the environment, and the Research, Technology and Education Subcommittee. He also served on the House Budget; Transportation and Infrastructure; and Small Business committees. He was the primary sponsor of the STOCK Act and of the Federal Ocean Acidification Research and Monitoring Act. As founder of 4Pir2 Communication, Baird currently advises leading law firms, businesses leaders, patient advocacy organizations and political campaigns on communication strategy, public policy and ethics.
Klug represented Madison, Wis., in the U.S. House, where he developed an expertise in health care, insurance, financial services, telecommunications and energy policy. He was appointed by President George H.W. Bush to two terms on the President’s Advisory Board on Trade and Policy Negotiations, which provides counsel on fast-track authority, trade with China and other issues. He was a delegate to the Republican National Convention in 2000, 2004 and 2012. He has a long-standing interest in U.S.-German and U.S.-European affairs. He was a John J. McCloy Fellow of the American Council on Germany during his journalism career. While in Congress, he was an active member of the Congressional Study Group on Germany and selected to participate in the French American Foundation’s Young Leaders Program. He currently is a public affairs director at the national law firm of Foley and Lardner LLP. He represents a broad array of Foley clients in Washington and several state capitals. He also is able to draw on 15 years of experience as an Emmy Award-winning television journalist to help clients craft proactive media strategies, particularly when faced with crisis management challenges.
Simpson represented Wyoming in the U.S. Senate from 1979-1997. He also served as co-chair of the National Commission on Fiscal Responsibility and Reform with Democratic Party co-chair Erskine Bowles, of North Carolina. Simpson graduated from UW’s law school in 1958. He served in the Wyoming House of Representatives from 1965-1977 and won election to the U.S. Senate in 1978. Simpson served as the Senate Republican Whip from 1985-1995. After serving three terms in the Senate, Simpson declined to seek reelection in 1996. Since leaving office, he has practiced law and taught at different universities. He also served on the Continuity of Government Commission, the American Battle Monuments Commission and the Iraq Study Group.
“Congress to Campus” was created by Former Members of Congress (FMC) more than 25 years ago. FMC, a bipartisan, nonprofit alliance of former members of the U.S. Congress, started the program to further the association’s mission of deepening the understanding of our democratic system, domestically and internationally, and to engage the citizenry through civic education about Congress and public service.
The Alan K. Simpson Institute for Western Politics and Leadership is a program of the AHC that focuses on the acquisition, preservation and research use of collections from prominent individuals, businesses and organizations that have provided leadership -- political, economic, social and cultural -- for Wyoming and the Rocky Mountain West.
For more information, call Leslie Waggener at (307) 766-2557 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.