tv [untitled] CSPAN June 5, 2009 4:00pm-4:30pm EDT
>> mr. director, sticking with counterterrorism. can you talk about how counterterrorism strategy and/or tactics have changed under the new administration? and particularly, comment on your recent comments before congress suggesting that guantánamo should not be closed as the president said it should. >> well, let me address the latter first. that was not my testimony at all. . .
and has been constant proven on in and near each administration i firmly believe that the person in charge has a great and deep understanding of the responsibility to protect the american people whether the previous president or the as president i have seen exactly the same. understanding and commitment to protecting the american people. >> the last question is yours. >> if we are going to keep the financial fraud at a level that is more acceptable to the
society at a point in time when there are trillions of dollars of decisions chennai today's going to be taking place, what additional resources do need to play that role? i know you have announced the mission to hire more agents particularly with financial and legal backgrounds. one is really going to require to get the job done not only in terms of people power, but also in terms of making up for what have historically been a week i.t. capability which will be ever more important given the mission you have announced that you are undertaking regarding these initiatives? >> let me again look at the question itself. our i.t. capability has improved dramatically since september september 11th and we can always use as could any entity more resources in that regard in. we had to in the wake of september 11th to address the threat of attacks that seem to
be eminent at that time for my transfer almost 2,000 agents from the criminal side of the house to counter terrorism and over the years since then to the extent we have had a budget enhancement increases mostly on the national security signed. we have not had an opportunity to backfill those agencies that have come from the criminal side albio many of them have been doing narcotics cases and smaller white-collar criminal cases but as we face the mortgage from crisis the investigations into corporations we have made requests to congress and the congress has been providing those resources. i'm going to testify in a couple days before the senate appropriations committee and will continue the dialogue as to obtaining those additional resources. >> thank you very much.
balckout a c-span funded? 30 years ago america's cable companies greeted c-span as a public service, a private business initiative with no government mandate and no government money. >> political activists from across the nation gathered at washington for the annual conference hosted by the group campaign for america's future, on the economic challenges that lie ahead in advancing the so-called progressive movement in a obama administration. this lasts about an hour. [inaudible conversations] >> please take your seats, we are going to get this session started because we don't want to waste time. good morning. try that again, good morning. >> good morning. >> my name is roger, on the other co-director of the campaign for america's future
and i want to welcome you to this annual conference. since 2003 we have called it take back america and this year the name has been changed to america's future now and the reason for that change is you. finally in last year's historic election and, we to gather did take back america just-in-time. we took it back from the edge of disaster. so the people in this room deserve a lot of credit. i would like you all to give yourselves and president barack obama a big round of applause [applause] for progress is taking back america from the radical right wingers were taking the country in the wrong direction, that was just a first up. during our years in the wilderness, a progressive scanning our eyes on the prize.
