Former Virginia Governor Terry McAuliffe (D) made his debut as Distinguished Visiting Professor at George Mason University’s Schar School of Policy and Government Wednesday afternoon. McAuliffe was guest lecturer for Assistant Professor Justin Gest’s 500-level class Theory and Practice of Public Policy in a classroom on Mason’s Arlington Campus.
The topic was “Money in Politics,” something the former chairman of the Democratic National Committee is well-versed in. McAuliffe spoke for an hour to the 18 students of the class before appearing at a Schar School public panel discussion on the politics of redistricting.
McAuliffe, who raised $44 million in his run for governor, would like to see less money in politics, he said. “Unfortunately, there’s way too much money in politics, I’ll be the first to admit that.”
Campaign finance reforms, equal-opportunity advertising regulations and changing the Citizens United law, among other initiatives, would make for more competitive races, he said.
“Every candidate would love this,” he said. “None of them enjoy this.”
McAuliffe’s Mason debut was met with enthusiasm by the students in Gest’s class.
“This was fantastic,” said Rachel Grimesey, a Mason graduate who is in her first year of her master’s program in Public Policy. “This was an intimate class setting and you can ask questions. Having people like him here is one of the best parts of Mason.”
For Orlando, Fla., native and Public Policy master’s student David Rey, “having access to a professional policymaker makes Mason a truly remarkable institution.”