Panel looks at lessons learned from 1970s' Watergate scandal

Forty-six years after the Watergate break-in and investigation, Des Moines Register opinion editor Kathie Obradovich will moderate a panel to discuss lessons learned from that event in American politics. The discussion will begin at 8 p.m. Monday, Oct. 8, in the Memorial Union Great Hall.

Obradovich, an Ames High and Iowa State alumna, was named the Register's opinion editor in April. Previously, she worked as the paper's political columnist (2009-18) and political editor (2003-09). She is a lecturer in the Greenlee School of Journalism and Communication.

The scheduled panel members are:

  • Journalist and author Nick Kotz, who wrote for the Des Moines Register (1958-70) and subsequently for the Washington Post, and won a 1968 Pulitzer Prize (national reporting) for writing about conditions in meatpacking plants. He has written six books examining American history and public policy.
  • Ames native Edward Mezvinsky, who was an Iowa member of the U.S. House of Representatives (1973-77) and member of the House Judiciary Committee during the 1974 hearings that recommended the impeachment of President Richard Nixon to the full House of Representatives. This month, Parks Library's special collections department announced its receipt of the Edward M. Mezvinsky papers.
  • Attorney Jonathan Yarowsky, who served as general counsel to the House Judiciary Committee (1991-95) where he oversaw the work of six subcommittees, and special counsel to President Bill Clinton (1995-98). He has been a partner in two Washington, D.C., private law firms since then.

Watergate began as a June 1972 break-in at the Democratic National Committee headquarters in Washington's Watergate office complex. The term expanded to include President Richard Nixon and his top administrators' attempt to cover up their involvement in the crime. Facing likely impeachment in the U.S. House, Nixon resigned in August 1974.

As a prologue to the evening, Meredith Evans, director of the Jimmy Carter Presidential Library and Museum, Atlanta, will give a public lecture on the value of presidential and political papers. Her talk, "Beyond Legacy: Archives and History," begins at 4 p.m. in Parks Library's upper rotunda.