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tv   Key Capitol Hill Hearings  CSPAN  April 7, 2015 5:30pm-7:01pm EDT

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are members so those members who are watching certainly go to the general list you will find it. if you happen not to be a member consider being a permanent member. thank you. ..
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lawsuits against them. and surveillance something we have not talked about a lot. and how the information shows up in cases, and construction and how do you find out if they are maxing it in other ways. so two things i hope that could be addressed a little bit. so i think that the next
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fourth amendment in technology issue that is likely to get to the supreme court is fourth amendment protection for cell site data and records that cell phone companies are keeping about where the phones are located in the historic context whenever a call is made or a message is received or sent. so that is my g
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and sect circuit says can't do that. and why. when the government copied the files from the computers in the pursuant to the first warrant. which they had overseas to get underlying information that the government had in their possession. by continuing to possess that information on the government's own computer, that was a continuing seizure that became unreasonable at a point. that meant that the government was an loud to use that in a subsequent case. even when the government had a warrant. think of the steps that are
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involved in that. one is that it is a seizure under the fourth a menment to copy files. that is you cannot important holing there, which i think is correct. and the second is continuing to hold onto a copy of the seizure that is continuing and at some point can be unreasonable unreasonable and use restrictionors a sort of requirement that the government will delete files that is a hoeing that we would not have expected. if a few years ago that came out you know a lot of people is he wow! that is not something. people had not been talking about. so, i this i that it is you know copying a seizure many of the implications of long-term storage. and another issue that i want to flag for the defense council is when the government is obtaining e-mail accounts pursuant to a search warrant they are preceding had a with a 2703 letter. and so this is a request that says please hold on to the contents of the account we are coming with a warrant.
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later on, and so basically, if the person may want to delete their files or if the provider may end up deleting them somehow they were preserved to it was ahold this stuff while we go and get a warrant. the context police are allowed to do that rules are usually the government has to be expeditiously getting a warrant. the seeds you are could be allowed 24 hours or something like that hold the package as the government gets a warrant. good 2703 the context statutory rule is the government will get that for 90 days and renew that for another 90 days. a lot of investigations prosecutors upon finding out there is an e-mail account involved. they will send the letter. they will preserve every e-mail account that is involve in the case. they may come back to it two months later or three months later there. is a significant argument that it will violate the fourth amendment. the copy is the seizure and holding of the files is a seeds you are, government request. so the government seizure and it is being held onto for a long period of time.
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there is not a day. it could be 90 days or 180 days and at this point the rule will kick in. and even pursuant to the warrant the information can't be provided and as i mentioned earlier. there the remedy and problems would be a good faith argument that the government would have of relicense on the statute that may authorize that. distinction again. and this is the example of the issue that i think. defense council should make the argument when you have an e-mail case to find out if there was a 27 3 f letter. if what you are seeing is the fruits of an unconstitutional seizure because files were there. of and the f letter. that is one example of the kinds of argument that i think that we will see.
