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tv   Politics Public Policy Today  CSPAN  October 16, 2012 1:00am-5:59am EDT

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i was just retiring from the fire department. we had to pay our own health insurance. the cost was $1440 a month. i could afford it but i know many people who cannot afford that. we have to bring down the cost of health care in this country. i believe the health care was a good start. we have to expand on that. my opponent has voted to repeal the law and has done it 30 times. that what are some good things about this bill? there are no caps on the amount of money insurance can pay. it is something i think is good. we ought to reform but keep going. >> congressman, your response? >> there are good things with in
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the healthcare law. i have talked about. -- repeating, repairing, and replacing. people cannot be kicked off the policy the day after they got sick. there are two dozen 650 pages of the bill that really have nothing to do with health care. we have to figure out ways we can provide stability, security for people with security and people without security -- without it -- without insurance. i introduce legislation which would do just that. keeps those important health care insurance reform provisions while opening people without insurance to get cost- effective coverage. we have to make sure more americans have access to the health care system. as someone who has practiced medicine for over 20 years, i have been on the front lines and seen what has and does not work.
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>> congressmen heck says he wants to repeal and replace. that is not what he has done in the past few years. , he will do bill i everything he can do to get rid of it. we have to bring costs down. we should work on that. just the way we are right now. let's reform and keep working on it. we do not need to throw the baby out with the bath water. >> ok. democrats have attacked you over the statement you have made on june 2, 2011, on which you called social security a pyramid scheme. you said it was a portrait -- a choice of words. current wage owners are paying for the benefits of current retirees. paul ryan has suggested it is a ponzi scheme. do you support allowing
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individuals to have a portion of their social security payroll taxes and do a personal retirement account? >> thank you. i have worked in an emergency department for 24 years. part of that is knowing how to -- i can tell you the truth or what you want to hear. social security will not be able to pay full benefits by 200037. we have to have full reform preserving and protecting the program for future generations. that is what i was talking about. part of the problem right now is the high unemployment rates in this administration. we have fewer people paying into the system because they are not working. get the economy started, get people back to work so more people are paying into the system. after that, we need to look at other ways to increase the solvency of the program. that can include allowing people to pay into a private account.
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changing the retirement age. raising the cap on the amount of earnings to which the social security is taxed. >> congressmen heck says he had a bad choice of words. he has quadrupled down on that and said, i want to preserve and protect this program. i do not want to turn it over to wall street. i think what happened is he got caught say what he meant. just recently, he said, we have to get into social security and medicare if we want to fix the debt. he wants to privatize it. i will not do that. i will preserve this program for generations to come. >> response? 50% of the budget are driven by medicaid and medicare and social security, and we have to look as
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structural changes for programs that preserve and protect and make sure it is present for those who will retire in the near future. every option has to be on the table to make sure the program seniors' currently rely on and future generations will rely on will be around when they need it. >> you said they want to protect small business. how can you do that when you want to let the bush tax cuts to expire for those making only $250,000. ? if the job critters have enough money in the pocket, do you really think they will hire more people? >> two things. i think the majority of jobs are created in small businesses in this country. a majority of those jobs -- businesses are right in someone's home. we ought to give a small home -- home office tax reduction, a
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simple one, and we ought to do it right now. on top of that, the congressman in 2010 approved a doubling of reduction in small businesses from 5000 to 10,000. we ought to make that permanent. there are other things we can do. we have to invest in our education system. if we do, whether it is childhood education, higher education, we will have an educated work force. that will help us to propel of -- propel our swords into the future -- ourselves into the future. >> willed people making over to the $50,000 be less inclined to hire people when paying higher taxes? >> let's talk about this. there has to be a global solution.
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i do believe we should have to and the bush tax cuts on those who make over to a to $30,000. i also believe which is to the buffer role. i also agree which it quit giving tax breaks to corporations shipping jobs overseas. that is a balanced approach. it is a balanced approach to cut what we need to cut. i can give you an example. 15 different programs deal with financial literacy. we should combine and consolidate those programs so we are in a position to grow the economy. overall, what will help us here is growing the economy, not arguing about taxes and cut every year. growing the economy. >> it is interesting my opponent wants to be the champion of small business. he talks about wanting to give home office deduction.
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that is all he permitted under the current tax code. the fact that you want to let the tax increase on small businesses shows he is out of touch with what really drives small business owners. 98% of businesses in nevada are small businesses. they employ 54% of nevada's work force. what is their incentive to want to grow and make 2300 thousand dollars when they know they will have to pay more in taxes. -- $250,000 when they know they will pay more in taxes. they are not sure what will happen on january 1. they are afraid if they hire someone now, they need to let someone go. we need to provide stability and certainty right now so they can start to grow the economy. >> what he forgets is that we
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actually lower taxes for 74% of all businesses in the state. he talks about the business license. -- license fee. it is true. we have cleared the loopholes were thousands of businesses or escaping paying the modified business tax. i do not think that is fair, right, and i do not think $200 is too much to ask. >> the next question has to do with the foreclosure crisis. nevada is the only state in the nation in which the total value of single-family homes is less than the amount owned -- owed on them. what has your office done to help struggling homeowners and why have we not seen a turnaround? >> i give a great deal of credit to my district office staff.
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they have helped homeowners navigate the difficult process of trying to keep their home. what have we done back in washington to try to help solve the problem? i was the only in my party to vote to maintain certain housing programs when the rest of the party wanted to do away with them. if you talk to one of the 17,000 people it would help, that program was important. i voted to maintain that. we found one of the biggest issues are folks who have lost their homes who are in a position to get back into a home because it -- but they cannot because of the negative market. it would allow folks to currently reaches who are currently renting to get back in the home as long as the cost of mortgages not more than their current rent. we know home ownership helps restore our community. that will help raise everybody's property value. >> every night when i drive home, i drive down my street. there is not one home on my
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street beside mine that is not foreclosed on, or people have walked away from. i am 50% under water in my own home. i think there are a couple of things we should be doing. we have a program at the state level. let's force banks and homeowners to get together. we should be doing principal production. everybody has to have skin in that game. if you are the bank, you win, because you do not have to sell years -- sell your house. if you are the homeowner, you stay in your house. but the bank gets a piece of the action on the backside when you sell your house. the congressman will make affordable housing harder to maintain. i do not think that is good. we should try to keep people in their houses. >> our office has been involved
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in helping people stay in their homes. we have introduced legislation to help people get back into their homes. my opponent supported in the assembly actually put a stop to the foreclosure process appeared to have an artificial decrease in the number of foreclosures moving forward in southern nevada. we really have not help anybody get to the process. we simply delighted with the legislation. >> foreign policy. has the president done everything he could to protect the security of israel? do you support a israeli plan to attack i ra \ran? iran. ? >> the threat is real and we have to make sure we do -- we use every tool in our toolbox.
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whether that is diplomacy, sanctions, or the threat of military force. i believe israel is one of our closest allies. we have to stand by israel at every opportunity. i think the congressman and i will probably agree on that. iran having a nuclear weapon is the threat to the safety of the global economy and to the united states. >> you would support an israeli plan to attack iran they determined they would be close to obtaining a nuclear weapon? >> we will support our eyes -- allies and take every method possible before military action. if military action was required, i would be willing to do that. >> yes. ok, congressman? >> there is a new one that is -- nuance that needs to be understood.
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we have to prevent them from getting the capability of having a nuclear weapon. was the habit, the horse is out of a barn. that is the difference. -- once they have it, the horse is out of the barn. that is the difference. i had the opportunity to travel to israel recently. we discuss this issue in detail. i said -- i would firmly support any action is a would take to defend itself against a nuclear- armed iran. >> i think we have discussed this. we are close on the spirit of use diplomacy, sanctions, but i would not allow the threat of military action. >> education. the school district that is the fifth largest in the nation, with more states giving waivers from president bush's no child left behind, what is your plan to provide accountability and
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the resources to increase student achievement in public schools? >> the next generation of leaders are being groomed right now in our classrooms. we have to make sure the school district has the resources necessary to properly educate our leaders. i have been involved in the reauthorization of the elementary education act. what we want to do is give local school districts more flexibility. only 10% of the budget comes from the federal government. comes from the which it -- it stringsowith so many attached. we do not want to force you to spend it appeared we want you to spend it where you need it. -- spend it. we want to spend it where you
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need it. >> it has played a huge role in my life. my mom was 16 when she got pregnant with me. i watched her get her high school diploma, or college diploma. she worked my family from a poor family to a middle-class family. , wants to cut pell grants, i do not. -- the congressman wants to cut pell grants, i do not. it is a program that gives kids the start they need. i drop my kids off every morning because i believe in the value of early childhood education. college loans is where we disagree. he would put them over to the banks again. i do not think that is where they should be.
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his view is we should cut education, is that we should cut education. it is a long history. he voted to cut textbooks and supplies. >> thank you. >> my opponent is having blatantly false statements. if you look at what the budget cut will be, you find the thing that will resonate most with the folks back home and use that as an example of the dire situation. there is nothing we voted on that would cut head start directly. the issue of education is how will we control the costs. we will never help more students achieve their dream of a post- secondary education. >> thank you. one more question. abortion. you have been criticized by several political opponents predict pundits that have ads that claim you are trying to
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restrict rates that would access abortion. are you willing to stand by that ad? explain what your position on abortion differs from your opponent. >> yes. i will stand by that ad. the congressmen has a record on women. he voted to rekindle the violence against women act. he voted twice to defund planned parenthood. he voted to make it so the irs could go in an audit to ask them and have improved -- have them approved. prove -- a vaccine to help women be protected from cervical cancer. i do not think this is a woman's issue. every husband, father, son, brother, should be interested in
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what the voting record is in this issue. >> their egos again with these lately false accusations which panned by theely pant media. the votes he references in the senate or the bills that have 30 to 40 different projects, some reasonable and some wild. it never received a public hearing. transparency and accountability. if my opponent wants to pass bills and the middle of the night, what will he do in congress? i think my position on abortion has always been the same and clear. i believe federal dollars should not be used to fund abortions, with the exception of rape,, and life of the mother. that islam -- that is what my position has been and that is what it will be. >> as a son of a victim of
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domestic violence, i do not care why he voted against those things. i believe he should not weakened the violence against women act. for increased funding and violence programs. the violence against women act eliminated certain class of women, minorities, gays, lesbians, and are they less of people than others? i do not think so. it does not matter to me why he voted. he should have voted the other way. >> we have time now for the closing statements. >> the violence against women act did not take away any protections for any classification of individuals. another late july. thank you pbs for hosting us and thank you for tuning in. you have heard two different visions of the future for our country. we have all had struggles and challenges throughout our lives, whether in our families and
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businesses. or intonation. what makes america so great is we have always had the opportunity to overcome those hospitals and make ourselves better people, a better nation. i want to make sure our children and grandchildren have the same or better opportunities than i had. i am seeing those opportunities of the white carried it is our children and grandchildren who will either be the benefits or pay the consequences for the decisions we make on november 6. if you want to restore our nation to prosperity and insure our country remains the land of opportunity for future generations, i ask for your vote. thank you and good night. >> i would like to thank pbs for putting this together. and all of you watch and at home. a lot of our friends and neighbors are struggling. all we get from washington is arguing, bickering, fighting, not solving problems. i will work with you. does not matter if you are a
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democrat republican, if you have a good idea, but help you get it done. we put the fire out. we solve the problem. this election will be about priorities. my priorities are protecting the middle class, women, seniors, kids, and basic people cannot stand up against themselves. congress banned their time looking -- congress looks out for special interests. i will not do that. congressman heck does noty get get it. i do. >> that is the end of the program. thank you for participating. thank you for watching. good night. [captioning performed by national captioning institute] [captions copyright national cable satellite corp. 2012] >> tuesday, on washington journal,justin elliot will be
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on. tucker carlson will talk about the latest developments in the presidential campaign. we will hear from david becker. live every morning at 7:00 eastern on c-span. >> what to engage with c-span as president obama and mitt romney me to in the second debate. live tomorrow in new york. seed and's debate previous starts at 7:00 p.m. eastern. a town hall style debate with questions from undecided voters. after the debate, we will take
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calls, tweets, and e-mails from viewers of crown the country -- viewers are around the country aho -- viewers around the country. brownly is a member of the -- >> here we go. we have c-span. we have live streaming. the debate starts at 7:15. let me quickly go through the ground rules. we flipped a coin to determine
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the order in which there will be opening and closing remarks and who would start and who would finish. and the opening two minutes from each candidate, it would open with julia brownley and then tony strickland. then it was which and begin with tony strickland and close with julia brownley. and i will present questions. there will be, if needed, ever bottle no longer than 30 seconds.
