Two former U.S. Representatives
to take the “mystery” out of Congress
in visit to MC campus, community
Two former U.S. Representatives will visit Manchester College next week
to help students and the Wabash County residents better understand
Congress. In addition to conducting classes and discussions, former
Congressmen Peter Torkildsen (R-Massachusetts) and Jerry Patterson
(D-California) will hold a public forum.
The community is invited to meet the former congressmen at the public
forum, from 7 to 9 p.m. Monday, Nov. 15 in the great room of Oakwood
Hall on campus. The topic of the forum is "The 2004 Elections:
Implications for Government and Politics."
During their visit, the two former congressmen have a full schedule of
classes, said political science Professor Leonard A. Williams, who is
coordinating their visit.
The Congress to Campus program sends bipartisan pairs of former members
of Congress – one Republican and one Democrat – to visit colleges around
the United States. They seek to encourage students to consider careers
in public service and to provide firsthand knowledge about the work of
Former U.S. Rep. David Skaggs of Colorado, who heads Congress to Campus,
notes Congress can be confusing. “We’re concerned about the
anti-politician feeling that seems to prevail in the country today,” he
said. “You seldom hear about the honest day-to-day work of our
The bipartisan pairing of former members of Congress “demonstrates the
reality that we actually get along,” he said, adding, “Both parties care
a lot about the same things.”
Patterson, who represented Orange County in Congress from 1975 to 1985,
now serves on the faculty of the University of California, Irvine, and
is president of a public affairs consulting firm.
Torkildsen served Massachusetts’ Sixth District from 1993 to 1996. He
now is director of federal, state and local workforce relations for the
Massachusetts Department of Workforce Development.