tv Key Capitol Hill Hearings CSPAN September 2, 2014 10:00am-12:01pm EDT
on grimes. but i know that the race has been watched vastly. of the best, all even though he's a dyed in the politician, ional there is certainly one that the entire country is keeping a close eye on. we will see you right back here at 7:00 eastern. have a great tuesday. >> president obama heads for estonia today on the way to this week's nato summit in wales.
the second time this year it has gone to the bullpen region. president will meet with the presidents of estonia, live the way mia and all nato members. ukraine is not a member. u.s.resident will speak to troops who were sent for military exercise that were meant to serve as a deterrent to russia. president obama attends the nato summit thursday and will be back in washington friday. live coverage of today's white house meeting with josh earnest. that briefing is scheduled to begin at 12:30. we will also be live at 3:00 eastern with a director of global health. she will speedt up analyst hosted by the center for strategic and international studies. that starts again at 3:00 eastern. a panel of legal analyst looks at current election laws and how
they impact voting light -- voting rights. federal court rulings and federal id laws and the prospects for unified registration system. the hour-long event are part of a conference held in say thomas, university law school in miami gardens florida. as was stated, our intention is to open up the conversation for questions from the floor. we invite you to participate by but first weons, will try to work our way through a preset agenda of sorts. this is a distinguished panel
and i am excited to be the map -- moderator. the people have fought long and trenches and the in the academy about voting rights and access to the ballot. and roberta martinez we have a someone.s. attorney and who has served on the transition team's of two statewide elected official -- officials. there is a scholar that has ontten at least two books hugely important supreme court cases, one on the bush beat gore . another one sweat versus painter and teaches these issues at nova southeastern and robert fernandez we have someone who has worked in the executive
department of state government and who, perhaps more than anyone on the panel has thought about these issues in service with respect to ethics and elections here in the state of lord of. and gelber two has been a federal prosecutor, state elected official has again thought about these issues on lots of levels. most recently, at least in my as a member of a boating rights commission that held an important hearing here in south florida earlier this year. have a wonderful mix of viewpoints and perspectives, both totitutionally situated, and
have a very fruitful conversation. so i will start with a sketch of what we would like to talk about with issues around voting rights and fraud and access. first is an issue that comes to us, most recently out of the 11th circuit. division inrecent garcia versus florida secretary of state with respect to the legality of the 2012 purging of the border -- voter rolls for purging noncitizens from the rolls. decision was decided under the national voter registration act. decided the action
violated the national voter registration act. i would like to invite our panelists to speak about efforts to maintain the legitimacy of the a look tour world with respect to citizen participation and issues of access, particularly in light of recent supreme court decisions around the voting rights act. i am going to start with mr. martinez on my left and invite other panelists to speak about access and protection of the -- protection of the integrity of in the voterocess purge debate and controversy. >> thank you. good morning, everyone.
we all have anly interest in making sure those who have the right to vote, vote and an interest in making sure who are entitled to vote. >> with regards to the decision in wisconsin, this is the burden than the judge found. there was question of accuracy. so i do not know how much more i can tell you at this point in time. i said we were going to talk about the folder id requirement in wisconsin. >> i guess i would like to add, the secretary of state has simply delayed the institution of the voter purge until homeland security database is in terms of the
state memorandum. >> thank you. bob was brought here to class the place up. i was brought here to go the other way. i think the purge voter id, a lot of these things implicate the issue that i think is not unique to florida but pronounced in florida. florida is a state always in play. so when you have -- no one wonders what will happen in new york on november 5. they wonder what will happen in florida when you have the apparatus of elections tends to be much more important. the fault lines are displayed more proudly to the world when you have a close election. we obviously saw that in 2000. issues, the
question is whether efforts to promote integrity are simply being used as a stalking horse to try to change the outcome of elections. i am not worried about appearing too partisan because florida is a state where the apparatus of the state is run by the legislature, which is republican legislature. it may be different states where democrats run it but here in florida most of the efforts to deliver core integrity whether it is purge and voter id, most of those generally are intended thanto suppress the vote to ensure integrity. things like early voting , not aints and purging lot of people running to the polls with fake ids to vote. there are not a lot of felons trying desperately to vote.
if that happens, it happens usually by accident. almost all of the problems of voting from an integrity point of view is that absentee voting. almost always. i can tell you the purge was an idea whose only purpose was to suppress the vote of the population they believed might not be necessarily favorable. >> there were documented cases
of non-documented citizens on voting rolls. 85 people were ultimately whittled down from 180,000. the question that i have for the panel is, does it matter, and if toake mr. gilbert's comment heart, he suggested does not but doesn't matter the secretary of state is putting a hold on moving forward to find a better database? that is to say, to the extent there were problems in the effort to protect integrity, was it based upon the dmvanism used, the use of records was a bit noisy and allowed for the inclusion of too many legal voters. or doesn't go back to your point of what you take to be the intent behind cleaning it up?
>> if i could speak on that, i think it is somewhat equivalent to shockers gamble met -- sample. the various states of voter rolls have been filled with flaws. for someone to discover there are flaws and need to hold back, which is probably the right decision is coming a little late. we knew this back in 2000. an ongoing problem not only in florida but across the databasesvoter roll that simply we do not know. we do not have good data. we have problems in which there are errors and mistakes to be checked against the voters. the end result is much as we have seen here, you start with hundreds of thousands and in the end you come down to 85 people. 100,000, 7 million
potential voters in florida. the problem is not new. while i think the decision to hold back was the right one why were we in this situation to begin with in 2014. why weren't we fixing this or not even holding off earlier? i am not an expert in this area, but obviously the way in which the whole thing was implemented was rather clumsy work if that appearance. it is in our best interest to make sure we do not have people on the rolls that are not obviously we do not want that. if the person is not qualified to be in the first place we don't want that person to be voting. there is a legitimate interest
in making sure the people entitled to vote are the ones voting. perhaps it throws the process into question. i don't think we need to throw out the baby with the bathwater. i know it looked bad. i am glad it stopped. it didn't look good for the republican party and the governor. the way in which it was implemented may have been clumsy but that doesn't mean we don't have a legitimate interest in making sure there is integrity in the voting rolls. >> there is a question about whether or not the state ought to have access to its own database. that is to say, to the extent that the state is relying on a database of homeland security, in preparing for this panel i thought, isn't it interesting that homeland security would say, hey, the database isn't quite ready. to the extent that partisanship might be influenced, might
influence both homeland security's efforts to get a database to the state that can in fact be used, does it make the argument that the state and government ought to have a database or ought to be able to make recourse to a database that is not perhaps vulnerable to the machinations of the opposite party? >> a great idea except florida has been trying to get its own database for the last 20 years. it has been flawed. bmv database is flawed. various other databases. sometimes it is by choice.
