tv Washington Journal CSPAN July 9, 2016 4:15pm-5:01pm EDT
to the mountaintop and if we all regardless of what our skin color or gender or what part of town we grew up in. that special something that we all have within us we just head to dig pretty deep sometimes to find it. but it's there. an effort to stand on the mountaintop at some point in time you have to call on it. you can watch this and other programs on line.ization known speeone our guest today is nick. what is issue one. it is a new nonprofit organization bipartisan group focusing on reducing them influence of money over politics? >> how are you funded? >> foundations and individual donors you have a book that says this nation is on the
take what are you try to say? >> what were trying to say is that the problem of money and politics has breezed crisist proportions in this country that is a stage iv cancer at this point. i think the public has always been generally aware of the fact that money is a role in politics but were making comment. created such a policy that were losing were losing our democracy.er speeone what are the examples of what you are talking about, the paralysis? >> if you look at almost every number associated with number and politics they've all grown.n., as so we've gone from 500 lobbyist 20 years ago in washington to 20,000 registered.s. we've seen a 5,000% increase in dark money which is money not disclosed. of the 2000 electric cycle was
an aggregate of a 3 billion-dollar election cycle. this one is supposed to be a $10,000 cycle. that was a math. but what that ends up creating in washington is the inability to legislate on the common good of the people. contr they have such control. it's hard to get a lot done on behalf of the public interest. >> what is happening or not happening that proves the point that you are making. >> if you look at almost any big legislative moment and there was such severe compromises made during those moments that one could argue that the public wasn't entirely fulfilled. take for instance the financial reform.knees. the wake of the financial crisis. global economy is almost brought to its knees and the fixes that we accomplished some of them are good were good but we did not fix them
all. that's not just me speaking but it's others as well. we never accomplished the big stuff peered we didn't create the right transparency. a lot of that has to do with what senator dick durbin said when the debate around that legislation was occurring. that was in a sense when the banks on the place. you don't get a lot done on the behalf of consumers. i will give you one other example. one of the major rising healthdo crises in america is obesity. and it is going through the roof right now. it will cost us hundreds of billions of dollars down t -- downstream. they talked about the attempts to legislate to address the obesity. and what they concluded after looking at almost every one of those fights was that thehtfa sugar in the fast food and the
corn lobbies won every major policy battle. i peered i think you have to ask yourself a question whenhu you read something like that.e - and they conclude that we no longer we the people, no longer had the ability to legislate our way out of our problems which was a very promise of america from the get go.host: the argument of the book is that we are losing our right to self-government. we are becoming much more of an oligarchy than a democracy. were talking about the influence of money and politics. we look forward to talking to you. we often go to open secants.org. they say that $720 million has been raised.
and then the super pacs $446 million. what do those numbers tell you so far. >> there is another numberbe which i will show you as well. 158 family supplied half of the cash to the presidential campaign's. that looks more like oligarchy in my mind and you have a fit mf handful of families in this country supplying most of the cash that means that we are moving to a system that is funded by the wealthiest among us and inevitably that system ends up leaning toward the wealthiest among us. the other problem that is behind those numbers is that politicians today are spending four hours a day half of their time just dolly -- dialing for dollars. there was a great 60 minutes piece that was than a week ago and there is a republican whistleblower which we might talk about later who was talking about how 30 hours a week of his and his colleagues time is spent just dialing for
dollars. he was on this program just a few days ago look at what he have to say. >> we know that the amount of money and politics, we can have different opinions on solutions to that. but i'm focused focusing on the amount of time it takes to raise that money. so understand if you're to raise $2 million for reelection effort how much time does it take your member of congress did actually do that? incoming members of congress are alsoem instructed to spend four to five hours a day's raising money. >> it's just a horrible life,wa first of all. these are people who come to washington whether you agree with them politically or not most of them come to washington to accomplish c something on behalf of the common good and instead they are settled into these cubicles and closets at the republican in the democratic headquarters where they sit
and they just dial wealthy people half their time trying to raise money. by the way very few of their people live in their districts. they will probably never meet any of them. but what they have to do myis dad is a big fly fisherman and the first thing he taught me is yet to think like the fish if you want to catch the fish. what they have to do is think like the fish.e they have to think like that wealthy people that can write the big checks. >> before we get to calls michael said it's always been at politics at all levels. is just more out in the open now. >> that has always been there but not in the proportions that we are seen today. again, the 2000 election cycle was a $3 billion cycle. this year will be $10 million. that's more than tripling the amount just in four presidential cycles. riley s
