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tv   Charlie Rose  Bloomberg  February 24, 2017 10:00pm-11:01pm EST

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>> from our studio to new york city, this is charlie rose. >> good evening, i'm jeffrey to become a filling in with -- four charlie rose. the mike redmond forces have emerged as powerful forces and fighting president trump's agenda. their office is the immigration ban, as well as president trump personally and now settled trump university lawsuit, and his continuing investigation of the --mp fold asian administration. dhs this week said we have new
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in terms of how we are going to deal with the partition of undocumented immigrants. short version, there is going to be more enforcement. you are going to try to alleviate that, fight it, how? attack,ticipated this toticularly with regards sanctuary jurisdictions, and it is important to understand there tono legal definition as what a sanctuary jurisdiction is, so we anticipated there would be an attack coming, and last month issued guidance, for the first time, setting out a legal roadmap for what a city has to do, what you are obligated to do under federal law and what you don't have to do. i am pleased to say that jurisdictions in new york and all are in the country are using our legal roadmap and rewriting their resolutions take sure they are in compliance with the law. issued by dhs or
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follow-ups on a ticket of orders that trump issued in the end of withjanuary, and it deals how immigrants are arty in the country. we have the down immigration and refugees -- >> we are waiting for a revised executive order on that 1 -- >> -- one. -- >> that is when you saw democrats from every part of the country stepping up, working together, getting courts all over the country, and backing each other up with amicus briefs, and getting a stay of the immigration ban. these new memos and executive orders on which they are based are really more likely to be taken first in the context of individual cases of people who are being apprehended. it contemplates massive expansion of what are called ,xpedited deportations
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deportations were people do not get the right to a hearing, and raises a lot of due process issues, and includes various provisions attacking whatever he defines a sanctuary jurisdictions. jeffery: let's talk about this whole issue of sanctuary cities and jurisdictions. as you pointed out, there is no legal definition of what this is, but in rough terms what it means is a city, even the state like california saying "we do not want our local officials, cops, state police, to help ice, the immigration authorities, illegal -- it" is legal for new york city to say we are not going to help the federal government deport people? a great the recently we issued a guidance, which is available on our website and being used all around the state -- there are certain things you are required to do. has someant statute
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requirements. most of this is optional. they cannot force local law-enforcement agencies to become an arm of the federal immigration services three local agencies can sign up for a program to join in, but it is optional. tore is some information have an official warrant. two great extent, but jurisdictions have the option to say that in our judgment, this is what the nypd has made very clear. we are sanctuary city, and our judgment, we do not want immigrants to not comport as witnesses, crime victims. not comport asakes it a witnesses, crime victims. we believe it makes it a for four hour police officers -- safer for our police officers --
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what about the possibility -- through something else, republic is in washington pressure lukens in washington say fine, if you want to be a intury city -- republicans washington say fine, if you want to be a sanctuary city, have a great time, but you will not get any federal money. >> those are severe restrictions on the federal government to gore state and local government into doing things. that was the heart of the affordable care act, to cut off medicaid funding. if you want to cut off funding, there has to be a nexus between the program that local government is not complying with and the funding. you can only look at federal funds for law a enforcement -- law enforcement related to aggression which is not much , money. you cannot cut off money for parks and subways because of a refusal to comply on help with immigration. there is a general rule if the funding is so large and
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it is something that local governments are dependent on, again in the affordable care act opinion, it amounts to coercion. the federal government cannot use funding in coercion. there has to be a clear statement when you let the local government acquires the funding -- apply for the funding that it , is subject to these conditions. you cannot retroactively impose conditions. the ability of the federal government to cut off funds for sanctuary jurisdictions is limited. i think it will be tested in court. we want everyone in new york to to know, as far as new york goes what the law is and is not. , there is a roadmap for what you can and cannot do. the executive orders do go beyond what the stated law is, but that should not be a surprise. this first executive order banning immigrants and refugees was found by courts around america to have gone beyond what was allowed. jeffrey: let's talk about that order. that was the order, it seems like a long time ago, but it was