in 2000, the decision was, make connections that involve the same first name, last name, middle name and date of birth but it doesn't matter what the order is. they knew there would be a lot of false positives. they said, we will go with false positives. they purge to that. this has been an ongoing problem. the databases that we ourselves have in florida aren't very good. when they turn to homeland security, it is because they are looking for a better database. whether they are doing it for political reasons or it is hard for them to get a database, it undermines the process as a whole. voter registration, until we have a national registration process, we are going to run into these problems. it is going to be difficult to purge the list. it is legitimate to clean out the voting list on a regular basis, but if you do it in a way that legitimate voters are purged when they shouldn't be, that question of legitimacy of the electoral process. >> i agree with bob that we shouldn't have people who aren't authorized to vote voting.
but i think you confused who is the baby and who is the bathwater. when you have 80 people who probably shouldn't be on the list and they may or not be voting, you prepared to purge tens of thousands of others that are legal residents, that is the problem. we put out a list, realizing that lots of citizens of our state were going to be purged to get up couple of people who probably shouldn't be on the list. i think this is clear as day, that those lists tend to implicate certain types of
voters. they don't have a problem doing it. that is the problem with the voter purge. it takes citizens who should be voting -- a veteran was the face of it. i can vote right now because somebody with my name is also on that list. you shouldn't do a purge unless you can protect actual voters. >> let me just chime in here for one second. dan is right that there might have been serious issues in 2000 but we are in 2014. what i focus on is, where are we in 2014? although we are still talking about a purge list, i challenge anybody in here to tell me there is massive purging going on of people who should be voting that aren't allowed to vote because of a bad list. there are lists, there are still problems and they have decided, we are not going to go ahead and do this right now until we have confidence in the list that we have, that people who should not be voting are not going to be
voting. we can talk all we want about 2000 but in 2014, that is not happening. i think that is what we need to focus on. how are we going to make sure -- there is a legitimate public interest in making sure that people who should not be voting do not vote. it dilutes everybody else's vote. having said that, we want to make sure that nobody, like the veteran dan is talking about, is put in that situation. based on everything i know, that is not happening in 2014. >> i think part of the topic of the panel is common ground. can we all agree that we should have a list that is accurate, that needs to be carefully reviewed? is that basically what we are saying? can democrats and republicans agree that we need to have a list that is accurate?
it seems to me that is pretty basic. >> again, if i take mr. gelber seriously, mr. gelber seems to suggest that a list that is accurate is irrelevant in light of the intent behind the attempt to clean up voter lists. that is in some sense the crocs of the -- the crux of the problem. >> why would the governor pushed a purge when he knows the list contains tens of thousands of people who shouldn't be on it? the governor is a smart guy. he has smart people working around him. he realizes that list isn't capable of really purging people
who shouldn't be voting. it is going to include loads of other people. >> does that show that every subsequent attempt becomes suspect? >> suppose we have an enlightened governor, governor gelber. [laughter] let's suppose that he wants an enlightened republican chief of staff so he hires me. we go about cleaning the list in the right way. i think we all agree that we would want a list that is accurate. >> we all agree that people who shouldn't be voting shouldn't be voting but that is the easy part of this. the part heart -- the hard part is, if you don't have a list that works, what do you do? just like in the court system, you say we will let 10 guilty go free instead of convicting one innocent. what is the vinegar -- the ratio of voters? 1000 citizens so we can find that one guy who isn't a citizen? until you have an academic debate -- our governor has acted with a bad list.
he didn't act with a good list. he did it anyway. there is a history of it in this state. i am sure we will talk about the history of voter suppression in this discussion. i think that is the point. >> i want to pivot to that. in light of the supreme court's decision during the last term in shelby county, in which the supreme court invalidated the formula, the coverage formula that triggered clearance under the voting rights act, the court seemed to suggest that history would not forever be at peace on certain political jurisdictions. certain jurisdictions immediately began to move to implement -- or move forward with the implementation of voter id laws.
the supreme court in 2008 affirmed the state's interest in protecting the legitimacy of the ballot by use of voter id laws. we stand here after crawford, after shelby, with the doj in litigation in texas and north carolina and other places with respect to voter id laws. the conversation that we have just had on wednesday, a district court in wisconsin has thrown out a wisconsin voter id law. it comes back to this question of, is the evidence that justifies the state's interest in protecting the integrity of the ballot and the effectiveness
of voter id in protecting against the harm identified by the state? again, a project that was affirmed. now, post-shelby, we have got some work to do in lots of places. in light of the wisconsin decision, which seems to minimize crawford -- look, we are going to take seriously the impact that voter id laws have on some groups within the state, to make the assessment of whether or not these laws violate the voting rights act -- again, there probably is lots of common ground on this panel with respect to what ought to count as evidence. what counts as sufficient evidence? i will start with you, mr. martinez.