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we will start and rotate the questions back and forth from the panel and the two candidates. please turn off your cellphone. this is about education. it is not a political rally. we would appreciate it if you could hold applause, and comments to the end. if you would like to submit questions, there is a stupid in the back who can collect them, and bring them. there are no live questions. cell phones off. what more can you want? there will be a few people
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arriving late. we will try to keep that to a minimum. we are delighted at your enthusiasm and interest in the campaign. it speaks volumes about the importance of this particular campaign. we are absolutely delighted and thankful to both of the candidates. it is not easy, what they are doing. that having been said, the order in which we will do the questions will be timm herdt, then henry dubroff, then myself. we will keep rotating. it will be a 1.5 minute response. then a rebuttal. there will be timers and maybe i will go back. in the front, they will have two
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guards for the benefit of the candidates. one will be yellow. you have 30 seconds to go. the other will be read, to stop. i will try to regulate the stopping. that having been said, according to my watch, we are at 7:15. i hope that is true. otherwise there may be a misbeat at c-span. all the affirmation about a lot of this being taped. you can look at our web page. you can look at the streaming and you could put up all the informational -- information and you can do that. timm herdt.ver to tim hurs
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>> the opening statement. >> that will start with julia brownley. those are two minutes. >> thank you. i want to thank the professor, and timm herdt and henry dubroff per my passion began as a pta mom. that led to 12 years as a school board member. six years in the california legislature, proudly representing. i will never stop fighting with fighting for education orne and -- never stop fighting for
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education. we have had to collectively whether these very difficult economic times. this november, the county has a choice. it has not had in decades, to have a different kind of representation in congress that believes in the same values as the people. we want to expand the middle class, get our economy back on track, create jobs, protect medicare and social security, and stand for a woman's right to choose, with equal access to health care and equal pay for equal work. all of us want an advocate for the middle class and president obama needs a congress that will help them expand the middle class and move our country forward. i promise you i will work my
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work.erol l work.ute the of >> they give for offering this lively debate and allow only everybody to come out here tonight to understand where we stand on specific issues. does the other day, my neighbor came up to me and said, why are you running for congress? why are you running for office. do you think one person can make a difference? my quick answer was, absolutely. to understand my passion, you have to go back to where i was raised. a lot of times people talk about heroes. i think that is used loosely. people talk about movie stars or sports athletes. my hero in my life is my father.
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first-class, donald strickland. he fought in the korea and vietnam war. he fought for the liberty of freedoms leave -- we enjoy today. i learned many things for my dad. the biggest lessons i learned from my father is that every generation, city, state, and nation, is left in a better spot than what is found. this is the first time where that is in question. are we going to leave the next generation in a better spot than what we have found? my little girl will turn 7 and my boy had just turned 5. i see their faces and smiles and i say, they deserve and grow up --the county's i grew up in in the same opportunities i had.
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they are not buried with a mountain of debt and. they are able to find a job right here. i do not care if it is a democratic idea or a republican idea. i only care if it is a good idea. i would be honored to have your vote. thank you. [applause] >> there are several people taping. they are press. they are authorized. if we find somebody taping, we will ask them to leave. timm >> he mentioned my name. i want to mention the name of my boss, the editor. he is here tonight. [laughter]
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you both sound like a reasonable and likable people. looking through some of your campaign else today, i was struck by the same phrase appearing in both of them describing your opponent as being too extreme for the county. could you expand on that? what makes you believe your opponent is too extreme? >> thank you for the question. i think the main differences between the two candidates running in this race with two very different visions and values, mine is to grow the economy by strengthening and expanding the middle class, investing in education, protecting seniors and women's right to choose, and when issues amount social security
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and medicare, we have differences around that. i want to protect medicare and social security the way we know it for today's satyrs and tomorrow's seniors. i want to expand the middle class and have the wealthy pay their fair share. so that we can protect medicare and social security. i stand for protecting a woman's right to choose. i think there is a difference there. i think my opponent wants to talk about tax cuts for the wealthy. to privatize and now tries medicare and social security and turning the clock back on women's rights. i believe those are some of the real differences between the two candidates running for pratt -- running for congress.
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>> i find it interesting for someone who has never lived a day in her life living here growing up, this is a community i lived in. i have run into people i went to school with. i represent as the entire district in the california legislature. i know this district. i happen working it nonstop for a long period of time. i think is important to understand the record instead of rhetoric. we are both followed, and the legislators were raised -- raise big on the brake -- raised based on the voting record. she is the second most independent republican senator. every year, my opponent moves 100% of her time in party leadership. there were three others that did run for congress on the democratic side. nancy, the sentences go speaker,
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encourage my opponent to move from santa monica into the county. she knows my comply -- my opponent has a consistent record. i think it is very important, talk about who will represent his committee. the person has to know the community. i do not need a map question of how to get there today. i had been there. what i was a little kid, i used to come here and i used to come here as a kid. i have fond memories of coming up here. you have to know the canada. i represent this entire district. i have been honored to do so. i want your trust and your vote to represent us in washington. my concerns are our neighbor's concerns does a neighbor put these concerns -- neighbors' concerns. >> thank you.
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[applause] >> i would like to say before we go on to the next question, and to be clear again, as i said in comments, the naval base, i know my values match the values of the folks here. that is why the local teachers, firefighters, nurses, share -- sheriffs, and seniors, are supporting me in this campaign. they understand that i understand what everyone here, all of us who live here, what they care about, and what their concerns are. [applause] >> please hold the applause. just takes up time. the next question will start with tony strickland >> i want
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.o move -- > >> we are about ready to face something called the fiscal cliff. it is likely that in your very first months as the representatives from this district, tony or julia, you will have to vote on a bill that mirrors something called simpson-bowles, a bill that will, in some cases, raise revenue, and in other cases, reform entitlements. these are not huge overhauls. they are significantly calibrations in entitlement programs. beginning with you, would you endorse or vote, support,
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something along the lines of simpson-bowles? something that was practical? or, how would you vote? then we will ask julia brownley. >> the best way is to make sure we create jobs. right now, what is happening today is our economy is stagnant. we have had the longest rate of unemployment, over 80%, since we have been recorded it. the best way to get out of this is by growing the california economy and growing the economy of the united states appeared one of the things i will fight for in washington is what is being proposed right now in washington is the deep defense cuts. 18% of our federal budget is in defense. a 50% of the proposed cuts are in defense. that would have a devastating impact in this county.
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if we go forward with those cuts, california, which already has the third highest unemployment rate in the nation, would fall disproportionately on those cuts. i offered a resolution to support the base in the county and other bases in california. whatever happens in washington and other states that does not happen here in this state, when it comes to a state issue, they can agree to disagree on some partisan issues. when taxes is being attacked, they come the other. republicans and democrats need to cut the other and fight for the military bases here. i am proud to say that when we offered the bill, i worked with one person who was in san diego and others to make sure we make a statement on a bipartisan basis to protect those jobs. we will not get out of this fiscal crisis until we put people back to work and put in policies to create jobs right here at home in the county right here in the united states of america.
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>> thank you. the fiscal cliff is just not an option for our country. the simpson-bowles proposal is just a proposal at this time. congress still has other options. but i agree with tony. we have to have a bipartisan effort if we are going to solve the solution, there have to be issues republicans and democrats are both not happy with. in dealing with our budget, we need to balance a budget, but we cannot do that on the backs of the middle class and seniors. we have to take a balanced approach. the wealthy need to pay their fair share. we need to close corporate loopholes and oil subsidies. get health-care costs under control.
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turn son defense spending -- some defense spending. we have to look at it surgically, strategically. we cannot compromise our national security. i will say even generals have recommended where there could be cut to the defense budget. we have to take a balanced approach. i think, at the end of the day, four republicans and democrats to come to gather to solve the problem. but not balancing the budget on the backs of the middle class and protecting our seniors. >> my opponent talks about preserving the middle class. i came from a low or middle class family right here in the county. when talk about paying our fair share, my understanding is my opponent has a record of voting for higher taxes. she has voted to increase the
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sales tax, the car tax, that is disproportionate on hard-working middle-class families. to get rid of tax credit to balance the budget. the tax credit is something families rely on here in the county. we have to talk about spending, but also to look at the tag lines, people paying their fair share, middle-class. i grew up in this area. i was lower middle class when i grew up here. i think it is very important to understand there have been brought tax increases by my opponent that fell disproportionately on our working families she is now telling you she will fight for. >> thank you. new question. this will start with julia brownley. following up on economics, with respect to the financial collapse of 2008, where have we made progress to prevent another
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collapse of a similar magnitude in the future? how vulnerable are we in the foreseeable future to another financial collapse? what would you propose we do in the house of representatives to minimize the chances of another one occurring? >> this question, for me, really defines my candidacy, and it is the center of what i believe our differences are in terms of values and visions for our country. i believe that we have come back in 2008, as you suggested, we faced the worst economic crisis we have ever faced since the great depression. everybody suffered. i believe the actions taken by president obama to have a stimulus program, to create jobs, to hold on to jobs.
