tv Key Capitol Hill Hearings CSPAN October 3, 2015 12:00am-2:01am EDT
>> in this part of the state innovation conference democratic state legislators from oregon, south carolina, north dakota, and connecticut talk about the recent legislative accomplishments. this hour and 15 minute discussion is moderated by congressman keith ellison. >> we will have an incredible panel next and then get you to the most important break, which is lunch. my name is roger coyle. there we go. i am actually here into roles, 1st and foremost year as the board chair of six. so i would like to -- thank you very much.
and i would like to, at this moment, recognize our board. many board. many of you are involved in nonprofit organizations, many in there own campaigns. obviously this organization obviously this organization would not have been able to be created and thriving without its board. we have can sunshine who is not here, andrea you met earlier this morning, naomi, from the nea commander's and , afl richard trumka, and if i could have a special note for our founder who is here at this table, just a round of applause. [applause] you know, i think like a lot of folks, joel rogers has been fighting on these issues, an academic at the university, has founded to many organizations to list. this is his 3rd attempt at
rowling state legislators and will be the one that succeeds and we would not be here without joel. one more round of applause. [applause] as i mentioned, i am here into roles. someroles. some of you may no the other reason i am here is that i am a former kansas state legislator. there are any americans in kansas, about ten of us, and i now live in new york, so now there are nine. but i see my friend for my old state run. one of the reasons why i am so passionate and honored to be the board chair is i'm one of you. i have lived this life, no what it's like comeau was elected at age 31 were just recently been married for working in washington dc, nick and i were working together. i decided the idea. and i'm sure likes of you, can i actually run for office and when? and then put on top point thatof that that i happen to
be from wichita, kansas and indian-american. ii thought with a lot of encouragement for some of the folks in this room that i could make that difference that all of your making. i went back to wichita in a district where democrats were a third-party. at the community level and the state legislative level you work across the aisle when possible, get issues done and work on things that matter to people. i have never felt more connected to my committee them when i'm serving in the state house. at the same time i don't know how many of you have discovered when you got to the legislature and got your equipment and your staff assignment and your broken down chair in the always
renovated part of the auxiliary building of the state capitol were obviously in the minority caucus and the resources of the state capitol. people from washington would call and say how's it going. thank you. you know that i'm her staff. you realize that. the daily challenges of being a legislature, i want you to no are baked into the dna of this organization, but i know from first-hand experience what it's like. i remember him telling a joke yesterday, if you remember the 2008 campaign, they criticized then sen. obama saying we need your archives from your time in the state senate. and he is what will you have my doubts receipts.
what we go through and how important it is and frankly how overlooked this is. when i moved to new york, proud new yorker now. gustavo was making a great point to senator shaheen and he said, i fight for important things and gosh knows we need reform in albany and can do a lot in the blue states to make them much more progressive. he said, i respect those of you andin the purple states in the red states. these challenges are national, but these are fights that are on the front lines for those of you are really challenging areas and districts. you know how tough it is and how important an organization like six is. i am baffled by the notion that i could have been found washington dc, taken to the white house to my shown all this information, the information exchange is still going on here.
i think this is exactly what he would have liked, this intellectual policy social curmudgeons that are needed for the progressive movement. i just want to tell one very quick anecdote. we have on the floor one of the most important campaign finance reform bills -- excuse me, voting rights bills important in a negative way.a negative way. this would have banned door-to-door voter registration, the 2,007 legislative session. i read it and had someone in our caucus who said we usually that these things go and governor sibelius vetoes them. i understand we are a little beaten-down, but we can do better command i started texting my friend at the brennan center who started giving me legislative analysis because at least the kansas legislature had not banned the internet yet.
so just them could go and read the bill, and he was texting me talking points and telling me analysis of the bill. i, of course, read it myself and we had an exchange and were able to beat that bill by one vote. i thought, this shouldn't be because i haven't have a friend from law school whose cell phone number i have. andi have. and that anecdote has stuck in my head of the sticking is that we need that why you are all here today. i suspect you are hungry for information. when bills are coming on the fly. who is voting on that you are busy and constituents are calling, that is the essence of life, to give you that safety net and to give you that connectivity so that you can be a better legislator and we can get great ideas going around the country. we need to get to our panel. i will remind you of one factoid, this president,
longest he has served in a public office and still in the state senate in illinois. he was going to be president for eight years. his time in the state legislature is obviously a very formative experience for our president right now which only validates all of the work that your doing in your committee. with that i want to introduce our incredible dynamic moderator for this next panel. i don't think we could have anybody better than congressman keith ellison from minnesota. come on out. as you know, he is not only a former member of the state legislature minnesota, he is in his 5th turns in congress. aa trailblazer, path breaker, and he will introduce our great panel.
>> good morning, my state legislatures. you guys sound good, awesome, fantastic. thank roger for that nice intro. here is the thing. you might be thinking to yourself what is a member of congress doing at the state legislators meeting? i don't know, maybe because you draw the districts that we run in maybe another reason, you set the qualifications for the voters we asked to vote for us. let me tell you how have we depend on you. in 2012 congressional democrats actually one 1.5 million more votes for republicans and yet we are in the minority because they gerrymandered many of you guys very important states. that's about we need to work together.
the silos are dangerous, ruinous, literally killing us. if we could find a way to work together more cohesively we would do great things for the american people, no doubt about it. i hear from reliable sources this is the largest gathering of progressive state legislators in history i'm going on that one? [applause] yeah. and at this large gathering i'm not bragging or anything like that.