>> again, i am not an expert in this area. i think in the shelby case, what the court said is, come back with a different formula. they invited congress to come back with a different formula. i don't know whether the obama administration has proposed one. the wisconsin decision, which a friend brought to my attention, that decision was rendered recently. that held -- wisconsin passed a law requiring photo identification in order to be able to vote. if you didn't have one, the state would give it to you for free. what the court held was that getting that free photo id if you didn't have one imposed an unjustified burden on those
people who didn't have photo id and therefore found it unconstitutional. the court also held that the class of people who would be impacted were mostly poor people, including those categories of african americans and latinos. it had a discriminatory impact. frankly, i find the scope of that ruling rather expansive. the court went out of its way to find that the state did not have an interest in protecting the integrity of the rolls sufficient to establish that requirement. it surprised me. we have had photo id in florida for a long time. i don't believe it has been an impediment to anyone's right to vote, nor discriminatory to a
particular subgroup, including hispanics which i am in that category. for wisconsin, maybe it is unique. this is part of a movement to stir out the groups, perhaps that is the intent behind it. as far as being a law that is unconstitutional, i think that was a reach by the district court judge. >> a little bit of context as to why people can come to different conclusions on the same topic. republicans generally have the view of the purpose of an election, which is certainty. the purpose is that we know who won and we are clear and confident as to who won and there is no question as to who won. anything that cleans up the electoral process, that gives us that certainty, is a burden worth paying. democrats generally believed that legitimacy in election
involves participation. anything that limits participation of all those who could vote from voting undermines the legitimacy of the outcome. even if that means the results may be a little messy on the edges. these are both legitimate positions to take. this is a perspective towards the purpose of the election. each perspective focuses on a different answer to the question of, what is a legitimate burden for the state to impose upon voters in the voting process? underneath this is that not so secret dirty little secret, that each little side -- that each side takes a position that will help them. the broader the electorate, the better it is for democrats. the narrower it is, the better
it is for republicans. it is just always easier to do this right thing if the end result is one you want. [laughter] part of the reason why we have this difficulty is, we have a district judge in wisconsin whose perspective is on the legitimacy of elections, as access. you have a majority on the supreme court currently that believes the purpose of election is certainty. i know we are trying to find middle ground here. that is a difficult thing to break because of differing perspectives. while we can say, yes, we agree that we should keep people who shouldn't vote from voting, what
that entails on a practical level, our perspective on the purpose of voting provides a legitimate answer. >> is there some possibility for common ground if we understand crawford and the wisconsin decision as both asking a question about the reasonableness of the fear that the process will lack broad participation so in some sense the court is saying there is simply no evidence that the voter i.d. law is the cause of the burden. whereas in the wisconsin decision the court seems to suggest there is no data to support the fear. >> in fact, he argues that -- he goes no great detail trying to explain why there is in fact this burden, that the court might have been, you know, might have sid, well, we have no evidence. you want evidence, here is evidence at least in wisconsin and milwaukee and what are you. how one interprets this depends
on how you perceive the purpose of the election. >> i have a little bit of a disagreement. first of all, the wisconsin case, i will dispute also that my friend -- >> sort of tell you that whether you are on the certainty side or the participation side those aren't the sides in an election when the certainty side is using sort of phoney justifications to create obstructions to vote. you ask anyone in the audience who sat in a line for eight
hours in 2012 or six hours in 2008 they are not going to tell you that this was to make sure there was certainty in early voting. they will tell you this somebody did something to stop the process of accepting voters to obstruct that process to cloud that process because they did not want robust participation. that is when is going on. it is wonderful thing to say one group likes certainty and the other likes participation. but if the one group that likes certainty is saying we like certainty and the way we will do it is by stopping lots of people from voting this is not a democracy. and that is what has been happening in florida and any one in aventura down the street
there were lines for 10 hours. 10 hours because of artificial obstructions to voting that had nothing to do with certainty of an election. [applause] >> folks, please. >> profess are, i became a citizen in 1974 because i wanted to vote. i was paying taxes. i could work. but i wanted to vote. so i believe very strongly, i'm republican. i registered as a republican in 1987 after i left the prosecutor's office. i believe very strongly as a republican but as an american citizen first that people should be entitled to vote. and that is my primary priority. a certainty that people are entitled to vote. >> with regards to the decision in wisconsin, this is the burden than the judge found. the judge in found found in the burden was that you had to take time to go to the department of motor vehicles and actually get
a photo i.d. and that was a hassle to use his word. and that was the burden. by the way, the photo i.d. was free. you don't have to pay for it. but he found that to be an unjustified burden. i was curious as to why this judge went to such great lengths to basically find this law to be unconstitutional. i did research on the judge. i don't know the gentleman. i'm sure he is an intelligent person but also has a point of view. he served for 20 years as a democratic senator in the legislature. violation i find to be quite an extraordinary reach. >> and again this goes back in some sense. your statement goes back to the wisconsin decision and in some sense to crawford that if -- should it matter which groups bear the burden of a voter i.d. law? should that matter to the extent that the voter i.d. law is a generally applicable law in
crawford, scalia writing for justices thomas and alito and himself that it should matter, right? there was differential burdens. and wisconsin said crawford didn't decide that question. it does that the sub group burden does in fact matter. does that -- does it matter? should we take no account that there are groups that are going to be differentially affected by this and that those groups that are connected to the voting rights advocates or go back so some statement about history? should that matter? >> in reading that long opinion i think he found this to be relevant with regards to the statutory violation of the voting rights act and found that
it had a -- a discriminatory impact on people who were pore and that they tended to be mostly african americans and latinos. i'm not quite sure what the significance was. i'm sure african americans and latinos are able to go to the department of motor vehicle and figure out how to get a free photo i.d. it is not that difficult to do. i found it -- the comment by the judge, frankly tortion be perhaps a little -- frankly, to be a little patronizing with regards to his views of certain sub groups. i'm not sure i find the reason for that rationale. >> i disagree, surprise. 90% of wisconsinians who were voting didn't have the i.d. the marketplace shows you that 200,000 or 300,000 people didn't have this already and i have
been to the d.m.v. and i dispute that factually that is an enjoyable experience. not to disparage anybody who work there's. thank you. it does go to the intent of the action if you implement a voter i.d. law knowing this 200,000 voters don't have i.d.'s and those 200,000 tend to be overwhelmingly minority or overwhelming democratic performing then -- and there is no justification for it in that there hasn't been a documented case other than one person who accidentally vote for their spouse who passed away over eight years it goes to the intent of the action and disproves the idea there is any legitimate state justification for imposing that burden.
