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tv   Key Capitol Hill Hearings  CSPAN  November 10, 2014 4:00pm-6:01pm EST

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democratic leaning, most of the gubernatorial races are in the midterm years. does that mean going forward if they would have a harder time doing a successful job in the gubernatorial elections? because i think it's only about 10 seats up for the goverors in the presidential years. if it's a permanent smaller and more conservative electorate what does this mean? >> it's striking what we we expected in the off year that it would be a wider electorate than in the presidential year and wesaw that white people voted much more.
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there are few marred -- huge margins for white voters. hard to win statewide, even in a state with a strong minority population. the democratic chair of the white vote was down -- share of the white vote was down since 2008. that is a problem for the problem. -- for the party. there are still a lot of white voters here. >> back to your point about the specific candidate you can't take anything for granted. we want to talk about state-level ballot initiatives as well as some a local elections, and measures at local levels, but i want to make sure we have time for a couple of questions right now.
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as far as the gubernatorial elections or the state elections, yes? >> as far as the demographics, the republicans were more's bread out -- the republicans were more spread out, what is the distribution? >> how did the distribution affect this year's races? >> one reason is we thought that this year was not going to be a wave of election is because republicans would have the rural vote and places like kansas. we talk about red states and blue states, but we really have a red counties and blue counties. i live in missouri where st. louis and kansas city are little blue coastlines, so to speak
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along the state borders and 115 red counties in between. i think it is all but two are republican but that is where the people live, in the population centers to rid hence, their name. but in between those, there is a lot of republican territory. they have a super majority of both chambers and they increased it in a lot of places. this is why we have such different maps. in the presidential voting republicans can only count on texas among the large states. states like california and illinois and even new york voted for republican for president but what is happening is that urban centers, including the dense suburban counties, the fairfax counties of the world, are voting so strongly democratic. but you know, you have small
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areas, and it is hard to draw a map to make legislative seats and sometimes you can outvote the rest of the states in the statewide votes, but you have to turn out to do that. so i don't know if that is exactly your question, but it is a huge issue in these elections. >> i like that, red states and blue counties. next question? >> how do you see politicians managing and interfacing with the new majority -- the senate majority, the house majority, and where do you see the issues emerging, like transportation? we always hear from the states that they want more transportation funding and tax reform. how do you see that taking hold? >> as far as specific
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candidates, how will these state issues think up -- sync up with national priorities. >> you will have 31 governors on the gop side. so now you will have a majority of folks in congress who are now totally republican. this goes back to my point before as to how much leeway the general republican party is going to give governors and state legislators and spend money on certain things in the state, which runs contrary to the general gop philosophy that you don't want to run too much. so you have good ties but they
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may have different interest because of where they stand in terms of their own jobs. >> we will take more questions at the end of the panel this morning, -- this morning, but now i would like to bring up caroline cournoyer. she is the senior editor for she coordinated all the coverage this year of the state ballots. on these and state ballot measures, the story is a little bit different. we have this dichotomy of voters pulling the lever for conservative candidates but more progressive issues, right? >> it was really interesting because this bite this republican wave, voters in red and blue states passed a number of ballot measures. one of the more popular is marijuana legalization.
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both alaska and oregon went the colorado way and legalized not just possession but also the sale of marijuana. and washington, d.c. legalized possession and allowing home growth of marijuana. what will be interesting in d.c. is whether or not congress in the next couple of months decides to intervene. but whether or not congress does intervene in d.c., this is an issue that will not be going away in the next few years especially off all the successful measures on tuesday. activists will be pushing measures for the next go around in at least five states. those are massachusetts, nevada california, arizona and maine. >> specifically on marijuana? >> specifically on marijuana legalization. and interestingly enough, marijuana activist will also be pushing for legalization in the legislatures.
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that is something that has never happened before, it is always passed by the voters, and they are targeting states in the northeast for this because that is where they think that is where they will have the best chance. >> another of these categories -- more progressive issues within more conservative states is on this labor issue and income inequality. can you tell us about that? >> if there was a win for anyone, it was a win for lower wage workers. four republican states, they are nebraska, alaska, arkansas and south dakota, they all voted to raise the minimum wage. this suggest that despite it being such a polarizing issue in congress, it might be a little more bipartisan among the voters than politicians like to think. i would not be surprised if in the next couple of years you see
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a lot more republican states especially since there are more now putting minimum wage on the ballot and passing it that way. there is also paid sick leave. massachusetts on tuesday just became the third state to pass the statewide paid sick leave law. connecticut was the first in 2011 and california followed them a couple of months ago. massachusetts and also california's law will be particularly interesting because connecticut's law had so many carveouts for manufacturers. only about 15% of the state's workers ended up being covered by this law. but both california and massachusetts are both covering a way higher percentage of the state's workers. both of those states will be a truer test of the impact of paid sick leave on businesses and
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employers and whether or not it has negative impacts on businesses and their budget. we see layoffs or whether or not as positive impact on employee retention. >> massachusetts is actually the first state that did this the of the ballot measure, right? >> massachusetts passed into the legislature. >> what are the measures we are seeing in terms of more progressive wins for ballot measures? >> there is also abortion which in a way is not surprising because there were two initiatives, one in north dakota and califonia. >> colorado. >> colorado, sorry. they were initiatives that would of criminalized abortion. in both states, voters rejected it. it is surprising because of the
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republican wave in this election but it also is not really surprising because an initiative like that has never passed in any ballot on any state. there is also gun control. only one state voted on a gun-control. that was washington state and they voted to pass universal background checks for gun sales. this is something that congress tried and failed to do in the wake of the newtown shootings. this is something that only a handful of states have done themselves it is the lesser , extreme of gun-control measures and washington state did have, unfortunately, a shooting a couple of weeks ago before the elections. so voters may have had that in their minds when they went to the polls. also, former mayor bloomberg's group, every town for gun safety, invested millions of dollars in the washington
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initiative and they will be investing heavily for background checks in several states going forward. >> i know you have been paying attention to one other set of ballot initiatives. >> it is a pretty good night for the environment. there were states that passed funding mechanisms to keep open space open. we had the state of florida has an existing program but a basically shortened up. i think about a two to three to one margin. it was a close gubernatorial race. a 50-50 electorate but they went in favor of this ballot measure and went against some of the key gop leaders were pushing for. new jersey also passed a separate ballot measure on that issue to protect open space.