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only a couple of weeks ago, where the seven muslim majority countries, there were new restrictions on immigration. the district court in seattle said it is unconstitutional. the ninth ciruit affirms that ruling. the trump administration now said they are going to rework it in a way to similar effect. do you think there is a way they can rewrite that executive order so that it is constitutional? eric: not that executive order. they can take pieces of it and perhaps do it. jeffery: what is the problem with that executive order? presidents have wide authority over immigration. why can't they say these seven countries, we want to stop and take a look? eric: there are so many problems with that executive order. there was an article written about it called "malevolence tempered by incompetence," which
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i think sums up a lot of people's feelings about the executive order. keep in mind, it didn't just say -- it said no one from these countries can come. it contemplated providing the president with a longer list to be added later. that was in the original order. it also shut down a refugee program completely for a time and permanently banned syrian refugees. i don't think there is a constitutional way to do it. it was clear, from the language of the order itself, and ultimately while the ninth , ciruit decision is the decision that stayed the order and the trump order said we will not try to appeal, we will go back to the drawing board, it is important to understand we went into courts all around the country -- district court hearing cases all around the country brought on behalf of , first detainees. i went into court in new york. my colleagues went into court in virginia and other states.
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this is something where every judge that saw this, republican and democrat alike, issued some form of stay of the order. some stays were broader, some were narrower. it became clear the court in washington was prepared to issue a national stay. that is what we threw in behind andferguson and submitted received amicus briefs from all different sectors of the community, businesses, religious groups, activist groups. the damage to the country caused by such an extreme termination of immigration from any countries in the world but certainly from these seven, we documented the harm it would cause to new york and new yorkers. we are a state that lives off international commerce. our health care sector would suffer. there were doctors not able to get home from family vacations. medical technicians, our --demic and two shins, academic institutions state , institutions would suffer. our tech sectors, finance sectors. we put forward evidence of the damage done not just to the individual detainees but
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, millions of others new yorkers and people all over the country. i am proud of the fact the attorneys general around the country responded quickly within 36 hours of the order. we issued a strong statement because we were getting nothing but obfuscation and confusion from washington. in fact one of the complaints , from folks on the ground working for federal agencies is they had no guidelines. there were inconsistent applications. we put out a statement we were confident the courts would strike this down. it was unconstitutional, un-american. between now and then we are , committed to minimizing the pain. and we followed through. jeffrey: we will see how that evolves. do you see yourself as the voice of opposition to trump? i mean -- democrats in congress do not have subpoena power. you have subpoena power. do you see yourself as one of the major checks on the new administration? eric: i do see state governments and state attorneys general in particular as a major check
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because it has become clear at , least until now the republican majorities in congress are reluctant to pose much of a check on this administration. that brings us back to the wisdom of the founders providing for this federalist system where , a lot of power is retained at the state level. i see myself and another group of democratic a.g.'s playing a leading role in this. first of all, we are in a position to fill in if the federal government retreats from it -- what we believe to be its duties to enforce the law. if they do not want to enforce the civil rights laws aggressively, they are not enforcing consumer protection laws or labor laws, states can fill in that gap. second, if they take action that actually causes harm to the people we represent, we can challenge them in court. this comes up in many different contexts. ironically, i am not defending the clean power plan, but the
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rules issued by the obama administration e.p.a. on greenhouse gases came after my office filed a notion of intent to sue them because they were too slow at following up on a supreme court decision that directed them to do so. our ability to file lawsuits to protect people, the people we overreach or bad public policy of washington is unusual. i think we will have a new test of the strength of our federalist fabric. the opportunities are there, we are not looking for fights that do not exist. the reason the immigration ban became the first flashpoint was it took effect immediately. jeffrey: even before president trump took office, one of the responsibilities of the attorney general of new york is to regulate charities. regulate charities. and you sued trump about the use and abuse of his foundation. eric: we determined they had not done the proper filings in new