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so i am more of a doctrine watcher than a case watcher. and i think that the interesting trend is away from the reasonable expectation and privacy test. used less often by the court. it is relied on less off continue by the court and courts. i sort of tried to stick the first panel here with the city of los angeles verses patel case but that is a really important case that has been argue and not yet decided that will have a lot to say about what doctrine is like in this area. the ordinance in language requires hotelieres to keep records of their guests. and to make the records available to law enforcement for the asking and the records will have to be kept in the lobby or near the lobby so that any time of day, the police officers can come in and gather those things. for strange reasons related to how the case rose the challenge is only to the government's seizure of records. and only to the police coming in and taking records. but the case is important i think because it will show how poor the reasonable expectation doctrine is for administering the fourth a menment in this case the
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hotel not being the being does have not an, peck takes at all. but it is plainly obvious that these are the hotel's papers. it is a given in the case that they will be seized. is it reasonable for them to be seized for any reason or no reason at any time of day by law enforcement? i think that the answer is probably no. and what is interest something how the court will get to that result. it will have a lot to say about things like nsa spying. and because this is basically relet gating the bank secrecy act cases in 19744. and 1976 after the passage of the bank seek see act. the repair of the cases that said that businesses could be required to maintain information about their customers by the government. that did not violate the fourth a menment x they would be required to turn it over later because they were the individual did not have a fourth amendment claim on
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what business records. and so it is a wonderful/two-step around the fourth a menment protection force the third party unless we discuss odd the earlier panel, that just doesn't come part with the way that life is lived today where vast amounts of highly personal and private information are shared with third parties all day, every day. so that is patel is a very important case to tell us a lot about the future. tiffany johnson. sorry >> i know mentioning the civil cases and what i think that we can expect to come down the pipeline. based not what we have seen there is possibly two issue that's are going to continue to be litigated and probably remain barriers i this i to addressing some of the larger programs and outside of the criminal contacts. and one of those is standing. it has been raised and i this i that virtually all of the cases. and the court if you look at the government's argument withstanding i think that they are becoming more aggressive. and they are arguing that
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not only would have you to demonstrate that information was collected but would you have to demonstrate the harm resulting from that. and obviously the more secret information is. and the more secret the programs are the more insurf mountable the barrier will become. we will think of the nsa surveillance cases and snowden. i this i that most people will accept that we would not have been able to get to the stage of litigation that it has been in. and the second issue that has come up over the years and i this i will remain an issue is the state's secret doctrine. and you know. when even in case where's there is a sufficient information to get to the court, plaintiffs who you know, potentially have standing you know. the government's ability to really retain to the state's doctrine. you no. and not reveal some of the
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information. the court is undercut the ability to get to the merits of the arguments. you know. remains a problem. and so i would anticipate that both issues will continue to be litigated and sort of remain i think not in main barriers of the civil context. i apologize for cutting you off. no problem. so, this is mentioned earlier. the litigation did not seem to work, right? we can't get the discovery blue book. cart manual. and cooper said you cannot get it. of the so we have edward snowden whistle-blower. i mean where is the middle ground besides trying to get it through the courts with representing criminal defendants, you no. we don't know what we don't know. so is it flipping someone? doj. a former prosecutor coming out to bring the manual with them? how do we get this information that they will not give us and that we are not able to get through the court system. i will say that there is you cannot middle ground. that is a state public records act request. and i think we talked a lot about stingray force
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example. we noah ton about sting raise than we did two or three years ago. basically the people love to talk about this stuff. i joke around that eff we can write a post. stingray, stingray, stingray. and say it 50 times and it would be the most viewed post on the blog. right? into and we are going to work on that. but the reason that is, is because you just saw the flurry of state public records act request that got a ton of information on this. so though there is a federal foyer is not successful. i think that you saw it on stingrays a ton of them. and then it is led to other requests for the other forms of information about license plate reader data that a ton of pra request were sent to municipalities and the beauty with the states is that the process is much quicker than in the federal foyer and usually, um it has been our experience at least that and not just in
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california but in other states that all sorts of information will get disclosed that would never see the light of day. and the nclu got a great opinion and state pra suit that at the got and a 25-page opinion. or the judge basically said that all of the stingray records are public today. and that i think that the county appealed but. i this that i it is one approach the public records act works. and it could be tedious but it works. and it is a good middle ground. another approach. a hail mary is relying on congress to do an oversight funk and so in the face of the reports that came out, you have had you know. 12 to 15 senators right, the
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department of justice. department of homeland security asking questions. and questions about how they are used. what the policies are. and what the restrictions are. and i think that rally reason leaning on the congressional offices to make public the response that's they will get to the requests. and maybe even have congressional hearings so that there is a type of public debate as another avenue. there is always a speech and debate clause. all it cakes takes is a member of congress that will want to reveal something and they can go ahead and do. there is a hard avenue. members of congress may not necessarily be interested or willing to do that. but, um there is the ability to use the public pressure to get information in that way. which you know. in other contexts may not be available. one last thing to add. another approach is to go through state legislature. i am sewer that aclu has had the same experience that eff has had, the last two years a number of phone calls and the levenlgs lative office that's want to talk about the issues and not just stingray but about the digital search and seeds you are and license plate readers, all of this is
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blown up. you know. and the state legislative offices have a role to play here. i would have to credit the utah affiliate of the nacdl that got an amazing bill passed through the state legislature a year ago and basically it put a warrant requirement for everything. like data, subscriber and everything has a warrant in the state of utah. you may be thinking state of utah not a ton of people. law enforcement. and you know the more as eff. when they write the briefs we will cite to the statutes and as the footnote is getting better bigger and bigger and bigger.
