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Pacific media sources on the 2016 political conventions

Jul 15, 2016

The following University of the Pacific faculty are available to comment on issues related to the presidential election, including the 2016 Republican National Convention, July 18-21, in Cleveland, Ohio, and the 2016 Democratic National Convention, July 25-28, in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. These sources can discuss everything from the nominating process to foods to seek out or avoid in the host cities.

Political conventions and elections

Keith Smith, associate professor of political science at University of the Pacific, has been teaching and writing about elections, Congress, the presidency, and California politics for more than a decade. He can provide insight on why some GOP lawmakers are breaking from the ranks to withhold support from the presumptive Republican nominee. He can also discuss voting behaviors, institutions, and electoral reform. He is at work on a book about the top-two system, recently adopted by California and Washington state, which changed how voters pick their candidates. Contact: Keith Smith, 209.946.7712,

Ambition in American politics

Jeffrey Becker, associate professor of political science at University of the Pacific, is the author of "Ambition in America: Political Power and the Collapse of Citizenship." He can discuss political ambitions, abuses of political power, political judgment, moral activism, and statesmanship. Contact: Jeffrey Becker, 209.946.3986,

Ethics of public speaking

Steven Farias, the director of University of the Pacific's nationally ranked Speech and Debate Team, can comment on the ethics of public speaking and critique speeches in general. He can also provide context and insight on the differences between "incremental" and "patchwork" plagiarism versus the "borrowing" of small parts of other speeches common in political speeches. Contact: Keith Michaud, 209.946.3275,

Politics in the age of Big Data

Rick Hutley, professor and founding director of the analytics program at University of the Pacific, can talk about how analytics drives political campaigns, whether it's analyzing the impact of a given sound bite on voters, determining which media channels to use, identifying which celebrities play best with which audiences, deciding which cities to visit, or parsing political speeches. Hutley is the former vice president of innovation at Cisco Systems and has lectured on "Politics in the Age of Big Data." Contact: Rick Hutley, 415.400.8222,

Election process

Mary-Beth Moylan, professor at University of the Pacific's McGeorge School of Law, is an expert on the election process, the Constitution, and California's initiative process. Before entering academia, she clerked for Judge Lawrence K. Karlton, U.S. District Court, Eastern District of California, and served as a civil litigation associate with one of Sacramento's largest law firms, Downey Brand Seymour & Rohwer. She also practiced law with Olson Hagel & Fishburn in Sacramento, which specializes in political law. Contact: Mary-Beth Moylan, 916.739.7223,

International politics

Brian Klunk, associate professor and chair of the Department of Political Science at University of the Pacific, can talk about political ethics, international relations, and Catholic social thought. He has taught the seminar "Catholic Thinking About International Politics," as well as courses on political parties and voting, interest group politics, international relations, U.S. foreign policy, and international politics. Contact: Brian Klunk, 209.946.2927,

Campaign spinning

Dave Frederickson, a visiting professor of communication at University of the Pacific, served on 10 presidential campaigns, including those of Gerald Ford, John B. Connally and Ronald Reagan. Frederickson can talk about inner workings of a political campaign and provide historical context on political "spinning." Contact: Dave Frederickson, 202.679.1000 (cell),

National security

John Cary Sims, professor at University of the Pacific's McGeorge School of Law, is a founding co-editor-in-chief of the Journal of National Security Law & Policy, a peer-reviewed publication focusing on national defense issues. His primary research areas include constitutional law, especially the First Amendment, and human rights. He has written extensively on government secrecy, national security and terrorism, and has actively participated in the recent debates over marriage equality, health care reform and appointments to the Supreme Court. Contact: John Cary Sims, 916.739.7017,

Health care reform

Peter Hilsenrath, the Joseph M. Long Chair of Healthcare Management at University of the Pacific, can comment on health care reform, health insurance, and international health care systems. He is a professor of economics and teaches MBA and pharmacy courses about finance, management and economics in the health sector. Contact: Keith Michaud, Media Relations Coordinator, 209.470.3206,

Same-sex marriage, LGBT rights

Lawrence C. Levine, a law professor at University of the Pacific's McGeorge School of Law, has written extensively on same-sex marriage, including a recent opinion piece in The Sacramento Bee about Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia becoming an unlikely force leading to the expansion of gay rights. Levine has also written on the Supreme Court's decision extending marriage rights to same-sex couples. He has served on numerous national boards focusing on the legal rights of the gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender community. Contact: Lawrence C. Levine, 916.204.8090 (cell),

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