and we don't know in florida what that does because there are lots of people who don't have vehicles, who can't afford even public transportation sometimes who live remotely who live on the sort of of the fringes of the economy, frankly those people have a right to vote also without an added obstruction. >> professor, maybe you know the answer or somebodier who knows the answer. we had photo i.d. laws in florida for quite some time. is there any evidence that that has had a burden on any particular sub group of voters from voting? is there evidence? i never heard of it. i have never seen any litigation. i never heard any of our legislators from either side raising that topic. >> i'm going to pivot to some of the questions that we got from the audience and i think they
are interesting questions and because they touch on some of the things that i wanted to talk about with row spect to access and -- with respect to access and some of the state level changes in the last legislative session, not the most recent, the ended legislation but the 2013 legislation. and two of the questions go to the question of the registration process. and asked why don't we look at the process of registration which is where the problem begins which is again one of the post 2011 efforts that the state enacted with respect to attempting to clean up the voter registration process or at least third-party voter registration which was subsequently halted by the federal courts. i would like to touch on that in just a second. and then another which raises the question about low voter turnout. and again, i think this goes
back to questions about long waits in line, or at least in some sense maybe implicated by long waits with respect to how easy ordinary citizens take it to the exercise of the right to be. so let's sort of talk about the voter registration reforms that were enacted in 2011. and again, because they go i think to the heart of the question about protecting the integrity of the voter roles and who does that and under -- voter rolls and who does that and under what conditions and regulations those are done.
they weren't addressed, again, in the most recent reforms. but if -- if -- mr. hernandez? want to address it? >> if i can. i would like to talk about this legislative session but actually focus on few other things just because some of my esteemed panelists here, dan especially, keeps talking about the huge long lines which is true. and i think we all agree that it was unacceptable but there were changes that were done and i will focus on miami dade county. i had the fortunate privilege of serving on mayer jimenez council. it was mid up of elected officials, of lawyers, kendall coffee who i think is one of our panelists served with me on that. bipartisan what could we do to fix the issues. there were a lot of reasons other than the nefarious intent. i could talk about the storm of different things that happened at once to crowiate the long lines.
having said that, i think we did things locally and at the state level to try to fix those things so that that doesn't happen again. at the state level the legislature went ahead and increased early voting and to allow flexibility in early voting. urban counties with large populations would like to have as much early voting as possible to make sure that as many people can vote by early voting if they so choose. some of the smaller counties that didn't have the issues people wanting to early vote had to incur the expense and five people would show up all day long. now as before when you start on the 10th day -- the requirement is you must start on the 10th day before and have it at least running through the third day of the election. and now you can start on the 15th day before the election and run up to the second day before the election. we increased from eight days to 14 days. >> can i interrupt and ask another question of you directly? with respect to the 2013
reforms, what do you expect he wouldle see from the imposition of the requirement on supervisors of elections to issue reports on their web site with row spect to election -- respect to election day preparedness? that is, to say to talk about the numbers of machines, to get the information out to the public well in advance of either a primary or general election? i mean i would think that generally speaking it will be a good thing in reference to demanding from the supervisors of election that there is, you know, accountability and there is, you know, in a public way, you know, how are we being prepared, you know, for the election, for the elective process. in miami dade county and our supervisor of election that is high pressuring. we have an election -- an election incident after report that was generated that basically anybody interested in, it is interesting and talks about the different reasons why we had the long lines and fixes being put in place both in terms
of the state level and things we were doing internally logistically in miami dade county. miami dade county is doing it and i would hope those across the straight follow. there is a provision in the statute that requires all of the counties to do that. going back to when i was saying, that is something that high pressured, the ballot summaries. now we have a 75 word, you know, limit on the ballot summaries. we had, you know, five or six pages of ballots that people were dealing with in 2012 which seriously slowed down the lines. now, you know, any constitutional amendments by the legislature through joint resolution have the same limitation that all other ballot questions have. we now increased -- there was -- we have expanded the definition
of places that can be early voting sites. before you could only be libraries or specific county buildings or excuse me like municipal offices. now fairgrounds other county owned buildings, other civic centers expanded the definition. miami date county is in the process of expanding the early voting sites. in 2012, it had 20. now it is between 25 and 30 depending upon if it as presidential election year or off presidential year. there is a lot of things being put in place and i used early voting as an example. there is a lot of things put in place to improve the mechanics of elections in florida. i don't think the sky is falling. i don't think are being denowed the right to vote -- denied the right to vote, certainly not intentional. there is always going to be the issue of access versus the integrity and mechanics and logistics of the process and you have to balance those two things and want to make sure that nobody is denied access.
there has to be integrity in the process and works smoothly and mechanically. i will give you another example we went to touch screen machines in florida after 2000 because we thought that would be a good thing. majorings went to touch screen technology which was going to be more efficient in theory and allow people with special needs to be able to vote such as the blind or the deaf. we went away a few years later because people lost faith in them because they wanted the paper and what if there is a recount issue and there is no paper to do the recount. so the state and the county spent millions upon millions of dollars to go back to the optical scan ballot machines and that was a public policy decision that was made and so be it. now we have optical scan ballot machines. it is not a static process. always changing and obviously with the goal of trying to make it better. i think you this issue of access versus integrity in anything dealing with elections.
>> want to speak on -- i want to follow up on that especially in light of our conversation on wednesday and i think in response to professor zeldman with respect to the national voter registration. clearly both at the state level and national level if you take crawford seriously, the evolution from a bureaucratic apparatus and the department of justice and the sit and evolution from the state to county supervisors of elections with the kind of discretion they -- and flexibility. are there problems in that, flexibility? do you foresee problems? >> despite the fact it was only supposed to happen once, it goes right back to bush v. gore and the question of equal treatment in elections. the problem with evolving power more and more locally is you tend to get more and more diversity.
historically that resulted in a very different voting experience depending on which county you were in. best example in 2000 was which machine you were voting on and as a result the level of spoiled ballots that were likely to come about because of those in machines and a close election that matters. if you take equal treatment of the voting process seriously, and i happen to be one of those people who does take the procurement opinion in bush v. gore seriously, then while power to the localities has its advantages it also has a danger of moving us into a position once again in which what experience you have voting is shaped by where you are and that can be a good thing or that can be a really bad thing.