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statutes that have legislated in the area, that is an indicator of where the public feels about the issues. and so i this i that is another avenue, especially if you are in the state or somebody that knows your local representative or if the state nacdl affiliate has a relationship with the member of the state legislature. and that is another opportunity where there is a lot of room to work. and i mentioned utah. but this i
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in terms of the dynamics i think that the surprising
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thing has been a lot of the division and gridlock that we often get accused of it is -- surprising that it is not necessarily by us. it is outside groups that seem to profit from the division to raise money how do you fix it? >> i think that you fix it by the american public. they have a low opinion of congress. and yet most people like their particular congressman and congresswoman. i think that are trusting us a little bit. and i think that the thing that are trying to communicate back.
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my book and in my speaking so coming into congress was not event( o0úe horizon. it was a result ofkoq when the senator.
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the government may have a role. i this i that we ought to keep it in that perspective. it is tempting for the governmente1 to wantr over every aspect of our lives this. is not somethingxd that we will need to do. the americanñ) people arei] resilient. they largely want to bee1 left alone. andñi fruit of1+gxdxd labor. they are willing toxd pay tax force roads, schools and thing that we collectively need. andxd law r but they do not want a governmenti]ñi that tells them whatxdym to eat, what to ñr?;drink. how toú how much they can do this that orñii] the other. the american innovativeok
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something akin to muteness.
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he is looking pretty good. can you hear me at all? okay. he think he thinking is scary looking? he is not scary. he was just an ill man. we have man. we have a number of backup systems, which i suppose we should employ. if worse comes to worse i we will tell you what i think he would have done if i can control him like a puppet. now now maybe he is hearing me. can you hear me? >> i i can, robert. >> all right. we lost you for a bit. what is wrong with you? >> let's see, i see i did not want to leave the sunshine for washington dc. there are number of things going on but it would have made montezuma proud. [laughter] >> let me quickly ask you because we don't have a lot of time. you have a list of things
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that you are doing but the one that intrigues me maybe the most is this notion of a minimal cell. 1st of all can you explain what a minimal cell is? >> well, we have been trying to work on this since 1995 we will we sequenced the 1st to gino's in history trying to understand fundamentally, is there a minimal set of genes that can be responsible for complete self replicating life. we have been working on this for a long time. we have had our 1st synthetic version in 2010, as you know. we have been working since then to try to design a cell from scratch that has just the minimal set of genes necessary for living and replication come at least in laboratory environment.
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>> we humans have at least 20 to 30,000 genes. you started with a little 80 be thing and try to make it is your nvidia. how loaded you go? >> that is put in a way only you can. yes. the smallest organism set of genes is what we sequenced in 1995 a little over 500 genes the goal is -- in the problem with this will field is a fundamental knowledge of biology is a limited that we don't know what about 20 percent of the genes can do. so it is trying to do the design when you don't know what 20 percent of the parts do come all you know is they are absolutely necessary.
