Monday, September 10, 2012 6:00 pm - 8:30 pm
Farella Braun + Martel • 235 Montgomery Street, 17th Floor, San Francisco
By Sept 5: $18 for JCF donors of $500+; $54 for all others, $36 of which is a donation to JCF; After Sept 5: $25 for JCF donors of $500+; $72 for all others, $36 of which is a donation to JCF.
Presented by the Business Leadership Council
Four years ago President Barack Obama made history as the first African American to be elected President of the United States. His 2012 challenger, Massachusetts Governor Mitt Romney, is vying to become the first Mormon President and attempting to achieve a historically difficult task—topple an incumbent.
Between the economy and foreign affairs, the Tea Party and the Occupy Movement, social issues and healthcare, the entire country is tuned into what will happen this November. How do Presidential candidates capture Jewish votes, and are their political platforms good for the Jews? BLC's experts from both sides of the aisle share insights, predictions, advice and humor.
SAM LAUTER, Principal, Barnes Mosher Whitehurst Lauter & Partners
Sam is a lay activist and fundraiser for the organized Jewish and pro-Israel community. Sam's leadership positions include serving as past Chair of the Northern California Board of Directors of the American Israel Public Affairs Committee (AIPAC) and currently a Vice Chair of the Board; long time member of the National Council of AIPAC; past California State Chair of the Jewish Public Affairs Committee; and two terms as the Advancement Committee Chair of Brandeis Hillel Day School. He has also served on numerous other boards in the community, including The Brandeis Hillel Day School Board of Trustees, The Israel Center Board of Advisors, the Jewish Community Relations Council, and the Jewish Bulletin (now the J Weekly), among others. He also serves on the Board of the Fromm Institute for Lifelong Learning.
Professionally, Sam is a public affairs and strategic communications consultant with three decades of experience in local, state and national politics. A fifth-generation San Francisco native, Sam utilizes his years of experience to manage Barnes Mosher Whitehurst Lauter & Partners' public affairs and lobbying business. Sam specializes in putting together public affairs strategies that include building relationships with the community and navigating the corridors of city halls or the state Capitol. Additionally, Sam has built an extensive network of contacts in Washington, D.C. Sam came to BMWL & Partners from the Government Relations Department of Pacific Gas & Electric Company (PG&E).
He began his professional career in 1982 on the district staff of Congressman Philip Burton (D-CA), and remained with the office for the first three years of Congresswoman Sala Burton's (D-CA) tenure. Upon graduating from college, Sam moved to Washington, D.C., to work on the presidential campaign and Senate staff for Joseph R. Biden, Jr. (D-DE), where he served as the Senator's personal assistant. Sam returned to San Francisco to work for Lt. Governor Leo McCarthy, where his responsibilities included field strategy, advance work, fundraising and speech writing.
In 1989, Sam left the campaign world to work at the public relations firm Barnes Clarke Inc. in San Francisco. His clients included energy companies, commercial and residential real estate developers and neighborhood small business owners. Sam's work in public affairs, business and community relations has earned him prestigious Silver Anvil Awards from the Public Relations Society of America. After two years, Sam was recruited by PG&E. He left PG&E in 2000 to start BMWL with his partners. Sam graduated from the University of California, Berkeley, with a bachelor of arts in political science.
CHRIS LEHANE, Principal, Fabiani & Lehane
Lehane advises Democratic candidates for office, provides crisis management for major corporations, and gives strategic counsel to various sports and entertainment organizations. Lehane served as a special assistant counsel to President Bill Clinton; counsel to then-HUD Secretary Andrew Cuomo; and press secretary for Vice President Al Gore during the 2000 presidential campaign. Lehane is a screenwriter for KNIFE FIGHT, a Hollywood film starring Rob Lowe as a political fixer due out in the fall of 2012.
DAN SCHNUR, Director, Jesse M. Unruh Institute of Politics, University of Southern California
Schnur works to motivate students to become active in the world of politics and encourage public officials to participate in the daily life of USC. Dan was one of California’s leading political and media strategists, whose record includes work on four presidential and three gubernatorial campaigns. Schnur served as the national Director of Communications for the 2000 presidential campaign of U.S. Senator John McCain and spent five years as chief media spokesman for California Governor Pete Wilson. In 2010, Schnur was appointed as Chairman of the California Fair Political Practices Commission, a position he held through that year's elections and until spring of 2011.
In addition to his position at USC, Schnur is an adjunct instructor at the University of California at Berkeley’s Institute of Governmental Studies. Schnur has also held the post of Visiting Fellow at the John F. Kennedy School of Government’s Institute of Politics at Harvard University and taught an advanced course in political campaign communications at George Washington University’s Graduate School of Political Management. In addition, he was the founder of the Center for Campaign Leadership, a non-partisan effort to equip young people with the skills essential for professional involvement in political campaigns.
He has served as an advisor to the William & Melinda Gates Foundation, the William and Flora Hewlett Foundation, the Broad Education Foundation, the James Irvine Foundation, and the Stuart Foundation on a variety of K-12 education, college and workforce preparedness, governance and political reform efforts. He is also the Co-Chairman of the Voices of Reform project, a bi-partisan statewide organization devoted to making state government more responsive to the needs of California voters.
Schnur writes a regular column for the New York Times’ political opinion website, Campaign Stops. His commentaries have appeared in several California newspapers, including the Los Angeles Times, the San Francisco Chronicle and the Sacramento Bee. In addition, he has been an analyst and political commentator for CNN, MSNBC, Fox News, and National Public Radio. Schnur is a graduate of the American University in Washington, D.C.