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york to raise money here and issued a directive that they comply. -- complied with. they cannot raise money here anymore. we are working our way through whatever problems they are. they are being handled quite professionally. their lawyers are cooperating with our lawyers. jeffrey: tell me about the trump university investigation. eric: that was a different matter. this was a lawsuit brought in the summer of 2013, long before anyone thought he would hold the present position that he does. so, it was not a political case. we were looking at for-profit colleges generally and had actions against several for-profit colleges. trump university was supposedly a new york state university. we do have rules in new york we are kind of picking about calling yourself that. you cannot just say this is a university and you get a diploma. jeffery: that is not exist. eric we sued because it was a : -- really straight up fraud. , ait was something where mr. trump's role was as the pitch man. we got sworn testimony he was said our hand-picked experts
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would teach you realistic, and then we got testimony he was not involved at all. jeffrey: he settled it for $25 million, a relative pittance it seems. did you roll over in that case? eric: no, believe me, this was an excellent settlement. folks ripped off at university have been waiting a long time for the money. they wanted to get as much relief as they could. ,nd they received compensation and, on top of that, we got a $1 million fine to the state of new york because of their abuse of our education laws. i was very pleased with the settlement. keep in mind, he said how many dozen times, i can't even count i will never settle this case. , i'm going to win this in court. it will be easy to win in court. so look he is a new yorker. , i am the new york state attorney general. we have gotten to know each other in the context of litigation and investigations in the past. jeffrey: what do you think of donald trump? eric: i think it is extraordinary he has done what he has done. give credit where credit is due, but he's now the president of the united states.
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whatever our relationship was when he was a private citizen engaged in good or bad conduct is very different. we are not out to get mr. trump. we are out to uphold the rule of law. jeffery: speaking of rule of law let me ask a legal question. , in the course of your trump foundation investigation, do you have the legal right to subpoena his tax return? eric: i don't comment on ongoing investigations. i don't think we are there yet. as i say -- jeffrey: i am not saying are you subpoenaing, but do you have the legal authority to do that? eric: i don't think that is something required under the circumstances of this investigation. we are being very careful not to overstep our authority. we don't want anyone to get the impression there is any political aspect to this. we're really treating it as much as we can like a normal investigation into another foundation that had troubles.
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i have to say to their credit, his lawyers have been dealing with us professionally and responsibly making information , available as we requested. other are withholding information in the tax records case. jeffrey: one of the paradoxes of your role is you are both a law enforcement official and a politician. i mean you run for office. , you are a democrat. you supported hillary clinton for president. if virtually every state attorney general is a separately elected official, isn't there something perhaps inherently awkward at least, if not actual conflict of interest, of being an active and proud democrat and being someone who wields the power of law-enforcement? eric: not really. historically, the really has not -- there really hasn't been. we have a long history, the republic has lasted a long time was elected officials being attorneys general and fulfilling
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other roles that do have prefatory of power -- prosecutorial power i think it -- power. i think it is dependent on us being responsible. and again if something is going , to hurt new yorkers, to represent the 19 million plus people here, i will take action. i have sworn to do that. and i will tell you, at least among my democratic colleagues, there is a sense of professionalism about our work. we are not just representing our we are the guardians, -- we are the guardians, we are not just representing our individual states. we are the guardians of the rule of law for the system of constitutional laws. this is a government of laws. not men, certainly not of one man. i think there was a real sense in which my fellow a.g.'s got riled up by the immigration ban because of the sense of disregard for the rule of law. mean they took the position in , the case that in the area of immigration, the president has unfettered discretion not subject to review by the courts. which for any lawyer who takes , the system seriously, it is an offensive position to take.
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so i don't think this is a matter of liberal versus conservative. this is not an ordinary set of political battles. we are dealing with an administration that has shown a disregard for the constitution and effort to circumvent the checks and balances established under the constitution to keep a chief executive from running amok. this is something we will stand up to where ever he tries to -- wherever he tries to manifest it. jeffrey: one of those checks , which hereto for had been rather obscure's, is the claw -- clause that says in plain english that foreign governments cannot pay the president. there are some who suggest that through the hotel in washington and perhaps other ways, trump may be in violation of the cause. is that something in your jurisdiction? who could enforce that, challenge it? eric: this is a fascinating set of questions. we are in totally unchartered territory.