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i told you i told you the story in seattle as part of my book tour for my late uncle led the boy designing team for the 767. imagine designing boeing airplanes that did not know what 20% of the parts did. he did. he said, what makes you think we knew. [laughter] >> this is an interesting idea. idea. you think these are the ones that are necessary shoot one of them and say, say, look, is it still alive? shoot another one, is it still alive? so where are you now in a shooting gallery? >> a problem with a problem with that method -- and that is a pretty good description of what we have done. it works out that there are dual pathways and dual systems that have not yet been totally recognized by modern science. it is hard to get funding the study these things but
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you can knock out a gene a gene, when you knock it on its own it does not kill the cell but if you knock out it's unknown counterpart we can do that. if we use the airplane analogy and you are in a triple seven aircraft you can lose one engine and the airplane keeps flying. you. you say, well, maybe engines are necessary until you lose the 2nd one and find out they were important. it turns out people thought by knowing the structure of a set of genes that they knew the functions. we thought intellectually we thought intellectually we could say we don't need that particular function but genes have multiple functions and their counterparts have, it turns out key functions we were not aware of. it has been more than trial and error. we started adding components
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we had two different teams ones working on the shooting at a time added back one of the time and sets built these in five different sets so that we could test one in the environment of all the others. there was a counterpart unknown gene in one of the others counteracting it. this is this is just trying to get below 500 or so genes >> i'm so glad that this is hard. you know this is a little bit like god. there is play. then there is then there is adam. so it should at least take you ten years to figure that part out. >> maybe a while longer. you might remember stephen colbert asking me why i can
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do better than god command i said we have computers. >> what would you do -- i assume if you get a cell that you can boot up from store-bought ingredients and create a a life form, it is a simple life on. why why do we need one? >> we don't need one per se. it is a proof of principle. if we want to do designed for building new organisms to make knew vaccines, medicines food sources we want to get down to where we can do design on push principle basis. the other thing we're doing is defrag the genome. if you think of it as computer analogy 4 billion years 4 billion years of evolution is pretty messy. there is no real logic.
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if. if we're trying to do design where we want to put in a cassette for genes that do sugar metabolism versus methane metabolism we would like to do that with, you plug in this cassette and have the energy production. we are. we're trying to reorganize which is more complicated than it might seem. the issue is to get to where we can start to do design from known components to start to build the things for the future. these are the early baby steps that allow us to start accelerating the design and building of knew organisms for specific manufacturing purposes. >> let me run through some of those purposes. you were thinking of pollution eating bugs fuel producing bugs they urinate diesel, tocsin eating bugs medicine producing bugs.
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you would put them in the air and water and land. the 1st question that comes to my mind is how hungry are we about to be or how energy needs or anxious for freshwater that this would be something that politicians would bless? >> let me correct your earlier statement. statement. our plan is not to add them back to the environment. i think that would be a mistake to do. as you know we have sailed around the globe taking samples every 200 miles in the ocean and sequencing organisms. a reported percent of her oxygen comes from those algae. we would not want them replaced by algae to produce oil instead of oxygen. these would be organisms that would not live outside the laboratory or outside a
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production environment command that is an important part of our design building kill switches entities so that they cannot survive on their own. we are thinking of industrial manufacturing and applications. for example, with sugar you can temper it into almost anything. we are working on designing new pathways that don't exist in nature for making the chemicals that go into plastic bottles. right now it comes from oil, byproducts of oil production so it is adding to the pollution of taking oil and the ground. out of the ground. we're -- we burn some of it. if we make those the same chemicals from sugar we convert it into a renewable chemical and are able to recycle all the waste and reuse that. we can also -- we have algae
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in the desert and ponds, synthetic genomics that use sunlight and carbon dioxide. they pull co2 out of the atmosphere. we have to concentrated more >> i hate to interrupt you. >> co2 into different chemicals. >> let me ask you, you are talking about little things. we need a we need a lot of fuel or remove a lot of co2 is it a simple matter once you have proven the concept to scale up? >> unfortunately, none of this is simple. probably the hardest goals will be really high throughput tool that can compete with the cost of natural gas now. every time new biofuel table in the past all of a sudden the cost of carbon out of
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the ground gets cheap again. the only way it can never compete is if governments actually create a carbon tax so we start to realize it does not matter how cheap it is to burn coal or oil or natural gas. in the long run we can afford to keep doing it. at that stage it can be scaled dramatically. it is not cost effective. it is cost effective. specialty chemicals vaccines. >> let me ask you a lifestyle question. if you're running out of food and can create a bug it makes more or are running out of freshwater and can create a bug it makes more or energy, there energy, there is a kind of theme.