rebuilding our country. we worked creatively to build strong new coalitions to advance bold economic agendas for prosperity and opportunity and democracy. and in the process, in the process we build a strong progressive movement. in 2006 and again in 2007 candidate barack obama came here and spoke at take back america and after putting his own stamp on what we were talking about here, candidate obama took our progressive change agenda into the election contest in with your help he won a powerful mandate to take our country in a new direction. i want to note that candidate obama and his team also learned
from organizing techniques as well as our message, the campaigns used the community organizer instincts, barack obama with the inclusive technology and activist energy pioneered by groups like moveon.org, howard dean, and the progress of loggers. so we have quite an interchange you an early on and now with the president in the white house and a democratic majority in congress, our job is two go beyond taking back america, our job is to win real change. and that as my partner, boris, said today will require a sophisticated inside outside strategy. like martin luther king and lyndon johnson in the '60s and the labor movement and franklin roosevelt in the 1930's and
1940's. president obama who started as a community organizer in chicago clearly understands this. that every president, every successful president needs the outside citizen movements in order to make big changes. let's just listen the two what he told us that take back america on his most recent visit >> and all of you, activists from all across the country, we will take our country back. take back to america, this is our time, our time to make our mark on history, our time to write new chapters in american story because there are a few obstacles that withstand the millions of voices, not from the top down but the bottom of. that is how we brought an end to discourage of slavery and brought an end to jim crow, that is how women got the right to
vote, how we brought an end to the viet nam war, how we will bring an end to the iraq war and exactly how you and i will change this country. [applause] >> he gets it, he understands and during a speech to amazingly successful first 100 days he stayed true to that vision and working together led by people like heather both who is. the audience progress of coalitions held to win big victories passing the economic recovery package in the budget and building crucial momentum in a forward direction. now, you will see in the plenary sessions at this conference focus on the big battles that come, the economy and, health care, education, workers' rights, immigration and real security. right now we want to hear from
organizers who have built winning organizations and around a progressive ideas. each of them represents the kind of constituencies that will have to work together if we are going to turn this year radical majority of congress into enacting a majority for change. so here's the question i want them all to address -- how did we get here and systematic moment in history and how we move forward together? our first speaker is an insider who or illnesses like an outsider. i will say mitch stewart is the responsible for barack obama being in the white house but he and steve hildebrand played an enormous role in a crucial victory in the iowa caucuses and you know how crucial the those iowa caucuses or and then he went on to pull off another miracle turning the commonwealth of virginia blue for barack obama.
[applause] he is now director of the new organizing for america, the 13 million strong grass-roots an online course that emerge from the campaign to help obama win victories. mitch will talk about how they won the election, the mission of organizing for america and how they plan to work with outside groups. please welcome mitch stewart. [applause] >> thank you all very much and thank you for the gracious introduction and for putting this conference together and for all the folks here participating. as roger said i did start on the campaign the third week in january of 2008, i lived in iowa for a. then travel to a number of different states, nevada, minnesota, texas, indiana and then spend about six months in virginia which was a truly gratifying experience. there are a number of things
that we learned during the campaign that i think because of the president's unit background as a community organizer helped instill in us a new way to reach out and talk to people of bella lipitor campaigning -- electoral campaign and that is that people matter and all too often in campaigns people are paid less service but they are not taken seriously so we have a model on the campaign, respect and already includes and we took every person's point of view very seriously, their efforts, their sacrifice, and we fell into that empowerment there would be more invested in our success and if we didn't take the time to build that sort of repoire. we basically took that from iowa and did that in every primary state, every general election state moving foreign and is something we're going to do and have done with organizing for america. for folks who may not be
familiar, organizing for america is a continuation of the same grassroots organization that cosby is reelected as opposed to elect oral organizing we are now focused on supporting the president's agenda shortly after the campaign ended we send out a detailed online service in both to our e-mail list and ask them what they wanted us to do next. now that we have one, went to like us to do? and the number one response to that question was to help support the president's agenda. the second response was two continue growing in building this grass-roots organization, our folks wanted to see this continue so that is basically organizing for america's mission. to support the president's agenda, nothing will ever supercede that. we're here to support the president's agenda. the second mission statement is two continue building this grass-roots organization in the way we will continue building that is by supporting the president's agenda and i will give you a couple examples of what we have done and where we