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and then the state of alaska. lots of stuff happening in alaska this time. there was a ballot initiative by opponents to a major mine or a mine proposal in a very plentiful fishery area. that also passed. basically what it did was it puts more severe roadblocks in the way of the mine. the only one which did not succeed was in north dakota where there was a measure to spend some of the state's oil and gas tax revenues for a few environmental purposes and that did go down. three out of those four passed. >> i guess we should mention there was at least one
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progressive measure on the ballot that failed which was gmo labeling. caroline, i know that is something you looked at. >> gmo's has been heavily debated in the past few years. a lot of the research that say they pose health risks have been discredited. but they say the research has been tainted by big research groups like monsanto. regardless of the health risks gmo labeling is never passed in any state. with the growth of the movement, you're getting movement and people really wanting to know what it is in their food, people thought this year would be the year for gmo labeling. that unfortunately was not the case in both colorado and oregon. both measures to label failed. however, activists are undeterred. they will continue their fight in the legislature and possibly on more ballots. it was an issue that came up in
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30 state legislatures last year. it will definitely be a big issue here. only one state has an active labeling law which is vermont. it is an issue that is not going away. >> what were some of the other big issue areas from tuesday maybe not in this vein of progressive issues? kind of more on the budget and management side. what were you tracking? >> one that got a little less national attention was proposition two in california. california has always been a big trendsetter in policy whether it is health care, or regulations. whatever california's doing, everyone is watching. california passed proposition two which means the state is now required to put a set amount of money, revenue into the rainy
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day fund and they cannot touch it unless the governor declares a fiscal state of emergency. this is unlike the past because before the governor could just waive the requirement to save a part of the revenue. not only is the state will be required to save a part of the revenue every year, they are required to put a part of that savings every year towards their paying off their long-term debt. this is a really big deal for california. a lot other states are going to be watching to see if it is successful. already the day after the election, it raised california's credit rating just slightly. it was directed because they passed proposition two. with the great recession, a lot of states dipped into their
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rainy day fund and they are now looking into put the money back in there. they are thinking about the smartest way to do it and pay down their debts. california might be the way they take. >> to sort of insulate from the next great recession or little recession, hopefully. i know that transportation funding was a big issue in a lot of places on tuesday. what were some of those highlights? >> transportation ballot measures were a mixed bag. like they were talking about earlier the federal gas tax has , not been raised in 20 years. most states have not raised theirs in about 20 years. and states are constantly worried about finding money for infrastructure to pay for road repairs and bridge repairs. it is an issue that voters care about. there was some good news on tuesday in texas, wisconsin and
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maryland. voters approved measures either to increase or protect transportation funding. in texas, they are now going to put a part of the revenues from oil and gas taxes towards paying for transportation. texas particularly has big traffic problems there. it was brought on by the oil boom and all the workers that came there. it is a big issue that voters care about. in both wisconsin and maryland they voted to basically lock up their transportation fund so that they can no longer be used for general purposes which is something that often happened in the past and depleted their funding. there was some bad news for transportation funding on tuesday and that was in massachusetts. massachusetts a few years ago tied their gas tax increases to
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inflation. every year essentially the gas taxes would automatically increase without the legislature having to vote on it. about a dozen states have found ways to automatically increase their gas tax. some are tying it to inflation and some are using other policies, but voters repealed the automatic increase in massachusetts on tuesday which means the gas tax will still raise but it won't keep up with inflation. so that is going to be a problem in the future when states struggling to find money for transportation and it could send a message to lawmakers and other states and could make them a little more hesitant to consider policies, to consider tying the gas tax hike to inflation.
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it is going to be a struggle for massachusetts and other states this year as it is every year to find money for transportation, especially with the uncertainty come may. >> i want to move on to what has happened at the local level. there are two other state ballot initiatives that i want to touch on because i think they set up interesting fights and potentially court decisions in the future. both of those are out of arizona which may be unsurprisingly want to test the waters a little. what are we talking about in arizona? >> this was kind of an anti-obama, anti-federal government election. that is highlighted more than anywhere in arizona with these two ballot measures. the one that underscores it the most is arizona passed a law this year -- this week that
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allows the state to opt out of federal laws of its choice. this means that if voters in arizona next year decide that they don't like obamacare, they can pass a referendum or the legislature can pass a bill against obamacare and then all the agencies, all the cities and counties will be banned in arizona from spending any money on enforcing obamacare or the federal clean water act or whatever. but this will be an interesting one because obviously it is sure to bring some lawsuits. [laughter] the constitutionality of it is sure to be challenged. i don't believe it has yet. but give it a few weeks. [laughter] and this is not that surprising. arizona has a long recent history of defying the federal government and asserting their
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state sovereignty. the other less extreme issue there is arizona passed overwhelmingly a right to try law. a couple of other state legislators passed this law last year but arizona was the first to do it at the ballot box. >> tell us -- >> if you have seen the movie "dallas buyers club," this will make much more sense. the right to trial means terminally ill patients in arizona now will have with doctor approval access to drugs that have passed some clinical trials but have not been approved by the fda yet. so, in a way, this does undermine the federal government authority. some in the medical community also say in the long-term, it might undermine clinical trials. people participating in them
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because they might be a little less willing and a little less effective if they don't get the right people in those clinical trials. that is an issue that is also going to be pretty big in the coming years and activists are pushing it in state legislatures. it is an issue that is not facing that much opposition. i would not be surprised if you saw it passed in many states. >> what state would not want that if it is upheld? we want to spend some time talking about local elections and measures that passed this week. alan, you have been tracking that for us. this republican wave we saw at the congressional and gubernatorial, legislative level, is that something -- did that sentiment continue at the local level? >> it is similar to what caroline was saying that the
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ballot measures were more liberally leaning. it is not a huge year for local elections. everybody -- "the governing's" current story about pittsburgh which really profiles the mayor who is progressive and was elected last year. you go down the line and they ran on similar pre-k, income inequality, transit type platforms. the big cities -- they are talking about how they're more democratic. almost every big city is getting even more progressive mayors elected. there were not a ton of important mayoral elections. bowser won here in d.c.
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greg fisher won in louisville. jerry aberson was just picked by the white house to run the office of governmental affairs. providence got a lot of attention with their mayoral race. he had to twice leave office because of felony convictions. [laughter] he was unable to achieve his latest comeback. he ran as independent. republicans endorsed him. he wins in oakland. gene kwan had never been a
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popular mayor. you pick the first, second third choices in mayor. she came in second choice. an aide to jerry brown -- barbara boxer sort of came in. chuck reed has been a big pension reform proponent. the guy he liked won with 51.5% of the vote. the police union heavily attacked dave cortez, who lost. they will not roll back those pension reforms. phoenix voters, there was a local measure to put municipal employees into 401k's file plans. that was voted down. a couple of county races of note. another former "governing" cover subject -- craig watkins, the dallas county district attorney. he lost. he was famous for having a wrongful conviction unit that exonerated about 35 people. he had some personal problems. he had a car crash where he was
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driving while on a cell phone. his opponents say she'll continue the exoneration work. we will see watkins claim that was the real issue, not his personal problems. i mentioned i am from st. louis. michael brown was killed on a saturday and we had the primaries the tuesday before. steve stenger won the primary for county executive. the county prosecutor had an opponent in the primary but note opponent in the general election. he is a controversial figure for putting the case into that front of the grand jury rather than deciding whether to indict in his own. it became a very contested race.
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$3 million race. republican nominee was rick stream who was a statehouse member. he ran a very -- he was extreme. he kept saying he is too extreme. some of the african-american officials endorsed stenger out of anger for the party not supporting charlie but also he is very close with the prosecutor. general frustration over ferguson. stanger got a key endorser from an african-american activist in st. louis. st. louis county is one of these dense, heavily populated counties. we also had paid sick leave
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passed in trenton, new jersey and over in oakland. it is a mixed bag on transportation with money for infrastructure. it was voted down in kansas city and austin, texas. seattle voted for more transit. there were bans on gmo's passed at the local level in humboldt county, california. there were a couple of places in california and texas that voted to ban fracking. finally, there was a soda tax measure for the bay area. in san francisco, berkeley and more than $10 million spent on those races. san francisco, a majority voted for it.