we've had republican governors, we've been governors, we've been in the minority commode a lot of things. the progressives, what progressives getting together and saying we have a set of ideas that we believe in and want to help make the top top-flight agenda, good things happen. thanks to the work of these guys in minnesota, you know my me talking a little bit about my own state, we got to minnesota state, the minnesotathe minnesota progressive legislators get cnn posted agenda they raise tax on the wealthy and balance the state budget, invented -- they didn't invent.invent. i wish we did. they invested in all-day kindergarten and preschool. they froze tuition for public colleges and as you
know tuition was galloping a double digits. i love dreamers to be eligible. in the year before a year before the fighting off fighting off a constitutional amendment which will be voted on at the ballot to try to tell a grown person who they should get married to or not. like an adult person cannot decide who they want to be married to. because somebody else believes make that decision for someone else. i tried to put it on the ballot. and we beat them at the ballot box. that is worth of the plug. and not only to minnesota l
me say we just beat you at the ballot box but now that we are in the majority are going to make love to law. [applause] and that is because one of the precious you guys had was don't overreach, don't overreach. grown adults that is overreach? is not my business. right? they did that improving that when you went anyway, let me just say you will hear from some aspiring state legislators, people doing amazing, phenomenal things. two of them will be from what we call blue states. and both are critically important because the folks in the blue state are going to tell you, when you get your hands on the reins of
power, do not punk out. he all gave me the mic. you know how i am. and when you are in the red, red, when you do have a red state and you fighting uphill battles there are things you can do. now just our mailing it in. and there are folks appear to talk to you about that. last word, we believe we are the park -- congressional legislative wing of the progressive movement commenced trying to work with the progressive partners all across this country so that we can help out just when elections but when the debate. right? when the debate. we should have broadly shared prosperity in this country.
everybody, no matter everybody, no matter who you are, what, you are, where you were born, should have aa right to rise as high as your talent can let you. you should not be stopped by somebody. and we also believe the better days, the best days in this nation i had of us if it would just been together and include everybody. and now let me introduce you to majority leader jennifer williamson of the oregon house of representatives who will talk to you about some things that they haven't doing. it is with the degree of sadness where forward. so many of us have seen similar tragedies across the country.
shooting deaths of four people are more across the nation. so welcome to the panel. let me also introduce representative jessica hack north dakota. doing some great things. thank you for being here today and for your great work.work. assistant majority leader gary holder winfield of the connecticut senate. i think you've got some friends around here. i have been making the most of their majority. senator vincent shaheen south carolina state senate who did some really, i just want to say, so very impressed with you guys yanking down that odious, nasty, ugly, a stranger's symbol. and it takes a lot of guts. we don'tguts.
we fully appreciate that effort. with that, why don't we start out with jennifer williamson of oregon. come on up here. >> thank you, everyone. i'm super excited to be here to talk about what we've done in oregon. this minutes of 24 hours at home. and we all have our heads down doing some things, talk about what we were doing that people watching. and so once we adjourned in july and pull their heads up we made a laundry list of the things we did, and it's really long. so i'm going to read it, and
then i'm going to tell you how we got they're because that is the more important story about what happened in oregon. a lot of these possibly past philosophy have been trying to pass for a long time. we have paid sick leave statewide, retirement program for every working oregonian, band the box so that people with criminal records have a chance of the job. we pass a statewide ban on please profiling and set up a program to collect information on what kind of policing was happening in our communities. we passed a statewide ban were statewide policy on body cameras for police which bans facial recognition technology. we expanded background checks for all private gun sales command we prohibited the sale of guns to domestic abusers.
we now have free community college for oregon high school graduates. [applause] we have a clean fuel program to lower carbon emissions, and this is despite the oil industry coming in and giving our little state everything they had. it was really an epic battle. we passed a phaseout of toxic chemicals in kids products. then a representative here has blood, sweat, and tears into this bill, the chief cosponsor at least a couple -- four sessions. and so again, fierce lobbying by the chemical industry, the toy industry, the personal care product industry, every industry that puts chemicals in the things that kids have shown up in salem, oregon. we had a major expansion for birth control. now your insurance must over 12 months of birth control of
time. and now pharmacist can prescribe birth control. we expanded our justice reinvestment program, and the unique thing is it we will save $600 million over ten years. wewe won't have to build prisons which is fantastic in and of itself but we require that state funds go directly to community-based nonprofit victim services. [applause] we reformed our class-action lawsuit that when corporate wrongdoers injure oregonians they don't get to keep the funds they don't distribute. we were one of the handful of states where they get to keep the money they were not able to pass up to the people that the injured, so we change that.
conversion therapy to protect kids. [applause] butbut i think the thing that we have not talked all that much about but is the absolute game changer we passed in oregon is automatic voter registration. so you may no oregonians have voted by mail. only voted by mail since then. in the hand of every registered voter. be in the hand of every eligible voter. this law when you change
your address it changes the voting rule. we think that 300,000 additional hundred thousand additional voters will be added by the next election. and i know i don't have to tell this crowd, but women, people of color, people of poverty will be enrolled as voters and that is a big deal. so how to bedo we do it? that is the more important message morgan. voter outreach and election work, and we get together. we get together and said we have got to do this altogether. if we are going to be the only state to increase majorities in both the house and senate are going to have to stick together.
with our fair shot coalition. the rural organizing project,project, they all sit around this table and sign-on. everyone of those organizations said the exact same thing. and so because of that we told voters why they should vote for us, our partners told voters why they should vote for us, and we didn't always have going to do. and that list is the list that we told voters if you like this we will deliver on, and we did. this is thelesson for the organization and all of us leaders, making sure that voters understand what they are going to get because when they elect progressive legislators their lives are
better and you have to tell them that and everyone has to be saying the same thing. when we did that in oregon we have 18 democratic senators out of 30 and 35 state reps out of 50, so we increase our majority in an election where most people did not. thank you. [applause] >> representative jessica, are you ready? >> i don't now how north dakota is going to follow oregon. >> when you think of progressive politics generally you don't think of the state of north dakota. typically it does not come to mind. a deep red state, wonderful state to live in comeau we have had our challenges and a couplethe couple successes that i am excited to tell you about.
