University Relations and Communications


November 27, 2017

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Baucus and Simpson Headline Public Forum on Civility in Public Discourse

MSU Billings and Yellowstone Public Radio host panel on Dec. 4



University Relations and Communications, 657-2266


MSU BILLINGS NEWS SERVICES — Former U.S. Ambassador to China and former U.S. Senator Max Baucus of Montana and Former U.S. Senator Al Simpson from Wyoming will discuss the current dysfunction in the U.S. Senate and the political system and the role civility may play to fix the political process.


Max BaucusThis community event is sponsored by Yellowstone Public Radio (YPR) and Montana State University Billings. It is timed in advance of the 2018 mid-term elections.


The public is invited to attend this free community forum on December 4, 2017 at Cisel Recital Hall on the MSU Billings campus. Seating is first-come first served. The doors open at 5:30 p.m. The event will be broadcast live on YPR and video-streamed live on The audience at Cisel will have the opportunity to submit questions to the panel.


The public forum will explore how hyper-partisanship and the lack of compromise has hamstrung the passage of basic legislation as well as complex issues like healthcare and tax reform. Both Baucus and Simpson can cite examples where they were involved in bipartisan solutions. They also will discuss possible ways to bring civility back to our political discourse.


Max Baucus was first elected to the U.S. Senate in 1978 and served until 2014, making him the longest serving Senator in Montana history. The Democrat rose to chair the Senate Finance Committee and played an influential role in crafting the Affordable Care Act, also known as Obamacare. Baucus served as U.S. Ambassador to China from 2014 to 2017.


Al SimpsonAlan Simpson was elected to the U.S. Senate in 1978. He served as a Senate Republican Whip from 1985 to 1995 and declined to seek re-election in 1996. Since leaving office, Simpson has served on a number of commissions, including an appointment by then-President Barack Obama as co-chair of the national Commission on Fiscal Responsibility and Reform. Simpson has also been a vocal proponent of campaign finance reform.


For more information contact Jackie Yamanaka, Senior Political Correspondent/Capital Bureau/Special Projects at Yellowstone Public Radio, 406-657-2987,


PHOTOS: 1) Max Baucus; 2) Alan Simpson