International Committee: America's Forgotten Borders

2012 National Leadership Conference

CSG International Committee
America's Forgotten Border
May 18, 2012

The U.S.'s borders with Canada and Mexico are the subject of frequent and sometimes heated debates regarding trade, security and immigration. America's frontiers across the Caribbean basin and along the Arctic, however, have received little attention, but are just as vital for the future of commerce and public safety. This session featured discussions of the economic opportunities and security challenges along these forgotten borders and the impact that developments in these regions will have on states.

Capitol Ideas Today: America’s Forgotten Borders Merit More Attention


Assemblyman Marcus Conklin, Nevada
Sen. Mike Brubaker, Pennsylvania

Speakers and Presentations:

Senator Karen Fraser, Washington

Listen to the Presentation: "World Water Forum"

Secretary of State Kenneth McClintock, Puerto Rico

  Download the Presentation: "Drug Trafficking & Violence along the U.S. Caribbean Border" in PDF (without audio) or as a Video (with audio)

MNA Francois Ouimet, Second Vice President of the National Assembly, National Assembly of Quebec

Senate President Gary Stevens, Alaska

Handout: Arctic Map


Assemblyman Marcus Conklin
Marcus Conklin was first elected to the Nevada Assembly in 2002, and is now serving his fifth term. In 2011, he was selected as the majority floor leader of the Assembly. Before serving as majority floor leader, Conklin served as assistant majority leader since 2007. He is currently serving as vice chair of the Assembly Committee on Ways and Means and the Assembly Committee on Commerce and Labor. He was the chair of the Commerce and Labor Committee during the 75th legislative session.

During his tenure in the legislature, Conklin has championed consumer protection and ethics reform legislation. He was the author of Nevada's Do Not Call legislation in 2003, and in 2007 he successfully sponsored legislation to penalize mortgage lending fraud, to better monitor gifts from the pharmaceutical companies to physicians, and new requirements for limited liability companies that give political contributions.

Conklin earned a B.A. from the University of Redlands in Economics and Political Science and an M.A. in Political Science from Midwestern State University. He is currently pursuing an M.A. in Economics from the University of Nevada, Las Vegas.

With a strong belief in community service, Conklin became involved in working with homeless youth. He was a founding board member and is currently the board chairman of the Nevada Partnership for Homeless Youth. He has also do extensive volunteer work for the United Way and the American Red Cross.  

Sen. Mike Brubaker
Sen. Mike Brubaker is currently serving his second four-year term representing Lancaster and Chester County residents in the Pennsylvania Senate. Constituent service is Sen. Brubaker's highest priority as a legislator. He holds monthly town hall meetings throughout the district to stay connected with local residents, and he enjoys taking part in a number of community events throughout the region.

Senator Brubaker serves as chairman of the Senate Finance Committee, which is tasked with reviewing legislation affecting Pennsylvania's tax codes, including any future tax increases or cuts and local, municipal and school tax issues. The Committee also provides oversight over the Department of Revenue, the Pennsylvania Lottery and public pension programs. Senator Brubaker also serves as vice chairman of the Senate State Government Committee and a member of the Senate Committees on Agriculture and Rural Affairs, Appropriations, Game and Fisheries and Local Government.

Sen. Brubaker served as chairman of the Senate Agriculture and Rural Affairs Committee from 2007 through 2010. He was elected to serve as chairman of the Chesapeake Bay Commission in 2011, and he was elected chairman of Pennsylvania's Delegation to the Commission in 2010 and 2011. Sen. Brubaker created and serves as chairman of the legislative Hunger Caucus and the International Commerce Caucus. He also has authored new laws to protect local consumers from mortgage fraud and help municipalities reduce energy costs to consumers.

Prior to his election to office, Sen. Brubaker served as president and CEO of three private companies that offer expertise in agriculture development and engineering. Sen. Brubaker is a graduate of Manheim Township High School and a recipient of the Manheim Township High School Distinguished Alumnus award, and he earned a Bachelor of Science degree in Agronomy from West Virginia University. He also completed the Program for Emerging Political Leaders at the University of Virginia Darden School of Business and the PA Rural Leadership Program. He lives in Lancaster County with his wife, Cindy. They have been married for 28 years and have three adult children. 

Sen. Karen Fraser

Sen. Karen Fraser has served 18 years in the Washington Senate and is finishing her fifth term. She previously served four years in the Washington House. Fraser currently serves as the Senate Democratic Caucus chair, chair of the Joint Administrative Rules Committee and the Senate Facilties and Operations Committee and as vice chair of the Joint Legislative Oversight Committee on Trade Policy.