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it required a super majority for the tax increase. berkeley did vote for the soda tax. it was at 75%. most of this was from the beverage industry but there was some money -- michael bloomberg , the enemy of the big gulp, put in $400,000. berkeley approved it. i love this quote in the "chronicle" afterwards. roger salazar, the spokesman for anti-tax campaigns in both places, says san francisco would've mattered -- i don't think people will look at berkeley's results and see and think that is what the rest of the country would do. it is not exactly mainstream. this was the spokesman for the campaign. it is hard to believe a charmer like that was not successful. [laughter] >> other than free pot for poor people -- [laughter] -- any
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takeaway we should think about as far as these local elections? >> how do you manage -- if you're -- where you stand depends on where you sit. if you are a mayor in a big city in a state with a heavily republican state government, what do you do? big cities are always hated by the rest of the state anyway. i think that will be a tricky area for people to navigate. in general, the cities will be the blue labs of democracy while the states will be the red labs. >> we will take more questions from you all at this point. who by this question about the elections either at the state, local level? any of the initiative that caroline ran through? yes? >> you mentioned the mix bag as
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far as transportation, representing a national transportation association, we are very excited concerning the federal gridlock lately of the state races and the ballot initiatives. do you see given the mixed bag them taking different issues such as tolling, sales taxes in some of the northern states like michigan? >> i am not really knowledgeable. >> i am not super knowledgeable either. you will know more than we do. obviously, states keep wanting to build roads. it is a key priority. we have had a lot of experiment right? public-private partnerships. i think that will be an area. governors do want money for transportation.
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what will be the innovative funding sources of the future? >> i am trying to think. >> you made the point that voters seem to be willing to set aside money that already exists for transportation or protect transportation funding from being used for other sources that may be less excited about increasing revenue for transportation. >> one interesting thing to note is tax increases at the state level generally are hard for voters to pass and they are unwilling to pass them at the state level. at the local level, voters are much more willing to pass a tax increase because they can see exactly where that money is going to.
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they can see if their taxes increase, the bridge i drive over every day to go to work or that is going to expand over the road where i sit in traffic every day. i think that is one factor that is really important. if you are trying to get the voters to pay for it which is always hard to do, it is much easier at the local level. >> i think we will continue to see contested battlefields over what kind of spending in transportation. is it just roads or roads and transit and so forth? i am pretty sure in the wisconsin measure that passed, it is all sorts of transportation funding including bike paths and the sort. in texas, do you guys recall? >> it was just road transportation. >> there is a lot of demand for
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schools to close there is so much growth, and a lot of demand for roads because there is so much growth yet the desire to , cut taxes. was it georgia a year ago that had the regional transportation taxes that failed? they tried to be strategic and had this long list of specific projects where people would know with the money is going. it kind of backfired because people said that is not my county. it is really tough. >> it is never local enough, right? in georgia, it was a nine county region. >> this what the state into that multicounty region. >> if it is not my road or my commute -- exactly. other questions? yes? >> all of you have mentioned health care. i am wondering what you think are the biggest, most significant takeaways on health
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care whether it be federal state, local. aside from the obvious obamacare potential -- what are the biggest takeaways you see in this area? >> on health care -- >> there were a couple of ballot initiatives that were mostly in california. they failed. there was one to give the insurance commissioner the power to reject excessive premium hikes. this is something that insurance commissioners in other states do have. in california, they rejected that. interestingly enough, the health exchange in california actually opposed this ballot measure. that is because it gets really complicated, but they believe in the end the insurance
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commissioner has the power to reject premiums in california then it would put too much restrictions on the system which could raise prices and premiums. that was a really interesting one. >> i think it is going to be really interesting to watch. so much of the argument against obamacare is the changes to the health care system take away health care from people. if the republican governors who are either newly in office or who are newly emboldened, if they decide to cut back or end the medicare expansion or whatever they are going to be dealing with -- even in a conservative state, it'll be interesting to see if that approach flies or not. particularly arkansas over they
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have the private sector approach to the medicare expansion. it was passed as a compromise between the gop led legislature and the democratic governor. it nearly got overturned part way through even after he got put into place. now with the gop governor and a strengthened gop control of the legislature, if they will pull that back, it will take away a lot of health insurance from people. it might be seen as hypocritical and it might not fly. i am not sure. >> i think they want to. a lot of the state legislators ran on that. they took the money from the feds to apply.
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i see that as a possible workaround. arkansas -- with the governor and the legislature -- they flipped two years ago and now they have a bigger majority. it is the first on the state is totally republican controlled since 1984. there will be this continuing tension that people could get it through obamacare. say they have a cash flow incentive for states to go with it. we will see some governors -- mike pence -- another republican governor in utah that they are negotiating with the feds about expansion. one thing to watch in health care is chip. the children's health insurance program which is supposed to go away under obamacare.
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that is not happening in a lot of states. funding expired and will that be a priority of this congress? i don't think it will go away. whether he gets to funding that it had been, it is been very expanded in the obama years. i don't know what will happen with it. >> another interesting take away regarding medicare expansion -- because it is a republican wave, it is unlikely we will see a lot of new states expanding medicaid. what is at risk is the states that have already expanded medicaid. in a lot of those cases, it is not necessarily because the governor has come out against medicaid expansion. and saying that he wants to repeal it it is oftentimes the , legislature. what seems like is going to be
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battles between republican legislatures and republican governors. many have said i am not necessarily against it, i am going to watch it and look at the numbers. and even a lot of republican governors have adopted medicaid expansion. it will be interesting to see how that pans out. >> i think we have time for one more question. yes? if you could just wait for the microphone. it is on its way to you. >> i will take a different path with this question. instead of managing up, what about trickle-down? one of the areas that have potential agreement between the white house and republican majority is tax reform. how to do you see that lining up with a lot of the local initiatives, priorities?
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i will take transportation again as an example. the last time the transportation, federal tax was raised was in 1992 and it was a tax reform initiative. in previous congress, the same thing. how does that line up with not just transportation, but also some of the health care issues? how is this going to impact the new legislatures? are they going to have priorities? >> lou, that goes back to your point about we will see how the nationalized these elections get. do you have any other thoughts on any other specific issues? what do you see in terms of trickling down from d.c.? >> it depends on whether the president and congress decided to pursue policy as opposed to
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skirmishing for a better position in 2016. >> do you want to take bets on that? [laughter] >> exactly. there is certainly an opening for some serious policy advancement and compromise, but we do have a presidential election coming up. there will be a lot of pressure on congress from presidential candidates and so forth to try to fight the next battle instead of trying to actually consolidate gains and make policy. >> i think we are going to have to end things there. i would like to thank alan greenblatt, louis jacobson caroline cournoyer. i would like to thank all of you for the "governing" election briefing this morning. thank you so much. [applause]
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>> on thursday, washington journal will be joined by dennis hastert, and he is the longest house speaker, and will discuss how republicans should govern in the 2014 congress. live here on c-span. >> >> here are just a few of the comments that we have received from viewers. >> i just watched a show this morning on domestic violence and was very disappointed with what i saw and heard. i thought they guests were both weak and ineffectual. it seemed that the bulk of
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callers were a bunch of whiny men. one woman is beaten every 15 seconds in this country by a husband or partner. that is one woman every 15 seconds. this issue, alarmingly is swept under the rug in this country probably and most likely because of the perpetrators are male. the only way that this will ever change is if men are willing to look at their own bad behavior and address it head-on. >> i am listening to your commentator and we are talking about harry reid -- about the 2000 bills sitting on harry reid's desk. each and every one of those bills have a repeal of what they call obamacare or the affordable care act.