see ourselves six months down the round the first issue that we took on was an economic recovery package and there was a lot of disinformation initially about what was then that. we felt it was important that we collected stories from average americans about the economic crisis was doing that to their friends and neighbors and what was it doing to their communities so reorganized 3600 house meetings. we talk about all those in the package and ask people to collect stories here and we received over 30,000 very tough stories to read through about the economic crisis was doing to them. and we then put that up on our website is out another e-mail and send these are the stories of the economic crisis and this is fine passing the economic recovery package is so abhorrent. we then moved on to the budget and support of the president's budget priorities where we collected thousands of pledges
and also have our supporters want in hundreds of thousands of phone calls and two congress urging support of the budget priorities. we then moved on both to judge sotomayor nomination and encourage people go to barack obama it, and you can take action in jenna sotomayor nomination and then, of course, health care. on june 6th we will have house meetings where calling health care organizing take off across the country. thousands how large a sign up and tens of thousands have agreed to attend. the goal for the stick, is to fall to start the process of reaching out to neighbors and friends using the side same tactics during the campaign having friends talk to friends about why it is so important for the president's health care principles and there are three
principles that i am sure many of you are aware of -- the first is lauren the cost for american families and american businesses and the second is maintaining choice so that folks have both choice of their doctor and their plan and then the third it is assuring access to affordable health care for all americans. the fourth issue can put in their and john that talk about this is we have to get a pass this. getting it done this year. so we're going to have our friends go out and talk to their friends about why it's so poor that we get health care passed this year, getting people to sign a declaration in support of the president's principles and the second component is also public service and we are going to be doing public service of funds across the country this summer. and we want those public service events to be health care related. i think organizing for america has a couple unique roles in what has been a very long battle
to get health care reform. the first is we have the ability i think to tell very personal stories about what health care reform is so urgent we need it. we put out an ad to our last and received hundreds of thousands of personal health care stories about what reform is so necessary. the second is i do think that we have this now work of people because of the lessons we learned on this campaign who are ready and know how to go out and start engaging people in their communities. the important part is not just one on the clock in this is something we learned during the campaign and by that i mean and they are going to have to walk door-to-door and are having to make 100 on calls that the real benefit of educating and getting people invested in this effort is when they're off the clock and hanging out with their bodies and at the grocery store and at church, just having conversations 20 and day and someone brings this up, the have a wealth of information and basically turning into the
message machine. and they are able to engage their friends about what health care reform is so urgently needed and because of that we know that the best of alligator, the best messenger of a message is someone who knows and trusts. not a tv ad or radio spot or direct mail piece, hearing from some of the vanowen trust and have a longstanding relationship with and will continue to have that with traumatic invalidate the president's health care principles. and we hope to do that in mass across the country until it is passed frankly. just really quick on an organizational of dead and then i will sit down and get ready to answer questions -- right now we have people in 30 states and we will have a staff or an office in every state in the country. narrow who will be using opportunities like organizing around health care to continue building these neighborhood
teams that we had during the campaign so that we can further support the president's agenda and on the agenda of they certainly we will be focused on health care and i think you'll see us continue to get engaged with judge sotomayor nomination. moving for a and then also energy cajun. the president laid out three pillars of to get our economy moving again, energy, health care and education and you'll see organizing for america very active on all three of those fronts so i thank you for giving me an opportunity to come here. i look for to chatting with you both after a session here but also during the q and a so thank you also watch. [applause] >> thank you, mitch. bob anna burger started as a local activist in pennsylvania and now is the most powerful woman in the labor movement.
