“The Tea Party: East India Company to Halliburton”

Representative Jay Kaufman’s award winning public policy forum, “OPEN HOUSE”, explores a familiar topic, taxation without representation, in the fourth forum of the 19th season, to be held Thursday, December 12th, from 7PM-8PM at the historic Depot in Lexington Center (13 Depot Square in Lexington Center).

Although not widely known, Lexington citizens burned British tea in a protest three days before the better-known Boston Tea Party. While taxation without representation was the precipitant of both of these actions, an underlying concern about the influence of the British East India Company over the British throne anticipates a theme of American history from that time to this day: the role of corporations in shaping American policy. Representative Jay Kaufman’s December “OPEN HOUSE” will explore this theme with a look at “The Tea Party: East India Company to Halliburton”.

Kicking off the discussion will be Dr. William Poole (clerk of the Lexington Historical Society, Captain of the Lexington Minutemen and PhD in history from the University of Chicago) and Robert Kuttner (co-founder and co-editor of The American Prospect and longtime columnist for Business Week and The Boston Globe.)

How was corporate power and influence seen by our colonial ancestors? How has the relationship between corporate interests and public policy makers changed over the centuries and how has it been viewed by citizens, economists and political scientists across the centuries. How is it understood and seen today? What does our reliance on government contractors to wage war, protect national security at home, deliver the mail, and provide services to the disabled (among many other things) tell us about how public policy is set and about how government operates? As always with “OPEN HOUSE” forums, these questions and any you bring to the forum (in person or via email or Twitter) will shape the conversation.

In 1997, OPEN HOUSE was awarded the prestigious Beacon Award, cable television’s equivalent of an Emmy, as the nation’s best government relations series. The series was also named the best television series by Massachusetts Cable Television Commission. The OPEN HOUSE series is produced through a partnership between Representative Kaufman and LexMedia which records the forums for broadcast in Lexington and Woburn.