and you end up having people being denied to vote in one place but allowed to vote in another or long lines in one place and not in another. flexibility is good. it does provide for eight greater access to -- for greater access to the ballot but the danger is this it can be taken too far and historically it was that sort of flexibility which by the way, historically in florida going back to the late 19th century constitution the people who run elections in the state were the county supervisors, not the state. in 2000 there was no way to do a state recount. this sort of locality allowed for a lot of abuse of the electoral process. it was used to keep a lot of people from voting who majority chose not to allow to vote. so, in a sort of long way around, it is probably a good
thing that we had the degree of flexibility but the danger is he would take it too far we are back to where we were a few years ago with the same problems that resulted in the crisis of 2000. >> the, first of all, the early voting issue is not an issue of legitimacy. nobody -- i mean although actually they did make the argument this it was, nobody ever argued that people are early voting fraudulently as opposed to election day voting. that is not even sort of an issue. the question of early voting and activities is has nothing to do with legitimacy. will is no early voting fraud that happens. it is purely a question of access. if you look at the last bill and the two bills before that and the run up before the election in 2005, they did one before 2008 and in 2010 or one before 2012 or -- all the legislature did was artificially constrain the hours and the places.
they said you can only vote eight hours during a day which is absurd. why limit to eight hours artificially and only eight hours over the weekend which is absurd and limited to libraries and city hall. i think they wanted to make the process harder. i don't think there is any question about that. in fact, the democrats ran amendments saying you will do this but who wants to be head of the i told you so caucus. before 2012 they did the same thing. limited in the same ways. went from 14 to nine days. lots of black churches were doing souls to the polls so they got rid of the sundays none of this is about integrity. it is about access. >> if we take the point that any identification of some number is at the very first instance arbitrary, that is why not 20 days, any identification in the first instance is always arbitrary. what is the -- what is the data
that is required after that first move? that is, if we say look, we want to refine 15 days, what should -- what -- what would have been a legitimate presentation of evidence that the move was -- >> 30 minutes. shouldn't have to wait in line more nan 30 minutes to vote. and in dade county you couldn't vote unless you waited in line for hours. there are metrics that can be delivered. most recent reforms and i say reforms because we use that word purjoratively. the university of florida had an issue there because you can't go to a university campus and vote even though on election day you can. why is that there? >> even with all of the shame has come to florida over the last two major elections and it really is shame, the legislature still has trouble just saying we want everybody voting.
and you are not even -- my point is you are not even balancing legitimacy with that. it is just an issue of how many people do we think ought to be voting in the election and how robust a turnout to we want? and i agree there are concerns if you were making the point that when you have flexibility at the end of the day if -- if jacksonville decides that two or three hour lines are okay, then that is wrong. i don't care whether it is the legislature that does it or a county superintendent of elections. it shouldn't be that way and the state ought to make sure that people don't have to wait that long to vote and there are metrics they can deliver prior to an election to make sure that they are prepared. >> i agree with dan, which happens somewhat. actually here in miami date county part of what be did as part of the election advisory council is the mayor wanted us
is aspirational but he wants to hold a supervisor of elections and the department accountable that we basically want every voter that comes to go vote to be out the door within one hour. whether that be early voting or on election day. everything that is being done logistically and mechanically to improve the electoral process system in miami date county is so that you are in and out the door within an hour. in reference to the issue about early voting, i believe early voting is good public policy and it is something that we had in florida since 2004. it has been tweaked over time. you know, whether you want to ascribe nefarious intent to it or not, that is not me. the point is that it is not something that is at that timic. it is something that changes
over time. you want to try to give some flexibility to the counties because the needs of a large county are different from a small county. and i will tell you, i mean, you know, i think it is good public policy but it also -- it is not a right. it is a privilege. there are 17 states that don't even have any type of a early voting including new york, massachusetts, virginia, alabama, i mean across the state -- across the nation and you can ascribe whether it as blue state or a red state, really across the board. and so is it good public policy? >> i don't want to make joe's life worse, i have permission to ask one more question. and it comes back to the question of registration. that is, why not some system of universal registration. why not some system of opt out registration? the day that everybody turns 181 registered or at least registered in the same way as you might register for the elective service?
-- selective service? why is it so difficult if we take that term seriously to register? and why so many variations? >> that is a question are you say hag anybody who is 18 to that it if i became a citizen in 1974 that would have been an unnecessary act on my part? i mean i think we have to have some thresholds. i mean are you saying anybody who is 18 in miami you get to vote and you opt out if you don't want to go? >> clearly only if you are eligible. >> we have to have certain parameters. have to be a citizen. have to be 18. have to live here. so there has to be some basic requirements that need to be met in order to safeguard the integrity of the vote. so at some point so those are burdens. have to take some steps to satisfy those requirements.
i don't -- i'm not sure i understand the question. i think the state has a valid interest. >> you have to take -- you don't have to take steps to become 18. those aren't steps. >> but -- [ overlapping speakers ] >> you have to prove that you are 18. [inaudible speaker] >> you have to meet certain requirements. >> but the basic thrust of the question is why so much difficulty? and i think i want -- i addressed the fact to you in some sense because you talk about national registration. >> simple answer because we always wanted and used registration as a way to control who can and can't vote. again i'm speaking in a historic sense here. it is always -- it has always been a way that the states have controlled their electorate and who they want to vote and how they vote. the more complex you make the registration process the more likely to ex-cloud voters on the margins. the easier the process the
larger the pool of the registered voters is likely to be. i don't know why we shouldn't be able to do a national voter tate that base. i think it is a good idea. i have been in support for a lot of years. it would take away the problem of people voting in multiple states because you wouldn't have the sense of two states not talking to one another. the answer is the states don't want to give up that power. and there are differences between states on how they organize registration. some states you can register on day of the election. others months in advance. this affects the pool of potential voters. and each state makes a choice as to what pool they want. >> with that, i want you to join me in thanking our panelists. [applause]
up next a conversation about race and political discourse. this is 50 minutes. mr. kamen -- cantor's appointment was in may. he says he wanted to join a firm with what he says a great entrepreneurial spirit that focused on his clients. congress is starting one last week of recess before returning to capitol hill to work on federal spending and other issues. here is what some members are doing today. rent -- visiting nashua. iowa democrats bruce braley attending the labor picnic. and johnny isakson speaking at the kiwanis club of atlanta about threats to national security, including terrorism, debt and deficit. like carolina senator kay hagan debate turk challenger tomorrow
night. live coverage of that when she pieces tom tillis. many have been getting to know them through campaign advertisements. here is a look -- >> >> senators never pay the price. i came up in the real world. i've been a paper boy, a short-order cook, a warehouse clerk and eventually a partner at i.b.m. the senate could use more people for a living and few of the politician who is made this mess. i approve this message. let's make this right. >> one of the things i love about north carolina is that unless you're talking basketball, you don't have to pick a team. that's how i get results for folks here at home. republicans or democrats, it's an ideal work for middle class family i am all for it. i approve this message because i was so proud with the non-partisan national journal
ranked me for most moderate senator. not too far left, not too far right. just like north carolina. >> a recent poll show the candidates are in a dead heat. a poll finds the incumbents led llis 45% to 43% with shawn halcombing in at 5%. our coverage of the north carolina u.s. senate debate starts at 7:00 p.m. eastern on c-span. a discussion on racial innuendo on the campaign. the discussion was held in miami garden, florida, and moderated by a columnist for the "miami herald." [applause] >> thank you very much.
