Camarillo, Calif., Sept. 27, 2012 – CSU Channel Islands (CI) will host “Politics to the Extreme: American Political Institutions in the 21st Century,” Monday, Oct. 15, and Tuesday, Oct. 16, in the Grand Salon at the CI campus. 

The free public conference will bring nationally noted authors, experts, politicians and pundits to the CI campus for two days of presentations, moderated sessions, discussion and debate about polarization in American politics. The conference is the first of several events planned to engage the CI campus and community in political discourse during the 2012 Presidential election year.

“With ‘Politics to the Extreme’ we are convening some of the country’s leading political minds and members of our community to dissect causes, effects and solutions for the hyper-partisanship and gridlock plaguing our political system,” said CI President Richard R. Rush.  “We may not be able to resolve the problems in Washington or Sacramento in two days, but we can enjoy sharing in a lively and eye-opening discourse.”

The keynote speakers are congressional experts Thomas Mann of the Brookings Institution and Norman Ornstein of the American Enterprise Institute, authors of the new book, “It's Even Worse Than It Looks: How the American Constitutional System Collided With the New Politics of Extremism.” On Monday, Oct. 15, at 6 p.m., Mann and Ornstein will share their views on the breakdown in the American political system, offer solutions, engage in Q&A with the audience, and sign copies of their new book.

CI will host 11 presentations over the course of the two-day conference, with presenters ranging from academics and authors to politicians and pundits. Former U.S. Rep. Mickey Edwards (R-Okla., 1977-1993), author of “The Parties Against the People: How to Turn Democrats and Republicans into Americans,” is the event’s closing speaker on Tuesday, Oct. 16, at noon.

All presentations will take place in the Grand Salon and are free and open to the public.  For a detailed list of speakers, topics and schedules, please visit  Registration is recommended at

The conference is being sponsored by the Dirksen Congressional Center and Palgrave Macmillan Publishers, as well as media sponsors Ventura County Star and The event will be broadcast live at and will be archived on their website for future viewing. 

Complimentary event parking is limited and only in the designated parking lot.  Follow the directional signage to the event parking.  Free parking is available at the Camarillo Metrolink Station/Lewis Road parking lot in Camarillo.  In order to waive bus fares, riders should present their event registration confirmation when boarding the CI VISTA bus; otherwise, bus fares are $1.25 each way.  Buses arrive and depart from the Camarillo Metrolink Station every 30 minutes from 7 a.m. to 10 p.m. Monday through Friday. For exact times, check the schedule at

For more information contact:
Merissa Stith, Events Coordinator, 805-437-8548,; or
Dr. Scott Frisch, Professor and Chair of the Political Science Program, 805-437-2770,; or Dr. Sean Kelly, Professor of Political Science, 805-437-3309,

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About California State University Channel Islands
CSU Channel Islands 
(CI) is the only four-year, public university in Ventura County and is known for its interdisciplinary, multicultural and international perspectives, and its emphasis on experiential and service learning. CI’s strong academic programs focus on business, sciences, liberal studies, teaching credentials, and innovative master’s degrees. Students benefit from individual attention, up-to-date technology, and classroom instruction augmented by outstanding faculty research. CI has been designated by the U.S. Department of Education as a Hispanic-Serving Institution and is committed to serving students of all backgrounds from the region and beyond. Connect with and learn more by visiting CI's Social Media.