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was the right approach to do. if we are looking forward, i believe we are looking forward to strengthening our economy and the covering our economy. the growth is slow. i believe we are on the right path. again, the wealthy to pay their fair share and we cannot balance the budget on the middle class. the key is to create growth and create wealth and create the middle class so that people are engines,ur economy's working again on all cylinders. if you look at the stock market, it has improved. unemployment numbers have improved slightly. it is all going in the right direction. i believe we have to stay the
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course. i do believe we will. we are looking towards greater economic recovery. >> thank you. >> i would oppose the stimulus plan when it was being proposed in washington. the promise to america was the unemployment rate, if we pass this massive debt to our grandkids, we will get out of this recovery, an unemployment rate will never be. our kids and grandkids are going to have to pay for the overspending. what i would have done is come up with private-sector solutions to help grow the economy. one of the things i look at is right now, we have a 35% penalty to american corporations that are investing overseas. if they want to bring the money back here and create good jobs, they would have to pay a 35%
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penalty. i would cut that. we have $1 trillion. instead of bringing it back on, it is investing in china in europe. we need to bring that and tell the corporations to bring those moneys here and put the jobs here in the united states of america. if you want unemployment rates to go below, and you want the trillion dollars to be invested overseas and pay less here at home, that is how you grow this economy. you grow it by making sure you have private sector solution that will help the economy. >> thank you. >> i would say the choice is that we are going to grow and expand the middle class. i think they failed practices from the bush era of triple-down economics, it has not worked for us. it is about expanding the middle class and growing the economy from their.
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>> thank you. >> each of you has expressed concerns about the other's position on medicare. to quote from your own campaign, julia brownley said tony strickland -- the same coverage. tony strickland says julia brownley cuts over $8 billion for medicare. why do you believe your opponent's position would reduce actual medicare benefits to seniors now and in the future. >> i signed a medicare protection plan -- pledge. i came out against the bryan plant. i also, if you look at the nancy pelosi health care plan that was passed, she and her own words,
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she was asked how you will find the plan, she said, we took half a trillion dollars out of medicare for the affordable health care act. the health-care bill. on top of it, the nonpartisan congressional budget office, the legislative analyst's, non- partisan, said clearly, this would increase by estimates of $716 billion. out of medicare. that is according to nonpartisan congressional budget office. my opponent has said she would remain and keep the nets it was the health care plan. just by saying that, you automatically admit $760 billion will be taken out of the medicare proposal that seniors desperately need right now. it is running out of money. we need to make sure we preserve and protect medicare for this generation and future generations.
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>> i would not have signed the pledge you signed. my understanding is your objective the objection is to support privatizing for those under 50. this $760 billion we are talking about, democrats and republicans in washington both scored a $760 billion savings. the difference is democrats reinvested the money to close the doughnut hole for prescription drugs for seniors, to increase funding for preventative and wellness care for seniors. without a kopeck. by the way, it extends the life of medicare by eight years. this is part of the solution of extending medicare and improving
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upon it. at the same time, we will have to be affordable care act, which some of this money goes into the affordable care act. so we have all of the great advantages the affordable care act will offer us. no caps a pre-existing conditions. we know the benefits there. republicans scored a $716 billion so they could give tax relief to the wealthy. that is where the money goes. democrats are saying the seven edges $60 billion goes back to plugging the doughnut hole, increase in preventive care, and extending the life of medicare for eight years. >> i know my opponent has a tough time believing that just because the republican votes on
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it. i cannot crystal clear i would oppose the rhineland. i would not -- ryan plan. we need to preserve and protect medicare. i do not support vouchers. i do not know where you read that. i do not. for citizens who are 40 and 30, we need to work a little extra in terms of years before retirement. we need to contribute a little bit more so we can preserve medicare for the next generation. the greatest generation deserves medicare for long years of time. if you know my mom, if anybody knows her, she would kill me if i touch medicare. [laughter] there is no way i will do that. i have come out strong to protect and preserve medicare. >> thank you. >> i would ask what the plan is to protect medicare. i have read you praised paul
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ryan for coming up with ways to reporreform medicare. a board member of yours, you called him a europe. he said seniors were the most -- group in america today. i do not know what your plan is. what my message is i will protect medicare as we know it for today's seniors, and tomorrow's. >> thank you. assemblywoman,, one of the things that has been astonishing to me is the speed which with they have adapted renewable energy, solar fuel cells, all kinds of really interesting things. and actually created some jobs
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out of those innovations. we have a number of leaders in power supplies to the solar and wind industries. yet, on january 1, some pretty important subsidies to those industries are expected to expire. 100 members of congress, including a democrat, and one former white house adviser, who supports the subsidies. the leadership in the house currently will not bring a bill forward. i would like to hear from you and then the senator about future green energy and whether you would support extending the subsidies for wind and solar and other forms of alternative energy. >> i will be very supportive of anything that helps to leverage and incentivize green
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technology, new alternative energy. this is the direction we must go. this must be the backbone of our future and the backbone of our economic greatness. i would absolutely be supportive of anything that helps to leverage those alternative kinds of energy. i would take a look honestly at oil subsidies. the cost of oil, we have to take a hard look at. i want to leverage new were alternative, more sustainable energy is and move our dependence off of foreign oil. i think that is the right direction we should go. >> thank you. i was one of three republicans that voted for landmark legislation in sacramento to
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support sustainable energy in california. i have always been fighting for renewable energy in sacramento. i need -- we need to look at our energy plan as a whole. we need to take a look. i have often quoted john f. kennedy in early 1960. he challenged the american people that we will have a man on the moon at the end of the decade. that was not a republican proposal or a democrat the polls appeared it was an american proposal. we are funding both ends of the war, billions of dollars to countries that do not like us. we need to make sure we get all of it and that will create jobs at home. we need to have energy independent plants that we will do whatever we can to provide energy here in the united states. i support renewable energy. i support the keystone pipeline.
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it would have created much needed jobs. we said no to canada. they are buying oil -- we are buying oil. how does that make sense? we need to make sure we invest in energy to put people back to work here. and make sure we lower our energy costs. that is a challenge. it is the challenge of this generation. we need the energy independent and stop funding both of the wars. >> i want to direct resources to ensure we are investing in renewable, sustainable energy sources. i think this is important for the county. i think this is important to our country. i think, in terms of jobs here in the county, we have been able base, by a -- the naval tabase.
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>> thank you. starting with the senator, 12 million undocumented immigrants are estimated to live in the united states. according to this morning's l.a. times, 9% of the population in this county are undocumented immigrants. what is your position on immigration reform, specifically, do you support the dream act, and what is your opinion of president obama's non-deportation measures? >> the dream that, i do not think it would be necessary if we had a sensible immigration policy in this country. what we need to do is make sure we have immigration policy that is fair. we need to make sure people who
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go through years of bureaucracy who want to come here legally. we are a nation of immigrants. we should solve this problem. you put your head in the sand if you do not understand we need to make sure we do whatever we can to make there be amake sure theo citizenship. we have foreign students coming to our universities. they graduate at the top of their class and we send them back home. we need to make sure that we stable a visa to their diploma and fix this problem. we need to secure our border, no question. but we're the nation of immigrants. people come here for a better opportunity. we need to make sure we solve this solution. i want to be part of the solution, not the problem. >> i was the co-author of the
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california dream act. i am very supportive and do support obama's approach to allow children brought here by their parents or who served in the military, that they should be able to receive a college education. this is very important for our veterans and young people who have come here by no fault of their own. i also believe that it is critically important for congress and the president in its next term, to begin to work on a comprehensive immigrant -- immigration reform. it is critical to do so. we should create a pathway to citizenship. i also think that our young people need to learn english. we need to do our due diligence in our background checks. we need to have a pathway to
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citizenship to keep our families together in the process. there are some -- so many immigrants in our country are the backbone of our economy. whether it is here or ventura county, the agricultural arena and in others. we absolutely need to address this issue. again, i would have supported obama's approach so far with the dream act and myself co-authored the california dream act so that our students here in california, who have studied hard and made good grades and can be accepted to schools and great universities, they should have the absolute right to have educational support and resources to continue their educations. >> if i might respond, i think
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everybody should have that right. not just immigrants who are here. every citizen has that right, to have a quality education. we need to solve this problem. there are many issues that people do not understand. because we have not solved the problem, there is a ripple effect in our community. one example is domestic violence. there are many women out there who are afraid to call when they are being battered because they are afraid of deportation. we need to solve this problem. i want to be part of the solution. we need to stop polarizing this issue and understand the we are a nation of immigrants. we need to secure our borders, no question, but everybody deserves the right in terms of quality education. >> tim hurd, you will start with assemblywoman brownley.
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>> as each of you have mentioned, the naval base is an important engine of the economy. how big of a threat to you consider cutbacks under base realignment and closure plans? what is the approach this community could take to make the case that those operations should be scared. >> we have to be always vigilant about the naval base in ventura county. it is a fact that, for right now, naval base ventura county is not in april -- is not in danger. we need to always be vigilant about that. i will say that i believe very strongly that naval base ventura county is doing exactly what they need to be doing to secure themselves here. they are modernizing the facilities, expanding their commands.
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the more naval base ventura county becomes critical to our military defense, which it continues to do by expanding those demands, there is no way that we could close down naval base ventura county. i think the folks at the naval base are doing exactly what they should be doing. it is a unique location with the ocean, protected airspace, mountains at the top where satellites can be. the physical geography is so unique as well. it can bring some many kinds of different commands to naval base ventura county. we must always be vigilant about its protection. naval base ventura county is a key part of our economic engine here in ventura county. >> i would respectfully disagree with my opponent. naval base ventura county is not in danger.
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the closure has been put aside for three years. if we move forward with the defense cuts, they are being proposed in washington today it. 18% of our federal budget is in defense. 15% of the total cuts are in defense. it will have a deep impact throughout all bases. in naval base in ventura county, our number one employer, that would have a devastating impact and a ripple effect across this community. that is why we need leadership. i would move forward with democrats and republicans on a resolution fighting for those jobs because i disagree with my opponent. it is in danger. those jobs are in danger. the five-year commander of naval base ventura county says we need a strong congressmen to fight for our county.