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the alternate approach would be to do less, have fewer babies, eat less buy less live more gently on the earth. strikes me like you are a more guy. >> we are trying to five i can only control how many babies are born in my own environment to some extent. i i don't know how to do that globally. we have a tremendous challenge with all the people that we keep adding to the planet. within not too within not too long we could be approaching 10 billion people. it is not sustainable with the approaches we are using and consumption of everything. we can have less babies but unless we are going to roll back rollback populations, but i don't think anyone is truly advocating we have to find solutions to produce
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more food medicine not at the expense of the environment but in a recyclable, sustainable fashion. that is doable. we can't support the number of people we do have. >> my last question to you and i hesitate to do this this, but i am curious about the ebola story right now. when you watch when you watch that story since you have been involved in virology and dealing with burden as well what are we doing right at the moment and what do you think we're doing wrong? >> well, it is primarily a public health management problem. there have been numerous outbreaks in the past and they have all been managed by a really good containment because of the location of the borders and were area containment issues fell
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apart and it started spreading. ebola is not a lethal disease most of the time. i understand the group that harvard has been working on treatment in africa and are down to around 12 percent mortality just by using good medical practices. yes, it will be great to have a vaccine contracts to treated but containment is the most important thing initially with new outbreaks. obviously in the future we can synthetically make a vaccine very quickly with flu, e-mail it around the world use one of our devices to printed and if that could be given locally we should be able to stop future flu pandemics forever spreading. that has to be done disease
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by disease. >> this guy is working on a digital biological converter which if someone is sick you can scoop up the poop essay what is in it figure out what the viruses transfer the genome to a lab they can come up with a vaccine and a vaccine and send it to you back digitally and you can make it where you live one day soon, one day soon, one day never, one day may be? >> one day soon. we can do that right now. the us now has a stockpile of the age seven and nine vaccine is the 1st synthetic dna -based vaccine
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it proves the paradigm can happen. we happen. we have a stockpile before the 1st case has occurred. for the 1st time we are ahead of the game. it is a matter of working out the right pieces of vaccine. one size does not fit all. the future will be rapidly e-mailing these around for downloading them and blocking transmission early on. we should be able to eliminate future pandemics. >> santa claus has very little of this guy. we're out of time. everyone say goodbye applause why so that he can hear you. [applause] ♪ >> this week on q&a our
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guest is historian richard norton smith exploring the new york governor presidential candidate and vice president who was born into the privilege and power of the rockefeller family. he addresses his earlier years, 1st marriage, children, influence of the republican party over the years and time is efforts as governor of new york state. he state. he also talks about his interest outside of politics, his 2nd marriage the murky circumstances surrounding his death and his legacy. c-span: after years of work what would you tell somebody who did not know who he is and what he did?
