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O.J. Simpson’s Alma Mater to Host Panel Discussion with Founder of Scandal-Plagued Lincoln Project

University at center of admissions bribery scandal welcomes Mike Madrid

• February 17, 2021 5:00 pm

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Mike Madrid, a cofounder of the scandal-plagued Lincoln Project, is scheduled to appear at a panel discussion Thursday hosted by the University of Southern California, the alma mater of Heisman Trophy winner O.J. Simpson, among others.

Unlike his fellow Lincoln Project cofounders, who have taken time off or pressed "pause" on public appearances while a law firm conducts a "comprehensive review" of the organization, Madrid has continued to appear on podcasts and in other media forums.

Thursday's virtual event, hosted by the university's Dornsife Center for the Political Future, will consist of a panel discussion with Madrid and others about the changing patterns of minority voters. It will be moderated by Republican strategist Mike Murphy, the center's co-director alongside Democratic strategist Bob Shrum.

The high-priced university, which found itself at the center of a college admissions bribery scandal in 2019, did not return a request for comment on Madrid's appearance at the event amid the ongoing sexual harassment scandal at the organization he founded.

Madrid quietly resigned from the Lincoln Project in December, several weeks before news outlets started publishing reports on allegations of predatory sexual behavior against his fellow cofounder, John Weaver. News of Madrid's resignation, and that of another cofounder, Ron Steslow, was not reported until after the allegations began to surface in January.

Madrid has yet to comment publicly on the scandal and reportedly signed a non-disclosure agreement after receiving a generous financial settlement from the Lincoln Project. It is not known whether Madrid is among the group of (anonymous) former Lincoln Project associates demanding to be released from their confidentiality agreements in order to speak freely about the organization.

Earlier this month, the Washington Blade reported that Madrid and other senior members of the Lincoln Project were made aware of the allegations against Weaver as early as August 2020. Subsequent reports have indicated the group's leaders knew of Weaver's predatory behavior as early as March of last year.

The burgeoning scandal has prompted numerous resignations at the Lincoln Project in recent days, while damning reports on the group's handling of the Weaver allegations have prompted several former employees to suggest the super PAC should cease to exist.

Erika Maldonado Singh, assistant director of the Center for the Political Future, confirmed in a statement to the Washington Free Beacon that Madrid would participate in Thursday's event. "He's a longtime friend of the Center and served as a fellow well before his involvement with the Lincoln Project," she said. "We welcome his insights and perspectives on tomorrow’s topic ‘Are people of color becoming swing voters?'"

The panel members, she added, will "focus their collective intellectual energy on the important subject advertised to our audience," as opposed to issues related to the sexual harassment of young men by a Lincoln Project cofounder.

Updated 5:20pm to include comment from Erika Maldonado Singh.

Published under: California, Lincoln Project