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he is co-chairman of my campaign. i understand that we need to fight for every one of those jobs. if you do not understand that that is not in danger, you do not understand what is being proposed in washington today. >> i really do understand the issues around naval base ventura county. i come from a military family. my father was a marine and my brother was a 20-year pilot for the navy. my uncle was in the army. my other uncle was in the coast guard. when i was a young girl, i grew up in virginia beach, and the north slope area, where the largest naval base resides, ocean and air field. -- oceania airfield. i understand what the naval base means to this economy. if i am in congress, i will do everything in my power to protect it. all i was trying to say was that
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the people and the leadership in ventura county were doing the right thing. >> this is a question from the audience. it is near and dear to my heart and reflects my view that both of the past administrations have done way too much for big business and not enough for small business. here is the question -- >> could we start with senator strickland? >> small business is the answer to our economic stagnation. more than 95% of net new jobs are created by small business. what will you do to encourage individuals to take the jumped into entrepreneurship and how will you honor and reward those risk takers? >> any calming -- what drives and the economy is manufacturing and small business. in sacramento, when we talk
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about manufacturing, we are one of three states that charges sales tax on manufacturing equipment. when people are looking where to put manufacturing jobs, they do not put in california because of our tax policy. we are the only one on the west coast. every year, i offer a bill that would eliminate that sales tax and enable us to be competitive not only with china but in -- but with other states in the united states. i agree that we need to move the ball forward. i co-authored a bill with senator perugia -- senator padilla. we offer a sales tax rebate for manufacturing jobs in california. that shows that we can now transition and do it for every manufacturing jobs. we need to fight for
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manufacturing and small business. right now, people are having a tough time getting access to credit. we need to make sure that the small business falls can survive. we have way too many regulations. many times, they are getting conflicted rules by different agencies. one example, a large grower showed me one state agency that said you could not recycle your water and another that said you cannot recycle any of it -- you have to recycle all of it. we need to make sure that small businesses have access to credit. we need to look at the tax structure. manufacturing and small business -- i have been a champion in sacramento and will be a champion in washington. >> by cutting taxes for the
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wealthy, you continue to drive money into the big corporations. i agree with the premise of the question. we need to focus on small business. small business is the backbone of our economy, without question. there are a couple of things that i believe we need to do for small business, to incentivize small business. some of the things tony mentioned. one is to get health-care costs under control for the small business person. we need tax credits for start- ups for small businesses. small businesses need access to capital. these are all important things. the banks got bailed out. they are not writing capital for a small business person. we have got to release that money and get it into the hands of people who want to innovate and create jobs in our economy. i was talking the other day
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with a woman named melissa lopez, a small-business owner. she got a small business minority loan and it has opened up a dead space that was boarded up. it now has a beautiful building where all of the artisans are bringing their artwork. she has developed this nice, small business which is just great for the community. we have to continue to create the incentives for small business. small business is the backbone of our economy and we need to do everything possible to make sure that they thrive. >> when you talk to small business falls, they talk about the pelosi health care act and how that will not help small businesses. the tax structure is straining them from making it. they are talking about regulations. they want to follow the law but they are getting conflicting
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regulations. access to credit -- right now, a lot of small businesses have a tough time. we need to fight for those small businesses. make no mistake, it is not a tax cut for the wealthy. we need the good, middle-class jobs. we need for small business to have access to credit. that is not for the wealthy. that is for small business here in our community. i will fight for that just like i did in sacramento. >> another conversation i had with a small businessman, he said, "julia, we need to expand the middle class. that is what we need. if we can expand middle-class and make sure there is money in the pockets of middle-class so a small business person -- 98% of the middle-class is small business people. they will have customers to buy those goods and services."
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>> beginning with assemblywoman brownley, in congress, if elected, would not only be representing ventura county, calif., but the nation as a whole. inevitably, your advice and your vote with regard to foreign policy would be relevant. here is a question for you -- with regard to the israeli contingent that is making a nuclear weapon, what is your view? what would your advice be in congress? >> we must be vigilant in preventing iran from creating nuclear-weapons. nuclear proliferation is not an option. a nuclear iran would destabilize
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the middle east and present a serious threat to israel. we cannot let that happen. again, we are 30 days from our presidential election. i do not think we should politicize an issue as serious as this. certainly, i will tell you again -- anybody who knows me in the california legislature knows that i am someone who takes my job seriously. i do my research, i study, i learn the issues before i cast a vote. congress, i will do exactly the same. this is something we have to approach very carefully. nuclear proliferation is not an option. israel is one of our strongest
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allies and i support them unequivocally and i have a long track record for resolutions and other actions in the california assembly to demonstrate that kind of support. by drawing the redline, because there is a lot of conversations about that in the news, we should be careful about that. all options need to be on the table. the red line needs to be on the table as well. at the end of the day, my last day men would be to say what i said at the beginning. we must be ever so >> when i visited israel with my wife, back in 2004, they were talking about the threat of a nuclear iran back then. the past two administrations waited too long in terms of
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sanctions and doing what we can. let's be crystal clear. we need to do what ever is necessary to prevent iran from achieving this ability, because unlike the cold war, iran will use it. they said they will use it on the israel. that would destabilize -- i have had a long track record of supporting israel. this is one of the biggest threats, not just for israel, but to the world. we need to do what ever we have do to prevent this from happening. if it is in the hands of iran, there is no question that they will not only threaten israel, it will hit right here at home in the united states of america. i will do what ever means necessary to prevent this from happening. >> i would just say that i think it is very important on these foreign policy issues that this is really where democrats and
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republicans really need to stick together and stick together on these issues. moving forward, we have to continue that alliance and bipartisanship. >> i would just respond that on a bipartisan level -- the fact is, every day that goes by, iran is closer to the stability. we have not done enough. they are closer every day that goes by. >> thank you. we have multiple questions from the audience on the same subject area. i think they distill it down fast. would you vote to repeal the defense of marriage act as a member of congress? senator strickland? >> i support marriage, the institution of marriage is between a man and woman. >> that is a note? >> i support marriage between a
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man and woman. what ever is marriage between a man and woman, that is where i stand. >> i support the repeal fo doma. i carried a resolution in the california assembly to do so. i strongly support the lgbt right to, and they're marry and the right for same-sex couples to marry. i think this is really a defining moment in our country, a civil-rights issue. i am pleased that the obama administration has taken some necessary steps towards repeal of don't ask, don't tell, and his decision to extend federal workers' benefits to same-sex partners. i support gay marriage 100%.
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the fact that married couples would not be able to actually keep their federal benefits, filing jointly or the spousal support of social security benefits -- a game married couple would not have the right to those federal benefits is the reason why we must move forward in repealing doma. >> no comment? >> i think marriage is between a man and woman. >> i want to move on to probably the most important economic issue of our time, which is the devastating housing meltdown. the apparent failure of the government today to find solutions to fannie mae and freddie mac which will cost taxpayers tens if not hundreds of billions of dollars. what would you propose to be
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done at the national level which would eventually reach accounting -- ventura county here who will help -- that will help homeowners -- homeowners under water to help refinance their homes? >> that is an important question. it is one i hear from folks all the time. in the california legislature this year, we passed a piece -- a landmark piece of legislation called the homeowner's bill of rights. it does a number of different things. two things the bill did was to say, when one wants to go to a bank to refinance their home, they would have at one point of contact. one department over here will be
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working on a refinancing my house while another department over here, they are foreclosing on in my house. this bill regulated the fact that we would not have this dual track in the bank's. considers a point of context. the banking community from a federal level -- we have to release more funds to consumers so they can refinance their homes and stay in their homes. that is a fundamental, and we have to keep interest rates low, provide the capital and equity so that consumers can refinance their homes. this is the way to grow our autonomy out of the mess we are in. we do not want to kick people out of their homes. we want them in their homes. we want them to be able to hold on to that one asset that they have in their life. i strongly supported the
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homeowner's bill of rights. my opponent did not support this kind of bill to help the basic consumer. my understanding is that just before that bill was before the legislature, my opponent received over $50,000 from those bankers and insurance companies , and he decided to vote against this important bill. >> my opponent actually voted to take $400 million out of a mortgage settlement fund to other programs in the state budget. that money was given by lenders to this trust -- intended to help homeowners. she took the money out of the fund that was supposed to help people. what we also need to do -- i am involved in a nonprofit right
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here in ventura county that helps people in ventura county with credit issues. i want americans to have access to credit, but also to get out of the credit mess that many families are facing right now. one of the challenges to unemployment that has oaks really nervous about the economy -- a lot of folks, the biggest investment they have, is their home. a few years ago, their home in their mind was worth a lot more, and a lot of families in ventura county are upside down. that $400 million would have been helpful in ventura county. >> pamela harris was able to secure a $26 billion settlement to be administrated by the banking community. she was able to bring back to
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california $18 billion to california out of that $26 billion settlement for the whole country. she brought back $18 billion. yes, we took $400 million of that money and put it towards the general fund in a place where we had to cut to help and support consumers wrestling with issues with the banking community and refinancing their house. it has been difficult in the california state budget to balance budgets, because we have people who ascribed to the grover norquist pledge that does not allow for us to have all the tools in the toolbox that we need to be able to take a balanced approach. $18 billion came to california -- we passed an important piece of legislation. my opponent of voted against it. >> ok, $18 billion. folks could be used that four
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hundred million dollars more, because people are still having a very tough time with credit issues and their mortgages today. >> the question -- very short, very sweet, barred from massachusetts. who is your favorite supreme court justice? >> wow. before the health care decision, i would have said justice roberts. [laughter] there are two -- 3 but branches of government. the health care decision -- i think probably clarence thomas or justice roberts. >> after watching some of the debate last night, i think the question might get some of us in
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trouble. i don't know. you know, i believe -- when i look at supreme court justices, my red line, so the speed, is certainly on women's issues. it is issues about the middle class, balancing the budget -- i would say i would probably answer with bitter ginsburg. i say that because i have really watched -- ruth bader ginsb urg. i had a close association with cornell university, and so the sheik. i had an opportunity many times to hear her speak. i had some brief conversations with her -- i have watched her
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career very closely, and i think she has been really a wonderful, supremeul, fair court justice. >> i would also cite justice alito, after further reflection. >> no further reflection. >> one of the things that we use to hear -- i do not want to do it myself -- one of the things that members of congress used to boast about was their ability to bring home the bacon. that meant to secure money for their districts, and in recent years, earmarking has gotten a bad name. the current congress as a pretty strict policy against it. what is your position on the
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earmarked, and how do they affect the ability to attract federal money to ventura county for useful and worthwhile programs? >> i think -- i am not sure where the term earmarked came from, and it has a bad connotation. i am certainly not for irresponsible spending congress people calling and saying, i will bring this money home, and it is mine. i do think it is very important that the resources that are provided at a national level, whether it is for renewable energy sources, a partnership with a naval base in ventura county, it is really important to be able to match the needs of ventura county and some of the
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good things that are happening in ventura county with the resources that are available at the national level. guess what? i do not think congress people today have some slush fund and they get x amount of dollars to parse out to their district. it takes hard work to find these resources, to talk to the various bureaucracies in various departments, whether that is the epa -- to find those resources and to match them up with the needs of ventura county and what industry and private individuals and nonprofits and charities are doing in ventura county -- to match up those forces, those prosperous entities to provide goods and services to our community.