in the 2013 legislative session we were disappointed when a person had ballot was passed and sent to remove the people. it took away end-of-life decisions, in vitro, and women's reproductive rights. spearheaded byrights. spearheaded by a state senator from bismarck and a state representative in fargo. going into the 2014 election we had to defeat this measure and try to make gains in the legislature. the work we do in between sessions is very critical and north dakota because we need for it is every other year. the organizing found a couple of amazing candidates who worked incredibly hard and the one. senator aaron potvin this year, please stand. she actually picked up a seat in the north dakota senate in 2014. so in north dakota and 2014
we made legislative gains. one in each house.house. this led into a proactive agenda around family and women's issues. not only do we have a stronger bench but we decided as a cock is working together to provide a proactive agenda around these issues. and he was the 1st elected in 2012 as the 1st openly gay legislator north dakota. so the three of us worked on a maternity paternity policy. started with a much more progressive bill on the senate and rep. o'shea and i worked in the house on another less progressive but still step forward and we ended up with six weeks of paid leave for mothers and fathers of birth or adopted children and up to 12 weeks
to care for a child, parent, or spouse for state employees are paid. [applause] big steps. it was a big step forward considering only mothers who had given birth were allowed paid leave prior to that session. they also passed a host of proactive legislation. pregnancy workplace accommodations, funding for sexual assault nurse examiners to ensure that rape victims receive the care they need, and we change the conversation around progressive issues and made a proactive rather than reactive. they also passed the antidiscrimination bill in the senate. this bill provided protections for the lg bt community so that they could not be fired or evicted from their love, and north dakota was the 1st date in 2009 the past that out of the chamber. in a died and change the conversations. then we elected a couple
morea couple more progressives and change the senate back we got it back. another success we had was believe it or not north dakota has medicaid expansion. [applause] yes, we do. and sometimes a strategy that we have is the let them fight with themselves. inin the north dakota house not a democrat governments anything on in the past. so that is how we did that. also, we had a corporation following measures one of the code is the only state that doesn't allow corporations to come in and purchase land for farming which is passed the legislature. it is important to no your tools and was referred back to the ballot. so the people get a chance to vote on it in june. it is important to no your tools and what you have accessible.
maybe there is another have a you can take. i encourage you to go to training this afternoon at 130 for the breakout, governing of the progressives. so even in north dakota we can do it. now your strategy. and find the right candidates to work hard and be proactive. so even in deep red north dakota things can be done. keep your chin up and keep fighting. thank you. [applause] >> good morning. >> i am here to talk about connecticut. connecticut is a blue state that does not always operate like it is a state. you know, i was originally supposed to be talking about what we do with our budget. the governor presented a budget that was meant to bring in social services. the legislature put a lot of the stuff that we want to see back into the budget. or so having a fire right now.
when i 1st showed up shut up as progressive states. i'm somewhat of a contrarian. and i thought that was the wrong approach. they somehow got me on the board of progressive states. me involved in helping to do something about this organization that was saying now. as i sit here i hear about the economy and how it
affects people, and i hear about a lot of issues, but there are some things missing in the conversation. it is a group ofa group of people that i don't think connect to this conversation we are having. it is about them. i want to recognize that i have a delegation here as well. senator may fluctuate came in, and i want to mention something i think is important to be able to put progressive policy. they came in. that change the way the conversation happened. i want to mention that there are group of people here who are trying to be normalized and they are from have a voice. john, are you in the room?
stand up so that people can see you. they are important because they are talking about something that can change your politics. and so we have craig cadet, robin porter who is new, she knew, she replaced the when i moved to the senate. these two bills are about people's existence, the attraction we have with police, the conversation we are having nationally. but you would imagine that in a blue state like connecticut you would not have had the war that we had and so when police interact with people and pull out there gun and use deadly force a beautifully should not be investigating themselves and the prosecutor should not be investigating.
we had a war to say that communities, the majority and minority meaning over 50 pey is black and brown, maybe we should do something about with the police force looks like. exactly qualified or at least equally qualified to get the job. that was not acceptable. how do this? second chance access, pearls and pardons should be expedited. i think that's a progressive way of thinking command we have this thing called school drug zones. if you are in possession of narcotics or if you are selling them, usually it does not actually apply but is used to get you to plea bargain, but it affects communities differently. for years i have beeni have been working on trying to get rid of these school drug zones. we have another statute in connecticut which says that if you deal to a minor you get the penalty.
it would not catch communities like the one i represent. but it's not just republicans that are opposed. a lot of us are. some people use the title progressive. we have progressive. we haven't fighting that. in this year our governor decided he was going to jump on board full force or at least kind of. when we talked about the part on progression he was there, and i am poor the government for that. you go through a process. the 1st time it is a misdemeanor. the 2nd time to be referring to drug treatment. the 3rd and 4th time can be a class a felony. but this is because we have a conversation going on in this country that we did not have going on for colleges the harrowing conversation.
for a. for a long time the marijuana, crack, things that are associated with certain communities were not dealt with the way that we just decided to deal with it, and i'm going to wrap up the one thingthe one thing i want to say is that we did not deal with the problem. the problem is that people with the health issues, we should have been there the whole time. the problem is the people we don't imagine being the good people, dealing, who still devastate communities by putting them in jail and ripping up the economy. we have done a lot of good things,things, but we have to somewhat change the lens we half. because of the campaign we have some of those voices. >> a great job. thank you. [applause] >> thank you. i am from the incredibly wonderful historically rich,
friendly and often very troubled state of south carolina, a place that i am intensely proud of. thosethose of you who spent time in the south know, change is difficult. i sometimes say that inertia is the most powerful force in my state. a very emotional year for those of us. going to share with you some observations about a couple of changes that we saw and understand that change in the south is often coupled with tragedy. it is often coupled with tragedy. in the winter of 2015 sessions run from january to june, my senate seat and other downs decided to make body camera legislation a priority. we met with serious
resistance to my little action, and the bills welding committee. in april of 2015 a man by the name of walter scott was shot and killed in north charleston, south carolina. the reaction initially was that there had been some resistance in the officer that had to shoot mr. scott, but a video came out there shortly that showed that mr. scy the police officer was attempting to flee, and frankly, flee and not quick manner that was shot in the back and shot multiple times. it was a tragedy. it was a horrific incident in our state. before that happened, we would often here that that
is not what happened in south carolina. and maybe i think that many people said to themselves, maybe that happened not to people like us. the ones that video came out there were many new people sitting at the table to discuss the need for body cameras. he spoke about thomas and jesus and thomaston believe until he put his finger in the wound i would encourage you to look at that speech if you want to you to bid on look at it sometime. he did not speak very often from the floor. butfloor. but the bill passed. real change occurred in south carolina command we now have funded body cameras.
