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David Thornburgh

David Thornburgh, president of the Committee of Seventy, is the son of a former governor of Pennsylvania. "He said to me once that the GOP was at its best as the party of reform. It saddens me that the party has left people like him behind," he said.

Meet the reformer: David Thornburgh, taking the family business a new way

David Thornburgh has spent his career managing civic engagement programs in Pennsylvania, no surprise given that he was raised by parents focused on public and community service. Before being named president and CEO of the Committee of Seventy, which successfully fought for campaign contribution limits and an ethics board in Philadelphia, the Haverford College grad ran the Fels Institute of Government at the University of Pennsylvania. He also conducted a 13-year run as executive director of the Economy League of Greater Philadelphia. His answers have been lightly edited for clarity and length.

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Founded by business and civic leaders in 1904, the Committee of Seventy (C70) is a nonpartisan, nonprofit advocate for better government in Philadelphia and Pennsylvania.

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Big Picture
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"Trump has championed a more expansive view of executive power than most other presidents," argues Kirsten Carlson.

Courts have avoided refereeing between Congress and the president. Now Trump may force them to.

Carlson is an associate professor of law and adjunct associate professor of political science at Wayne State University.

President Trump's refusal to hand over records to Congress and allow executive branch employees to provide information and testimony to Congress during the impeachment battle is the strongest test yet of legal principles that over the past 200 years have not yet been fully defined by the federal courts.

It's not the first test: Struggles over power among the political branches predate our Constitution. The framers chose not to, and probably could not, fully resolve them.

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Open Government
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"It is reasonable to expect political leaders will be able to express strong values but also cooperate enough to do the basics of governing such as pass a budget on time and avoid government shutdowns," argues Glenn Nye.

A profound distrust is corroding American politics

Nye is president of the nonprofit and nonpartisan Center for the Study of the Presidency and Congress. He was a Democratic member of the House from Virginia from 2009 to 2011.

Americans' lack of faith in our political institutions is a deeply troubling challenge to the success of our democracy and serves as an undercurrent in American politics, overshadowing and poisoning our ability to process every other question in Washington. Left unaddressed, this disillusionment will continue to cause serious disruption to all efforts to move our country forward.

While not the hottest topic driving the daily media dramatics, solving this crisis of faith by reforming the corrupted elements of our politics is the best way to get our country back on track.

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