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>> guest: he was a significant indeed historically significant figure in a number of fields on one level i gave his name to rockefeller republicans which i would suggest without much evidence to back it up accurately describes the existing political views of tens of millions of americans who may not even be aware of the phrase. in a nutshell a combination of policies that are fiscally responsible and socially liberal. he said himself that he had a republican head in a democratic heart. the great powerful
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reaganesque boss of brooklyn democrats who was one of the more improbable of rockefellers allies during his 15 years 15 years of governor as new york said it was a simple reason he never became president. he he was too liberal for republicans and conservative for the democrats. that that is more than middle-of-the-road politics. that is a worldview we can hopefully get into but it does suggest that he is not a figure consigned to the history books that he is someone who politically has relevance. something else that set him apart that does make him very much someone out of the mid-20th century where he lady have this enormous confidence that every problem had a solution. he believed that passionately and is
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something that is a a product of a generation that overcame the depression one world war ii was committed to winning the cold war to putting a man on a man on the moon, building the interstate highway system and in addition to that was a rockefeller the most powerful member of the most powerful family and the most powerful nation and arguably its most powerful moment in history. all of that for starters -- and you could list his offices. offices. he was 32 years old, one of the most prominent democrats in america invited him to become his latin american coordinator. during world war ii he not only tried to invent what a friend of a friend of his called a better capitalism anticipating foreign aid a capitalism that was both
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profitable and latin america but also had a social conscience because he anticipated the cold war. he anticipated the soviet union would be a postwar adversary and the way to win the battle for the hearts and minds not only of latinos but of those throughout what we would call to the third world was to reassess the capitalist mission. and he spent a lifetime pursuing that among other interests. c-span: let me get some basics. he died in my year at what age. >> january 1979 at the age of 70 after two rather dispiriting years as gerald ford's vice president and 15 dominant years in albany as
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governor of new york. c-span: how many times was elected governor? >> guest: four times. times. it is a modern record. and to be governor was ipso facto to[be regarded as a potential president. all the more so in his case because of the resources that he brought to the office and because of the personality. one one of the hardest things for any historian or biographer to do is to capture convincingly on paper something as ethereal as charisma. it is a relative term and different generations defined differently. c-span: how many times as he married? >> guest: twice, and that is another important part of the story, his divorce and remarriage arguably -- it
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certainly affected his chances to be president. i i would argue he was probably in the wrong party and never would have been nominated by the republican party after 1960 but there 1960, but there is no doubt in a way that today we would find difficult to understand c-span: how long was he married to his 1st wife? >> guest: over 30 years. married in 1930 a week after he graduated from dartmouth and divorced in 1961. c-span: and his 2nd wife? >> guest: almost 15 years.
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you knew it could never go back to the old eastern establishment dominated party. c-span: we will come back to that. i want our folks watching to no i have known you since 1963.
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>> guest: not 1963. c-span: 1993 for the book with george washington. we have talked hours and hours and hours for this particular book. book. i am still fascinated by how much i did not know. i want i want to show you some video that you are not expecting that goes to the issue 14 years. >> 2006 for richard norton smith rockefeller book. >> well, the book is due at the publishers two years from now july of 2005. presumably it will publish in 2006. >> above all i will finish the biography of rockefeller c-span: currently working on a book on nelson rockefeller.
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>> i would like to get it out in the summer of 2008. >> i am still writing as i have the last ten years still working on the nelson rockefeller biography. c-span: was it worth the time? >> guest: yes. it was the intellectual adventure of a lifetime more than that. you start out you start out writing biography and grind up -- wind up writing autobiography. you confront not only yourself at 14. one of the reasons it took 14 years was because you obviously have an obligation to your readers to be as objective, to be as -- you
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know, you want to be passionate about what you do and dispassionate about how you do it. it really took a while for me to outgrow that mindset that a 14-year-old took a 14 -year-old took on to the convention floor in 1968. then again, you don't want to go to the ovary -- the other extreme and overshoot the mark of some kind of objectivity. that takes a while. there was the the best of reasons why it took as long as it did and that was because i was writing this at the same time that the rockefeller articles were opening paper. millions and millions of pieces of paper and rockefellers archives. in the course of those 14 years extraordinary things became available for the 1st time. i lost a year -- the
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archives open something called family and friends a collection within a collection 120 boxes of paper, pure gold. as a gold. as a result of that one action i tore up the 1st 70,000 words 70,000 words of my original manuscript and rewrote it. one small example it included a hundred or more letters from the 1st misses rockefeller. todd was an extraordinary woman i'm not sure even now she would appreciate this invasion of her privacy. she has been gone for close to a decade now but on the other hand it is the 1st time she has been allowed to speak for herself. the letters are remarkable, funny, wise and sometimes
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painful. c-span: on the screen the picture that you have in your book where she is at the far right of the picture and he is at the far left : thing you notice right away is the height, hers compared to his. >> guest: i i found her passport the listserv height at 6-foot one. let me tell you something you can find it poignant or offensive but to give an example of what became available for the 1st time there had been edited versions of some of this correspondence with his parents that have been available to earlier authors this was the unedited version. nelson a few weeks before the wedding is really off to
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his mother all of the reasons why he is in love. it is very clinical. and on the negative side was the fact that she is slightly taller than me she is a year older and it is not particularly good-looking, which strikes me as a strange thing for a young bridegroom on the verge of his wedding to say to anyone, including his mother but that suggests that they were both ambivalent i think it is fair to say more than most young couples on the verge of the trouble. she writes this extraordinary letter in which she says i don't know whether i am in love or not. all i know is i do not want to be heard.