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let me remind everyone there are two separate issues. one is the unprecedented refusal to divest himself of his holdings. so unlike other presidents who , created blind trusts or divested their holdings, he still has interest in companies all around the world. second, his refusal to disclose what those interests are which adds another level of problems. there are two clauses in the constitution, to monuments clauses.- emoluments in article one there is the clause that says unless congress approves of some enrichment, any kind of gain by a foreign power, the president cannot accept it. the case law on this, there is not much case law on this. jeffrey: hardly ever any cases. eric: we are talking about a gift of stallions to president in the early 19th century. no, you read the research on this and they are talking about ben franklin getting a jeweled box from the king of france. we are in very obscure
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territory. my view is that our representatives in congress have to at least know what his business interests are so they can fulfill their duties to approve or disapprove. that is something that will be litigated at some point. the second emoluments clause, and keep in mind at the founding of the republic there was a concern about big states versus little states, that says the president gets whatever his salary is and can get no further emolument from the united states or from any state in fear that a state might try to pay off the president to get better treatment. that raises a similar issue. how can states know if they are violating it if they do not know what his business interests are? so this is something we are looking at carefully. we are aware of the litigation already brought on this. others have brought other ideas to us.
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it is something i do think a combination of his refusal to divest or place in blind trust his assets and refusal to disclose what those are will come to a head in litigation at some point, whether we are part of it or members of congress or someone else. i am not sure at this point. jeffrey: let me ask you about it this purely new york state -- a purely new york state issue, voting. those who write about it are indignant about north carolina cutting early voting and ohio and texas. new york has some of the worst voting laws in the country. the famous liberal bastion. no early voting. very difficult absentee voting. why? eric: this is something we cannot blame on republicans in congress. you have written about this. my office, first of all i have , been an advocate for expanding the franchise early voting for a long time. when i became attorney general, our office set up a hotline for election day if people had
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problems. last year, the phones were ringing off the hook. we had to bring in additional staff because there were some -- so many problems with voting. we did an investigation into the board of elections and took our report and issued it in december, and put our findings and combined them into something called the new york votes act which would bring us into the 21st century. have early voting, no-fault absentee voting, free and open registration process. new york in 2016 was 48 out of 50 states in terms of participation by eligible voters. shame on us. jeffrey: that is unbelievable. eric that is something that some : would argue is lower voter turnout favoring the incumbents of both parties. they know who the prime regular voters are some consultants make , money selling the triple prime voter list of people who will sure even in a hurricane, wave --m, and title
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title wave to vote. i favor opening up the franchise. it is so easy to do. there are other states that do it. oregon went to automatic registration. my proposal is the same. jeffrey: what is stopping it? is it going to get through the assembly? let's name some names. eric: because the public was so outraged by it last year, and you may remember. this was not just in one part of the state. this was all over the state of new york. inconsistent instructions being given out by boards of elections. peoples names being purged from the boulder rolls -- voter rolls in properly -- improperly. we actually have a lawsuit related to that. i do believe the public anger about this makes this an excellent time to make a move. it has already been introduced in the assembly. we have sponsors there, and i have spoken to the leaders of both houses of the legislature about this. i think we have an excellent chance to make these changes this year. it is also important to recognize this has become part of the national debate. when you have republicans in conservative states trying to cut back on voting rights who
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pointed to new york saying we are still better than new york -- jeffrey: governor kasich said that. user that to me personally. what are you complaining about? our laws are better than yours. eric: one of the things you can look forward to in the next number of years is states will be differentiating themselves. you will not have the big homogenizing federal programs. you can already see that if the federal government starts to dismantles the consumer financial protection bureau, you will have some states that have strong civil rights protections , strong environmental laws, and control laws, that gun control laws come -- gun control laws and some that don't. , i think it is important for new york to recognize we are back to like 100 years ago when states will be the laboratories of democracy. we have to open up the voting. jeffrey: where is governor cuomo? eric: he says he is in favor of it and we will try to get it in the state budget and hopefully we can get it done. jeffrey: how are you getting