speeone let me read something that bradley smith said recently . he said while money is critical to inform the public and get all of them a hearing this election proves that money can't make voters like the views they here. he is not the only lavishly funded to go out of the race. i love that argument. that is the notion that one or two exceptions prove a rule.gumt it is an ex dream argument to make. and frankly if there was any truth to that then tell me why thousands of lobbyists in this town are maxing out as much money as they can to the politicians that they are trying to affect and tell me why the wealthiest people in america are writing huge checks to the political process. at their getting nothing why are they doing it. when it comes to jeb bush the
press from the get-go started to report that he was aca lackluster candidate. is taking this tiny specific moment in time and trying to extrapolate that there's nothing going on with paul -- with money and politics. >> host: let's go to the calls. the darker bars here up top as it talked about hillary clinton represents outside money. the lighter bars here represent candidate, committee money.e we can see $76 million versus 180 $9. we will leave that up so folks can look at it. democratic color. good morning. speethree i just wanted to ask the guest obama has been putting trying to get the pharmaceutical prices down and
apparently both the elites on the democrats in the republicans are trying to block it.oney? is that because of the lobbyist money and the pharmaceuticals. >> absolutely. a lot of people forget that one of the first moves made by the obama white house when they began the push for obamat care was to strike a huge deal with the pharmaceutical industry which basically said we will give you total immunity on drug pricing asl l long as you don't say anything critical about what work and do. they knew there was no way to take on the health insurance companies in the pharmaceutical companies at the same time because they have such power of the system. as a result we don't do what every other major w western democracy does which is use our buying power when it comes to prescription drugs. we have no ability to bargain with these companies to lowery a
the price of pharmaceuticals in this country. that was a concession that was made right up front when they began the obama care battle. speethree stan, republican color. >> caller: i would like to ask this gentleman to questions one question. what is world order? our country has been going down to the dump for the last 24 years in the other question is the republican and the national democrats is one human being with two heads and i'm voting for trump. incorporation you have a great day. >> guest: i can't talk about world our that's kind of vague but i can tell you that the order in washington is one that, in my mind and i was a journalist before i started working on this issue is one that is increasingly dominated by these well-financed special
interest. and i will tell you this when it comes to world order, in my mind american democracy was the most revolutionary and brilliant event that has occurred in human history. and when you look at what the founders said about democracy and corruption, they wrote extensively about this. in fact james madison as many people know it was the secretary of the constitutional convention was keeping meticulous notes during the convention, he recorded the word corruption where the 50 times in his diary. now what the founders weres talking about when they were crafting the constitution was the kind of corruption that was the bending of the mechanisms of government away from the common good in towards what they then called the factions. today we call that the special interest.r so if there is an order set up
speak going on here it's not one that they wanted. they wanted a truly representative democracy where our best ideas were manifested into laws so that we could solve our problems collectively. that is that what is happening today. >> host: our guest, as he touched upon as a former executive director of the huffington post. he launched the american news project he ran a national grass roots group called the alliance for democracy which focused on the role of money in politics. >> guest: i'm have of a group called issue one i was have of huffington post previously.? he is director of issue one which has been around for how long. >> guest: about two years., inde >> host: independent line.
>> caller: i would like to ask your guest it occurs to me that a lot of people are considering trump in response to citizens united and i was just wondering if you could venture to predict if he'sin elected that he may have a positive impact on what we are discussing or will he have an intractable congress because they're married to their special interests and they are concerned about midterm reelections? been ou >> guest: with many things trump related it is hard to tell. he has been outspoken about this problem appeared he has stood on the stage with his republican rivals and talked about how they been bought by the lobbyist in the special interests interest and thean wealthy donors and he can be bought to the self financing his campaign but by the same respect he sing has not ruled out a single policy solution to the problem. it's hard to tell what is president he would push. it's also hard to tell what kind of a test he would apply to any supreme court justice
coming in about citizens united. because he just does hasn't gone there yet. he is all problem and not a lot of solution at this point. at some point we are hoping he will start to pivot and really talk about solutions to solve this problem. >> host: andy beach on twitter once know about your position on citizens united. can you talk about the democrats position on citizens united while conveniently excluding union money, as he puts it? >> guest: there are almost to questions two questions there. citizens united have nothing really to do about whether union money should be excluded or included. i think what he's talking about is there was a piece of legislation that tried to move a couple of years ago to disclose that. and there are concessions made for unions in that piece of legislation which is why it died. if we are going to have a truly transparent and functional system all of thecl money has to be disclosed. union money, corporate money, individual money.