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so what ever is your commentator, he needs to bring out that point. >> i just heard the comment from a lady who called in and said, i am watching a prerecorded show by the way, that the president -- the democrats need to comment and the republicans need to, and they basically fight it out on the show? i am into that. >> let us know what you feel about what you are watching. call us at 202-626-3400 or comment on twitter or facebook. >> tomorrow is veterans day, and today the veterans affair secretary wants to talk about
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reorganizing the va. we are asking whether reorganizing is enough. you can join the conversation on facebook, so far jim says it is a good start however, who ever replaces them needs to be of a high managerial skill within health care and be vetted. and from bonnie, i think heads should roll and it should not be so hard to fire government employees. we should all have to demand better from this government. >> c-span veterans a day coverage begins tuesday morning at 6:00 a.m. eastern time with a
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discussion with verna jones. and then we join joint use of chat -- joint chiefs of staff. and then the ceremony at the tomb of the unknowns. in the afternoon, a discussion on a veterans mental health issues and medal of honor ceremonies. >> today, president obama endorsed net neutrality, calling on the federal communication commission to favor some online -- to not favor on my content with faster downloading speeds. we had a discussion at fordham university last month with a regulation of the internet. >> i am delighted to now introduce jacob weissberg, who has been involved with the internet before the rest of us knew what it was since 1996.
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he leads "slate," and is a pioneer in this field. when we say the words open internet or net neutrality, he coined them. he pulled together this stellar panel. inc. you. >>-- thank you. >> thank you very much, we are going to do very much more than having your eyes glaze over. we are going to have an elucidation of this lively and very urgent issue. i am going to speak with every member of the panel and give them a chance for opening statements, and then mix it up at the end for some questions. i'm going to start right here with mitt's differing -- mitt
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stiffery, he is a writer for "the nation," and we have been friends for many years. to my left is tim wu, you may recognize him from his wildly successful campaign, he got 35% of the vote? >> 40%! [laughter] he is amazing and he has a background as a "slate" writer. he has a book called "the master switch," and he coined the term net neutrality, and no discussion of it is really complete without his perspective. next to him is jeffrey manning
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who is, until recently, was a law professor at lewis and clark, and now he runs an organization that he founded which i appoint to have to put on my reading glasses to read, which is based in portland oregon -- portland, oregon. for the first round here, i would like each of you to be as neutral and descriptive and a diagnostic as possible, because i think before we get into the weeds of this issue, it is important to have this philosophical perspective and this historical perspective. let's start with you tim. can you explain a where whole issue of net neutrality comes from? >> thanks to everyone for having us here. this is an issue of importance and of concern. i want to try to discuss why that is and give some historic background.
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so i went to the fcc the other day to go to a hearing where the chairman was announcing a new rule, and there was a crowd of protesters there. there were people eating drums and camping outside the fcc. i have to tell you when i started working on this issue in the early 2000s that we would be lucky to have 10 people show up to a talk or something. it was an of skill or academic issue. and i think there is a lot of reason that net neutrality has become very important in our time, and i want to describe some of the issues that i think raises these fractures. we have discussion of power, and private power in particular, and in particular also monopoly power. there is concern and some discussion in this country whether private power has gone too far. it brings in questions and the
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perennial issue of free speech. the internet is an incredible vehicle of speech. there is talk that there might be a threat to that. in the sense that there may be a fast lane or a slow lane created by a lack of net neutrality, it puts into play some of the issues that equality or inequality, which seems so striking in american society right now, the idea that what feels too many people feels like public infrastructure might work that are for some speakers than for other speakers. i think oh the questions of free speech and also a sick senses of equality. we don't have sidewalks, or we don't have sidewalks for rich people and for poor people. so if you go back into the history of this issue, you can dated as far as you want, i would date back to the beginning
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of the nationstate and the beginning of public infrastructure. one of the thing that this country has always done is provide some amount of what you can call if a structure. that is basic essentials like a rhodes, like bridges -- like roa ds like bridges like ferries other infrastructure provided to the citizens. roman empire built the roads and that is what made them famous. when we talk about if the structure, that was kind of it. this change about 500 years ago particularly in a and spreading to the united states. there was a model where we would have private actors and build what might have otherwise been considered public infrastructure. we would have private innkeepers or private bridge builders or
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private ferry operators and have some of them operate under regulation or under rules that gave them public duties. so this is the origin of the idea of the public calling for a public carrier. since the last 500 years, we have been struggling with exactly the rules should be for the kinds of businesses which art private businesses which are -- which are not private businesses, which are vested with the public's interest. everyone is they fall that the newspapers are public, like "the new york times," or "slate" magazine. later, these are largely taken over by private companies, and
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they are dominated by the private sector. it is the same role that has been faced forever when we look at ancient times at bridges or fairies -- or ferries. should these private operators who are operating what we would describe as quasi-public items be subjected to these rules? is the broadband internet the same as electricity was in the 20th century? the same as a water was in the 20th century? i think i will be that there. >> great, i think i know you will want to respond to a lot of that. before you do, can you bring us up to speed on where we are, in layman's terms.
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there have been a few decisions by the fcc there was an interesting spectacle by the president, seemingly trying to express his opinion to the public that he is disappointed by the fcc. he is strongly in favor of net neutrality. where are we on this issue right now? >> ok, so briefly, just s sort of picking up where jim left off on the nationstate, and coming into the early 2000's, and yada yada yada, now we are here, we have telephone and communication services that are already regulated by the fcc for many years since 1934. along comes this new thing called broadband. over broadband, as you all know, of course, we do a lot more than just talk to each other. right?