i want you to flash back with me to 2014. i was the democratic candidate for governor in a different -- difficult year. in the fall of that year myself and lieutenant governor candidate decided that we wanted to take on the 3rd rail of politics in south carolina. we want to speak to an issue that no one speak about. you could not avoid. and we stood underneath the confederate battle flag a
month and a half before my gubernatorial election fence it is time to bring it down. when you have politically it was south carolina politics, but letpolitics, but let me leave you with this idea, when you have the bully pulpit, the eyes of a state or nation on you, use them because you don't know when you will have it again. our current governor, my opponent in that election belittled our attempt, mocked us, said it was not an important issue. there were called back into a special session of the senate. our state government was about to shut down. a budget has not been passed by the republican majority. i was there that day and finance committee we adjourn
had been late in contributing to that and asked me how much it is. i said $15. he said here's 20. that's my last memory. i think you know the story, unfortunately, that occurred. suffice it to say that that night after session clinton left early to go back to church. and those of us in the senate who served with him learned about what had happened very shortly thereafter. out of crisis out of that can come some good which is important to use and embrace. the day after the massacre at mother emanuel, the day after he was killed, eight other people were killed because they were black we met in the senate again the next morning and had to decide where we go forward and pass the state budget. i urged a small group of us to continue and to eulogize
until the story of this great man in our friend and we did. and the next day we learned that the killer had driven up with confederate battle flag's license plates -- actually that day,day, and we had a decision to make, and decisions matter. do we mourn our friends, barry our friends, or try to change the state. and our governor did an interview and said it was too early to talk about things like that. we were going to speak up and we went on cnn and msnbc in every channel we can go on. they said it was time for the confederate battle flag to come down.
the entire hierarchy had come to the position. and i will wrap up by saying that even the tragedy is not easy and difficult, and so we came up with a strategy immediately, we wanted to bring the fly down, have compromise, and that we democrats needed to drive this narrative, work with the republicans, important to maintain control the issue because we knew what needed to happen. we found republican supporter our side ironically and appropriately the son of senator strom thurmond. it was time to do the right
thing, and we had a mantra. it's time for the confederate battle flag to come down, time to pass a clean bill. they drove the narrative for 30 days until it happened. and it did happen. we are better sit for it. we are a better state and a better country for it. [applause] and so let me leave you with , i have shared with you a very personal story, and i share that with you as a legislator for a reason because voters and people react not to statistics, not to policy papers, they react to stories, your personal stories. we would not have body camera legislation in south carolina but for those of senator ping were willing the tell a story of his constituency was killed.
we would not have brought the battle flag of the confederacy down in south carolina but for people like me who told the personal stories and others who told the story of there eight family members who were killed in that awful massacre on that terrible day, so share your story and change the state, change state, change the nation and i say change the world. thank you. [applause] >> so you heard from for extraordinary progressive state legislators, two of whom were fighting uphill battles still winning, and two of whom have done some great stuff. sometimes you have to fight some of your friends and convince them and other times when you have the steering wheel you have to drive the car. right? by you on your own thoughts and questions, and is time
to hear from you. let's start hearing from folks. can i ask you for a little bit of indulgence? can everybody try to get the question out in 60 seconds? if you agree with 60 seconds after hands. [applause] and what you all empower me to enforce the 62nd rule? [applause] so that means your going to hear from at least 20 people. withbut this started. >> you just have to implement a new rule. >> my name is vivian flowers. vivian flowers, state representative, arkansas.
we heard a lot about data, now that a lot of the progressives make sense and are backed by science and many of us often times are shocked when we see outcomes and elections and outcomes and those that are taken in the legislature. they are a lot of questions whether were talking about the things we're on this been on the previous panel, what is the reframing in the messaging that we can take is progressives as well as have some of our own testimonials, not just politicians command we do that so that we can have the impact on these other issues command i think i am under one minute. >> that is an extraordinarily good
question. how to progressives talkdo progressives talk about race in an authentic, real way. and religion. and i've got my own reasons for wanting to see that happen. you know what, can our panelists right down how you want to respond and we will take about four at a time. that might help us get through as much as we can. go for it. come on now. times are wasting. >> representative carla cunningham. my question is, i am hearing a lot about criminal justice reform. my concern is it is 12 percent population and side of the prison, in the united states that has mental illness, but it seems to me that we want to do
reform without preparation when they get out that they have a mental illness component once they come back into the community because right now our mental health reform needs reforming on the outside. so what about assistant to take care of them in the ones already on the outside? >> another great question. thank you. >> this is personyour senator shaheen, stacey newman from missouri state representative. i agree with you in terms of taking advantage of not tragedies but in terms of the momentum. from your situation we discovered in our state that we actually fund our state funds a confederate state park. i am getting ready to jump into that issue. i am a little reluctant because i no it's going to destroy everything else i'm working on in terms of abortion and guns and voting rights, and that is what i need to no,
where can i find my level of support the sizable communities? >> that's what we're doing here, sharing information. we will take one more and then let our panel react. >> thank you. he emerged, represent rhode island are we have democrats but our leadership is not progressive. if you have lessons for organizing a progressive caucus and how you can use that? >> be happy to. good. why don't we have our panel respond? >> are these things on? all right. so, the race and religion question, i think for our work in oregon, the most important thing we did was expand the table. the coalition changed. traditional progressive organizations, labor unions and the like 11 doing this work for a long time been
toward smaller community organizations around how to lobby come out to be involved in like to work. we have a great organization for intercultural organizing you helped pull together communities of color and smaller faith-based communities to sit at the same table again at planned parenthood and sei you a traditional progressive organizations because to tell authentic stories you have to have people who can tell authentic stories and need to be empowered to tell their own stories and learn how to do this work. for too long we have relied on the same organization. >> let's keep rolling. >> in oregon one of the ways we dealt with mental illness,illness, people coming out of the prison system, department of corrections, i signed up for
health insurance before they leave. we are working with our providers to require that they have aa doctors appointment scheduled before they leave within the 1st 30 days. because so often people leave with 30 days with the medication and that's it and they drop off the medication endo not a pay for your connect with the system. those primary points of contact are taking care of before the system. >> good point. >> for me and in some ways the public part of my session began with i am tired is a 41 -year-old man, having why people tell me that what i see with my own eyes is not true, and it ended -- thank you. and it ended with me telling the story that comes out of the shooting that we were just talking about, which is about having to tell my son
that the reason why people think that he might rape white women and he is not years old. the. awaiting you get people's attention is to tell them things that they do not know , always thinking about the answer to the question why, why this is important. in the blue state of connecticut we had people telling people of color who havehad the experience that the experience they have that is not real. wewe passed a body can bill because people tell there stories in different ways. we passed it because those stories mpeg people when they say you don't understand me. you can sayyou can say whatever you want, you don't know what it is. we have to israel about the conversations with having. >> am going to dwell on this issue that we brought up about race and politics and the question that you gave me about the confederacy.
