Gov’t Department to Host Guest Lecturer

The St. Lawrence University chapter of Pi Sigma Alpha, the national political science honor society, will host Nick Penniman '92 at 7:30 on Monday, Dec. 5, in the Sykes Common Room. The event is free and open to the public.

Penniman, who is the executive director of, will deliver a lecture, titled “Nation on the Take: How Big Money Corrupts Our Democracy and What We Can Do About It.”

According to Penniman, American democracy has become coin-operated. Special interest groups increasingly control every level of government. The necessity of raising huge sums of campaign cash has completely changed the character of politics and policy making, determining what elected representatives stand for and how they spend their time. The marriage of great wealth and intense political influence has rendered our country unable to address our most pressing problems, from runaway government spending to climate change to the wealth gap. It also defines our daily lives: from the cars we drive to the air we breathe to the debt we owe.

Penniman is co-author of the book Nation on the Take: How Big Money Corrupts Our Democracy And What We Can Do About It. He is the former executive director of the Huffington Post Investigative Fund. Staffed by a newsroom of veteran journalists from mainstream newspapers and magazines, the team focused most of its energy on uncovering stories behind the financial crises that precipitated the Great Recession. The Investigative Fund later merged with the Center for Public Integrity, the largest nonprofit investigative reporting group in the nation’s capital.

For more information, contact the Department of Government at 315-229-5214.