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it is no longer a single-purpose telecommunication services. it is capable of doing everything. it was characterized by the sec as a communication service. i don't want to go -- by the fcc as a communication service. i do want to go into the boring details, but jim kinard believe that broadband should be classified as information services, because it is far less regulated than the traditional telecommunication services. after that decision was made there came along potential challenges to it, and the fcc continued on this path. they continued to assert that it was an information service, and not subject to title i regulations. as the debate over net neutrality began to rage on some people started to suggest that we needed more regulation
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for the internet. when michael pell, now the chairman of the key medication -- chairman of committee kitchen's under bush suggested that there was some need to treat the internet a little bit differently, recognizing some of the sorts of ideals that tim at just mentioned, he also brought up something called internet freedoms. it was things like content should be treated the same on the internet, people should have access to all of that same information on the internet, etc.. it is not entirely clear that it ever didn't work. it was only asserted that it did not work and that we needed more concrete rules. there was a court decision, we can elaborate on this later, and the court continued to throw out
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the fcc's effort. and then the court just recently, as you probably all know in january of this year throughout the newer rules exceeding the fcc's authority to regulate the internet. now we are where we are today. those rules have been thrown out, we have a new chairman of the fcc, jeff wheeler -- tom but consistent with the limitations that the court imposed, they try to reimpose the rules. chairman wheeler proposed something mpr, another set of rules. those rules were meant immediately with a massive outcry, massive opposition, the likes that never been seen before. it is opposition from the left. not the same kind opposition to
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regulation that we have seen before, it was opposition that you have not gone far enough. you have to do something far more substantial in this case. the argument was you have to impose these title ii common carrier regulators, true to the internet like it is a water utility, electric utility. now, we are waiting to see what happens. chairman wheeler proposed the second rules that do not go that far. he suggested he would be open to the possibility of title to regulation. and we had debate and the fcc's record and hours of events like this and millions of words in publications like jacob, assessing the question of whether we should treat the
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internet like a common carrier or something less. maybe it can segue for you. the issue underlying regulation of internet and in this fashion whether anything ranging from the internet freedom up to treatment like a common carrier are what we want to talk about rather than debating the merits or demerits of the rules. i think we can do that despite we are right now is really asking the question, whether it will be regulating the internet as title 2 or something less? >> before we go back into that i want to ask about the political stakes. open internet versus close internet and the issue of free expression and political expression, the week before last i was in turkey. in turkey, which is a democracy, the president got a law passed
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saying he could take down anything from the internet at will and immediately began to do so. the political censorship of the internet is very clear. we are taught by different bandwidth speeds, isn't a rhetoric -- it rhetoric? >> [indiscernible] there's no question we are not in turkey. >> now on? >> the turkey example. it is worth noting that when the protests broke out about a year ago over a government proposal that will does impart --
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bulldozed impart to the wishes of the local community, the state media and private broadcast media in turkey not cover it at all. it was only because people in turkey have access to services like twitter that they were able to get the news out of what was going on with people protesting in the streets. the freedom to connect through relatively open services like twitter is really absolutely vital to any hope of an open society. we, here in the united states, it is worth going back to maybe 20 plus years ago he for we had the internet at all, before we had social networking, before we had e-mail, we had mainstream media. it was a much more closed system. if you wanted to be heard by the
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larger society, you have to get through a gatekeeper. persuade an editor that what you had to say was valuable and the gatekeepers was not a particularly diverse group. we had a much more constrained national conversation as a result. as we have now is absolutely a much better situation of an open media system thanks to the open internet. that said, i think this argument about net neutrality is part of a larger argument of merits of open versus closed systems. i think i can illustrate with a recent example. there are services on the ellen -- internet that are more open and services a more closed and the philosophical issue if everybody has equal access and equal opportunity to reach
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everybody else with her message is playing out in real-time and many other ways. not just a question of if the owners of the pipes have to not discriminate in the content they carry. you may remember about two months ago when it was in the middle of the summer and mike brown was murdered in ferguson and there were protests in the streets almost from the beginning. if you were on twitter and glancing at what was coming through your feed, you probably saw fairly quickly there were a lot of angry and upset people and people were sharing pictures of the police in their robocop uniforms and so on. if you were on facebook, you do not see this at all in your news feed for the first few days.
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you saw the als ice bucket challenge. the reason so many people saw the challenge opposed to the ferguson challenge is because facebook has a different algorithm of what they put on your news feed. facebook put what they think you will want. not upsetting their users they want to keep their users happy and in a mood to pay attention to advertisers. twitter and its algorithm is much more direct because what you have chosen to follow. the net neutrality of the services we rely on is absolutely vital to whether or not we have an open and robust
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conversation or one that is in all kinds of ways shaped and throttle and limited by private interests. >> i am not sure i totally agree with you. i do want to go back to this question about the internet as public utility or not. he used the metaphor of sidewalk. water, electricity, and if bandwidth is like electricity, you pay the more you use. in practice, isn't this mainly from the point of view of the carriers, commercial issue whether they can charge more to the people we use the most of
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it? >> no. i do not think that is the issue. that is how it is framed to suggest it is an issue that the government should stay away from but it is much more, less than that. it can be expressed as simply payment. if it were -- that hides the complexity of the issue. my position on the advocacy side, i think in our era, it has become one of the essentials and should be regarded as a public utility. it was a different story 15 years ago when we were trying to do broadband rollout. it has come to the point where you go to a new apartment or this is and you want electricity, water, and broadband. what do one for the broadband carrier is to be reliable, as cheap as possible, and for the
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service to give you what you want and not impose its own strange little speedups or slowdowns or whatever else. but the carriers have long wanted and i can understand the economic reason is the ability to differentiate taxes on the internet. those who have more to pay, they like to charge the more and create a fast lane and slow lane. there is some economic justifications are those type of deals. public interest go against it. it comes to the idea there are some businesses which are in the nature of public infrastructure. if you imagine the brooklyn bridge, i could say the george washington bridge, but more politically loaded. if they were to -- if they were privately owned a favorite one pizza delivery company over another, you could sort of immediately see how it works
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competition. uber has a competitor called lyft and uber gets over and it tips competition in favor of uber. in a way that hurts the internet because it derails fair competition. i will also say when we talk about speech, the idea that rich speakers get better access to people is to some great inevitable but we should not try to facilitate -- is to some degree inevitable but we should not try to facilitate. you still have to be good, but it is possible for a really well-informed thoughtful blogger to compete with the opinion page of "the new york times" for fox
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news and that is a function. in a world of great inequality we have enough inequality as it is, we do not need more. in have it be the only people who have money. >> public utility ties in and what is a natural monopoly. electricity and water clearly are. and there are a lot of places where you have one of them or way of accessing broadband internet -- more than one way of accessing broadband internet and it might be a function of a monopoly for consumers in new york. >> you can access through uverse or verizon. >> it may not be available for everybody.
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the question of whether tim is right and if it is a public utility and if it should be treated. >> to the extent that in issue may be an economic what, a problem of monopoly, if that is the fear they may be adding conduct and it does not add competition, we have laws the deal with it and they are called antitrust laws. it begs the question and apart i am not saying it is an answer, it begs the question why we need to build an enormous new apparatus to try to achieve this think that at the root is a problem perhaps, if it's a problem, of insufficient competition when we have lost the deal with it. until the issues that tim was talking about, the implications, whether true or not, i take issue with the characterization
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of what the effects would be allowed prioritization and what the effects would be a forced mandated neutrality. we have nothing approaching neutrality right now. nothing. there's nothing neutral about the internet. what is interesting is far from that constraining -- from accessing, the parties that are advocating for more regulation for common carrier treatment are enormously rich. google, facebook, companies like those are advocating for neutrality and that should give you a bit of pause and you shall wonder if there is a reason they are advocating for the little guy. or whether there might be something else going on.
