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Civic Conversations

The League of Women Voters of Bloomington-Monroe County would like to thank WFHB Community Radio for broadcasting these podcasts. In addition to the audio files below, you can access all of these broadcasts at The WFHB news director is Kade Young. The current producer for the podcasts is Becky Hill (, LWV-BMC. Podcasts are presented in reverse chronological order. Podcasts from past years can be accessed at Podcasts 2023, Podcasts 2022, and Podcasts 2019-2021.


Recognizing and Dealing with Disinformation

Guest: Dr. Marjorie Hershey, Professor Emeritus of Political Science at Indiana University

Host: Jim Allison, LWV-BMC

May 14, 2024


For our May 2024 podcast, Civic Conversations welcomes Dr. Marjorie Hershey, Professor Emeritus of Political Science at Indiana University. Professor Hershey discusses the impact of disinformation on elections and how it influences election politics. Hershey shares that the definition of disinformation, purposeful misinformation designed to influence elections, has grown in recent years and that election campaigns that use disinformation hope that with enough repetition, people will begin to believe disinformation over the truth. 

The key action that voters can take, says Hershey, is to look to the source of that information and disregard it if no source is provided. If a source is given, they should verify that source before taking it as truth. Sources to help with verifying information include Politifact, the Brennan Center for Justice, and the Washington Post Fact Checker


A Matter of Judicial Ethics

Guest: Professor Charles Geyr, Distinguished Professor of Law, IU Maurer School of Law

Host: Jim Allison, LWV-BMC

April 16, 2024


For our April podcast, Civic Conversations welcomes Professor Charles Geyh, a Distinguished Professor of Law at Indiana University's Maurer School of Law. A widely recognized expert on judicial conduct, Professor Geyh has served as a witness in a U.S. Senate impeachment trial, leading to dozens of media appearances on the subject. He is also the author of Who Is to Judge: The Perennial Debate Over Whether to Elect or Appoint America's Judges, a book on the paradox of an elected judiciary in a representative democracy.

In the podcast, Geyh discusses that paradox and shares that the state judicial branch is a mix of appointed and elected judges in Indiana. However, according to Geyh, each state has a code of judicial ethics and a disciplinary process that works very well. The contrast is the Supreme Court of the United States, which recently "grudgingly" adopted a voluntary code of conduct. "I'm taking a wait-and-see approach to see if it works," said Geyh. A fan himself of judicial term limits for SCOTUS, Geyh shared that 75% of the American public are also fans of term limits for the Supreme Court.


WonderLab: An Exploration of Science

Guest: Karen Jepson-Innes and Kelly Debikey, WonderLab

Host: Jim Allison, LWV-BMC

February 12, 2024


This month, the League of Women Voters of Bloomington-Monroe County welcomes Karen Jepson-Innes (photo at left), WonderLab executive director and Kelly Debikey (photo at right), WonderLab education director to share with our audience the many exciting opportunities that the WonderLab Museum of Science Health and Technology offers. WonderLab was formed in 1995 by a small group of Bloomington citizens interested in the importance of science education within a community. The goal of WonderLab is to teach and make science education fun while also creating a permanent museum that celebrates the importance of science exploration and discovery. Kelly and Karen shared the many exciting programs and exhibits that the WonderLab offers, such as Grape Vine, Animal Ambassadors, Science Sprout Program, and Honeybee Colony, saying that children are natural scientists and love to discover how our world works through science. Check out the WonderLab Museum of Science, Health & Technology, Bloomington.


Vouchers and Schools: The Effect on a Community’s Economy

Guest: Dr. Michael Hicks, Ball State University

Host: Jim Allison, LWV-BMC

January 16, 2024

For our January podcast, we welcomed Dr. Michael Hicks, Distinguished Professor of Economics and Business Research and Director of Center Business Economic Research at Ball State University. His work has appeared not only in scholarly sources but also in such publications and media as Rolling Stone, New York Times, Wall Street Journal, MSNBC, NPR, and Fox Business News. In the podcast, Hicks discusses the impact of Indiana's voucher program on school choice and public schools and how this impact affects a community’s economy. Indiana has spent approximately $80 million since 2019 on voucher programs and other charter schools. Indiana currently spends roughly $10,095 per student on public education, while the average amount in the US is $12,612 per student. In his research, Hicks has found that quality public schools contribute directly to a community's economy. For instance, 30% of all home buyers consider the quality of public schools when buying a home; even a school's test scores can contribute to home-buying decisions.