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>> there is no question that there is abuse with your marks in the system. everybody has heard of the bridge to nowhere. the reason for the abuse is that a lot -- i would support funding coming back here. you have to put your name behind it. if you cannot put your name behind it, you should not do it. i grew up in this community. the reason for the abuse, the bridge to nowhere, all of these things you have heard, many members of congress will put -- will not put their name behind it. i think everybody should be held
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accountable. if you believe in a certain program, or money coming to ventura county, you should put your name behind it. >> ok, i want to remind our contestants that we are here to talk about how important higher education is to the future of ventura county, yet we have a situation where there are large numbers of students with overwhelming debt. there is talk about cutting back on federal funds for university science research that could impact the cal state schools.
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community colleges are taking some big hits in the budget cuts in california, and yet, in a contradictory way, many people on the national level, including president obama, talk about them being the backbone of the economy. what is your position on higher education, funding, and the path forward for students with a lot of that? >> higher education is very important. californians have the ninth largest economy in the world because of a superior public education, university education, and private institutions -- they
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all share in this in california. the investment in science and research could not be more important. certainly, at the university of california, the research on renewable energy, coming up with new technologies, i said earlier in the debate, this is the backbone of the californian economy. the federal level, we must absolutely invest in science and new research. this spurs new industries, new economic growth, and there is no question in my mind when i think of education that education creates opportunity, prosperity, but it also creates jobs within the county and state and country. we have to do everything that is possible to make sure that students, students in the middle
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class have access to federal funds and scholarships, pell grants, cal grants. i supported the middle class scholarship in california to make sure that students, middle- class students have the wherewithal and the ability to go to college, to focus on with their studies, and not come out with a huge debt that they are burdened by for many years to come. community colleges, our state university system, our uc system, our private institutions need the money and research institutions to create a growing haqqani. >> i agree that we absolutely have to fight for our university system. this is a top-10 -- many of the
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top-10 universities are here in california. many are raising fees on the students, and at the same time -- we're talking about accountability -- but increasing salaries for administrators. that is a disconnect. i voted not to confirm one of the people for senate because i said, you are out of touch. you cannot cut fees on the students, and at the same time raising salaries for administrators. i also talk about community colleges, and things like apprentice chip programs. there are good paying jobs out there. my dad was a maintenance man. we had not -- a lot of times, a
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lot of things are broken, and nobody is here to fix them. we have not properly done these programs. i went to oxnard college. they have a top-notch auto shop program. we need to make sure that leaders in our community create a way to get a good paying jobs, the jobs that work with your hands. we need to invest in those jobs, as well, because we are behind in math and science -- we need to invest in our future in math and science. >> i would just conclude by saying -- going back to what i spoke about several times, that is, you cannot give tax breaks
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to millionaires and billionaires and have the investments that we need to put into our higher education system. at the same time, making it affordable for our middle-class students -- you cannot have it both ways. i believe, again, the wealthy have to pay their fair share, and expand in the middle class -- expanding the middle-class, and providing opportunities for middle-class families. we need to provide our next generation the same opportunities that this generation has been afforded. >> i believe that you cannot vote for a high-speed rail that will cut billions of dollars and as hard-working families across
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the state of california for more of their personal money. we cannot treat people as a personal atm machine every time we run out of money. >> ok, a question beginning with the senator. aside from the polls and the invoices for campaign bills, what are you reading these days? >> good question, not a whole lot. reading up on important issues that are going on in our country -- important issues that we face, so i try to read the ventura county star -- "ventura star." a st
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i will tell you the last book i read -- it is called "a lesson before dying." i don't know anybody read that book -- if anybody has read that book. >> i am reading a book right now that is called "strong fathers, strong daughters." it talks how your daughter's future husband will be measured up against you, how you treat your wife and everything else. it gives you clues on how to grow your relationship. i do something called daddy- daughter day. it is just me and my daughter.
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we circle the dates on when we are going to go out. we do something like this, get together for lunch or something like that. when she was born, every day until that point, i open the door for her, show her how she is supposed to be treated. she tells me things that i know that i would not have known any other way. i want my daughter to know how special she is in my heart. i want to grow that relationship. it is a tremendous book for any of you in this audience, a democrat or republican. anybody in the audience who has a daughter who is a father needs to read this book. it helped to grow my relationship with my baby girl, who is turning seven and a few weeks. >> that is a tough one to get back to policy issues on. i appreciate those answers. let's talk about taxes.
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assemblywoman bromley, you have used the phrase fair share -- assemblywoman brownley, you have used the phrase "fair share" a couple of times. governor romney brought attention to the 47% of americans who do not pay federal income taxes. maybe we could combine some numbers and find out what fair share means. if you were given a clean slate, do you believe -- what do you believe the highest level of income tax rate ought to be on the wealthiest wage earners? at what role should income-tax liability kick in for an american family? >> i think everyone has to pay their fair share of taxes. i'm not sure exactly what those rates are.
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where the right balance is. in today's economy, we need to grow our economy. i believe that tax cuts for the wealthy, extending those tax cuts, is not going to help us and assist us in getting out of these economic stranglehold that we have been in. we want to move forward. we need tax relief. there is no question that we need to study our tax system. evaluate it line item by line item, determine where the inequities are, closing loopholes, looking at the various -- what i continue to hear is we are going to give it
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tax reductions to the rich but i feel like it is going to be on the backs of the middle class, whether we are talking about mortgage reductions or other kinds of things that middle- class people really depend on. i am not a tax expert. if i had the opportunity, we will seriously address the tax issues of our country. the west believe that i will study and be prepared. >> sender strickland, you have a chance to answer. 35% now. is that too high, too low, or about right? i just wanted to follow up with miss brownley. >> the question is to me? >> yes. i was looking for some sense of a number. >> i'm not sure exactly what the number is.
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i do know that when the wealthy can have capital gains deductions and other kinds of things like that and pay 10% or 12%, i believe that the wealthy need to pay more of their share. >> she took a little bit extra time. you can have it to if you wish. >> i guess it is all personal. ronald wyden -- ronald reagan once said that it is a recession when your neighbor loses his job, it is a depression when you lose your, and it is a recovery when jimmy carter loses his. people need to keep more of what they earn. families know how to provide for themselves far better than governments. you need to make sure that when people work hard and earn a
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living, that they can keep more of what they earn. people work a lifetime to be able to pass on their business and their life's work to the next generation. that is unbelievable. that money is already being taxed. our tax code needs to be reformed because it is too complex. you could have the same person have the tax code with four different cpas with different amounts that they owe. we need to simplify the tax code. my opponent has voted for broadbased tax increases in sacramento on working class, middle class citizens. she voted for an increase on the car tax, the child dependent credit. that is more money they are taking out of hard-working families who are barely making it right now. i believe the people deserve to keep more of what they earn. [applause]
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>> assemblywoman brownley? a rebuttal? >> a lot of what tony says simply isn't true. i have served in the california legislature since -- in the worst economic crisis since the great depression. it has been very difficult to balance california's budget. i would prefer to take a more balanced approach when we are cutting billions of dollars out of education, when we are cutting child care and health- care. we talked about higher education earlier. we need to take a more balanced approach. we too need to get our economic stimulus going. we too need to grow our economy. we have not had that opportunity in the california legislature. we have not been able to take a more balanced approach to this.
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thani and others in the california legislature have signed the grover norquist pledge. when you sign a pledge and you're not willing to come to the table to try to provide solutions in the state of california, all of those things cannot be on the table. i think that is the wrong way to approach it. i think we have to be it certainly responsible and reasonable about the revenue side of our u.s. budget or california budget. we need to simultaneously budget -- balanced budgets and, at the same time, grow our economy. we have to do that very carefully. if we were working appropriately, we would do that in a bipartisan way. at the end of the budget, when we passed it, guess what? both democrats and republicans
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walked away with things that they did not like in that budget because we did our work for the people of california and the american people. >> i would like to respond by saying that california already has the highest tax rate in the nation. people are barely making it. every family across this state and particularly here in ventura county are making tough decisions. they are making those tough choices. they're not going out to eat as much, not going to the movies as much. they are making those choices. small businesses are making those decisions. if there is no reason why california government should live within its means. just like every family and small business across the state and county. >> thank you. hold your applause. we are almost done. you can applaud and do anything you want at the end.
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>> one of the differences between sacramento and washington d.c., or at least the assembly and the house of representatives, is that there is no term limits. in congress, from this general area, we have had people who rose to a very powerful committee positions. chuck teague a couple of generations ago, bill thomas more recently. what are you the -- what are the committee assignments you look forward to and how will you, 20 or 25 years from now, reflect on your career in the house? >> that would start with julia. >> in terms of looking ahead, the committee that i would like to be on is education. i have a lot of experience in education. i served 12 years on a school
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board, six years in the assembly, chair of the education committee for four years. sat on the budget committee for school finance, the whole six years of was in the legislature, served on the higher education policy committee. i think i would have something to offer in the committee. i have actually talked to a few members of congress who have said that there is not a depth of experience on the education committee in washington. i think it is a place where i could be beneficial and helpful. certainly, after this election, there are going to be some very important educational decisions that are going to have to be made. no child left behind being one of them. this is a committee i would like to be on. in terms of term limits, for a moment, i think the decision in
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california to expand the amount of time a legislator can serve in the legislature is going to be a positive thing for california. having a broader base of experience takes awhile to get up and get going. to have more time to serve the people of california -- at the end of the day, it is the constituents who should decide if the congressmen or assemblywoman or senator is in office or not. >> i do not support term limits for congress. in terms of committee assignments, first of all, we have to work hard in the next five weeks to earn the trust of the people of this district. i served in sacramento -- i was vice chair of health. i have been the lead republican on health-care issues both in the assembly and the senate. i am deeply passionate about
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energy. that would be one of the subject matter that i would like to tackle in sacramento. energy is the challenge of our generation. also, defense. i have worked very closely with the chair of the armed services committee. he supported my campaign. i think i would be very helpful -- it would be helpful to have someone who has a relationship with the chairman of armed services to fight for the number one employer in this district. i am proud to have your support. i know that i will fight for any one of those jobs in naval base ventura county. not only the jobs, but to make sure what is going on in iran, across the middle east, that we preserve the security that people expect from our federal government. >> thank you. we are coming to the end.