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one of the things we should consider going on here is prioritization is actually really, really useful and important for the startup, the unknown company that needs some way of trying to distinguish itself from the incumbent. then, and has a massive consumer base and easy access to financing. -- the incumbent has a massive consumer base and easy access to financing. a startup that is looking to make sure the incumbent's customers can find the new guy. in a world where we have so much information out there, it is not enough to be better. you have to find a way to make sure that people who are your potential customers know you are better. one way is getting some form of prioritization. you can call advertising or promotion. i can tell you one thing that the likely consequence if we
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were to close any ability for the startup or anybody to access, it can only mean they would be spending more money on other forms of promotion and prioritization which probably means buying more ads on google. and didn't i mention that google is in favor of net neutrality? i would add 100 additional points but let me add one in particular because i this great quote from tim. it is useful to bring it up. he said, consider that the driver charges you the posted rate and take you where you go and that is common carrier in action. i think that is right. title two, treating it like a common carrier is like barring uber. the problem with the overregulated the internet is
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locking it into a status quo. if you are going to impose regulations in ways that outlaw certain conduct we can conceive of and allow other conduct and most we can conceive of is conduct happening right now. people enshrine those forms of conduct and impede innovation, new business models and ways of structuring not only the internet but the very content providers, who are the beneficiaries of his net neutrality regime. we have to be really careful before we impose essentially mandate the business models of the internet of yesterday. we better be sure were not outline the business models of the future. >> there is real common ground. you both think it is working. the internet is working pretty well so far. you, tim, think it's partly
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because companies have not been able to differentiate. they have not been able to commercially regulate the market and say -- the carrier. and jeffrey, you think that the risk is government. government regulating the internet. both of you like it pretty well the way it works right now. and the question is what is the definition of an unregulated -- an internet without unhealthy regulation? usually it is government and unhealthy regulation is what it does without government. >> that is right. unlike acting without regulation, the government has an obligation to defend. the carriers can do what they want, like it or not, until they run afoul of the law. the government has defended its imposition and one of the big
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issues at least to me, there is really -- as we were just discussing, no evidence anything that has ever happened. i couple of little, tiny things that we can debate of the three examples anybody can come all went. the internet works pretty well. even if they are things that may have gone wrong, isn't enough? is it enough evidence for a shift in regulation or is there not enough? while there might be problems down the road, the only valid course is restrict a humility and we shall wait until the problems materialized because we do not have enough evidence. >> yeah, i wanted to object to this consensus that in the internet works pretty well right now. most of us are being overcharged for service that would, we
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should be embarrassed by. we are paying first world prices for third world service. a kid in south korea can get to the library of congress website 100 times faster than a kid in the south bronx. if the kid in the south bronx can even afford to buy broadband service for one of the monopolists, who may not be choosing to put fast service into their neighborhood -- they have already paid the rich neighborhood. there are a lot of premises it got thrown past us. the idea that jacob, we might in five years see more competition or faster services being provided with verizon has already said they are not going to build fios any further than they already have one-stop for
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most people, unless you want to pay exorbitant prices or moved one of the few cities that either google or a mass -- municipality that is putting this gigabit level of internet service, we are never going to catch up large chunks of the rest of the industrialized world takes for granted at a price a fraction of what we paid. let's not likely to the internet works well now. from the consumer's point of view, it does not work well at all. >> what i meant, we agreed it works well in terms of fostering innovation and allow them encourage and free expression. >> he makes a good point. net neutrality is part of a broader conversation. i would side with the view that the antitrust laws have not been in adequate and we have serious
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problems and we should open the door. as time goes by, thinking of things -- if you have a continued trend toward more consolidation toward a few companies being in charge and over a pretty important public facility, that naturally invites. a company -- a monopoly that shows no sign of disappearing at all or 2 companies charge monopoly prices, as some point you have to say, just the price you are going to charge. the case for rate regulation and also saying you need to provide access to more people in exchange for the monopoly is strong and that's what to do with cable. i am not saying -- i want to close the door when we have constraints. the government should never say we will allow it monopolist charge excess of the price of the costs because the internet
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is special. there is no reason to have that kind of will. it needs to keep prices. this is a inequality issue, the sense that while middle-class salaries are flat, the essentials keep getting more and more expensive. internet service being one example and cell phone service. they keep going up. some of these issues are not just tech issues and are becoming issues of what it means to be middle class in this country. we should not taken off the table. >> an important question is whether the carriers are going to become more like monopolies are less likely monopolies? most people experience them now as companies that behave like monopolies.
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i certainly do. i am not confident, i do not know which way it will go. what do we think? >> making net neutrality policy on the basis that people hate comcast is a bad idea. >> if it stays a monopoly -- >> it is not clear that comcast is a monopoly. there is at least one other competitor in about everywhere. we are talking about broadband here. it is true for cable as well. spoken on broadband, there is at&t or verizon pretty much everywhere in the country. there are other options, centurylink and other companies that are investing enormously in their networks. why these monopolist have invested trillions of dollars and demonstrated ever improving
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speeds relative to the costs of content and not especially rapid increases in prices, prices have generally gone -- >> and that is not true. prices have gone up way past inflation. like 1800. >> you are talking about cable video. the point is that we are not experiencing exactly -- i understand that people hate comcast. their customer service is terrible. we would rather pay less for whenever we want. all of these things are true but we have to be careful about translating that kind of conflict into and i want to bring it back to that neutrality into the detailed and potentially counterproductive rules we are talking about. maybe, this was a burst of honesty on your point at what
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you are saying is i wanted a backdoor way to essentially nationalized this infrastructure that i believe should be offered by the government or the very minimum, regulated so heavily by the government it is indistinguishable from if the government was running it. that does not the problem the rules are intended to address. if that's a problem you see, we should talk about it differently. i do not agree with the premises here, i think it is a real problem going from those premises to title 2, carrier for the benefit of the problem or benefit of solving the supposed problems we have in the net neutrality debate. >> i do not have an idea of the amount of regulation and less to do with competition. i have been involved for 15 or more years now and i the waiting and waiting for the market entry
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of five or six to make a rigorous and competitive market for delivering cable and internet service. i am happy verizon built in some high expensive neighborhoods in google has wired 2 cities. overall, the state of competition is poor. when you wait and wait, as opposed to sitting there is saying one day competition will come so we should not say anything because competition will be coming. we need to ask a restraining -- act and restrain what are -- you have to act on the facts. comcast is acting like a monopoly. they have raised their price. >> trillions in infrastructure and every year increasing speeds.
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wouldn't take account of the government subsidies other -- offered in other countries, the services are not necessarily more better and cost more. it is easy to criticize what we have, but it is not at all clear what we have is worse than what others have. more relevant to the neutrality debate is, what are the costs we are bearing of this? if our service is not as good as south korea's and perhaps that is one or two countries where it is true, what are we losing and how much are we willing cost and burden are willing to there to correct this potentially very small actual costs? >> net neutrality, the internet has been an economic golden eagles delayed -- goose that has laid some golden eggs. people were asking if the united
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states was finished as a technological power. there's little question when look at the world's top 10 companies, they are almost all american. being the home of the internet and open internet, a neutral internet has a lot to do with it. you said startups would do better on a pay to play internet. that is just a mythology. if you ask the startups themselves, they do not want to start their business negotiating with comcast or verizon for a next or payment when we have no money compared to our director -- competition which would be google or an established company who has a lot more money. it is clear that non-neutral incumbent, not just google in favor. when you look at companies, it is new york companies, spotify.
