Forkenbrock Series on Public Policy


Political Discourse and Political Dissent: Understanding the Tea Party and "Occupy" Movements

Shaumbaugh Auditorium
Wednesday, February 8th, 2012 6:30 PM

Perhaps the most important and telling consequence of our current political circumstance is the emergence of two new political movements: the “Tea Party,” and “Occupy Wall Street.” This week, we will open with a brief historical survey of political dissent in American history, and then hear from local voices from each of these movements.




  • Deborah D. Thornton

    Deborah D. Thornton

    Research Analyst, Public Interest Institute

    Deborah Thornton is a public policy researcher, analyst and writer at the Public Interest Institute (PII) in Mount Pleasant, Iowa. The PPI is a non-profit, non-partisan, free-market, limited-government think-tank. Ms. Thornton also writes and edits the Iowa Economic Scorecard and Facts & Opinions, quarterly publications of the PII. Her work has been published in over 100 newspapers statewide, and she has been a guest speaker on a wide variety of radio shows. She is a member of the Iowa City Press-Citizen writers' group, with a monthly guest column. Ms. Thornton is an expert in government relations, marketing and business development, and taught business courses in Marketing and Consumer Behavior at Iowa Wesleyan College. She was a political appointee in the administration of President George H.W. Bush, and has worked for Senators Dick Lugar, and Mitch McConnell, as well as for Governors Mitch Daniels and Gary Johnson. She holds an MBA from the University of Maryland, and a BA from Indiana University.



  • Misty Rebik

    Misty Rebik

    Misty Rebik is an organizer for Iowa Citizens for Community Improvement and is in charge of the Latinos in our immigrant community struggling for fair treatment in the workplace and to stop wage theft. She joined CCI in 2010. Misty was born and raised in rural Iowa north of Grinnell, and in her spare time you can find her dancing salsa or biking.

  • Mauro Heck

    Mauro Heck

    Mauro Heck, Iowa City photography and Occupy activist

    Mauro Heck is an Iowa City photographer, small business owner, and Occupy activist. Originally from Brazil, he came to Iowa to study, and holds a BS from the University of Iowa. Mr. Heck has been a political activist for progressive causes since his youth. He has worked in Latin America, particularly in Nicaragua and El Salvador, and is fluent in three languages. Three years ago, to celebrate his 50th birthday, he biked from Iowa City to the Panama Canal, a journey of over 4,000 miles. He is active in the urban garden movement, and volunteers regularly at the Iowa City Bike Library.

  • Mark Lucas

    Mark Lucas

    Mark Lucas is the State Director of the Iowa chapter of Americans for Prosperity. He holds a Business Management degree from the University of Iowa Tippie College of Business with a certificate in Entrepreneurial Management.

    During the 2008 presidential primary, Mr. Lucas was the State Director of the Americans for Fair Taxation. He was responsible for running Iowa’s FairTax primary campaign. The National Review said the FairTax campaign was the biggest success story of the 2008 primary season.

    Mr. Lucas has served for over 8 years in the Iowa Army National Guard and is a graduate of the US Army Ranger School. As a platoon leader, he led an infantry rifle platoon along the Afghanistan-Pakistan border. He was awarded the Combat Infantry Badge and Bronze Star Medal, distinguishing himself for meritorious service in combat.


Audio Slideshows