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prepare your closing remarks and you are scared my question on syria and afghanistan. whew. we will now conclude. it will be senator strickland first and then assemblywoman brownley. >> i want to thank california lutheran university and the pacific times and everybody in the audience for offering the opportunity for us to stay where we stand on these issues. my opponent will continue what she has been doing the entire campaign, attack, attack, attack. she did it in the primary and now she is going to do it to me. ventura county is a world away from los angeles. things are different here. we care about our neighbors. when they need help, we lend a hand. we put our kids in sports and
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school, preparing them for the future. a future with a strong economy, a strong foundation, and promises kept to seniors. this is my home. this is where i grew up. i will fight for you, your home, of ventura county. this is our home and i would be honored to have your vote to be your next representative in congress in washington d.c. i will never forget where i grew up and who sent me there. i will work as hard as i can to represent the values and create those opportunities for my kids, your kids, and our grandkids. thank you. [applause] >> assemblywoman brownley. >> i want to thank cal lutheran and the ventura county star and the pacific coast for sponsoring tonight's debate. it is certainly an important one. we have heard two very different visions for how to move the
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ventura county and our country forward. i believe my opponent wants to go back to the failed policies that led us to this financial crisis. it is a plan that turns the clock back on women's rights, it would take away health insurance from children, college students, and the poor, slashes education funding, and deepens the cut to medicare and social security. all in order to provide further tax breaks for millionaires, billionaires', and corporate special interests. i have a different vision for how to move our county and country forward. we have to protect and expand the middle class in order to grow our economy and bring our poorest communities out of poverty. we have to invest in education so that young people can compete with good-paying jobs right
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here in ventura county. we need to keep our promise to today's seniors and tomorrows seniors by protecting medicare and social security. for the many people who have succeeded and done well, for the opportunities america has afforded them, they should pay their fair share so that our economy can grow and our middle class can thrive. if you agree, you need to move in ventura county and our country forward. please think about casting a vote for me on november 6. i promise you i will work very hard for your interests. i want to thank you again for your time this evening. [applause] >> thank you. [captioning performed by national captioning institute] [captions copyright national cable satellite corp. 2012] >> members of congress will talk
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with the national journal about the spending cuts and tax increases that will take effect in january, known as the fiscal cliff. on-line coverage begins at 8:30 p.m. eastern on c-span to. later in the afternoon, discussing platforms and policies for the education and presidential campaigns. you can see the platform live. >> this is not about gov. bush. it is not about me. it is about you. i want to come back to something i said before. if you want somebody who believes that we were better off eight years ago than we are now and we ought to go back to the kind of policies we had back then, emphasizing tax cuts for the wealthy, here is your man. if you want somebody who will fight for you and who will fight that middle-class tax cuts, then
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i am your man. i want to be. i doubt anybody here makes more than $230,000 per year. if you do, you are in the top 1%. i am not going to ask you. if everyone in the audience was in the middle of the middle class, then the tax cuts for every single one of you all added up would be less than the tax cut his plan would give to just one member of the top wealthiest 1%. you judge for yourself whether or not that is fair. >> 50 million americans get no tax relief under this plan. you may not be one of them. you are not one of the right people. we have had enough fighting. it is time to unite. in eight years, they have not gotten anything done on medicare, social security.
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it is time to get something done. >> presidential town hall debates began in 1991 with george bush, bill clinton, and ross perot. every election since, presidential hopefuls have taken questions from undecided voters in the same town hall style. watch president obama ann romney tuesday in their town of debate.
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but it is also important, not just any non-presidential campaign, i think people always focus on the presidential campaign. as almost more important in the house races. of the idea that a little amount of money can come in from the outside group. right before an election or over the summer during the primary season in some of these areas a completely sway the election. and you have no idea who is behind these groups. and turning to you, one of the things you have seen it is that the super pac money is fairly evenly matched. fleshed out in terms of the partisan spending. is that correct?
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>> i had a story in today's paper that noted that outside spending -- and september in house races -- nonparty outside spending in september was fairly evenly matched. some groups, smaller groups have realized they come into a race very early with a relatively modest amount of money in super pac land we are talking $1 million or $2 million you can up and erase all by yourself. given early in september and instead of waiting until october when most spending for outside groups has occurred and occurred in 2010, i expect that partisan divide to massively shifted in favor of republicans starting this month. >> was the bigger picture in terms of overall fund-raising
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for outside money -- be a super pac or -- >> there are more rich conservatives who want to spend their money on the campaigns them liberals. it was not always true it hasn't always been true. it is true in this era and the last four years. and one possible reason could be there's a democrat in the white house. when there was a republican in the white house and 2004 a lot of rich liberals wanted to spend money. they used different mechanisms, different groups. i started covering campaign finance for the first time this year in five or six years. the last time i covered it was probably an eagerly pushed years. and then all of these print outs and documents and guides on campaign finance laws and disclosure limits. they are all completely worthless. when i started this new beach and had brought all a way and re learn all of this. it is very complicated.
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low p.r.c. and is coming in this. the killer era, -- in this era, a lot of money on the right. >> you are speaking of bradley smith, and one of the things your organization has on your web page, cpc is the only organization dedicated to protecting first amendment rights. explain what you mean by protecting first amendment political rights and some of the things adana's a organization. >> the senate for competitive politics was formed to become a point where large member of groups, common cause, but also include the league of women's voters, and others that have been very active.
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we felt that there was a great deal of political science literature out there that is very different from, and perceptions of money and politics. money and politics do not frequently work the way that people think. given an example of one case that we kind of picked up on, but many would be extremely unpopular, a case in indiana challenging the state's law that prohibits political calls that people get. people say i hate getting those calls. the fact is that most people listen to them. and most people listen all the way through. they are very much one of the cheapest, least expensive ways they candidate can to get out and reach large numbers of voters with a message. they have been shown to move a voters pretty effectively. and the indiana law made no sense in the sense that you could bother a person as much as you want, you could call them 24/7 if you have a live operator
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on the line. if you were a big campaign you could do it. but not if you were a little campaign. and so that is one of the things we have taken up. we have taken more directly finance related. one of light it really created super pacs. it said individuals can pool their resources together to make independent expenditures without limit. isin's unitedat city. except corporate finance -- a couple at citizens united said you could accept corporate finance farmers for that. people will complain about this election. as too negative, too expensive. but there were saying the same
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thing in 2008 before super pacs -- is that campaign really this different? we hear more new voices. refined over and over the next super pacs i shall will level the playing field. -- we find over and over the next super pacs will level the playing field. super pacs have been favoring republicans. i think that as a temporary thing. i think when republicans are not in favor, i think it will stay with the party that is of power. in 2004, you have the predecessors of these, 527's. but those were heavily used in 2004 by the democrats, much more so than the republicans. i think it benefits out of power candidates. and it evens the playing field. it is a fairly easy term to use.
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always greeted that term. these are not outside -- i always hated that term. these are not outside groups. who came up with the idea that only the candidates should be speaking and to have a preferred speech pattern. outside groups are what it is all about. that is us, baby. >> thank you. marilyn geewax, i will turn to melanie i will turn to you. what about the equation of money and speech. >> what bribes as is often not true. it is not new voices. it is a very few voices of very rich people. when you have a group like the american action network, they are funded by remarkably few people. and i think that is the key. we are talking people give up by
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border thousand dollars. this is not your man on the street. this is a couple of people. maybe 100 people are participating. thing about whether you really think our elections ought to be bought and paid for just by billionaires' and multi millionaires. influencing ourin fligh elections. >> one thing on that topic. this is not an academic study. i want to see more analysis. i covered super pacs in primaries. and in fact, it was a candidate with the biggest super pac who won the republican primary. eventually, it was mitt romney with the biggest super pak. his donors were traditional republican donors for the most part. the guard the second-biggest super pac blasted the second longest. i would say that i would not
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expect to be an open presidential primary won by candidate who does not have a super pac. >> let me go back to a melanie. it sounds like we hit the nervous. so you go ahead and then we will go back to bradley smith. >> the super pacs are not the real danger. the super pacs are just the kim kardashian of the campaign. would you have to worry about are these 501k organizations. otherwise known as social welfare organizations, people can donate anonymously. those organizations are were the real money is, where the real power is. were lot of ads are coming out of. group's american action network crossroads, theseossroad
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have much more money than the super pacs. no idea of the donors are. we will not see those groups file tax returns for another year and a half. the election will be long over before we know how much money they had an even then we will never know who actually put in all of the money. just because we do not know does not the people who benefited from all those donations do not. politicians, most of the corporations who will give the money, large donors, they are expecting a return on their investment. just because we do not know doesn't mean that they are not expecting grass roots. they make sure that the people who benefit know exactly what they paid too. and we have no idea what those people in turn, if they win, will be doing for that money. we will never be able to type those this together. like weekend now when we look at campaign contributions. that will not happen with the donations to the 5014s.
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>> he will have an opportunity to write down questions. eakin feel free to do that now by piece of paper. whatever will be coming around and about 20 minutes. so bradley smith? >> i want to start with a technical point. for example, we often refer to super pacs as mitt romney super pacs or obama super pacs. by definition, super pacs have to operate independently of the campaign. one thing is, about was the single candidate super pac. just elect one candidate. that is what we need. we should know that the romney campaign does not play a role in setting the super pac up. >> yes they do. >> they do not play any role.
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you cannot expect a bunch of mitt romney people to start that. if we take it from there, let us go on -- the real money is not in the c4s. their figures for october 6 show that super pacs spent about twice as much as these groups. that is not really were the big money is. we will have to go into that in a minute. these groups are a fraction of the spending that you are seeing. and they will not spend as much in total as the obama campaign alone will. and that is all -- all groups for all races and this cycle.
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the obama campaign will spend more. these are not ordinary citizens. but let us think about this. when they founded a super pac, did that keep ordinary citizens from being heard? or did it make ordinary cyst -- citizens get hurt? when newt gingrich came out, did that drama voices out or help people here about newt gingrich. did it keep him in the race longer? did more people to to hear his views. >> there were no new newt gingrich supporters. -- if those people have had actual american supporters they would have been able to stay in the race longer.
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they wouldn't have a lot of donors. >> we are not talking seriously. minivet hundreds of thousands -- there are hundreds of thousands of supporters of newt gingrich and rick santorum who voted for them in the primaries. they had many supporters. i am not so pessimistic about the american voter. we go back further. with a. steve forbes and 1996. did he drowned out of voters? no. he spent his own money, made it more possible that bob dole might lose so that other gop candidates got heard from. and go way back to the last election before the federal campaign act, 1968.
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a bunch of people went in and give him $12 million. nothing rich people heard. >> and a lack of disagreement on this panel. i do want to go back to you kim barker. you have been looking at tracking of the money. in addition to these questions of a how much influence individuals have, there are questions of what the state of play is. one of the things i was interested and it came from something to said, george said that he would not donate to a super pac and he decided to. what you think is changing in the game right now in terms of this election? and setting precedents for future elections? >>. democrats have pretty much that that originally we were against outside spending, super pacs, but at we are not going to play
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in the sandbox we might as well take our toys and go home. they feel like they do not do this, there will be at an incredible disadvantage. they are probably correct. what i have been interested in noting is that you do not have at least these nonprofit on the democratic side spending near as much as you have on the conservative side. that an to brad's point small percentage we do not know where the money is coming from. and half of the money coming in is traced back to grips but we do not do their donors are. that i think matters a lot. your point is correct. obama will likely spend more than all of these groups. if you look to the democratic side, and this is pretty much because of incumbency, maybe people should turn off their cell phones. so on the democrat side, you will see the obama side
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expect the law to change again by the next cycle? >> i do not think so. and the current supreme court has made very clear where it stands on citizens united, money and politics, if anything, the trend will probably accelerate in a few different ways. and they have been very emphatic recently, they turned down a challenge on some aspect of citizens united and reemphasized that we really believe this. we are entering into an era where supreme court still not really respect president in december that they used to. if there are new justices added, following the election there are more democratic appointed judges, it is very easy to imagine a 501(c)4 decision reversing in some way. they made very plain, the majority that this is their belief, their constitutional principle.