In addition to her legislative service, Sen. Fraser actively participates in many organizations. She currently serves on the CSG West Executive Committee, Washington Women's History Consortium Advisory Board, NCSL's Nuclear Waste Roundtable and the University of Washington Evans School Visiting Committee.

Sen. Fraser has been the recipient of various honors and awards throughout her time in the legislature. In 2011, she was given the Caucus Leader Award by the Washington Wildlife and Recreation Coalition. She has also been named legislator of the year by the Washington State Arts Council (2009), Washington State Unitarina Unviersalist Voices for Justice (2009) and was named senator of the year in 2007 by the Washington Farm Forestry Association.

Prior to her legislative service, Sen. Fraser served eight years as a Thurston County commissioner and spent five years as the mayor of Lacey, Wash. 

Secretary Kenneth McClintock
McClintock is the secretary of state of Puerto Rico. He served as co-chair of Hillary Clinton's presidential campaign's National Hispanic Leadership Council in 2008, co-chaired Clinton's successful Puerto Rico primary campaign that year and served as the 13th president of the Senate of Puerto Rico until his term ended on December 31, 2008. In late 2008, he served as president of then-Gov.-Elect Luis Fortuño's Transition Committee. He was sworn into office as secretary of state on January 2, 2009, fulfilling the role of lieutenant governor (first-in-line of succession) in the islands.

McClintock has been involved in politics since the age of 13. At the age of 14, McClintock was appointed by President Richard Nixon as delegate to the White House Conference on Youth held from April 18–21, 1971. In 1978, President Jimmy Carter appointed him to the National Advisory Committee for Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention. In 1979 McClintock served as the first Puerto Rico Statehood Students Association president.

He was the executive director of the U.S. Democratic Party, chapter of Puerto Rico, from 1984 to 1988 and has attended all nine Democratic Party conventions since 1976 as a delegate, a superdelegate or as a staffer. A Democratic National Committeeman since 2000, he was recently elected to attend his tenth consecutive convention in 2012.

In 1992, he was elected the youngest senator-at-large for the 12th legislature. In November 1996 he was the top vote getter among all New Progressive and Popular Democratic parties senatorial candidates. He was reelected to his fourth term in 2004, nominated by his New Progressive Party caucus as senate president on November 4, 2004 and formally elected and sworn in for a four-year term as the Senate's 13th president on January 10, 2005.

In 1996, President Bill Clinton appointed McClintock as an at large member of the Democratic Platform Committee, where he was instrumental in drafting the platform plank on Puerto Rico.

As secretary of state, McClintock was designated by Fortuño to lead the Puerto Rico governments efforts to facilitate the islands' transition to digital television. He has also been designated as chairman of the government's efforts to assist in the 2010 census. He also chaired a five-member Legislative Reform Committee that made recommendations in October 2009 regarding a revamping of Puerto Rico's Legislature. On November 30, 2009, the governor announced that McClintock would be co-chairing with former Secretary of Education Carlos Chardón the Education Advisory Committee. 

Francios Ouimet
François Ouimet was born in Montréal on August 20, 1959. After earning graduate degrees in both literature and law, Mr. Ouimet began his professional career as a lawyer. He was first elected to the Québec National Assembly in September 1994. Re-elected in 1998, 2003, 2007 and 2008, Mr. Ouimet has held several positions within the Assembly in many different fields, such as education, justice, the economy, transport and parliamentary affairs. He was elected vice president, i.e., deputy speaker, of the National Assembly in April 2011.

As the National Assembly’s representative on The Council of State Governments since 2009, Mr. Ouimet is dedicated to strengthening the successful ongoing relationship between Québec and the United States.

Sen. Gary Stevens
Sen. Gary Stevens has served as the Alaska Senate president since 2009. His service in the senate began in 2003 and he had previously served one term in the Alaska House of Representatives from 2001-2003.

The retired history professor currently serves on several committees and is chair of the Advisory Commission on Local Government and the Special Committee on University Oversight.

Sen. Stevens is the current CSG chair-elect, a member of the CSG West executive committee and the National Conference of State Legislatures executive committee. He previously served as both mayor of the city of Kodiak, Alaska and the Kodiak Island Borough. He also previously served as District Governor of Rotary International. 


mcclintock.pdf1.3 MB