it all has to be disclosed. were seen a whole lot of malarkey right now in theat system where corporations are starting to arise and then kind of disappeared within months to move more money into the system.o be so the transparency problem is huge and with the union piece it has to be addressed just as iually as everything else. >> host: democrats call 202-748-8,000. republicans call 8,001. and a dependence independence can call 8,002. looking for to talking to more of you.ory, a >> caller: all of the bigdi
money was going to him in politics when he ran for president. that was in the republican party the second thing i would like to bring up if you go back to history all the back to the founding fathers right up to 1932 if you read anything about the labor movement, you will find the labor movement was the united states became a great country after 1932. my father went to work in the minds and i'm old enough to remember when the labor movement gets big the america gets big.w there >> guest: i don't know if there's anything i've read i about lincoln and major money in his campaign's. campaigns back then were a totally different creature. what i read about was reagan right in writing his horse around literally. and we know about the great debates like the lincoln douglas debate.litics wer
of money at the time was just not each factor. politics are much more local much more about him shaking and building coalition and a lot of things that we see today just did not exist back then. i will tell you that there is also a profound lincoln quote which i can't give you directly off the top of myl head in which he want and this was after the civil war have been settled he warned about the rise of corporate power in america and the ability for mass aggregations of wealth and money to start exerting themselves on the political system in a way that would threaten the integrity of the republic. i think in large part that is what we are seeing today. our republic is being threatened by these mass concentrations of wealth and they want to constantly exert themselves over policymaking. >> host: what if anything do you accept the change in and how will it happen.ng. >> guest: realistically, i think a level change. i think what we are seeing
today is a new reform movement arising. just as citizens united occurred which was 2010 we've seen more than 600 resolutions passed at the state, county and local level against citizens united. with seen great victories which included progressives and conservatives organizing together against this, in places like tallahassee, florida. we are seen an incredible rise in energy right now. i think citizens united has helped create that. there is such awareness about this problem that people are realizing it is time to mobilize and move. that has been great to see. in e the significant rise in grassroots energy and one of the reasons why we are hearing so much about it in the political campaign this year is important because it is out there is strong and thick in the air. they are reactive creatures in the fact that you see every republican talking about it and every democrat trump and sanders the outsider
candidates have defined their candidacies by this. it's in the air.rom the >> host: more of your calls in the moment, more from the republican from florida. he was on this program a couple days ago. just type in his name. he talked about something called the stop act legislation and what they would do. >> so you would have a campaign manager in a finance director, you have a campaign staff that is responsible for the operations of the campaign committee raising the resources but as a member of congress your first priority is to do your job the idea is to let the members of congress do their job and let the campaigns have gotten raise the money. this would only apply toas sitting members of congress. you can spend your time doing what everyone. but once elected you do hold a public trust and it's a violation of the trust if
you're not on a job working. nick penniman, could that work. >> guest: it could work. we have to do a whole lot more than that. it's the beginning of reform. let me step back and represent -- and applaud the representative for what he's done. there's a long tradition of was alone in this country nice he what he is doing is right in that tradition. new line the was a as a public circle -- as a public servant he is destroyed the ability for congress to do that. he is suffered as a result for that. we have got to go beyond what he's talking about peered there for things i would mention really fast. at number one, we need to talk about new ways of financing politics. how do we get away from millionaire and billionaire donors? and all the dollar for dollar and incentivize small donors in the same way that bernie sanders has into some extent
we saw that with ten -- ted cruz. how do we incentivize it more of more of them into the system so that it messed on, all of us as a post to opposed to a few citizens? >> number two, lobbying ethics. and the sea of south carolina, if you are registered lobbyist you cannot make a campaign donation to a politician because it looks like corruption because when you pronounce as a lobbyist that you of some kind of ax to grind or something to a compass with the government you throw money on top of that and it looks like corruption. r i would love to see that accomplished in washington. number three, transparency. dark money is on the rise right now. you have to eradicate it.. and finally, we need a good cop on the beat. we have to fix the federal election commission federal election commission which oversees the financial loss it is in aow gridlock peered a simple tweak would fix that.