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they will keep applying it. i am not a lawyer, but i do not see any evidence of the serious reconsideration. >> they decidedly rejected the chance to revisit citizens united last month. but had given the court and opportunity to do this, and the declines to do so. >> you know, to go back to the beginning premise that i launched with of middle school students. it doesn't take a middle school student not to understand the state of play. to what extent do you think it is important that citizens understand the state of political funding? do you think that citizens, you basically said that there is no revisiting by the supreme court anytime soon, people are watching political ads and the money is impacting peoples of
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votes. is there a mechanism by which individual citizens can influence the funding environment? just giving money? >> i was asked a similar question and a similar gathering recently. and i said, look, barack obama has shown that there's a second model for politicians. can build a base of small donors. and as bradley smith points out, it can be robust. even in the world of unlimited spending. >> any other thoughts? >> one thing, we aren't locked up. the five of us. we are in a more influential group of citizens. influence without having to give money. i often point that out. money is one of the many forms
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of influence that affects this. one quick anecdote, when i was with the sec i used to meet with -- i like to do it with high school groups. they have these big talks at the department of agriculture. and every member won here in the evenings they were having a debate topic, on campaign finance. a look a resolution being introduced to regulate campaign finance. and the students thought that their proposal would actually create more regulation than the current system had. but actually it created less regulation. there were actually deregulating if their proposal was accepted. this shows how poor public knowledge is of our laws in this area and what is sort of going on here. it makes it hard to have a clear discussion, for example large percentages of americans think that corporations can give it directly to the campaigns.
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that is one of many kinds of things that make it hard to discuss the issue. >> about that question of impact. not everyone has money to give it. not everyone who even has many things that money should be their prime mover and terms of political speech in terms of voting. how influential our citizens -- citizens and not leveraging their wealth in the discussion over how -- in politics? >> the choose not to be. with a very poor track record in the voting. very few citizens come out to both. they could do to the town halls. they could do far more. they could go door-to-door. they could run against the candidates if they do not like them. so many people are so
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dissatisfied with our elected representatives. or push forward others they like. it is not that people couldn't do more, it is generally decide not to appear in because they are busy and have other priorities. it is not so hard to understand. there has been increasing cynicism about politicians who all seem to be out for themselves. if not for themselves, they are certainly out for their last campaign dollar and there will settle with anything for a campaign donation. i think it does increase cynicism. as a large part of the reason we need greater regulation of campaign finance board if it were up to make, we would have public financing. . be sure that our politicians were not treating all their favors and the votes to make sure that they had a campaign contribution. there would be doing it because they think that is the right thing. and there would be spending more of their time worrying about the significant problems rather
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than spending their time fund- raising which is what they do now. >> what do we know about the donors in terms of outside money? presumably there are a lot of people of wealth who are making big contributions. in doing anything brought the drea graphic distribution -- geographic distribution? >> texas. it is were the billionaires' are. if they are living in texas, they have a lot of money. we have a lot of money coming from new york. folks who used to be with bain capital or still are with bain capital. folks with wall street. folks from hollywood have contributed significantly to the super pacs supporting obama. or the one supporting obama. you better billionaires' of texas.
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he doesn't ever really talk to anyone but he is given a lot of money. at of wyoming -- out of wyoming. and one of any data. he and his wife then others have given north of $70 million to various super pacs support a mitt romney and earlier supporting newt gingrich. that is a lot of money. and is a huge gamble to make. after wonder at the end of this weather folks feel like they deserve something for all of that money. i do not know. >> i remember him telling the trust of all he wanted were desserts at the white house hanukkah party. >> that doesn't sound so bad. >> he has also been very vocal
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about petitions he takes for israel and wants to see a candidate who takes those positions exactly. can expect that he will want return on his investments. >> one thing that i think is interesting that you are not saying is that because super pacs have to say their donors are, you are not really seeing a level of corporations coming in and giving money that everybody thought were going to be giving money. there's a lot of speculation -- about the fact that they are going through the 501(c)4 . you are seeing groups like etna i accidentally leaked the fact that they gave up money to the chamber of commerce, and to the american action network. so, you are not seeing the money coming from the corporations that has reported. it is most likely, according to anonymous.machs,
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>> the money is coming from trial lawyers and hollywood. i thought that was a nice summary. maybe you could expand. >> rich, white men, new york texas, california, kansas and las vegas. that is where the money is coming from. >> wow. >> i spent way too much time looking at reports. and actually, one thing about this, it doesn't tell us about the tax exempt groups, and there is some evidence that the main corporate money comes from that, but super pacs -- more and more diverse. they have more money in politics that we know about, from a smaller number of very wealthy, mostly male, almost entirely
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white people in a few states. those of the traditional states were fundraising happens. that is not a huge surprise. basically, it is where the billionaires' are. and as astoundingly start to break down just how few people are financing and both parties all of these. and it is on the democratic side, liberal wall street people. movie stars. that is where the money comes from. on the democratic side -- the super pac conglomerate, still getting up to speed to be republicans. >> soon we will start collecting questions if you have written down questions. i will go back to you bradley smith. when you think about the fact,
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that our democracy is predicated on one level, on one person one vote. but money is considered speech. >> at and first when you to go back and just pull back a couple bit of hyperbole. it is been suggested that members of congress spend the majority of time fundraising. that is not true. no study has shown that they spend even remotely close to the majority of their time a fundraising. we largely know that is not true. and if the vast majority of givers today to candidates who agree with the daughter. as for the donor gives to them. -- agree with the donor. that is why the donor gives to them. we have a research and studies that have gone into that. there's also the question that -- everybody thought super pacs or run by corporate money. that is not the case. it is all individual money.
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and there's not a strong reason to think it is corporate money. going into other kinds of groups that find this type of activity. what we have you are ultimately as a couple of questions. one question which is, is a good or bad to have this more open deregulated system where everybody can have a putt at the game. how much of this did we need more disclosure of this? some of this disclosure is not disclosed. 501(c)4 organizations have always been able to participate and have never had to disclose their donors. i take my start to a point, my presumption that the government better have a darn good reason before it starts keeping a database which catalogs are political activity and keeps track of who we support and who we talked about politics. on the other hand, i do think that the government can overcome that.
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it is not controversy all in the supreme court that money contributes to speech. if you limit money for the purpose of limiting speech, it involves the first amendment. all of the justices that sat on the court have agreed on that point. is there a compelling enough government interest to overcome that first amendment right? that is the one a question. the second question is how much of that then it should be disclosed. we have not gotten to that. >> i think of as a great place for us to go. and a reminder that bradley smith is the co-founder for the center of competitive politics. and melanie is the executive director, citizens for responsibility and ethics in washington. melanie, i want to get to the disclosure question. but i also want to approach that question, whether it is a fundamental mismatch between one
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person one of the notes and money as free speech. >> i would not agree that money equals speech. i think that they are separate and distinct. i think that there is questions about as close a issues. and all people who used to be all in favor of disclosure in fact are no longer in favor. before citizens united europe people like mitch mcconnell the senate majority leader said really we should be able to contribute what we want, but we should be able to disclose a doll. now everyone is anti disclosure. -- we should be able to disclose it all. now everyone is anti disclosure. there's really not going to be disclosure anytime 27 of all the money going into the campaign ads. when bradley smith says that he thinks the government needs a way to catalog campaign
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contributions in a database. they have been keeping at database. now the situation where $2,000 donation is catalogued, but not your $10 million donation on. i think bears a real problem. we are seeing small donors disclose but not the biggest donors who have the real influence. i think when we talk about some of the, obviously there's -- when citizens donate it is one thing. but when organizations donate -- when corporations like aetna is making a nearly $4 million donation to the american action network bay are doing it because they have an agenda. it is a business decision. we only found out about them because they filed a paper with the national association of insurance commissioners by accident. somebody inadvertently reported their donations to the american
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action network. we got this window. was the first time we found out what they were donating to a 501(c)4 . the american action network gets hundreds of millions of dollars. there's a whole litany of the scripps. you can imagine there's a lot of corporate money going in. we have no idea with those corporations are expecting. >> we would it have any idea if we knew either. and i think that, let us to step back. corporations spend about 100 times as much money every year on its charitable contributions as they do on all political spending combined. what they expect? what is their agenda? we do not worry about it. corporations give away a lot of money because they think it will make for a better society.
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i have to say a word or two about this. i am pretty sure, i know mitch mcconnell's position on disclosure and a lot better than the melanie does. know and the republican party has had any of this at the federal level. what does closer should be required? what we have a long required our contributions to go directly to parties. or spending a dollar coin advocates the election or defeat of a candidate. whenever required a 501(c)4 nonprofit like naacp or right to life to disclose all of its somers, all of them because o donors wanted to use it intentionally, or maybe known
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wanted to run political ads. we fought battles throughout the civil rights era to try to make sure these groups would not have to disclose their donors to people. melanie is right. it is on a rear requiring the disclosure of low amounts but not high amounts. but i do degree to understand that there's a fundamental difference. there's not been a retreat on disclosure. what is being proposed is disclosure like we have never had before in our country's history. >> one of the things it comes to mind for me is simply that the game has changed. so the ability to turn around as closure and commiseration quickly. that is not happening. >> i wanted to talk about the irs. i like talking about boring
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subjects that tend to lead the down a path i can never get out of. but the irs is the agency that is supposed to regulate social welfare and non profits. social welfare nonprofits, 501(c)4 the minute trips we are talking about, the whole idea of dark money, their primary purpose is supposed to be social welfare, they are supposed to be helping the community. not a specific group of people, not a political party. but rep got these groups out there that are not even required to get recognized by the i.r.s. before the start operating. what you have since citizens united for these pop up groups. they come along, they call themselves something white the commission of hope growth and opportunity -- something like the commission of hope, growth and opportunity. comehese groups will, alon
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along. liberal groups will often not apply to the irs of well. there will give money and then they will fold after the election. and their tax returns are due about one year after the election at the earliest. and you cannot have a sense of what they are doing it till then. they allow them to operate and basically say to the irs, and though, we are not produced any money on politics whatsoever. and they spend even money on the same day there mammon of their application to the irs saying we are not going to do any politics whatsoever. that is a discussion we need to have. not crypts if you have like the naacp that basically is operating more as a c3, or right to life groups that want to have a little bit of a political of
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voice and are for killing more of a social welfare rolls. but what you do about a group like this purpose set up their website. one that says that they are there for social welfare. and spend most of its money seemingly on politics. and then fold. and you start a new one. with citizens for strength and security action fund, that was a 501(c)4 that ran during 2010. a liberal 501(c)4 . it folded. and the start called the citizens for strength and security fund. as opposed to the action fund. these are the same sort of cut in place -- the same sort of issues. and running the same advertisements. no idea who was giving that money. mark my word, by 2013, it will fold. and they will have a new one in 2014.