this is such an exciting conference political campaign ethics conference. many thanks to the miami-dade commission on ethics and public trust, and of course, to st. thomas university center for ethics. ethics is such an important topic. don't think we address it properly or seriously quite enough. this panel is called the third rail ethnic and racial innuendo in political campaigns. and joining me in this all important discussion, we have three terrific gentlemen who are indispensable to this conversation. and we start to my immediate left. there's nothing left about him. lincoln diaz ballard. he is an attorney. he is a former u.s. congressman, much loved and thanks for being here, congressman.
also to his immediate left is george knox, visiting professor of law at florida international university school of law. former city attorney for the city of miami. george, great to see you again. and of course, last, but not least, we have former county commissioner for miami-dade county. but today, the all important city manager of the city of miami beach, jimmy morales. immy, great to have you. we have the issue if you agree with somebody it's because of issue of race. if you agree with somebody, it's
because of race. it could be gender or ethnicity. on a local level, that also occurs, you see the race card, the ethnic card, but maybe not in a way that is kuwait so obvious. i was talking to jimmy morales about this before we started this panel. one of the things that we look at that's so complex about this is that people are drawn to people who look, think, and speak like them. you are drawn to your racial group because there are certain commonality. what is wrong with that? >> i think there's nothing wrong with that. part of always been
our political system. i think that's one of the laws of politics. it's people who they feel an identification with. ow, having said that, and then i'll make reference -- a couple would i saw laws of politics as much as there could be laws of physics. when people are proud of their heritage and they're proud have a representative as as i've said before who they identify with. at the same time, i would say it's for evident that
selected officials that emphasis that a particular message is given obviously has to do with the interest of the audience. >> um-hmm. >> in other words, if you're apec convention, they're with -- they're likely want to hear about. obviously, is an elected official or a candidate's views on u.s., israel relations and the security. - of israel.
they address that issue in that audience. greek ne is addressing americans, you better have an the on on cyprus and turkish invasion because that's an area of great interest and obviously in this community, if you're going to speak to a group of venezuelan americans or cuban-americans, you better know the current events and have a osition on the issues.
>> but, of course, sometimes the message gets manipulated intentionally. >> well, let me -- let me just, if i may, continue with what i hink are some, you know, i think they are evident, but you know there is nothing wrong i think with what i just said. people obviously want to make mphasis on -- have emphasis on issues based on the interests of issues in the audience that people are addressing. now, to be successful, that candidate or that elected official obviously does not change his or her views on issues based on the audience. in other words, one thing is emphasis based on you don't want to bore your audience so you want to talk about something that obviously they are interested in.
but you don't change your position on an issue based on your audience. that is something that -- now, with regard to, you know, i wouldn't call it a law of politics but an observation, demagoguery sometimes raises its ugly head. but in my -- in my experience, ou know, the subject of this panel, in other words racial insinuations or ethnic innuendo, that is counterproductive in a -- in a -- in addition to being negative and, you know, certainly indefensible. it is counterproductive in a campaign. now -- and fortunately so, as -- and as electorates become more used to political discourse you
know more mature, if you will, more experienced in democracy, such things as ethnic insinuations and things like that become even more counterproductive and i think that is a very important positive. in other words, it is -- you know, we -- i remember, you know, in this community decades ago seeing examples of demagoguery that shocked me, but they -- as i say, as a community becomes more experienced in
democracy and more mature they are less effective and fortunately they are less ommon. and so, you know, that is one of he positives of democracy. democracy, when -- the more time it has, you know, it does a lot f recfification. >> it might actually work in a political campaign and when you look at a diverse community such as you have in south florida which is a microcosm of where the nation is headed there is a lot of challenge. the issue of we go back and congressman was referring to some of the issues of the past. in south florida there was the issue of nelson mandela and his relationship with fidel castro and what that may is implied and created a lot of conflict and tension. ow do you see the way we are
address the issue and the proclivity of racial and ethnic innuendo in campaigns? >> first, i think that it is mportant to at least challenge the assertion by the congressman that racial innuendo and outright racially charged estimates are less prevalent on the political scene both locally and nationally. today's miami herald reported in section a that the town ommissioner? in a small place in new hampshire referred to the president of the united states by using the so-called "n word" that is this morning's erald.
and his response and i'm quoting what he said to the official response to the people who hallenged him, i believe i did use the n word in reference to the current occupant of the white house. for this, i did not apologize. he moats and exceeds my criteria for such. now, the reason that that is importanted to is there is no nnuendo about this and the suggestion is that somehow we are getting better, i would suggest we are simply getting more clever. there was a sarcastic statement that was printed in a sarcastic ewspaper about statements like
he one i just read and statements from mr. cleveland bundy, the nevada farmer who indicated this blacks were probably better off in slavery because at least that gave them something to do and, of course, there was -- this man was a darling of elements who are active politically who wanted his support because he had licensed to say things this they might not have been able to say in a politically correct way. i think that we have gotten more lever in our innuendo -- clever in our innuendo. as a matter of fact, if terms like entitlement are used, terms like social service programs are used, terms like urban center are used, terms like liberty city or little havana are used they conjure up thoughts inside of our heads this have directly to do with rice in a very subtle
way except for those who nderstand the lingo. >> there is a desire to gain affinity without having our finger prints ton it so to speak. when i was a candidate for public office county wide one of oi stop my stops was in what was then known as little havana. and i was introduced by my host who wanted to make the audience feel comfortable with me as not george knox for those purposes but "jorge no"! nd the people cheered. >> and then i was told to use certain words like hermano and hermanas. simpatico.