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if you were to come to me a year into our marriage and say you had fallen in love with some other woman implicitly someone better looking it would break my heart. i've often use the analogy analogy, if you are watching a hitchcock movie and were in the audience you would be shouting at the screen don't go in that room. they were married. they had five children. twins unplanned but twins in 1938. when the twins were born, five children in a years nelson commissioned his friend to build in a guest house 500 feet from the home the family lived in on the estate. c-span: where is that? >> guest: 30 miles 30 miles north of new york city on the hudson river. the.is after 1938 nelson
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in effect, moved into the guest host. he took he took his meal with his family but slept in the guest house, permanent guest, if you will. and in a very real sense the marriage and the formal sense of the word came to an end in the late 1930s. of course the public had no idea. when the divorce was announced in 1961 a generation later, it really came as a shock to most people. c-span: what was he doing and 61? >> guest: nearing the end of his 1st term as governor. most people thought it was a successful term. it was assumed that he was the frontline for the 1964 republican presidential nomination. c-span: how many times did he run for president? [laughter]
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>> guest: it depends on how you define run. in 1960 he flirted with the idea. in 1964 he ran all out. in 1968 after saying he would not run he did and there is very little doubt that he hoped to run again in 76 before he was picked by gerald ford to be vice president. c-span: if you had to name the one thing he did as governor or vice president the benefit of the nation, not nation, not new york but the nation over the peak? just one thing. >> guest: i think it was the example he set. particularly valuable not only in the context of them but today. he used to say the primary function of government is to
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convert problems and opportunities. stop and think. he did not have an ideology. the late great jack tremont said to me something i've never forgotten nelson was not a liberal he was a baptist. he meant he meant he was raised in a strict baptist household with a social conscience and the sense of giving back. he thought the united states rich rich powerful, like the rockefeller panel -- rockefeller family had an obligation to the rest of mankind. he said that in his view if you don't have good health or a good education then i feel society has let you down. imagine that transposed to our own politics? arguably nelson rockefeller was to the left of barack
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obama's presidency. he operated in a different political climate. but imagine a republican who believed, among other things , 1st of all that there is a thing called society and secondly that if we collectively together as a family have an obligation to provide universally the best possible health care in the best possible education. c-span: where are the archives? >> guest: they are at -- they are located just outside the main estate gates in the house that was built for nelson's stepmother. his mother who i hope we can talk about because she is such a pivotal part of the story died in 1948.
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three years later to the must muffle the horror of his children junior remarried a woman who was the widow of a classmate of his at brown. whom he was quick to court would eventually contribute over $10 million to nelson's political campaign. the big house, the big manor house. c-span: what is that named after? >> guest: it is dutch for lookout, located on the highest part of the estate and the place where john d rockefeller junior built a house for his father. c-span: the archives are there. how they're. how extensive are they? how many times have you been they're? >> guest: i made over 54
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research visits. the archives are enormous. nelson's is the largest single collection because of course there are not only the rockefeller family archives but if you want to study the history of philanthropy in america you have got to go to the rockefeller archives. they contain for they contain for example all the holdings of the rockefeller foundation but i believe now the ford foundation as well. it is a huge world-class operation. they were enormously helpful in seeing that this did not last more than 14 years. the house in which they are located, it was decided the archives would be located there, and turned out there was this grand house built. she never spend one night there.