everyone asked if there is a civil bullet to this cause? the answer is no. like any complicated cause there is no silver bullet. the four think things i mentioned are 100% viable and it would pass with the supreme court in through those areasone. legislation already exist on capitol hill. it's just a matter of exerting the well of the people at this point the political well of the people to get the step past and get it done. >> guest: a lot of folks waiting to talk to nick penniman. with a color from michigan. republican.nie >> caller: how can people with money protect their wealth from people like bernie sanders who would like to tax them not particularly into poverty but maybe they would say that they should be tax 50 to 80% to give money like all people should have or all kids should have college totally paid for or universal healthcare? the next part was how much
should we have to pay in taxes? what should be attacks top amount? should everybody pay some even on the bottom amount. we talk about coming good, but also the founding fathers thinkp talked about common sacrifice i think people with citizens united that is the only way sometimes they have a voice and for some people who try to take money away from that so they can give gifts to the opposite side. if you can give a group of people is 60% of something else's semi else's money, you've a lot of people in your favor. thank you. >> guest: i can't speak to the nuances of bernie sanders tax plan but i can talk to the bigger issue. which is let's just talk about the hedge fund loophole. this is a tax loophole that allows have lunch manager to
be taxed at a lower rate than almost everyone else in america. warren buffett who i think we all respect, has joked about how he pays a lower tax rate than the secretary does and that is because of this loophole. so for more than a decade there has been an attempt in washington to close the loophole.tructu if we did, it could generate a good deal of revenue for things like improving our infrastructure in our schools h and whatever you want done. but unfortunately, because of the power of the hedge fund industry over this town we had been incapable of closing that loophole.ng when warren buffett himself was ask about it he said we can't get it done because of money in politics. because increasingly we are becoming a plutocracy as a result of citizens united. when you can't get something simple done like that that 99.9 percent of americans would agree with and it only benefits .001 percent among the serious -- i think that
shows you how difficult it would be to make changes in the tax unless we address this problem. >> host: color from new york city, barbara. >> caller: good morning. the supreme court has said that money is speech instead of trying to regulate how much money people can get what about an idea of regulating are saying that donors can only get to people who would resort -- represent them? >> in the other words you could only get to senators and your stay or whoever is running for that position and as far as the presidential everybody could give to the presidential because the a president were present everybody? in this far as corporations and you they would only be to give in the location where their headquarters was established. would something like that help or is that possible?
>> guest: that's an interesting idea and personally just as a citizen in america love the idea that we would restrict giving to congressional district so i can only donate money to my congressman.i also i like that idea but given where the supreme court currently as i think they'll be pretty hard to pass. but i also beat back the notion that citizens united was somehow the death of democracy reform. it was a bad decision, it was a misguided decision in many ways. there's a part that i actually agree with as a former publisher and a journalist, but there are parts that i don't. but it was not by any means this massive roadblock thatad stands in the way of us really cleaning up the system in addressing these problems. as i said, there's legislation right now to address so many aspects of this problem and the supreme court would have
no problem with if we the people exerted our political well over a politician and got that legislation passed it would take care of 75 percent of the problem over night. we have to realize that the only thing that is holding back progress on this issue is not lack of that policy idea but it's lack of the people's power. lack of us exerting our willpower over our politicians.hose? >> host: you are mentioned that there is part of citizens united that you like.be which one are those? >> guest: before it should've been a question of the freedom of press. it wanted to run something called hillary the movie. at the 90 minute documentary about hillary clinton. according to this law passed in 2012 called must. they have to cease and desist running and within 60 days of a primary or 90 days of a general election. citizens united is wanted to
air this movie and in the context of what was going on between hillary clinton and barack obama back in 2008. the federal election commission said it know you can do that because you're an outside group and this is essentially a 90 minutey political attack ad. is it's not a documentary film. in my mind, that was the sec's decision and it was a massive move of breach of the press. it should be allowed to air that. one of the things that the justice has said in citizens united was you do not want theju courts deciding or you want the judge decided what is journalism and was propaganda because it's really messy and you get the wrong judges decided and you basically could shut down freedom of the press in this country. m from freedom of the presss perspective the piece of the decision that should have been aired was a great part of the decision for me. than they overreached and the
overreached and they said therefore as a result any corporation union entity should be allowed to spend whatever they want in the context of election and that's what created super pacs that's the created the notion that they are for all political giving and they should be unrestricted so they created super pacs.ve the overreached. >> host: d is calling from texas on the democratic line. >> caller: i think you just answered what i wanted to ask what moved you into the job you are in. what turned on in your mind?d? was at that movie thing are what? >> guest: i moved to washington right after september 11 and worked as a reporter and editor and then a magazine publisher for 13 years before i got in vase and this calls.
