Political Potpourri Podcast

In Fall 2021, the Osher Lifelong Learning Institute presented the course, Political Potpourri, led by Bob Stern, JD, former President of the Center for Governmental Studies. He reviewed current political events and issues facing Congress, the California state legislature and local governments, as well as California’s gubernatorial recall election. He examined the success and failures of President Biden’s first year and previewed midterm elections in 2022, including candidates and measures that are expected to be on the California ballot. Expert guest speakers provided their insights.


Bob Stern is the co-author of numerous books, including the Center’s Democracy by Initiative: Shaping California’s Fourth Branch of Government. He was a principal co-author of the Political Reform Act of 1974 (Proposition 9), passed by 70% of California voters, and called by the 2015 book, Game Changers, one of the 12 most important election results in California history. He was the first general counsel of the California Fair Political Practices Commission, the agency in charge of administering California’s campaign disclosure, ethics and lobbying laws. He also worked for Jerry Brown when he was the Secretary of State and for Henry Waxman, when he was a state legislator. The Washington Monthly magazine described him as a “campaign finance guru,” and Peter Schrag, in the Sacramento Bee, called him the “godfather of modern political reform in California.”

Listen to the six podcasts featuring guests speakers from politics, media, public interest, as they share their insights.


9/30/2021: Guest Speaker Ann Ravel, former Federal Election Commission and FPPC Chair


10/7/2021: Guest Speaker Kim Alexander, California Voter Foundation


10/14/2021: Guest Speaker George Skelton, Los Angeles Times columnist


10/21/2021: Guest Speaker Bill Press, political analyst and radio talk show host


10/28/2021: Guest Speaker Kathryn Barger, Los Angeles County Supervisor


11/4/2021: Guest Speaker Congressman Ted Lieu, 33rd Congressional District

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