Cowan and Schnur: Partisan cooperation will be the key to Obama's success in the coming year

Just weeks after the tragedy in Tucson, President Obama used his annual State of the Union address to urge the nation to move past divisive political debates and work together to confront the nation's problems. "What comes of this moment," Obama explained to an audience of legislators, who eschewed the traditional partisan State of the Union seating chart, "will be determined not by whether we can sit together tonight, but whether we can work together tomorrow." While the President earned plaudits for his tough talk, turning it into tangible results will prove to be a greater challenge. That subject, how…

Year End Success… Our Government Can Actually Work. Is Nirvana Here?

It is amazing what a deadline can do to focus the hearts and minds of our government. In the final days of the lame-duck session, Congress passed and sent to the president a major piece of tax and economic stimulus legislation, including the extension of unemployment benefits; the repeal of 'Don't Ask, Don't Tell', the nearly 20-year old Pentagon policy; historic food safety legislation; and the landmark START Treaty on nuclear weapons reduction. Most importantly, all were passed with bipartisan support. Maybe one of the lessons of all of this is to shorten the congressional session to one month per…

Fiscal challenge needs bipartisanship

This article was written by CCLP Senior Fellow Dan Glickman and co-authored by Frank Keating. The original article can be found at TheHill.com. America is facing two enormous challenges that can only be overcome if both political parties work together: (1) creating new jobs and (2) stabilizing the soaring federal debt. These are not Democratic or Republican issues — they are American issues that require both political parties to set aside their differences and work together, in a patriotic spirit, as we have always done when our nation is at risk. The persistent high unemployment and skyrocketing debt we face…

Glickman – ABC News – Gov’t Gridlock

Senior Fellow Dan Glickman spoke with ABC News regarding the recent midterm election. Glickman is also a senior fellow at the Bipartisan Policy Center, and a former senator of Kansas. He told ABC that despite the state of the country, in order to move forward "ultimately, that takes leadership from the President and Congress and business leaders. You know, everybody's got a stake in this game." [video]…

Restoring America’s Future

Task Force Co-Chair and former Sen. Pete Domenici speaks during a news conference to launch the Bipartisan Policy Center's Debt Reduction Task Force January 25, 2010 in Washington, DC. (Photo credit CNN)As a Democrat, I believe that government plays a seminal role in educating our kids, building our transportation and communications infrastructure, protecting our environment, and maintaining our national defense. All are essential to a strong America. But all are impossible in a broke America. To ensure that the federal government can play that role and, in this way, help secure a bright future for America, we must act now…

Today’s politics lacks key ingredient

These are serious times for our country — from challenges abroad, to our crippled economy, to the tragedy in the Gulf of Mexico. With events filtered through a partisan midterm election and a heat wave smothering the nation's capital, it seems the first thing to wilt is Washington's sense of humor. Jon Stewart, David Letterman, Jay Leno and the rest of the late-night crowd continue to hold their own. But the ability of elected officials to indulge in a good collective laugh — not to make light of serious situations but to ease tensions — has become a too-rare civility…

Cowan testifies at FPPC meeting on paid political ads on the Internet

A subcommittee of the Fair Political Practices Commission (FPPC), the state's independent watchdog for politics and campaigns, conducted a hearing at USC's Gould School of Law on March 24 to discuss the current trends of paid political activity on the Internet, email and social networking sites. CCLP director Geoffrey Cowan testified at the session, discussing the 2003 report of the Bipartisan California Commission on Internet Political Practices–which he chaired–and the developments in the area since the report was issued. Read Cowan's testimony at the proceedings. Or read the 2003 Bipartisan California Commission on Internet Political Practices report ….

Why Washington Doesn’t Work Anymore

What killed bipartisanship in the governing of America? Basically, I think, it was the jet plane and Blackberries. In fact, those two mechanical marvels may break up the whole nation into, say, 350 million countries. A country for every man, woman and child. Why can't the representatives of we, the people, agree on even the things they agree on? The answer is that they don't know each other. In the old days there was a community called Washington — or maybe just Georgetown — where Republicans and Democrats lived together. They carpooled. They had dinner with each other and exchanged…

A new era of bipartisanship?

Early in this year's primary election season I did a study on bipartisanship for the Center on Communication Leadership of the University of Southern California. I'm afraid I was not very optimistic that Republicans and Democrats would be able to get together on much of anything after the Clinton and Bush years of what some call "hyperpartisanship." Now I'm not so sure. I concluded then that: "My own feeling is that only a strong president with a mandate for governing through a universal crisis — a necessary war or devastating climate change — can bring any bipartisanship or, better, nonpartisanship…