>> it is at the core of what is going on. and so let me share with you this, represent an area in my district, my state that is overwhelmingly rural, small-town, 70 percent white , votes for national republicans in every race, and their used to be a lot of people like me elected in the southern states. there are not any more. when i was 1st elected and gentlemen got on the elevator with me and said your a democrat. you know your an anomaly. in about ten years republicans will be represented by white elected officials generally with an exception here they're and are there and democrats will be elected over presented by black elected officials with an exception here there. i don't want you to think that what has happened just
kind of happened accidentally because it hasn't. when democrats completely control the south the economic message was pretty similar to what it is now, the roosevelt video message command democrats held the south, every single office. there was one key difference which was they were the white people in the party. and to the democrats credit even in the south in the 60s60s and 70s and 80s they realized it was morally wrong and change that position and since that time you have seen the electorate resort as the republican party embraces the other position. thisthis is incredibly destructive to our country, our politics, government. basically created a political apartheid embrace
and to make sure that everyone understands we are embracing all people to include black people, hispanicpeople, hispanic people, why people call people which is important for us to remember, so many foln the south believe their history and heritage is important, and it is. my approach to dealing with confederate monuments and confederate relics and part is to say, it is a part of our history, an important part of our history, important that we tell the truth about our history, the good and the bad. it makes the same issues as you do. vicious racist murder statue on the front of our
statehouse grounds. and you know, he was an important figure in south carolina history, but we should tell the whole story. he helped expand population. the movement that brought and opportunities for some people. supported which black people mention black people in our state, a terrible magazine that we live with for so long. when we move forward in the future it is important that we regain the trust of all people in the state regardless of color, creed, or they come from and we have to think about that. we don't want to be the party of any one group. i'm going to hand it over to jessica.
epitomize device me conclusively they don't say it works right for all lots of people but in particular. see how well do that? you talk about everybody you can do that within the group. this economy working people experience but think about women and. as long as iraq to like you are a representative of the whole community. those are some ideas that we should try to on the issue. >> in north dakota we have a large native america population. [applause] we have a tribal members testify and to with your
whites or blacks or native american and calling up the behavior in some committee hearings when the chairman is addressing some one of the different ways to notice did you treat people differently i have never lived on a reservation they know lot more than i do about those things connected with their fellow americans what a concept. [laughter] one of the reasons and have a progressive caucus is a have the value or stability.
but most things i agree with the president but we are on different pages big-time. rigo fallout because of it we just work on what we can and. the progressive caucus base helps us of '08 the personality base you have a progressive caucus it your state which i strongly urge you to urdu, how we engage a leadership you would be surprised often leadership is looking for leadership. [laughter] to see everything get behind that. is a more extensive conversation with a
progressive caucus to help you replicate the ideas to offer a leadership for the party you have to be and. i was told this is non-partisan. >> i am the minority caucus in my state. >> wyoming. [laughter] [applause] >> the problem we face is in wyoming is too much a.m. radio and cable that they bay's most of their opinion some suggestions from the panel.
>> raymond i want to frame that peace because one of the pieces is the democrats in our house may be at the center of the al whole state and is more conservative on the right side of the party for a the caucus. but to pull in that direction of the party equation as well. >> i am for minnesota i am concerned about young people's participation talk about those amendments that we did we did in my precinct
to the people caving in to vote no without even voting for obama. we do have good student participation but we lost legislative seats because they could not get students activated on other campuses. >> it is a very important issue. >> good morning. as you mentioned with the state legislation and what if it is about.
with the committee of people like yourself that gets the importance of what this is about to with the advisory your support committee. >> the answer is that we willing gauge and partner. nick has presented at the progressive caucus hollowed to rebuild on this relationship? we worked out dates and times as it is presented to the caucus. >> did you know, there is no table that combines
governors to know what i am talking about? there is no national coordinating campaign. and we try to win? ben never stop begging be for more money. but what about smart work with coordinating teamwork makes the dreamwork? but the progressive caucus is looking for partnership and we are so proud. but let me tell you that nancy pelosi is a progressive so we say if you
want to push we have you. she is right to. what if there is a conservative leadership? you have 72 people in this caucus. we don't believe that reach people don't have enough money and to at the end of the day the leader of every caucus is trying to build a consensus if you were organized you create a gravitational pull do you remember the-- even if you were as progressive as you could be you didn't want to
real could really love to be in a conversation the you could start a progressive caucus. >> i want to go back to the question i don't have a ham radio or the cable issue but there were people on the death penalty they didn't see the other way but the way we saw a movement in my freshman year to have a different perspective so i sat down to listen to people then walk away.
but although my session started with day comment they are the most critical voices when i cannot be heard they can be heard behind. >> i will dive into the idea had three get more young people? with a fundamental mistake if we could just give it more people to vote but to with the election and consistently appeal to our broad swath of the electorate. maybe in presidential races you can get over the top of those targeted turnout efforts but surely will lose even if you turn people out
if you don't appeal to a broad swath of the electorate with issues that matter to them if they believe you care about them. if they believe you are on their side then they will look for you we really need to do swing that backed into this thing and -- understand >> in oregon in the house race silent to individual donors to say will you invest in and thus steer test this tool to give us of monday to urdu pandora target big? because for young people and
women and targeted voters you have to collect the data we have a large tech community in portland so those that believe bin data general less than is helpful because we cannot take money out of traditional male is easier with the air march program to go into targeted new media. >> koch to employ technology and to raise that issue. >> i am good say to incorporate social media among young people to do the things like facebook do and twitter a and instagram to
have as part of your plan is easy and it is free and the people round the table the organizational partners having them share is of a larger audience. >> i think we have reached the end of our time but i want to say we have pat truly brilliant idea is leverage. [applause] >> and they say i agree one and a dispersant bed people are all part of that swath they experience the economy when i graduated from law school at 25 years old i had $12,000 in student debt
in the '70s by the '80s and '90s we were beginning to be better and better known. >> they see quite a change in the industry with the wine country a wonderful story article here. >> we are on and jack london's ranch also known the ranch of good intentions. he probably would have wrote longhand but two-thirds of
his writing was published after he moved here like white fang and that was one year after he bought the property valley of the moon was publisher of he was living here and he claimed he worked two hours a day he would write a thousand words before breakfast but because he was trying to build the ranch so that took a lot of his time year.
