tv Inside Story Al Jazeera May 6, 2015 5:30am-6:01am EDT
eally brought people back to the cinema. >> it hosted not only the first moving image, but the first x-rated film. the theatre dubbed the birthplace of british cinema is given new life. if you want more on the stories we've been telling you about, head over to aljazeera.com. aljazeera.com. psh psh the citizens united decision from the supreme court opened a new era in campaign financing. running for president costs hundreds of millions, and money that can't be traced to pouring in, along with the backing of a small group of billionaires. they are ready to spend untold millions to pick the next president. what do they want in return. buying the white house is tonight's inside story.
it starts now. [ ♪♪ ] welcome to "inside story", i'm ray suarez. every year campaigns put lawyers to work, figuring out how to use the money for staff, leases yet, and not get in trouble. the latest campaign finance laws and supreme court decisions brought us to a new era. former governor jed bush and supporters are about to take presidential campaigning somewhere different. they found a way to outsource the campaign, using the law to create a blank check. andrej sustr has more. -- david shuster has more. >> in the complex
law of campaign financing jed bush is sailing into unchartered waters. his super pact will take responsibility for television advertising for the expected g.o.p. candidate. >> it's critical we change the direction our county is heading. we must do better... >> jed bush's own campaign by has limits and must operate separately from the pack will oversee less expensive duty - schedule and travel. outrageous. >> an individual coming in with millions, tens of millions hundreds of millions, an individual or corporation, could foot the bill and make a effect. >> jed bush and supporters are trying to leverage a pair of supreme court rulings from five years ago.
justices in a case known as citizens united upheld donation limits to a candidate, and this year a can't date can raise 2700 per donor, and 2700 for the general election. the supreme court ruled that there are no limits on executived useful corporate and group donations to independent political action committees or super-pact. leaning on a super-pact could give mr bush a huge financial advantage. even though he sees a tough campaign ahead... ..in theory a small group of wealthy bush supporters could pay now for most of the work needed to sustain him deep into the primaries. in the past candidates like mitt romney had to rely in a strong finish in iowa and new hampshire to fuel the contributions they needed for a lengthy campaign the main limitation on super pacts is they are not allowed to
coordinate actions with a campaign, and the risk is that his super-pact will not have access to the candidate or strategist. that trust issue may not be a problem for mr bush. they expect mike murphy to run the right to rise pact. a veteran strategist. >> we have to modernize conservatism in a way to appeal country. >> reporter: and is a trusted political confidante. if a donor or group doesn't want them. there's an alternative. right to rise and others can establish a nonprofit organization where donor identities are never revealed. >> the right to rise super-pact can list the donor as the right to rise nonprofit. who is that money coming from? we'll have no idea. >> jed bush supporters say the design of the financial strategy
is fluid, given that mr bush has not yet officially announced the 2015 presidential campaign. david shuster joins us now. i don't want to sound naive, but how do you have a super pact run the campaign when the law requires no accord in addition? >> you ensure there's no direct or indirect discussion, and you try to make sure that somebody who might be running the campaign is making those crucial decisions about advertising. that is where the campaign is different from the rest. everybody has the super pictures. ted cruz, and others. the big difference here is that if you have somebody that you trust implicitly as jed bush does, he can say okay, mike murphy, you think about how you would respond if you were me, and take the decisions about what to run, what response adds and issues.
i trust you implicitly. we have a mind meld that you can look out to with a super-pact. it's a risk. clearly jed bush has the trust that others do not. >> not only unlimited donation, but this time the possibility of giving money without having your own personnel fingerprints on it. if you give to the not for profit. no one has to know who you gave money too. >> that's right. you need - most of the super pacts have a none profit, a sister organization. the tax laws are different. there's not much difference in terms of where the money ends up. someone that wants to donate, i don't know, $500 million into one nonprofit. they can take the money and it's anonymous when it goes in, and we can have the luis suarez as the nonprofit donor listed.
it's listed where the money comes from, you may not have much information if it comes from a nonprofit as far as who is behind the money. >> in 2012 the system shaped the campaign. will the 2016 cycle be the time that the super-pact system comes into its own. >> certainly will. they had to rely on the donorsers bundled together by the wealthy folks. you have the prospect that it doesn't matter whether you do well, or the free media that turns in to campaign fundraising is there, you still have the money to release a sting in the possibility of candidacy if you are willing to trust the outside organization. that turns the system on its head, takes away the
significance of needing to win in iowa, new hampshire and suggests maybe the candidate will get the nomination is not the one that gets the attention at the beginning, but the one that gets the attention now, before the primaries start, who can fund the campaign through to the end. >> david shuster, thank you for joining us. >> you're welcome a series of supreme court decisions created a new world of fundraising. can deep-pocket donors buy the white house in 2016. we continue with "inside story" >> compass with sheila macvicar >> compass will challenge the way you look at the world >> a different look at foreign affairs >> talking about big subjects >> first hand... >> telling human stories >> giving you a real look at the world today.