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they will not be distorted -- i want to pursue this point. the question of what the absent of net neutrality would likely look like? one example, it is not broadband access to the wireless carriers are verizon, offering certain content with no data charges. that comes in the form of not directly translatable. that turned out to be very appellant. you will not run of data charges if you are reading certain things. what is the kind of realistic
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version of what happens if the fcc does not mandate going forward? >> you get more of those things -- >> good or bad -- >> our media will look more like television again. chris how do you mean? >> television is free and only to the extent it is paid by advertisers. if you are someone that attracts a lot of advertising -- you are describing jacob, it is already existing in parts of the third world. what facebook is doing in africa and asia is saying, everybody wants facebook, we will let you bundle with your phone. if people open the phone to get on facebook, there will not be data charges. from the point of the view of the user, they are getting
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facebook for free but today are not logged onto the internet at all. >> they may actually know that. it is the height of first world humorous to say screw you, you want facebook, but you cannot have it because i know something that will be that are for you. >> we have a value difference. an open system is better than a closed system. >> an open system means no internet at a closed system is at least i get facebook, i would take a closed system. that maybe the relevant choice for many people. >> how do i think things would look? i do not think the walls would fall down. i think it would be a considerably different world for people starting to think of new things.
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think about "slate" magazine started in the 1990's. you have an idea and you put it out there and you see whether it works or not. so many startups, that's how they start. they take off or they do not. >> you start the position you need to negotiate a deal and if you do not have a deal with verizon or comcast, it starts becoming a permission driven system. the internet become something where it is all about what the better deal as opposed to meritocratic. it looks more like cable television. the internet follows the path of cable. they have been different and the comes much more commercial. the final thing is probably the generation. google is relatively quiet
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except -- and they know that in a non-neutral world, they have the money to pay to get access over their competitors as they could destroy any serious competitors. it locks in the incumbents. >> google and amazon are quite the real debate is over title 2, whether we have common carrier rules. those companies are all in favor of net neutrality and in private conversation, probably opposed to paid privatization. there is no evidence, no reason to think those roles were not apply to them as well. is another danger of the imposition of this massive regulatory apparatus that be careful what you wish for
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because you may end up hamstringing the very heart of the ecosystem. tim, i think your vision of what the world is going to look like it's too pessimistic. i do not think there is anything to suggest that it is likely to be the case in large part because we do not have any rules prohibiting private forward as a shim. -- prioritization. it is not beneficial to the internet service providers either. we may disagree on exactly where they would fall and what amount of unfettered content is in their best interests, but it is clear -- an example as much of the news. netflix and comcast are not simply at odds with each other. people pay for comcast because they can get net flicks. you have to be aware there is that synergy. it does not own sufficient content to attract people to the
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internet and have to make sure they are offering content. >> or they can offer great service which they do not. >> you still need to the content. my point is -- i can see margins of which the internet service providers might deter or impede some content providers. in general, they have a very strong interest in people getting access because that's what people are willing to pay for broadband. again, this vision of the small garage start up not being able to get access. comcast does not care about him. they could care less if the small startup has -- is clogging its pipes. it appears about netflix, it
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really imposes difficult engineering problems on comcast networks. it is not made up. they really do. the small startup until they get to the size of netflix, comcast is not know they exist. you could create a scenario, a world in which some evil person comes to comcast and say i hate these people and is run by jews as let's stop them. you can constructed that is not likely how it will work out. netflix is going to have to pay comcast and its next competitor will go through because -- >> these are for-profit companies. i do not think they are evil but today favor with has more money.
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-- they favor who has more money. it is quite a long way there. there are a few spaces in american society where smaller speaker to have a decent chance. i do not think comcast cares but cares about the paste it. it is clear to me that speakers with money will get priority and you will see the speakers with less money like wikipedia, which is always struggling for money and does not run ads. the consumer space will get worse. in order to pay comcast, wikipedia will have to say we have to start writing ads. the consumer will pay in the end. >> wikipedia has zero which is -- >> it is the kind of content that is not neutral. they have no good a model but people rely on it is the kind of content -- why would comcast let that --
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>> i'm going to open it up for questions in a minute. >> wikipedia, you said. >> question for any of you. you see amazon dispute relevant here. you have a company with market power discriminating against specific content at down to the level of individual authors. they gave paul ryan a pass. it is a commercial dispute but that they now have the power to do significant harm to the type of people you are talking about. there is no net neutrality that applies to amazon. is that the kind of thing you are worried about here? >> we need to be worrying about the new concentrations of power and if they are using their
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platforms in a neutral way or not. we can extend the logic that tim gave us talk about the net is a mutual platform. you talk about amazon's role here and that is worrisome. not saying we have to dissent the old publishing model and hold everything, but playing favorites in the way amazon seems to be doing is very troubling. >> jeffrey, are you cool with what amazon is doing? >> yeah, but i will take the devil after its role -- devil advocate role and point out that as you said, net neutrality applies only to the internet service provider and not to any of the other alleged gatekeepers that tim has written about. it is really worth thinking through what happens when you mandate neutrality on one part
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of one level of this ecosystem but can't or don't on others. a recent dispute between youtube and independent artists who do not get played unless they pay. there are any number. if comcast is a gatekeeper for an author. thousands of examples -- you can think of thousands of examples like that. on the one hand, it means that again, i mention bob's blog, if they wanted to stop it, it would be easy. it is wordpress and -- what is his name?
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"arrested development" -- whatever. that is not the point. if it is standing on its own and it is wordpress. it is not adele versus comcast. it is important to bear in mind, a lot of the independent as small artists as craters, their access come through aggregation services that may have problems we can discuss. they help to counteract the perceived problem of having an isp as a gatekeeper. google versus comcast which is a much fair fight. >> many of them are not-for-profit. >> very few of them really
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matter and are successful. wikipedia is one of a very few examples. i am not saying it is across the board in happens everywhere. thing about the fact that dynamic exists and helps to moderate some of the perceived problems because there are very powerful entities who are potential he threatened by this room preciousness -- repatriciousness. if you tell the comcast, amazon, google, whoever has paid intermediary to you are increasing their power. you have shifted the locus of any problem from comcast to google or youtube. in net neutrality debate about i am doing devil advocate a you are right about everything in respect to amazon are we better off if amazon has unfettered
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ability, no potential impediment to doing whatever it wants digital from isp direction? >> i do not understand how comcast is serving a check on amazon. comcast is acting -- and grabbing all types of rent money out of the company -- random money out of the company and that is bad. amazon is doing something else that is bad and some -- bad. >> the problem with youtube. >> over here, don't you need to solve both of the problems? >> i want to take a few questions. you can keep talking but let me see if there are any hints. if you have a question, tell us your name and one quick question.