-- before i got involved in this cause. i some really brilliant ideas about how it affects our country's problems and not because they weren't constitutional or not because they were not will thought through or researched but simply because a small group of special interest did not want it to happen. so what i basically saw was the paralysis . of our democracy. you have to remember, we are supposed to have the consent of the government in this country. the whole promise of america is that 300 million heads are better than a couple and that when we come up with ideas collectively to fix our problems and our problems are so intense these days and so widespread and when we come up with ideas to fix them and wew, can't get them turned into law that is the breakdown and a representative republic. i sought over and over again as a journalist so i have this moment in which i realized that i have to go for theat throat and attack the dysfunction that was standing
in the way of making progress in so many other issues. >> host: how big is your organization. >> guest: with 15 staff and growing and we have a reformers caucus which is a play on words. they are former members of congress, the house and governors. we had 140 men and women who have come together democrats and republicans alike to help do what jolly was doing and blow the whistle. the game is over this is a crisis point in our democracy and we all had to come together.u are look >> host: this is a really big issue, are there any victories you are looking at short-term that you would be happy with? >> guest: i would love to geti n that fix any fec.ated it has a 60 million-dollar a year budget and arguably most of that money may have been incinerated couple blocks from here on an annual basis because they're so
dysfunctional. a lot of the stuff we are seen with the super pacs this year would not be occurring if there was a functional federal election commission because super pacs are not supposed to be doing today's -- two things are doing every day. according directly with campaigns and be they're not supposed they have to be disclosing more of the money and they're doing neither one, of those right now. of the problem and we could take care of it if we have a functional fec. >> host: material from david republican.ink >> caller: thank you for c-span. my, is basically the biggest problem is the house and the senate. i do not care who the president has been they have to get past the house and the senate. i think trump would be the one could do that and i say thatne because he would be the only one who would ask me the person who voted for him to help him get things passed in
the house and the senate. he would sit there and call out any republican or democrat in the house and senate that is not along with the plan and asked me to go stand on his lawn stand at his barbershop go to his lobbyist and get him to change his mind because he is hurting america.ld that's my comment. >> guest: again, donald trump for me is so unpredictable to be able to figure out which way that pinball would go but if we get to the point where donald trump would come out and talk about real solutions to this problem, i think thatin could be a major leap forward. in his presidential campaign and in the presidential campaign in general because what we need is a real debate between candidates right now about exactly what they would do to fix this problem. and trump like so many of them had escaped by just talking about the problem in using
citizens united as a code word for the problem but not rolling out real solutions and that is what we have to forcean them to pivot into. anyone watching this program, please, ask paulus -- politicians to get specific about what they would do to fix this problem. >> caller: good morning. thank you for taking my call. i feel that citizens united needs to be overturned i also feel that professional lobbying needs to be bay and nationwide we also do not need the electrical college anymore. we have good communication. hopefully everyone is literate. i think we need to get up-to-date on that. as far as congress goes, i feel they should be paid per dm as many people are who work
like that on main street and get into the real world. if they don't achieve anything the nation and get paid for it. thank you very much for your time. >> guest: i feel like we're all feel like congress is not accomplishing an enough on ourur behalf these days. was i deftly agree with that sentiment. when it comes to overturning citizens united, i will say citizens of united was an overreach it was fundamentally a bad decision but we do not need to wait to amend the constitution or overturn citizens united to be able to start passing legislation. if you want to turn over you can either push for a constitutional amendment which is a very long process and very questionable about whether you could ever get it over the finish line or you could start sending up challenges to a new supreme court or justice to try to knock down the reverse aspect of that decision and others. se my sense is a more practical
row is a second want to send up challenges to a new supreme court that question whether or not they really got it right was some of these decisions. >> host: there is a tweet here that won't pop up but i want to read it to you. do you believe the model of the clinton foundation donors present problems. >> guest: i think it presents a lot of questions. whenever you have public figures like bill and hillary clinton who had hundreds of o millions of dollars around them from all kinds of entities all around the world you have got to wonder to what extent there is a spillover effect and it affects other aspects of their lives and their decisions as publicon servants. so yes, i think it brings up questions but i don't think that any of those questions have been definitively answered yet. applaud y >> host: let's go to charles in charles and illinois. welcome to the program.