ramesh ponnuru moderates this hour and 15 minute discussion. >> from the washington, d.c. center. the national review and the pacific legal foundation is honored to welcome you here today with the hurricane coverage and the to hundreds of thousands of people across the country who are tuning in by c-span. we would also like to thank jones day for this nice roof and staff assistance to -- for putting this together. as for plf, our interest in the supreme court mirrors brief attention. we will have as many as eight petitions pending before the justice involving cases that we
have filled and i think that is probably the most of any public interest legal organization. we have seven straight wins in the supreme court. so we hope to extend that string of victories this term. and finally, scoutus' blog has noted we are the most famous brief filers for the court. our guest will talk about the most important supreme court cases on the docket including a couple they will argue themselv themselves, a few the supreme court agreed to hear yesterday and a few on on the horizon. i am going to ask all of you to take out your cell phones and silence them right now so they don't go off with your wonderful
ring tones for the c-span audience. our moderator is here, ramesh ponnuru, he is well known in this audience and the c-span audience. he is a senator editor for national review and a columnist for bloomberg blue and a visiting fellow for the american enterprise institute. he publishes in every prominent newspaper and he is also the author of the party of death, the democrats the media and the disregard for human rights. in recent years, he has been a noted leader in the reform conservative movement and he is also well known for his writings on the intersection of court decisions, public policy, and
the culture. with that i turn it over to ramesh. >> thank you, todd, and thank you all for braving the elements to be with us today. i think it is going to be a great program. i am going to give you a little bit of a sense of what we will do today and turn it over to these capable lawyers. we will hear first from michael carvin who is a partner at jones day's issues & appeals practice, our host, where we focuses on civil litigation against the federal government and the lead counselor on friedrichs v. california teachers association which may come up and has fought numerous supreme court cases including the recent challenge to the ford affordable care act and the decision with oxly
accou accounting board overturning the federal government's blood pressure to adjust the census and upholding the ban on racial preferences in california. mike was one of the lead lawyers and argued before the florida supreme court on behalf of george w bush in the 2000 election florida recount controversy. he represented state governments, financial institutions, tell communication and energy companies and first amendment and civil rights and statutory challenges to federal government actions. what have you all done? next, we will be hearing from kannon shanmugam who is a partner at williams & connolly's supreme court and appellate practice, where he heads the law firm supreme court in appellate litigation practice. he has argued 17 cases before the supreme court in a number of areas including patent, antitrust and bankruptcy
litigation. he argued several significant security cases heard by the supreme court in the recent years. he has argued a series of high profile criminal cases in the supreme court. he has argued dozens of appeals in federal and state courts across the country and a prof s professor of law at georgetown university. before joining williams & connolly's supreme court and appellate practice in 2008 he served as solicit general to the department of justice and clerked for supreme court justice scalia. last we will hear from paul ciancia a partner at jenner & block's appellate and supreme court practice where he is chair of the appellate supreme court practice and he has had an active supreme court practice for three decades including oral arguments in 16 supreme court cases involving matters from
free speech, civil rights, to civil procedures. and lawrence v texas, the landmark gay rights case, and brown vs merchant are some of the biggest cases he has fought. so with all that, i am going to turn it over to mike to start hearing how our rulers intend to govern us over the next year. >> well, hopefully it will be a little different than last term. i will discuss friedrichs, which without prejudice, i think it is the most important case that has been graded so far and i mean it because it involves the free speech rights of tens of thousands of federal employees. the supreme court upheld the right of states, and 20 or so do
it, requiring non-members of unions to pay what they call agencies fees which is the equivalent of union dues even though they decided not to associate with the union. this is contrary to the principle you cannot be compelled to associate with associations with whom you disagree. the interesting part about the case was they agreed with that in large part. they agreed you could not be compelled to subsidize unions for certain exceptions but they carved out collective bargaining speech. and they realized that it does involve matters of public
concern and divides. but they upheld it pursuant to this case. the supreme court issued two opinions that made uncertainty about the logic underlining the case. in response to that we brought a case on behalf of a number of california public school teachers who don't want to play agencies fees and are non-members in various school districts in california. it is an interesting case in which we had to acknowledge that the case foreclosed the claims we were trying to advance but we wanted to court to rule against us for the purpose of going to the supreme court to see if the case could be overruled. four members decided to take the
case of should this be overruled. so this is very high stakes for the continued enforcement of ideas there is a second question that is important, and that is if they continue to collect fees from do you to opt out and say i don't want them to get my agencies fees or do you have to opt in and say i want to provide them with these fees? that is the second question presented. the basic issue confronting the court, the defenders today have abandoned the rational. it said it was collective bargaining and speech but that is okay. the others are saying this is about wages, health benefits, pensions, and these people shouldn't be allowed to free ride on the unions because the unions are doing all of these terrific things in terms of
wages, pensions and health benefits. we make two points. one is obviously when pensions are basically bankrupting half of the municipalities in the united states this notion of not being public certain defies reality. and simply because a group is advocating on one issue thinking you are free riding on them is like saying i am free riding on the ada because they are lawyers and i agree with them. but a lot of other lawyers oppose them and the notion the government could compel them to pay fees is outside of the norm. they are advocating issues that harm the members. not evaluating terminations of teachers keeps in place a ridged structure that frustrates the
chemist teacher who wants to work in an inner city school. the final point is the free riding rational is weaker in collective bargaining than it is to lobby and that is because the unions have a unique power to e deny you your own vehicle. they have the power to bind you as exclusive representatives of what they want. so as i say, four justice agreed they want to seriously consider if this case should be overturned. i am never making a prediction on how a case would come out. the second case i would like to briefly mention is fisher v. university of texas. probably most people remember texas's affirmative action program that came up.
