LEWISTON — Terry McAuliffe will be the keynote speaker when the Maine College Democrats, in collaboration with the Bates College Democrats, present their two-day 2011 Maine College Democrats Convention at Bates College next week. The convention is open to the public.

McAuliffe is the former chairman of the Democratic National Committee, former chairman of the Hillary Clinton for President campaign and co-chairman of Bill Clinton’s re-election committee. His memoir, “What A Party!: My Life Among Democrats: Presidents, Candidates, Donors, Activists, Alligators and Other Wild Animals,” chronicles his life behind the scenes, his platform on the national stage, and his seat at the table in the Clinton White House.

While chairman of the DNC, McAuliffe raised more than $535 million, shattering all previous records for funds raised by either party and setting Democrats on a new course.

The keynote speech will be held March 18, beginning at 7:30 in the Muskie Archives at Bates College, 70 Campus Ave. There is no need to sign up, according to organizers. The dinner will be catered by Bates Dining Service. Dinner will follow McAuliffe’s remarks.

The following day, local activists will hold discussions on political activism and how students can make a difference. Jeanna Vendil of Planned Parenthood, Ben Chin of the Maine People’s Alliance and Nicola Wells of the League of Young Voters will lead workshops on strategies for political activism. The workshops will go from 10 a.m. to noon in Pettengill Hall on the Bates campus.

At noon, political specialist David Karol, an assistant professor at American University, will give a lecture in Pettengill Hall on the future role of parties in American elections.

All events are free and open to the public. No RSVP is required. For more information contact Doug Kempner at [email protected]

A Democratic fundraiser with McAuliffe and U.S. Rep. Mike Michaud, D-Maine, will be held at the Ware Street Inn prior to the dinner. Reservations are required. For more information, e-mail Rick Redmond at [email protected]

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