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next. welcome back to "inside story". where we are taking a deeper look at the new and some say troubling era of financing. joining me robert whisman and david keating of the center for competitive politics. in the opening weeks of the 2016 cycle, david, came the announcement from the koch brothers that they were prepared to spend up to $900 million during the 2016 campaign even. is that a good thing for electoral politics in the united states. >> i think it's a good thing people have more information. if they spend money, it's not just the koch brothers but a bunch of people in the network. they'll be campaigning on the themes, i am sure, and part of it will been doorsing a candidate. basically it's a good thing. more speech means the voters will get more information and
controversy about the election one thing the political scientists tell us is when voters have more information. they cast more important ballots and turn out at higher rates. all the money in politics basically is helping people pay attention to the important issues of the day. >> you heard keating make a direct link between spending and information. is that a fair point? >> the koch brothers are not spending money for the purpose of edsue kating the electorate, but will spend it to try to influence the outcome. we are not talking about a civic education programme, but a handful of people, two brothers and funder network spending an amount to have a determinative effect on the outcome of the election. what we have seen since citizens unit is a handful of individuals having an outside influence, and
what we consider to be our more. >> if the police spend the money, and the president they didn't want to see re-elected were reelected - the voters are not an atm machine, where you put money in, and competitors go out and vote for the candidates in the commercials, we have to give credit for the voters for being smart, determinative. a lot are sick and tired, especially in december and object of an election year. there's more that goes into it thank campaign commercials. >> i'm interested in the earlier definition of spending, turning into information. you can spend a great deal of true. >> right. and the answer to that is we have news accounts. their organizations like fact check.org and they go through the games and analyse them and
it's an issue in the campaign that one of the candidates is not telling the truth, and it can backfire, i think the intention is good, and the fact - look, here is, already april of 2015. the elections... >> 600 days away and we are talking about issues. i think that is an indication that all this is good because people are going to pay more attention. there'll be a lot of important election. >> there's checks and balances. this system that david spelt out is to a degree self regulating. if you lie, you get caught. >> it's not true. it's not a matter of one side doing it. both or all sides have to play the game. only the rich provide the funding. we are talking about the election discourse being primarily dominated by a small handful of superrich funders and
across parties, they have areas disagreements. they shouldn't have a dominant influence over the way the elections are carried out. most of the money goes into advertising. it's primarily - people hate the ads. they are aired, they work. negative attack ads dominating the airways work. they work to depress turn out. that's why we is had spending in 2014 and a poor turn out. we are seeing the country move towards allo gashingy. if wealo gait vats. no one is saying that. >> if people want to spend money, what do you posit as an alternative. how do we pay for what is essentially a 2-year campaign candidates?
>> it's easy to design a system putting a large amount of money in candidates hands, relying on small donors. new york city has a system like that. it's easy to design them. things were bad before 2010 in the citizens united decision, but not as bad as now. we can go back to that. the change is in culture. the surge in outside spending, not just from the koch brothers. but from them. it's coming from foreign country. the spending is by people in the united states. it's outside. >> outside. >> respond to that. we know where the money is coming from, and we know where it's going. why not. >> why not? >> i don't understand. >> why not do it the way... >> i don't see a problem. if congress wants to pass subsidies to candidates, so be it.
the last body we want is the people in government writing rules, limiting the speech of citizens. that's what a lot of people are talking about. if they want to subsidise candidates, go ahead. we shouldn't write rules saying people can't speak, where do you draw the line? they wrote recalls saying 3700 limit, 2400 in the primary, 2700 in the general. that's all you can give to a candidate. they untethered super pacts from candidates. now there are no limits of any kind except for the winking between super pacts and chosen candidates, and what would appear to be the fiction of non-coordination. maybe we should take out contribution limits altogether. we didn't have them for the first 200 years, and we elected lincoln, roosevelt.