the nuts and bolts are they have a rule in texas they will take the top 10% of any public school in texas which creates diversity in terms of black and hispanic representation on the campus. they want to layer on top of that a scheme of using race as a plus factor to boost the minority representation. the court looked at it, sat on it for seven months and issued a pile of nothing opinion saying look, you should take this seriously and look at the facts. it went back and fifth circuit said we are not taking it seriously. i will not make predictions. it would be odd for the court to take the case to affirm the fifth circuit. they could say you didn't do
fact finding. take a seriously look. that would not affect the affirmative action. but the decisive vote in the michigan case from 12 years ago upheld this explanation for engaging in racial preferences and there are some views that is court could conceivabable over turn the case. there is a way to overturn the michigan cases or outlaw what the vast majority of higher education systems are doing without overturning either of the michigan cases simply saying, look, if you are going to argue to us, that going -- wrm i am picking the numbers out
of air that going from 8% african-american to 10% african-american is important. show us 10% is critical mass and 8% is not. and we need information about the benefits of institutions with 8% black and 10 % black. i think there is no evidence that any of this stuff is really about helping educate blacks and hispanics as opposed to making white liberal institutions feel good about themselves because they have racial balance in their student body. in other words, this is all a lot of rhetoric without substance. this critical mass, diversity and the like. if you put them to the proof to say prove that critical mass is 10% and that is better than 8% i
think that will invalidate the vast majority of the programs. finally and keeping with the jones day info i want this to dwarf into here, we will have a scope under the law of rico which is important and the territorial scope of a number of analogous statues. in quick terms, the supreme court issued a decision called morris which basically said this kind of analysis the second circuit was engaging in which was a test of did it have extra territorial affects is not the way to go about the analysis. you need to read the statute and see if there is a clear
indication that congress intended these subsitv restrictions. and you should not find extra territorial. the precise issue is this term that is un-scalia like that to figure out if is territorial you need to look at the statue and see if the behavior that is being challenged falls into it. if you a pattern of bad acts that happen in the united states, that is enough even if the enterprise is broad. if the enterprise is in the united states, we can reach you. and the second circuit came in saying it is extra territorial
in either circumstance. so i think this case will have a lot to explain what they meant by the focus of the statute in morrison, and it will have a profound affect on the rico cases and a cases where people have are trying to have u.s. courts decide issues that are external to the united states. thanks. >> kannon? >> would you like to comment on my first? >> yes, yes. >> okay. well, i don't really have a lot of disagreement with what mike has said but i will offer a couple comments. i think the first to cases, the friedrichs and fisher cases are
important. i think the writing is on the wall for friedrichs and the court is lively to overrule abude in this case. the majority of opinions were written on if this should be overruled and the majority said the question wasn't presented and thus inviting the challenge mike brought. having said that, i will have the disclaimer that i thought the same thing when the supreme court granted the fraud on the market validity and everyone thought the court would overrule the case and they didn't. so i make that prediction with some about not total confidence. as to the fisher case it is hard to see how significant the case
will be as a practical matter. it does involve a challenge to a very particular aspect of the united states of texas at austin's affirmative action program. it a hybrid program with distinct character isticharacte. i think you should watch for the court saying anything about the degree of the definition of interest in diversity and whether the court or the institution doesn't get much deference in that regard. and second the extent to which the court permits or doesn't perm perm permit quanatative data. the idea of having critical mass, however it is defined, and
whether the court permits an institution to define notions of quantitative data. the notion that an institution has the ability to pick and chose what types of under represented minorities it wants to have. or is it saying the university needs to have underrepresented minorities from affluent communities as much as rural communities. i am not sure the court will rule to go that far but that is their stated rational. so i suspect the court will speak to both of those even if the court doesn't revisit the principles and if this is p
permissable at all. >> fisher and friedrichs have something in common. the same issues were teed up and we don't have the insider view but they couldn't get five votes it seems to me in the prior decisions. so it was justice kennedy in one case and in the labor case it was scalia. they wanted to go further last time and put it again. and take the vote and they know they have five votes. they may not know that but we will not know that until later in the year. it is uncertainty whether they will end up hunting twice as they sometimes do.
>> great. thank you. ramesh ponnuru, thank you. it is a pleasure to be here and thank you to the pacific legal foundation and the national review and the jones day for hosting us. i am probably going to disappoint my partners at williams and connelly in that this is fought going to be a commercial for us because i will not talk about cases we are in in a involved with. i want to talk about a case involving the one person one vote principle. this is a principle the supreme court adopted in a series of cases in reynolds vs sims and the principle that under a equal protection clause a state is obligated to equalize the population of the voting district in order to insure that the strength of a particular voter's vote is not diluted by placing that voter in a larger district.
and the question before the supreme court in evanwell is how do you define the relevant population for purposes of applying the one person, one vote principle? does the population need to be equalized the population of eligible voters or the total population of the relevant districts? and the argument that is being made by the plaintiff in ev evenwell is that it is eligible voters and the one person-one vote is designed to protect the strength of an individual's vote. and by definition, therefore you really have to look to people who can in fact participate in the election in order to determine whether the strength of that vote is diluted. the argument on the other side is complicated and all for a couple responsibilities. the argument the state is making
is that the state has discretion to chose among the various possible alternative populations and that the one person one vote principle is designed to protect against discrimination and as long as the state is choosing a neutral measure, it is not acting invidiously and nazi the discretion to chose the various options. there is an argument the one person one vote represents a broader representation and you have to take into account that but that is a different argument. i think the challenger has the better view of the one person one vote principle as it was articulated by the supreme co t
courtment -- court. but the challenge is and this pits them against the practical instinct, the challenge the plaintiff has is i think it is hard to measure the number of eligible voters in the districts, particularly on the state level where the districts can be small and the census measures total population and provides figures that are available. my understanding is there is some back and forth about how easily you can administer the various measures but i think the state does a good job making the argument that this is going to be difficult if states are required to use the eligible voter measures and again i think this is a case that may hit the courts pragmatic instincts against each other. i will talk briefly about the court's business docket. there are three cases on the
court's docket that have a high level of generality and involve various aspects of class-action litigation which has been a focus for the supreme court in recent years and at a high level of generality, they all deal with the concept of injury and the concept of what to do in cases where either some, or all of the participants in the class action, may not have suffered injury and how to proceed in the circumstances. probably the most significant of the three cases is a case called tyson foods vs pack which is a case where various employ as at pork processing plant are spending time dawning prodetective gear.