make mention of antonio arsailles. it is not only a rule, it is law and it happens and we cannot regulate the conduct of people who wish to engage in coded language in order to create an affinity with the audience for the purpose of gaining votes without fairly being accused of using racial innuendos. >> but i would say, george, two points. on the issue of the nevada ancher when he came out with the statement, i do believe that most who are in the political world backed away from his is support because theymy not have been -- and i thought that was a positive. you are not going to eliminate racism everywhere and you will find some who will be racist but i thought the political world
backed away from support after he made those statements, which, number one, would be a positive. when you are talking about in campaigns when they say, say hermano and hermana it is words that are trying to suggest an affinity with the community, i don't know that little havana it ooked upon negatively. people say little havana with pride and a sense of belonging. i don't see it as being used as a way of marginalizing which is different from what that person from new hampshire said, which is really tragic because that is an elected official. > there are two responses. and i don't disagree. i was trying to point out that we kind of castigate conduct because there is a mirror image
of it this is positive. to identify with something that is important with another culture as if you row spect it. you respect it enough to emulate it as bad as you possibly can is the positive side of the negative nuance. and so that is why you can't get rid of it because it can work either way. the second thing that i like to point out in response to your observation is we have to be careful with words that are used because this is a volatile subject. a cynic said, for example and i'm quoting again there is no excuse for offensive racist comments like the one mr. bundy made when there are so many subtler ways of making the exact point. >> and that is the point. nd let me with all due respect
go to this conference and the words attributed to jesse jackson by commissioner suarez, those of us who laughed knew that the connotation was having to do with a disparaging reference to jesse jackson's race. the suggestion was that black people, which is a stereotype that i grew up with and many over 50 did can't swim because they are closer in affinity to apes than human beings and this was the innuendo that was embedded in a clever joke associated with jesse jackson that had two or three meanings depending upon the sensitivity of people who made use of it and those of us who thought it was clever or funny have to examine ourselves and ask ourselves what it was that made that joke so funny. ased upon our own experience and what we heard around the dinner table and on the choolyard.
a and when we answer that question honestly, then an appreciation for the beauty, the eauty and subtlety of innuendo i think would be made even more manifest. it is here to stay. cleaver people know how to touch the hearts and minds of others by the language and choice of words that they use. as a matter of fact, it is called dog whistling. dog whistling is a popular term in politics that essentially means if you know anything about dog whistles, the pitch of it is beyond the capacity of human beings to hear but the dogs can hear it. all right? and so it is with innuendo, the hidden meaning of it so subtle this only those people that have a connection with it will be
able to recognize it. nd that is both the beauty and the danger of what he would are talking about. -- what we are talking about. >> it is such a fascinating conversation and clearly ethnic and the ethnic heart gets placed, the race card gets played and it does have an effect when you lock at this -- look at this conversation. what worries you and what -- i see change in dynamics with the younger generations. do you see that? >> let me first say that if i look uncomfortable here. in law school i never sat this lose to the front. >> and i know know why because i ould be culled on to speak after george and lincoln. >> there you go. >> we made progress. as a society, the -- the vicious tones of politics of 100 years
ago where you had political parties whose message was, you know, antiafrican american or anticatholic or antijewish, i moan we have got ton a point today where the -- gotten to point today where the blatant over the sited goal of being anti any one particular group is no longer tolerated. >> which is why perhaps you to use in win toe today to get away -- to use innuendo today to get away with it. >> exactly. and you touched on this which is obviously there is a human nature to be drawn to people that we have something in common with. whether that is religion or geographic or some from the same country at some point, whether it is gender, race, whatever it is. and people find comfort if that. and this has been an understanding over the last 20 years that to some degree diversity in politics is a good thing. we have drawn single member districts that will be more likely to elect diverse representation. districts in congress and in the legislature to attract -- to mix it more likely -- make it more likely to elect a more diverse group. and so it is a natural by product if you are having an election in a seat that, for example, is in tenned to elect -- intended to elect a haitian american you might have a candidate who runs on the basis i'm haitian american and we con from a common root and i appreciate the issues and i grew
up in the same neighborhoods and i'm the best person to represent you in washington or tallahassee as the case may be. this is part of politics in this country for since the very beginning. and the idea that somebody because they share something with you might be a better representative, there is nothing wrong with that. you know, i -- and it is not something that is unique to miami in terms of being a more recent immigrant community compared to other cities. i lived in boston for seven years. i remember when thomas menino got elected mayor of boston. one of the most famous things you do in boston is go to the north end and thomas menino was the first italian mayor elected to boston. or a century or more irish
americans dominated politics. even at that level people voted for people they were comfortable with. i think where it gets uncomfortable and now more by innuendo is when the difference -- it is not the commonnallity that is used as a reason to vote for somebody, it is the differences being used as a reason to vote against somebody. and that is where -- while he would have become clearly much more civilized and modern in erms of it not being tolerated over thely so when mr. bundy says what he says, everybody uns to the hills away from him. it is, as george points out, it is hidden code words and hidden statements. as lincoln points out, sometimes sing what is perceived as an
issue but cloved in, you know, where you stand on israel is perhaps how you feel about the jewish community or where you stand on immigration is how you feel about hispanics when in fact there could be good policy issues one way or the other but those are cloaked to send messages. own statements that -- you know, i encountered when i was -- that i would get statements about i'm not hispanic enough. whatever this meant. but people will throw those words out there. or i think you have -- african american kepts not accused of -- candidates not accused of being black enough because they are not in touch enough. those kind of innuendos are used to send a message. i think we have to be more sensitive to it. the problem is as we are here at a law school talking about laws, just how we talk about how you can't legislate morality you can crowiate laws that can punish people for being immoral. the challenge you talk about speech expressed in ideas is how do you ledge slit away the innuendos and that is -- legislate away the innuendos. he would hope that over time the social message, the social disapproval and hopefully the political consequences of it.