>> caller: i applaud your efforts. you said there is no magic silver bullet it will require many changes i wonder if you feel like one of those changes is for the government to pay for the campaign expenses instead of having donations and so on.ic finan >> guest: there are systems out there called public financing systems in which upth politician would get a block grant money to run their campaign those are interesting. but ultimately i think we have to get at creating systems that incentivize small donors to give money so that politics is funded by all of us. and the reason why i'm saying that is of a very simple principle which is those who pay the piper calls the tune. ha and right now in america when it's wealthy corporations and
individual donors pain the piper ultimately they have a much better chance of calling the tune than the rest of us combined. with to get to a point where we are all pain the paper and therefore the loyalty of our politicians rests on all of us which is exactly what the founders intended. number one. number two the reason why i want to see more small donor systems every study done said that once some the contributes money to politics whether it's 1 dollar or $1,000 they're there much more engaged as a result. they bird-dog of their politician they keep track of what they're up to they talk about that politician to their neighbors and they write letters to the editor. they call interest the politician when they are not doing the right thing. it also increasing or enhancing civic engagement. that is what i'm looking for. i want to see all of us finance politics, not just the millionaires and billionaires. >> host: one must call from florida. democratic color, i joe.
>> caller: i will make a quick. i was scrolling through the television and hit on 60 minutes. there is a program on it it where congressman had to spend at least dirty hours a week across the street in this no-name building, hitting up big donors senators and congressmen i mean it's too good to be alive so i will leave it at that. >> host: we talked about that early in the segment. regardless of anything else you thing about money and politics this is a fundamental questions for us americans. >> guest: is that the way we want our public servants we payth through tax dollars they
are essentially our employees is that what we want ouran employees doing with have to time? sitting in little clinicalsol and closets dialing to wealthy people they will probably never meet? i think the clear answer to that is no. there is legislation that has already been proposed that could fix that.g could invest cenobite is small donors and get these guys up the treadmill. we need to start pushing for the fixes at this point. the current system as it is is not only killing current people in office but destroying them in distracting them away from doing the work of the public good but it's also propelling really good people from getting into office and becoming public servants. i think if there's anything that is clear that all of us americans today we need a lot better public servants in office right now. our guest has been nick penniman. he is executive director of
that organization issue one. we appreciate your time. >> i plan on doing for things specifically. it of course is about teddy roosevelt and william howard taft. i specifically wanted to go into that is a fascinating era. i should've taken from the title there to talk a lot about journalism. the author did go into a whole lot about the journalists in the. of time and i gave it. so for example last year i read a book about speaker cannon. it was something i thought would be fascinating. we need to go in deeper than that. i am threat now. let's see what happens from here on out. life is good.
and then since i love baseball i'm going to pick up a baseball book called the bullpen gospels. but to actually had that before. it is written in such a funny style i have to admit in the first three chapters i was laughing out loud. it was a well written book and it was cool about baseball. and has a lot of inside stuff taking place in that era. last year my staffer gave me a book about joe cannon. this year he will continue on with that trend. that gives me two of the four great speakers in the history history of the house we had covered. it's not only was he the longest serving speaker of the
house. he was also speaker of the house when the seniority system in this place. he was one always said when i meet a chairman he have to do it through persuasion whatever he did. that's a help to find out. what was his secret a been such a powerful force here in the house without having some of the other tools that speakers had head. he have to do it is by the force of his personality. i hope that is in there. and then the last one is another reach we always did 1776 to try to get people a concept of what it was like. realizing first hand. and since it was written basically in the end of the 60s before it was produced
there was lot of 1960 concepts that are thrown in there and also the characters are compilations. so john adams is really a compilation of sam adams but i think they have done a good job in capturing and the personalities of the people who were involved and that comes out so clearly in the play. the other thing i like about it is that they use actual language and writing of these individuals. after we've done the plate several times then you read other stuff that's written by these individuals. it's kind of cool the way they've done a brilliant job and we been an actual history. is much different. they were able to weave that in. it was enjoyable. one time a kid that was debating on whether this is realistic or not.