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De Pasquale’s Dozen with Koch Industries’ Mark Holden

The opinions expressed by columnists are their own and do not necessarily represent the views of
These days the dominant news stories aren’t exactly the most inspiring.  Outside forces are set on dividing us, but this week’s Dozen is about a “bridge builder.”
Mark Holden is general counsel for Koch Industries.  His goal is to build bridges to help others get on the pathway to success and reform the criminal justice system.  Holden works with people on both sides of the aisle and all sides of the law to further these goals.   See more in this preview of a video profile on him titled, “Justice for All.”
While attending the University of Massachusetts he worked in a prison during summer and winter breaks.  After seeing kids he lost track of after middle or school, he began to think about what separated him from them.  He said, “It made me realize, as they say, ‘there but for the grace of God go I.’ The only difference really, between them and me, was my parents.”
The De Pasquale's Dozen asks political figures and free market-minded writers and entertainers to take a break from politics and talk about their pop culture obsessions.
1.What's your favorite movie line and who would you like to say it to?
“Be bold and mighty forces will come to your aid.”  (Frances McDormand from “Almost Famous”).  I would say this to Congress – they need to do the right thing and protect first amendment rights for all Americans, enact laws like criminal justice reform that will help people improve their lives and remove barriers to opportunity, and at the same time say no to wasteful spending and corporate welfare.
2.Tell me about your favorite teacher and how he or she influenced your life.
Michael Cozzillio.  He was a law school professor of mine at Catholic University.  I felt like a fish out of water in law school given my insecurities associated with my working class background.  Professor Cozzillio had a similar background.  He also was a great guy and a fabulous teacher.  Because of him, I felt like I could survive law school and become a lawyer.    
3. If you could be paid to do anything besides your current job, what would it be?
First base coach for the Red Sox.
4.What canceled show would you put back on the air?
Not so much a cancelled show, but I think Norm Macdonald is the funniest person in the world.  SNL should hire him back to do “Weekend Update” forever.
5.What's your favorite "guilty pleasure" TV show?
“Better Call Saul” and “The Real Housewives of New York” (I watch this with my daughters; it is so horrific I can’t turn the channel.) 
6.What’s the best present you ever received as a child?
Denny McLain electric baseball game. 
7.What’s the best present you ever gave?
My wife Louise’s surprise 50th birthday party. 
8.What advice do you remember your mother or father giving you? 
My Dad always used this Calvin Coolidge quote with me and it has stuck with me to this day:
“Nothing in this world can take the place of persistence. Talent will not: nothing is more common than unsuccessful men with talent. Genius will not; unrewarded genius is almost a proverb. Education will not: the world is full of educated derelicts. Persistence and determination alone are omnipotent.”
9.Who would be on the perfect “Red Eye” panel?
If I could pick a panel, I would choose Chris Rock, Charles Murray, Adam Carolla, and Megyn Kelly.
10.What books are on your reading list?
“Good Profit,” by Charles Koch,  “Just Mercy,” by Bryan Stevenson, “The Intimidation Game,” by Kim Strassell, “United,” by Cory Booker and “The Education of a Coach,” by David Halberstam.
11.What would you like tomorrow's headline to say?
“Poverty has been eradicated, the world is at peace, and Roger Goodell has been fired.”
12.Tell me about the moment you decided to enter the political arena.

Not sure I decided to do this.  It has become part of my job though and I am glad to do it.

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