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KNOXVILLE –- Former U.S. Sens. Howard H. Baker Jr., Tom Daschle, Bob Dole and Tennessee Gov. Phil Bredesen will meet in a forum at First Amendment Center in Nashville on Jan. 15 to discuss the importance of civility in governance.

The event will be held at 6 p.m. (CST). It is free and open to the public.

To be moderated by John Seigenthaler, the forum is being sponsored by the University of Tennessee’s Howard H. Baker Jr. Center for Public Policy, the Tennessee Business Roundtable, the Bipartisan Policy Center and the Freedom Forum.

“The Baker Center, like the other host organizations, believes that civility in governance is essential to the efficient and effective operation of government and the creation of sound public policy. Sens. Baker, Daschle and Dole and Gov. Bredesen will share their experiences and insights on this critical topic based on their many years of leadership,” said Alan Lowe, executive director of the Baker Center.

Ellen Thornton, executive director of the Tennessee Business Roundtable, said, “We believe that we must start the discussion, and only through working together can we achieve the art of principled compromise and healthy debate.”

The First Amendment Center is located at Vanderbilt University, 1207 18th Ave. South, Nashville. For further information on parking and directions, please contact the First Amendment Center at (615) 727-1600 or visit for a map.

The Baker Center is a nonpartisan center that develops educational programs and promotes research to further the public’s understanding and knowledge of our system of governance, critical public policy issues and the importance of public service and civic engagement. The center embodies a genuine respect for differing points of view, and it serves as a forum for discussion, debate, education and research. For more information about the Baker Center, see

The Tennessee Business Roundtable is a nonpartisan business organization of CEOs of major corporations in the state. Its membership represents manufacturing, construction, health care, financial and other segments of business. Its mission is to advance the business climate by influencing state government to develop a pro-business environment and sound public policy. For more about the roundtable, see

Based in Washington, D.C., the Bipartisan Policy Center acts as an incubator for policy efforts that engage top political figures, advocates, academics and business leaders in the art of principled compromise. The center emphasizes respectful discourse across party lines. For more information on the center, see

The First Amendment Center works to preserve and protect First Amendment freedoms through information and education. The center, with offices at Vanderbilt University in Nashville, Tenn., and in Washington, D.C., is an operating program of the Freedom Forum and is associated with the Newseum.


Alan Lowe, (865) 974-0931,
Amy Blakely, (865) 974-5034,