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along these days? eric: getting along fine. we are very busy. this new administration has created additional layers of work for us. jeffrey: attorney general eric schneiderman, thanks for being on charlie show. we will be right back. ♪
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♪ jeffrey: i am jeffrey toobin filling in for charlie rose. there are 1.8 million new yorkers living in poverty. reynold levy is the president of the robin hood foundation, a
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philanthropy founded in 1988 to alleviate poverty in new york city. it recently launched a campaign to help over 800,000 new yorkers receive the federal benefits to which they are entitled but not getting. i'm pleased to have him on this program. welcome. what is robin hood? founded in 1988, which is recent by charity standards. reynold: robin hood was created by some publicly spirited hedge fund managers who wanted to give something back to the city and were very concerned about poverty in new york city and ways in which to alleviate it. in its current incarnation, it raises every year somewhere between $125 and $150 million and distributes it to our nonprofit partners who provide services in everything ranging from charter schools to food pantries to health services to
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income maintenance services for clients all over new york city. jeffrey: let me ask you about poverty in new york city generally. is it better or worse than 10 years ago, 100 years ago? reynold: we have shifting definitions of poverty, just as we have shifting definitions of wealth and the middle class. it is certainly better than it was 100 years ago. it has not differed much in the last decade. and arguably, it has worsened in the sense that new york is a very expensive area to live in. housing costs and necessities have gone up considerably in excess of inflation rates. incomes have not. particularly for the working class. jeffrey: is that because of something the government did or did not do? is it about bigger forces the government cannot do anything about? reynold: we are fortunate in new york city to live in a town that
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is governed by both the mayor and a governor who in the last two years have made major progress for poor people. increasing the minimum wage. free pre-k to all new yorkers who have a child of pre-k age. paid sick leave. a proposal amount for free tuition in-state university and city university of new york. these have been enormous changes affecting the lives of poor people. neither the mayor nor governor control microeconomics and they don't control federal entitlements. those are areas outside control. within those discretionary areas in control of the mayor and governor, we have had two very progressive forces. jeffrey: one of the things you heard from donald trump during the campaign was poor people,
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their lives have not gotten much better under barack obama. he would often say, what have you got to lose by switching your allegiances? what about that argument? reynold: we will find out. the future will tell us what impact the administration will have on poor people. certainly, 3.5% growth rate being projected by the administration as a goal will be helpful in terms of job generation. new york city has been thriving. a significant number of jobs have been created in the hotel industry, in the transportation industry, that have been helpful to poor people. the fact that tourism is at record highs, in the $55 billion a year range, has been really significant in terms of its impact.
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so we will see what the federal impact is. jeffrey: let's talk about robin hood. you have $120 million roughly to give away every year. how do you decide? there are lots of good people doing good work. reynold: that is a very pertinent question to ask because robin hood has developed a very sophisticated set of metrics to determine the cost/benefit of a gift to a nonprofit. we track the impact of that gift on clients who are served. what is the impact of a gift to a food pantry? what is the impact of a gift to a special ed class? what is the impact of a gift to enhanced tutoring or a longer school day? jeffrey: let me stop you in terms of metrics. that actually has been very controversial in many areas, measuring student achievement rates is controversial. you mentioned special ed. how do you measure the effect of
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putting money into special ed? reynold: you have a control group that does not get a gift that may have two extra teachers in the room that would allow for a longer school day. you measure the proficiency of the control group compared with the group that receives that addition, and you measure it over time. you see what the impact is over time. this measurement is extensive sometimes because it involves a longitudinal study and staying with the students. but you try to control for other factors that are not related to the gift itself. jeffrey: you want a lot of bang for your buck. you want to be able to measure it. reynold: correct. we hope that we will come upon
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some solutions that are replicable, that can go to scale, and that can influence systems not only in new york city but elsewhere in the country. jeffrey: have you found that has been the case so far? reynold: we found a few we think make a major impact. curriculum reform, different kinds of curriculum reform. systems to make food distribution more efficient and effective in the food pantry area. we are constantly searching for those. jeffrey: one of your big initiatives i mentioned at the beginning is to get new yorkers to get the federal benefits to which they are entitled but not receiving. like what? what is it you're trying to get people to get? reynold: the "start by asking" campaign focuses on four benefits. the earned income tax credit, the snap program or food stamps, women's, infants, and children program, and the child tax program.