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>> my name is melissa and i am with a fellowship program called sense makers and we try to make sense of information on the internet. i used to do investigative reporting for all of the shows. i am finding you cannot have the same effect where you get somebody out of prison or a new vaccine on the internet. it does not happen. the internet's most out in his own fashion very slowly compared to have everybody look at a topic. where do you see the internet having the same effect? >> if i understand your question correctly, what you are saying is basically back in the good old days, a program that "60 minutes" for a network news show could focus our attention on a
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problem and that would often lead to some fix. and today, we have a new kind of problem which is we have an oversupply of information, if anything the internet has made it too easy for us to speak. that's a topic i take up in my new book. what do we do about this? how do we refocus? yes? i would say -- the reasons why -- there are many reasons why in the united states why it seems as though our political and governmental system is dysfunctional, they get the blame, it gets pointed back and forth. i would just suggest that part of the problem is our attention wanders to quickly now. we go from crisis to crisis and the system they used to then respond it immediately on to
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something else. the internet is causing a societal attention deficit disorder and we often would personally and our need to check for the latest e-mail, latest tweet instead of sticking on things. i think this may be something we can grow ourselves out of as we learn to better filter the media we are being surrounded with now. that is an open question. i am hopeful we can do that. i think you're absolutely right. it is a problem today. >> other questions? if not, we can continue the argument we are having. yes? >> hi. last week, my internet stopped working and i have time warner. it turned out, we will not talk
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about the merger. time warner stop my service so that we could upgrade. if other people also have time warner, maybe this happened to them. they were offering me a better modem at 50 megabits per second and i had 20. the way they got my attention was to shut off my service. i don't think that's an isolated example because from over the phone, that was a policy. but not only is that an isolated example, precisely the same thing happened to me. you talk about monopolistic behavior -- if we're going to
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talk about time warner or stories, we will be here forever. >> i will go first. i believe the merger should be blocked will stop i think we already have a problem with unresponsive overly concentrated power in the cable sector and the merger would make it worse. not only net neutrality things and i've tried to stick with them but i think prices are the thing that bothers me. time warner, the average bill in 1992 was between $12 and $20. a lot of it is a ramming but has grown outlandishly. the average comcast bill is $155 per customer per month. if comcast succeeds in getting the same money they've got out of new yorkers, that means in
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this state alone, one point $6 billion year extra for consumers. cable companies are making enough money as it is and i think the merger should be stopped. comcast has not said anything as to what would be in the public interest. they say these vapid, empty things like we will be delivering in the public interest. i think there's nothing about the merger i have read that makes it the public interest will stop the word and back in the progressive era when people looked at this problem of over concentration, they are like we need to not allow mergers for these industries when they are not in the public interest. comcast has yet to meet their burden of proof and the merger should be stopped. >> not as a matter of antitrust.
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we have a -- we have had an enormous amount of trust and we have learned concentration does not translate into monopolistic power. this merger in particular what happened to replace in new york, it would replace time warner with comcast. you have to make out a case why replacing one monopolist with another, why you are likely to have any competitive outcomes that are relevant to the merger and the fact of the matter is there are not any. lex i mentioned some price differentials about a minute ago. >> you mentioned they exist in different markets with different roddick's. i don't know this for sure but i'm pretty sure comcast would say our service is better, we give you something more and you would have to adjust to the data you are throwing around. >> they will replace the exact
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same internet that was costing you $105 with something that would cost $155. >> we have a question here and hopefully it will give you a chance for a brief last word. ask i'm a layperson and i don't see where there is an antitrust system working in this country or globally where we have the concept of too big to fail with hyper banks in other institutions, so i wish you wouldn't like me where this is actually working because we have this huge concentration of wealth and whole countries being wrung out. >> whatever the standards are undergirding too big to fail apply to comcast and there may be interest in the financial markets and if you want to look for blame there, i would not
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look at antitrust economics or even the enforcement agencies. i would look higher up the chain to the white house and the federal reserve. there are a lot of people with a lot of interests in treating those banks differently. i don't know that there is an actual economic basis for breaking up the banks but there are a lot of lyrical reasons they did not. >> i think a lot of the debates going around is a divide as to the more fundamental level as to whether business as usual, where we have a faith and competition to displace regulation and we are not really -- we have a narrow definition of what monopolies are and we have weak enforcement since the reagan and restriction. everything has been great and we
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should continue that, but we have people like me you think it is time for a change. have a serious problem of inequality which is exacerbated by the government failing to take any serious action to restrain cable monopolies and stop mergers like time warner -comcast and start thinking about what are the day-to-day costs americans are facing? how is this economy working for normal, middle-class people? our existing system has done some good exempt creative some wealth but it has failed middle-class and i think we need to re-examine from the bottom up things like how we regulate the largest carriers and how we enforce the antitrust laws. i feel like that is a difference of opinion on this panel. >> i would say the internet has
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gone from being a lucky accident to the network that connects all the networks. it's the functional equivalent of the dialtone of the 21st-century. right now, there's a kid sitting on the stoop of a public library branch somewhere in upper manhattan who cannot afford internet access at home and is sitting there because they are getting free wi-fi that leaks out of the library even after the library is closed. people can't even apply for jobs today if they don't have a way of getting online. when people go to public libraries, the first use when someone goes to the library is to figure out how to put on sume and apply for a job will stop this is essential to our economic life love and the idea that we should take a hands-off, let the big boys figure out approach is not one we can afford.
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>> this was not billed as a debate, but it is a very good one. thank you all for participating. [applause] [captioning performed by national captioning institute] [captions copyright national cable satellite corp. 2014] >> tonight on "the communicators " a professor from pennsylvania university law school -- >> the people who oppose privatization -- they should look at the magic that makes the internet work. there's something called the type of service flag.
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this different service classes high-bandwidth services, low latency, different forms of privatization. people say it's just an old artifact. when we designed the internet because we were running out of addresses, they not only cap that field they included another field to do another form of prioritization. if you look at the in jeering designed to suggest this -- prioritization was never intended to be allowed, i think a little engineering knowledge goes a long way. it's a design feature from the network from the beginning and if you talked the way people are using the network today, they're using it to deliver voice service. we've all been frustrated -- the true i.t.-based voice service to your phone uses prioritization. a lot of video and other things.
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>> that tonight at 8:00 eastern on c-span2. >> both the house and senate are back in session this wednesday at 2:00 eastern. the house is scheduled to debate 10 bills, including updating the presidential records act which would allow current former president to restrict access to certain records from their time in the white house. house leadership will hold elections on thursday. newman members also begin orientation on thursday and that continues into the following week. any senate, votes are expected on judicial nominations and childcare development block grants. votes are scheduled for majority and minority leader on thursday as well. you can watch the house live on c-span and the senate live on c-span two. >> on thursday's "washington
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journal" we will be joined by dennis hastert, the longest serving republican speaker and he will discuss the results and how republicans should govern in the 114th congress. that's life here on c-span. >> here are a few of the comments we received from our viewers will stop fax i just watched your show this morning on domestic violence and was very disappointed with what i saw and heard. i thought the guests were weak and ineffectual and it seems the bulk of colors were a bunch of whiny men. one woman every 16 seconds in this country by a has than your partner and. that is one every 15 seconds. this issue alarmingly celeb under the rug in this country
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probably and most likely because most of the perpetrators are male stop the only way this will ever changes his men are willing to look at their own bad behavior and address it head-on. >> i'm listening to your commentator and they are talking about the bills being on harry reid's desk -- each and every one of those hills has a repeal of what they call obamacare, or the affordable care act. so whoever is the commentator -- >> i just heard the comment from the lady that called in -- i'm watching the show recorded, by the way. it would be good