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>> what is it like to try to report on this territory that is kind of like los angeles during earthquakes season? things keep moving around? >> it is pretty fun. is pretty frustrating. it is always just a practical task of reporting on what we are calling dark money here. you are reporting a net huge sums of money with almost no idea, with minimal ability to engage with people in charge of the money. and only an idea of how it is being spent, which again picked up by trekking advertising buys, mailing expenditures. but what it has brought home to
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me, and i think about the fundamental issues about the speech of regulation and it all raises, and one thing we are dancing around here about 501(c)4 is that we have an irs, basically a taxing agency that is in forcing groups of armed force in my political in their outlook. you have groups that operate, go around that blend what we would traditionally considered lobbying and the grass roots lobbying and issue advocacy with stuff that is more obviously election oriented. it raises a real challenge for advocates of regulation. you begin to have to decide how to classify different kinds of speech. how to regulate it. what is the political expenditure. what does that even mean? i do not think it is impossible to do. but the sense that i get from reporting on it, and the challenge of it really is to try
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to describe a clearly for readers, what is happening. what things really are versus what they are called technically. i wish we had a technical group foname for this group. >> people get a 501(c)4 and they are like, we are out of the year. >> we are entering a universe where i think bradley smith probably thinks this is positive, where more money is flowing outside of party institutions come outside of candidates.
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more of it controlled by consolations of political operatives and donors. tied to different candidates. and that is kind of where i see us going. i think it is a consultant's terrain. it is like a gold mine for a political consultant. you can make so much money. you do not have to answer to candidates or candidate's spouses. to sit in a control room cut advertisements and collect your checks. it is a great job. it is the future of politics. >> we have least one growth industry. with a whole bunch of questions here. and for people on twitter, you can't use #investigatethis. there are several questions have gotten that get down to basics. just explain for the record, can do.(c)4 non-profit -- wha's
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are charities. can give money and take a tax deduction. they might run an issue advocacy here and there. they are not allowed to advocate for the election or the state of the. dick miller candidate. it is not mean they cannot have a partner 501(c)4 group. the rules on what those groups can do in politics are this -- they can all lobby. and they can do political advertising. but their primary purpose is supposed to be social welfare. the irs has never defined what that means. you have a lot of the groups that say this means we can spend up to 49% of our money on political ads. but the irs has not said whether that is the case. the irs has a circumstances
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test. >> some spend more than that. the american action network spent 66% on advertising. >> it depends you define political ads. the irs defines it differently than the sec does. a super pac is, under the irs, they can spend all of their money on ads. that is what they do. to have to raise their money and report what they raise and do they get it from. those are the main difference is between a super pac and a 501(c)4 group. >> and there is a c6 group. >> i am so glad you asked. >> and a c5 is a union. >> a couple legal points that
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are significant. a super pac house to spend its money independently from the candidate. that means they cannot confirm with the candidate, they cannot do it because they have been asked to do that. does not suggest that the people will not know what the candidate is doing. it does not take much brains to know what the candidate is doing. actor report their ad buys. but they cannot actually talk and collaborate in that fashion. >> jon stewart and stephen colbert -- >> when they sit there and pretend to talk to their lawyer -- i would say that as a violation of the law. there are two other players worth mentioning. minor players. what is a super pac is opposed to a plain old pac. a good old fashioned pac can take only limited contributions, you are limited to how much money can give.
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it can do independent expenditures or give its money directly to candidate campaigns. that is what a pac is. and a final player is a generic 527. a super pac is a form of five to seven. a generic 527 -- we go back to 2004, the group spends money on the issue adds, sounding like political ads. the reason i mention this, it groups were not defined as 501(c)4 , it is not like in necessarily would have to go out of business, they would just because 527's. >> i think we officially lost the majority of the audience. i am serious about it. i do think this is the conundrum that we face. a year all serious. people do not come out and a manhattan on a weeknight, a
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school night to hear things they do not care about. everyone here cares about it. but it is so hard to explain. we do have some limitations. this is a question i do not know if we can answer, but perhaps. give us your best estimate of the total amount of and never reported contributions that will be spent this year campaigns by public employee unions, big pharmaceuticals, big insurance, big coal or oil, big law firms, and a big finance. >> i have no idea. >> we do not know. >> hundreds of millions of dollars. >> we know, or it is been reported that there is kind of a network of donors associated with the cook brothers were born to raise and spend about $400
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million. we know that american a crossroads is a tax-exempt affiliate. and another will spend about 300 million. and it goes to earlier questions. so much of what the union still is not advertising but mobilization. they do spend money through super pacs. they may spend some money through 501(c)4 , cannot totally sure about that. but again, the reason we call it a dark money is because it is dark. no idea how much they spend. >>-we straighten out the ambiguity of the 501(c)4 ? >> we could do a lot to change laws about 501(c)4. we should restrict them from engaging in political spending. the point of a 501(c)4 was to
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be a companion to the c3. so if you want to engage in political activities, what is to require somebody to start its super pac were the spending would be disclosed. or you can prohibit 501(c)4 from engaging in political spending at all. >> another question asks, how do we now -- are there reports or studies on which media companies are receiving the most money and how those companies are politically connected? i am guessing that it means not that media companies are receiving money that they are spending money. >> it could be for the ads. i am confused with the question. >> i am a little bit too. >> does this person want to clarify the question? >> we have no idea what is going on there.
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there's obviously tv stations across the country getting a lot of money for these ads. >> there is one example of this. most of the money, i think close to the local tv stations. and of course there are very big local tv stations and conglomerates. but those tv stations make a huge amount of money from political ads. it is a great business. partly because it can recently inflated their prices, make up quotes. no one knows what the real prices people are paying. local broadcasters are resisting proposals. >> this is the whole idea of what i was talking about in the beginning of 42 files in the sec. the tv stations themselves and broadcasters were saying it is too burdensome to to put a stop
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on my. to burton's intimate as easily searchable. before -- too burdensome to make this easily searchable. it is incredibly burdensome as a citizen in this country. you have got this and you have got the fact that these ads run by candidates, there's a certain amount of money that those cost. cannot inflate those ads. but those outside groups consider this cost this, now costs this. certain markets like in ohio and florida, i do not think there are any adds a better running that are not from these outside groups. of walmart saying we are not going to be able to spend money on holiday advertising until after the election in certain areas. so, yes.
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you cannot really say for certain one way or the other. >> let me go back to you bradley smith. you are someone who was actually gotten to serve in the capacity of being a commissioner on the sec. what came up for you as you did that that may influence your decision to start the group do you know iran? >> i would say the bigge know i? >> i would say the biggest thing that came up for me is that nobody is doing anything bad cuko. some of them would not be violations of the law. some of them would be close. virtually none of them -- very few would anybody actually trying to do anything that anybody in this room would consider bad. the vast majority of the violations that were found were basically accidental of
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violations were the work things that really do not have much impact. people accidentally contributed more than they thought. a person who wrote a check out and the campaign did not recognize it as such and took it in. and the incredible burden that these laws pose on a true grass- roots political activity. this activity has become so centered and washington now because it is very hard for a true grass-roots groups to do anything because the first thing to do, 501(c)4 -- you have got to hire a lawyer and accountant. and somebody knows how to file reports. a whole lot of people do that for their living. at a minimum, i really hope that we can push vastly upward the reporting threshold so people get washed out of the system. >> melanie, what do you think? our small actors being
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penalized? >> the sec never wants to penalize anyone. so there are plenty of violations. most people in this room thing are pretty darn of egregious. if you are making a contribution in the name of somebody else. if you are coercing your employees to make contributions. which we are seeing routinely. these are the things the sec has not wanted to take a stand on. they are well known to be the most dysfunctional agency in washington. john mccain calls it the little agency that can. it has six commissioners. three republicans, three democrats. you need four votes to do anything. quite often biggest split 3, 3 and they cannot do anything. five of six have expired term spirit and the couple have been very blatant about the refusal to refuse campaign finance laws.
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one said he believes it is his job to help republicans in their position. -- that person did not get through the senate. so you did not try again. president obama said he really cares about campaign finance regulation has really done a little. >> i am walking off the stage if i do not get to respond. >> the mere fact that they think something violates the law doesn't mean that it does. the sec is the enforcement agency that determines what the regulations are and when something violates the law. anybody can file a complaint with the sec. that doesn't mean somebody violated the law. i hope we are all glad that is the case. it is kind of like 3-3 about 3%%
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of the time. go on and on down almost every point. melanie, you do not have a clue as to what goes on at the sec. but that is the fact. you do not know what you are talking about. >> i would prefer not to go down the road of open warfare. there are more questions. >> this is a dishonest attack. made a political attack. made to mislead the audience. you have to let me say, she doesn't know which is talking about and that is it. time is up. >> your going to move ahead to other questions. these to the questions seem to me to be interrelated. one is from the audience, the second is from twitter. the first line of questioning -- how are citizens united and super pacs not late in the violations of the 14th amendment.
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and on twitter -- how can this be called a democracy when presidential candidate must raise $1 billion to raise an election? i think these are questions to individual legal regulations. this is what are on people's minds. any thoughts. >> they are valued judgment. it gets the ball being a journalist to come in and say, this is the way -- this is what i think about this. it does not matter what i think about citizens united. it doesn't matter what most of us think. because that is a lot of the land. that is where we live right now. as almost a disorder have to figure out a way forward and to talk about -- i think issues of disclosure more than anything else. >> religious and note that you do not have to raise $1 billion. now is putting a gun to his head. and in fact, it was obama and 2008 who chose to raise three-
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quarters of a billion dollars. he said you know what, and crushed john mccain if i do not take public financing and i will win. he reversed his pledge to take public financing. and i hope you guys are aware that until this election, every year for the past couple decades, after each party nominated a candidate they got a bunch taxpayer money. obama said, you know what, i am done with that. i am going to raise my own money. mitt romney followed suit. now both candidates are off to the races. was a choice and a meaningful one. it is a -- decision that both candidates made. >> dollars are not stuffed into ballot boxes. water the dollars used for? water the dollars used for? there


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