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if all new yorkers eligible received those benefits, it would take hundreds of thousands of people out of poverty. there are roughly 800,000 new yorkers eligible for one or more of those benefits who are not now receiving them. it is roughly $1.2 billion of federal money fully legislated, it is there untapped. jeffrey: the obvious question is these people are entitled to these benefits. why are they not asking for them? reynold: around the country, the figure is roughly $40 billion. to take one benefit, there are 44 million americans on food stamps. rough estimates are there are 30% more americans eligible, or 12 million americans. of those 44 million americans on food stamps, receiving food stamps has taken 10 million out of poverty. often working class americans eligible for food stamps.
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jeffrey: why are more people not asking for what they are entitled to? reynold: 30-35% of the eligibles for snap are senior adults. many have worked all of their lives. now they are widows or widowers on fixed incomes. costs have gone up. they become eligible but think of it as a welfare benefit, and they are reluctant to take it as a result. some are language difficulties. some are concerns about immigration and being new immigrants and what impact enrollment in any federal program would have. some are bureaucratic obstacles. jeffrey: let me interrupt you since you mentioned immigration. these programs like food stamps, are people who are undocumented immigrants eligible for food stamps in new york or anywhere else? reynold: they are not. their children are. jeffrey: how does a 2-year-old get food stamps other than from their parents? reynold: they enroll their children.
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jeffrey: they can enroll. if you are in an environment where people fear any contact with the government, maybe they will not enroll and her kids to not get the food. reynold: which is why the "start by asking" campaign has developed a sophisticated triage system. where there is a straightforward movement from awareness to enrollment, that can happen pretty automatically by computer or face-to-face engagement. where it is complicated, when someone is at risk, we want to make sure legal assistance is provided and legal guidance is provided on what the risks might be. that requires the particular condition of the immigrant. jeffrey: this is a major initiative of yours. why this as opposed to something else? is it because you think it could have this multiplier effect of getting all of these dollars into the hands of poor people?
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why this program? reynold: we don't know of any other program that can relieve poverty more quickly for more people at less cost with no new legislation, no new executive orders. this money is there for the asking. it is not a shiny new toy. it is basic money to create greater awareness and motivate poor people who are entitled to these benefits to enroll. make them aware and make the process as simple as possible for them. they can do it in new york city by dialing 311 or the website. around the country, i would encourage any of your viewers who know poor people, poor people who work for them, who are fellow parishioners, who have contact, to encourage them to check out the availability of these forms of benefits.
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jeffrey: how do you feel like a program like this intersects with the political environment in the country? this is a country that just elected donald trump president. we have a republican house, republican senate. the idea that poor people are getting benefits and maybe too many benefits is widespread at least in the federal government. do you feel this maybe is out of step with where the federal government is at the moment? reynold: i do not. the food stamp program has been in existence for 60 years. it represents 12% of the dollar value of the food purchased in new york city. this is a very widespread and
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consensus program through republican administrations, democratic administrations, recessions, good economic times. the earned income tax credit is one of the few things speaker ryan and president obama agreed on. republicans support the earned income tax credit. i think there is a consensus that people who work full-time and work hard at their job should not have to choose between paying a utility bill or buying adequate food for their kids. there are proposals outstanding intact reform legislation to increase the ceiling for the earned income tax credit. ♪
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♪ jeffrey: let's talk a little bit about how robin hood runs. robin hood took from the rich and gave to the poor. i guess that is sort of the joke behind the title in 1988. robin hood is famous, perhaps even notorious, for his famous fundraiser every year at the convention center where you raise this astonishing amount of money in one night. how did that come about? why did that event take on such a life of its own?