it is not a question of the fair labor standard act but a question of how to proceed when the individuals are differently situated or take an different amount of time to put on and take off the gear and where they may have been differently compensated. and the question is whether the client and lawyers do the modeling to essentially align the difficulties with proving the fact of injury and the amount of damages on an individualized bases. an issue that would otherwise swamp the so-called common issues of law that would permit a class action to proceed in the first place. so there are a variety of interesting issues in the case and i will not defend to an ex sesive level of detail but i am happy to discuss the case in
greater detail when we get into question and answers. another pace is spokeo versus robins which involves the question of whether a plaintiff can proceed for action of statutory damage when the plaintiff may not have suffered actual injury. this is a client claiming statutory damage under the fair credit reporting act against a company that is putting information on the internet about virtually every person in the country. and they allegedly put information about this individual that inflated his qualifications and the individual nevertheless sought statutory damages in the amount of $1,000 for this violation and while a $1,000 for one plaintiff may not seem but what it is a
millions of plaintiffs potentially that adds up. so the question is did that person have injury be article 3 of the constitution by the statutory damages. and that takes me the last case that is involving a class-action plaintiff seeking statutory damages under a statue that provides for damages on unsolicited text messages, whether you are pleased to receive them, and the person caught $500 in damages and the defendant turned around saying we will pay you $15, 003 in order to go away and settle the claim and the defendant turned around and said if you turn down this offer it will essentially moot your claim and the plaintiff turned down the offer
and the defendant said your case is moot because we offered you everything you are seeking the case and the plaintiff said i should be able to proceed because i am seeking to proceed on behalf of a class and the question is if you do that. all questions involving the class action mechanisms and a majority of the supreme court has been reining in class actions more generally but how the members of the court is going to react to particular cases, given the fact of multiple potential grounds for disposition, is open to question. i left for last, a case involving the pacific legal foundation on the thought that might allow me to go over my time. this is one of the cases tad alluded to at the beginning. there are two cases involving the clean water act.
hawks is one case. we are representing hawks the defendant in the case or actually really the plaintiff but a potential defendant in kent recycling. and they show an entity seeking a jurisdiction from the army core of engineers on whether a piece of land encompasses water and if that decision is subject to final review. there is an interesting procedural aspect to this and that is the court denied the petition for review in the kent recycling case and then the eighth circuit issued a decision creating a conflict and plf filled a petition for re-hearing
and the supreme court now has it before it for the rehearing and petition for review by the united states in the hawks case where the government lost. so it will be interesting to see which of the court cases. i think it is inevitable the court takes one, if not both, and we are hoping the supreme court will grant a petition for rehearing because that will convince clients in future cases we should be allowed to file the petition for rehearing a practice that is disfavored. >> can i ad a quick comment? this is about the equalized population of eligible voters in drawing state legislature districts. the reality i think it will be good to have districts being the same size in terms of people
being represented and people that can vote are powerful points. the choice between equal representation and equal voting rights is similar. every district map drawn since the 1960s used total population. the court has never found that to be a problem. i do think the odds that the court is going to mandate you use some other measure is low. they are fairly likely to say it is permiscible for the state to do to. but the data isn't there. the census doesn't collect citizenship information for more than a few households in a different survey. not the usual census so the
error rate wouldn't be right. registered voters as the measure, those are famously erroneous with massive people still on not in the state or even alive. i think at the end of the day we will end up with discussion about this and political science will use total population still. >> i largely agree with paul and disagree with the basic premise. i think these cases are about equal voting rights. i think equal representation is not really what they are talking about so the petitioners have a powerful argument which is if you are trying to equalize voting let's look at voters. total population is not accurate for how many people are eligible to vote much less do vote. the border districts in texas overvalue the votes of the people in the district relative to the rest of texas because of the large citizenship gap in the
districts. many of the total population just can't possibly vote. that said, i do think there is serious issues about switching the voting age population. it can be done. paul smith says it can't be done, though. this is the last time you will ever here this sentence out of my mouth. i think i agree with paul on this. for all reasons paul touched on, i think it will be a difficult task to come up with it. i think some kind of hybrid opinion that says you can do it if you can substaniate it. it probably doesn't make sense in the original matter. the notion you would substitute the handcuffs on the state legislatures in this area i
think would be consistent with pragmatic views. i think saying you can do it just like something works. just like in the hawaii case we said you could use registered voters. >> i have four cases here. first one was one granted yesterday that is a colorful story about public employees being punished for political views. there is a detective in a new jersey police department and there was a hot mayor race going on and the detective was neutral in the race which is apparently a good decision. his bedridden mother was supporting the challenger and
her lawn sign was stolen and asked her son to go the challenger's head quarters to go get a new sign and he is spotted by the incum plbants and they demote him. if you didn't exercise your first amendment rights by joining up with this campaign there is nothing that is protected by the first amendment that is punished.
this is a decision that i am not surprised but it is in conflict with the rules apry -- applied in other circuits which is if they chose to punish you about your politics it is still a violation and they should put you back in your job. i think it is fairly likely that is where they will end up but perhaps not. you never know. the second case is a case i am arguing in december. it is another one person, one vote redistricting case. the first time we had two of those cases on the docket in a while. it is the harris v. arizona independent redistricting commission and the issue there is not what population do you use but they use total population, no one is challenging that here, but the question here is whether the particular amounts of deviation between the larger districts and smaller districts in terms of population is such there is a violation of the one person, one
vote principle. the deviations are less than 10% which doesn't usually cause constitutional problems because the supreme court said that is not a problem. but here, the argument is as follows: that the underpopulated districts, almost all of them are minority districts, democratic leaning districts, and the overpopulated districts nearly all of them are anglo-districts and republican leaning districts. and the people who drew the map, the independent redistricting commission, said that is because we were striving to draw ten effective minority opportunity districts because we thought harry reid to do that to comply with section five of the voting tact -- act to get