truman, eisenhower. all with a totally unregulated system. maybe we need to look at going to a system like that. that produced gene mccarthy, who ran for president, and it was part of the changing in the politics of the vietnam war. mccarthy raised $10 million in today's money, which doesn't sound like that. he put it all in new hampshire, that was a big sum back then and today. he did well enough to force lbg out of the race. the fact is that an incumbent senator hasn't lost yet. >> that's the rub. a sense to put in rolls, limits, donation identity requirements have created an incentive and structure where a lot of energy
is burnt up figuring out ways to get around the lou. what about the point that for the first 200 years we didn't need this. >> we are in a different position than before. look at who is spending the money now. responsible. we are not talking about the right of the american people to speak. we are talking about 100 individuals rite to donate outside funding. there's a new report out looking at the top 0.01%. that's 30,000 people, responsible for a third of the money going into the election now. we are seeing a narrow slis of american republic. candidates are responsible to the donors, they spend time in
office. they are responsible to the donors and not the american public. that's why we don't see the elected government respond to the demands of american people, on issues ranging from the minimum wage, trade policy and climate change. we are not seeing the solutions people want to see because the elected officials are responsive people. >> last comment. >> we saw a tiny slice of donors helping to change the politician of the country. >> it's a matter of degree. few people that would fill up a baseball stadium gale more than 1 billion. >> most people in the united states feel it's important that the right government and people run the government. there's billionaires and
millionaires that feel strongly. they ought to say their piece if they want to. >> david keating is the president of the center for competitive politics. great to see you both, thank you for being with us on "inside story". the center for public integrity has been tracking the money in american politics for decades. next, a score card - what to cash. stay with us. >> al jazeera america, weekday mornings. catch up on what happened overnight with a full morning brief. get a first hand look with in-depth reports and investigations. start weekday mornings with al jazeera america. open your eyes to a world in motion.
welcome back to "inside story". i'm ray suarez. tonight we have been exploring the changing world of big-money politics, few watch dogs have done the detailed work of tracking campaign cash with the diligence and detail. david lethen that will is a political reporter with c perform i. welcome to nds your. >> great to be with you
every campaign learns from the last cycle. what will we see - new trends, new understandings of how the law works. >> in 2012 it was the ultimate press run. particularly on the republican side. it was an incredibly bitter trimry. the candidates that got the furthest were the ones able to use and marshal the resources from super pacts. from the outside groups that were novel at that point in time. here in 2016 all of them, many, many republican presidential candidates who are lighting up, are candidates or soon to be candidates will bring to bear the resources of the groups. because they full-well know if they don't, effectively they'll be left aside. >> in several specific cases, rick santorum, ted cruz, jed bush - there seems to be one or
a small cluster of big money men, and they are mostly men, it's not a sexist term to say it, who seam ready to pony up big sums to become almost the pain sponsor of the campaign. >> you can seem like the biggest dark horse candidate in the united states of america. if you have someone that is a multi-million air or a billionaire willing to pony up 10 million, 50 million, 100 million to support through an outside organization, can't give the money to the candidate, but you can do the next best thing, you can set up an organize eyeings or give it to an organization that can run adds on the internet. and there's nothing stopping them setting up a parallel campaign operation to the candidate running his or her own operation and doing the traditional things that candidates can do. we are picking on the republicans, democrats can do
the same. hillary clinton and others are going to be able to benefit from the system. >> seems like a smaller field on the democratic side. >> it will be. >> in the case of republican party, it may be a be careful what you wish for moment. doesn't it give certain candidates who are attracting small support in the primaries the wherewithal to stay in the race and force the main candidates, the frontrunners, to spend more money. >> the hope of the republican party is that this will be a primary - that was maybe three or four candidates. it will be weeded out early. they'd have nominee early - that has been obliterated. any candidate regardless of merit are on a similar playing field. if they have someone with money
behind them, the staying party can be extended think of newt gingrich and santoro. they were following nowhere not season. then it did, and they hung around for a good long time, they have the money, the resources, the wherewithal to stick around until they had to bow out. >> i am not sure if it's a cause or symptom. is it a sign that parties, the republicans, democrats, whatever muling luz -- mean less in the 21st century. >> the parties are degraded from a point that they were in the past. they have had this very mixed relationship with the post citizens united world of money and politician. on one hand it benefits
candidates, serving as an elimp ir, who may not be the strongest, facing a difficult opponent or the encum pant, side. at the same time it's a double-edged sword. when you have outside organizations running the show and being at the vanguard of what is happening, your role as a political party is diminished to some degree. important but diminished. >> before we go, does it make a certain amount of money opaque. >> two organizations like the center trying to keep track of federal election reports, keeping track of who is giving money, who is backing which candidate. we have seen it in previous elections. it will happen in 2016 where there's an odd chain, situation where you an a train of money.
you'll have a nonprofit giving money to a super-pact that will support a candidate and you can say where is the money coming from, it will be a difficult question to answer, based on the ways the law is set up. republicans will do this, but democrats do this too. you think of an organization like the majority u.s.a. involved in the 2014 elections supporting demographic candidates. you see it in 2016. they like to criticize the decisions. >> david lethin that will thank you. thank you for joining us for this edition of "inside story" tomorrow - the supreme court, same-sex marriage and the states. in washington, i'm ray suarez. have a good night.
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