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reynold: i speak now as an historian. i was not there. i was not there when it started. jeffrey: but you are happily the custodian of cashing those big checks. reynold: i am the inheritor and not unaccustomed to benefits that raised substantial amounts of money. this is singular. and i think part of it has to do with creating a special occasion and special spirit around poor people. there is such energy when you come into the center with 4000 people in the room getting exposed to the major themes of what robin hood has accomplished in the year passed with a focus on metrics and numbers, reporting back to our shareholders on what their gifts last year accomplished. jeffrey: what about the argument the income inequality, the hedge
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fund people who have made all of this money, are in part responsible for the incredible -- the poverty. i won't call it incredible. but that there is something vulgar or inappropriate about it since they are such beneficiaries of the present system. reynold: let's contemplate the reverse. let's contemplate for a moment they maintain the status quo but did not give a penny to help poor people. by what ethical standard, by what in our scripture would deem that a better situation than giving privately? i would argue those who feel taxes should be reduced further and that the government should play less of a role should feel a sense of personal obligation to give more themselves. jeffrey: let's talk about you. you have had a legendary career in the nonprofit world. lincoln center, the rescue center. very different organizations. what is it like raising money for high culture, lincoln
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center, versus raising money for poor people? how is your job as a fundraiser different? reynold: i think the nature of the cause matters a lot. it is often said that people are convinced by the power of the salesman. if the salesman believes, they will believe. i think looking over the right shoulder as i am now of you and imagining what could happen if jeff toobin offered a major gift to robin hood, what would that mean to kids, hungry kids who would no longer be hungry. it motivates in the same way, in a similar way to what might
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happen on a stage if someone gives a substantial gift that otherwise would not happen. or what might happen to the arts in schools if someone offered up a major gift? jeffrey: there are a lot of people sheepish about asking for money. you are not. reynold: not really. jeffrey: why not? reynold: because i have never encountered in my life an unhappy donor. jeffrey: what do you mean by that? reynold: i mean that people who give of themselves, give to something beyond themselves, feel better about themselves. identify with a cause. i am fond of saying when i was at lincoln center, i said if you gave a substantial gift to lincoln center, a gift of consequence, that might even hurt a little, an unprecedented gift, i would promise four things. better sleep, longer life, unobstructed pathway to heaven,
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and i would arrange for aisle seats when you got there. with benefits like that, how can we deprive anyone of the opportunity to share? it is a strong belief on my part that exposing a donor to a challenge and demonstrating they can make a difference with their resources, not just helps the beneficiaries directly, but helps them as well. jeffrey: do you mind when people say no? reynold: they really don't mean it. jeffrey: [laughter] jeffrey: is that right? reynold: they mean ask me later. they mean it was a backorder. they mean i came to your office, you did not come to my. no is the beginning of the conversation. jeffrey: you obviously have a great deal of experience in this world. and you seem to have rules, in a way. how different are people? rich people, upper-middle-class
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people, they are often very different from each other. it seems like they have a lot more in common perhaps than someone like me might think. reynold: it is very important for the person asking for funds to find the intersection between the passion and interest of the potential donor and the cause. that means trying to know as much about your prospect and what motivates them, their children, the schools they went to, where they came from, what their values are, and engage in a conversation to find that meeting place. jeffrey: you have to do a substantial amount of research before you go ask him one for money. reynold: yes. i am in a position where others do that research but i am a consumer of that research, absolutely. jeffrey: david geffen just gave
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$100 million to rename avery fisher hall. some people said it will cost $500 million to redo avery i am in a position where others fisher hall. why did they give it away for $100 million? they should have asked them for $200 million. how do you make a judgment like that? whether $100 million is enough where it should be $300 million? reynold: it is sometimes said that every cab driver in new york would be a better mayor or thinks they would be a better mayor than the mayor. i have hardly encountered a field where there is more second-guessing than the guessing about what others would give or should have given under what circumstances. $100 million gifts to cultural institutions are very significant. it was not until maybe 10 years ago that harvard, your alma mater, got the first $100 million. jeffrey: not from me, i hasten to add. reynold: for cultural institutions, libraries, parks,
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to be in that classification of giving at that level is historic and extremely meaningful and speaks to people about their importance. david's gift was very significant. jeffrey: we read today of hedge speaks to people about their fund people whose incomes, yearly incomes are now over $1 billion. do you think that new class of robber barons is doing enough in the philanthropic world? reynold: i would like to remind everyone that maybe 30 years ago, bill gates was the subject of great criticism because he was earning substantial amounts of money and giving away very little. i do not think anyone says that anymore. philanthropy has a place in your life's trajectory. often, that comes in a later stage in life. certainly it did for warren buffett in his giving pattern.