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two two rolls-royce is in the garage but other than that there were no signs of occupancy. it turns out the house went itself beautifully to the purpose of an archival facility. c-span: on a personal basis 14 years doing this random house is your publisher did you get an initial advance to do this? >> guest: i did. i did. c-span: how much do you think this book cost you? >> guest: i don't think anyone -- the original advance was $50,000. you have to remember random house gave me something much more valuable than money. they gave me time. no one, no one ever presciently. -- ever pressured me.
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and i can't tell you how critical that was to whatever the final product is. c-span: how much did you end up having to spend? >> guest: i put in a quarter of a million dollars of my own money. that was for travel. new york city is an expensive place to do research and new york was my base. i did 150 interviews which entailed a great deal of travel. i took about 60,000 pages of primary source historical material diaries letters, memos you name it most of which had again not been available in the past. so i mean, i consider myself fortunate. i am not complaining. most of the $250,000 was deductible. it does raise the question
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which is out there anyway but it has made me think about i consider myself to have been lucky, one, that random house was interested at all. to you have to remember the 1st six of those 14 years i was working full-time , 1st at the gerald ford library and museum in michigan and then to start ups, the dole institute of politics at the university of kansas and the abraham lincoln library and museum in springfield. c-span: one more question, question, in the back of the book in the acknowledgments you give john mcconnell credit or maybe saving your life. >> guest: that is no exaggeration. i feel passionately that authors should stay out of the tax. let the reader form their own opinion.
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i guess you could say a let down my guard and wrote rather personally in these announcements. in november of 2010 i had been invited by a number of folks very kindly to various homes for thanksgiving and no one heard from me for several days after that. this was the following tuesday, november 30 a tuesday. calls have been going back and forth apparently among this informal network of friends were curious and then concerned. anyway, john who was a distinguished speechwriter in both bush administrations and before that for dan quayle lived in my neighborhood. he said i we will go check on him.
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he came he came and knocked on the door. whatever he saw was sufficiently concerning that he insisted i accompany him to the hospital immediately. immediately. it was a wonderful hospital, virginia medical center. we we got there and i thought, i'm going to spend two hours filling out paperwork. there was no paperwork. it turned out i had had a heart attack in the next day had another and a slew of blood clots. it was sheer luck that none of them headed north. i was told at the time that i had lost a spleen and kidney and could expect to lose the use of my left leg. as it turned out, only this plane was knocked out. the the last thing we need in washington is anymore spleen.
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i came out of the experience, frankly well aware of how lucky i was but certainly how grateful i was and the readers of this book should be equally grateful. my 1st conscious thought that night in the hospital was, i can't die because i have to finish this book. and i wondered if there was a death curse of rockefeller biographers. i have a very distinguished predecessor in this field who spent many years of his own working on what he intended to be a multivolume biography of rockefeller. he published the 1st volume in 1996 which took the story up to his election as governor. it is a wonderful book and a great continuing resource for rockefeller students. and then suddenly tragically at the age of
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4849 he was diagnosed two years later with pancreatic cancer and died a couple weeks later. i can be forgiven for wondering if there was a curse on this project. c-span: you know about 30 minutes into a 90 minute conversation and i have not asked you about the last chapter. >> guest: i appreciate your restraint. c-span: was jump into politics. 1960. here is video from the gop convention with nelson rockefeller in 1960. ♪ >> as the gop convenes in chicago governor rockefeller dominates the scene although declaring that candidate his proposals for the republican platform agreed to buy vice
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president nixon touched off a storm of controversy. mr. nixon is overwhelming position as a gop favorite was unshaken but interest was roused beyond early expectations. c-span: you see that i think what? >> guest: 1st of all, it all, it is a remarkable fact that as late as 1960 richard nixon, the overwhelming favorite, really unchallenged for the nomination nevertheless felt it was in his little interest in the middle of the night without telling anyone on his staff to fly to new york for a secret six or eight our meeting at nelson rockefeller's apartment 1st of all to try to persuade him to go on the ticket as vice president and when that failed to meet rockefeller's objections on the platform stronger civil rights plank. that was an issue that always mattered to his family

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