one of those powerful people in the labor movement and as secretary-treasurer of seiu and share a change to win she leaves the political operation and to place a leadership role in building the new infrastructure for the progressive movement. in the various coalitions and organizations mad seiu unchanged to win are a part of and the broader effort that goes to reflect in this conference. just recently she helped oust and less as bankamerica's chairman. [applause] and that effort is part of a growing campaign for regulation of the financial industry and at the same time she serves on president obama's economic recovery advisory board. anova knows a lot about inside and outside strategy is to win a real change and how have to change to win so please welcome anna burger. [applause]
>> conwell >> thank you and it is great to be here. this is an incredible panel it is a long time coming. we have worked hard, tramp about being able to salvage as about how to have american futures now not some way, "healthwatch" that actually changing america's future now so i'm excited to have this discussion with all of you. it was a year ago that we came to this conference to take back america and we did it. the stakes are high back then a one at the last conference and i was even before the economic collapse, that was all about green corruption in the bush administration that cared about the top 1 percent in not anybody else and so i want to officially welcome to washington. i want to welcome you to washington d.c. to the nation's capital where people have read them their country and have secured our leader in the white
house. it is a new day in america and we have begun the work of transforming our countries, our communities and families. we do have a remarkable president, one who thinks big axe boldly and it's great to be here with all of you who have helped elect him and make this happen here and because all of us together have worked hard for years to have a transformational action, to work for electing progressive majority said that actually make change happen. and we have all learned how to work together to come out of our silos and understand are a lot for a work in much more effectively if we were together in partnership and that is what got us here. i'm incredibly proud about the work the labor movement has done. seiu change the other labor unions and a generation after generation have a workers given the opportunity to use their voice, their passions and skills to build new objectives. from the founding days of our
union we haven't been on the side of workers marshall as by politicians and left behind by society. we're native born emigrants men and women and people of all colors, ordinary people he wanted the and respect and voice on the job and in society. and through the union we have been able to use that boy is to organize a and a gain in change laws for all working to families. and during the last election we are proud of the work that we did because we're out there side-by-side with bellavia. we were in the workplace and on the doors and in the phone talking about the economy and the american committee is about what matters to working families. we reach new voters and sometimes voters, we were about a brass states and states we never thought were and what we did all mattered to believe that we actually one north carolina, florida, indiana and all the other states that we knew we had to win was amazing. [applause] and we did because we done
peeper, worked stronger and were more determined than ever been before. our members held when governors races, expand the majority in the house and all muskett to 60 votes in the senate and when al franken is seated i guess we have to have the official 60 members. [applause] and all worked incredibly hard because we were incredibly passionate about barak obama, a liking him to be our president and that election, the work that we did actually was a transformational a luncheon. it was transformational. when how we talk about issues, race in the economy and what happened, about how some policies and government. the importance of getting rid of trickle-down and understand government was good for all of us. taught us about what grassroots could do and when grass roots will matters and across our country people came together because they want to build a movement for change not just take a little steps for change. that is what this election i think is about, what the labor
movement in, certainly with the campaign in which was to build a grass-roots movement that was not just about winning the election but making change happen and that is what i think we did and now what we need to do. which is actually not just having the opportunity to make change happen and make happen. in our country needs a more than we ever needed it before because president obama inherited a mess, let's be honest here. 8.9 percent unemployment, higher for african-american and latinos and going up, 5.8 million underemployed, one ad of every six workers of america either unemployed or underemployed and over 58 percent think they will lose their jobs next year. 46 million without health care, 14,000 lose yesterday analysts said today and tomorrow. over 50% believe they will lose their health care this year. with with one and 11 houses in
foreclosure and half are because health care cost. so we know that this is a credible time and we have to be able to meet bigger and faster and i'm proud of what the president has done because an economic recovery and put people to work, far reaching a budget that as meaning a difference and i was so proud of the first time i was in the white house when he spoke to the whole press corps and send some people thank you need to be part of the problem and i thank you need to be part of the solution. [applause] that the truth is workers are fearful and hopeful, they want a transformational change here and 80% one big change in health care and 80% one in government that is going to be on their side of not treating good jobs not offshoring them and 80% on an active government that is on their side and that is what is at risk because while we are fighting for change the other side has not let go. we might have won this election but the chamber of commerce and
the forces against change or rent their and the jews as we have to be there as big as they are because they will not let this go evenly. this is a fight for power. as the head of home depot said when talking about the employee free choice act and it was the end of civilization as you know at. [laughter] was be serious as they wanted to be, the top 1 percent is everything and we get nothing. [applause] what was and so we're beginning to emerge when the corporates have a first the last and only saying and not time for people have a sanguine. trying to make sure that the republicans just say no, and the democrats in incremental and small son that we have to be out there in force as well. as why our unions seiu one change that works, 400 organizers in 35 states making sure there is a drumbeat for change here and we need to do that because otherwise