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i would be patient with individuals who have made a lot of money but have not yet given it away. the growth of foundations, the increase in giving in the country is very substantial. i would suspect it will continue to grow. i hope that there are not tax constraints imposed on givers. i think that would be discouraging. jeffrey: getting rid of the tax-deductible the of charity gifts, that is one subject talked about. reynold: or significantly reducing it would have an adverse impact on the amounts given. absent that, i used to hear wealthy people talk about their private planes. i used to hear what the people talk about their third and fourth homes. i now hear wealthy people talk about where they should give, how they should give, how they
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should involve their children, what forms their giving should take. the growth of philanthropy in america i think is very bright. jeffrey: it is bright. but i think gates is a wonderful example because he has established this foundation which is vast and active and has had tremendous impact in a variety of fields. but where are the hedge fund billionaires? where are their foundations? you say not yet, but there are a lot of needs right now. but where are the hedge fund reynold: there are. i will tell you robin hood is an illustration of where hedge fund people are. our board is well known. many of our board members are extraordinarily generous and not
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only to robin hood but to many other causes. i think you will see a sharp increase in the size of foundations and the number of foundations, including many new actors at significant orders of magnitude of increase. jeffrey: i take it you have names in mind of people who will step up in this way? i expect you will not tell me on television. but you think there are people getting ready, like mark zuckerberg just created this enormous institution. reynold: i know there are. the trajectory depends very much -- i often say philanthropy is biography. jeffrey: what do you mean by that? reynold: where you come from, what your values are, how you think about giving to others, what form that might take. there are a lot of people that think growing their firms and moving from employing 500 people to 50,000 people is an extraordinarily important act. we value that act, particularly in recessions. there are certain times in someone's life when they want --
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they are really focused on their business 24/7 and they feel they cannot do philanthropy properly. they push it back and everyone has its time. philanthropy has its time. others get there earlier, maybe because their parents started earlier or they were brought up in a different way. jeffrey: will philanthropy ever replace government in helping poor people? reynold: never. every place where robin hood operates, any field in which it operates, government resources dwarf by 20-1, 50-1, 1000-1 what private philanthropy can do. that is why the "start by asking campaign" is so critical, because there is no way private resources can possibly substitute for the snap program or the women's, infants, and children program.
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a hungry child is something we all can identify with. millions of hungry americans is a statistic. we want to reduce those numbers. anyone in your audience who we want to reduce those numbers. we want to reduce them considerably. knows of people who they think are eligible, i would just encourage them to have them call 311 or jeffrey: reynold levy of the robin hood foundation, thank you for being on the "charlie rose" show. ♪
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>> you are watching bloomberg technology. let's check on the first word news. president trump spoke of the conservative political action conference telling supporters construction of the border wall will begin soon. he blasted the news media for using unnamed sources. trump told conservative activists there will be no more big multinational trade deals and promised to take a tougher line on trade. seven g.o.p. governors are calling for changes to medicaid. they are also urging washington not to scrap obamacare without a viable alternative. they want congress to adopt an alternative to change medicaid from an open-ended federal entitlement to a program designed by each state. they present the proposal saturday.


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