and that is what he would need to get to at some point. just like we always say no one likes negative campaigning. but it will only stop the data -- >> it stops working. >> for the people that don't love the negative ads, it makes a difference. the day that the innuendos become in fact a reason to vote against somebody, i think you see that times, people get turned off by it. i think, perfect sample when david duke the kkk won the republican nomination and the republican party disavowed him because that was not a message they wanted. when it gets to the point where we disavow those kind of messages. remember as a democrat, i don't want to be accused of attacking republicans, i remember when a democratic nominee for the congressional seat in date county said the last american please carry the flag out and we elected the honorable -- but both parties and anyone is prone to it, it is the day those messages are punished politically that we really turn the corner. >> congressman as jimmy morales was talking about immigration
reform. talk about use of innuendo code words to be antihispanic in the ebate. this is one of the issues even hough polls suggest and as sal russo from the tea party express came out with an op ed where he as talking about the tea party -- as a tea party person in favor of immigration reform and somebody disavowed how could anybody who could be conservative be in favor of immigration reform. is that being antihispanic or more legitimate reasons to look beyond? i think there is a lot of hatred behind some of the immigration reform rhetoric. >> i don't disagree with a lot of the things that jimmy and george have said. as i said before, and let me touch upon immigration in a second. ou know, demagoguery does show
its face occasionally. i will maintain, though, and stress that that is one of the reasons why i think it is important to study history. obviously we can't compare in my view the united states today with the united states 100 years ago or 150 years ago. we are a much better place. and you know that is not egating. you know, george knox talked about some examples of more than
demagoguery, you know, of, you know, horrible racism today. i mean we are going to find examples like that. you know, no -- no human endeavor is ever going to be perfect but certainly it is perfectible. and in our country, our country is perfectible and it is much, much better. than it was in the past. that is what i mean. let's take things in -- in the long view and in contrast. >> for example, president obama would not have been elected if it hadn't been for the white vote. >> right. there are a lot of examples. a lot of examples. of overcoming and getting better. now -- now let me point to thish somehow you brought out. let me discuss the issue brought out. the kinds of matters that were discussing in this panel. immigration. because it -- it facilitates and makes it easier.
the issue makes easier demagoguery attacks and it is a very, very difficult issue but nevertheless, you know, progress is possible. rogress. you know, you brought out an example about the latest, you know, public statement by somebody being attacked for how can you be making that statement? coming from where you are coming rom? nevertheless even on an issue as difficult as immigration progress is possible. and you know i remain hopeful that we will see -- that we will see significant progress soon ven on that issue. >> i hope so. he would have some questions from the audience. write down your questions. we are -- this is one question. re he would living -- are we living -- in a super sensitive society? george?
>> there is an association with ethics that seems to connote ood and bad. and as a very close relationship between what we call a judge and know will be in place. the investigate of politicians is to -- the strategy of politicians is to get as many votes as they can by having the people that they are appealing to resonate with or identify with something that they say, believe, or otherwise stand for. so, all of it is not unethical. this is the difficulty when we read our attempts to relate. we have to allow and understand that there are differences. when at any cost not per se unlawful constituting a crime after due process. and so as long as you don't do that, then the argument is that whatever you do is fair game in politics because you are supposed to know and understand what it is all about and you are supposed to be thick
skinned. are and so as long as you don't do that, then the argument is that whatever you do is fair game in the politics because you're supposed to know and understand what it's really all about and you're supposed to be thick skinned and not take the stuff seriously because it's nothing personal. >> anybody else want to tackle this? >> you hear a lot of people say of society becoming too p.c. and we all -- our grandparents telling jokes of today that would curl our hair and it was fine back then. but it wasn't really fine back then. the the cal -- typical comment, we didn't have these comments. it was brushed under the carpet r ignored.
i think that's a good thing. you know, the challenge in part is, you know, we always talk about america's a melting pot. and there's a perception that at some point, we're all just going to americans and the hyphens go away and we're going to be a group of americans. but the reality is we're more like a salad. we're all mixed together but you still taste the tomato, the olives and the cucumber. and so there's no reason at that doesn't get reflected in politics. that issues are approached from a perspective. and that perspective changes, perhaps with race or gender. one of the -- to me, and i'm fortunate to be married to a strong professional woman. to me, one of the sense watts is sexism is tolerated in the media, in entertainment in politics.
a lot of us are shocked that each how hillary was treated in the primary a couple of years back. she was treated as a victim. in my opinion, i've seen it. >> your wife being an attorney herself? >> being an attorney by male attorneys. it would shock me. so i think there's a lot of areas where some things, we've gotten very sensitive about and in other areas, we maybe haven't. we're progressing. but it's -- again, there's nothing wrong with people being drawn to each other for different reasons. and sometimes there are related issues. people may have sensitivity to immigration issues, etc. it becomes when it becomes a sword to use for irrational purposes other than to fuel hatred, that's where we have to figure it out. we have to regulate it or collectively decide that we're
not going to put up with that. >> the issue of polarization and it was talked about on this panel that, you know, we have districts that are designed and the issue of immigration reform, one of the comments that he's it -- that's made it difficult to perform that are drawn so that you don't have diversity within a district and then perhaps then, there's no understanding of or knowledge of who these diverse populations that we're talking about in the immigration reform debate. the hispanic community, in particular is reflected. and there's a question here from the audience that says here locally in miami-dade county and surrounding municipalities, with the use of innuendo be different if there were at large elections instead of districts, for example? >> different, but again, that's where it's difficult to talk
about better or worse. some could argue that single-member districts is institutionalized is a way of reducing the need to appeal to one ethnic group point of view er another because there's common interest built into the districts by design. >> but if for a salad, we're not melting, then that's going to exist anyway. >> see, the tomato stays a tomato and sometimes, we forget that fact. we obscure the identity of the tomato by calling it salad. now, as to -- [laughter] [applause] and please, again, miami is a barometer for the rest of the world for the immediate future. and so when we talk about at large election for example, the most prominent are now the
judicial elections. and the fact is that you will see overt innuendo associated with the matter manner in which even the professional experience and caliber of candidates for judge based upon their understanding of the emographicing -- demographics. they don't have the capacity -- our resources to raise sufficient money to fare well in a contested election county wide. and there are others who know that. and there are others who make a living identifying vulnerable -- souled minority. both women and persons of african descent candidates
because there's an understanding that the affinity, the cultural affinity between the three major cultural groups is so significant that it makes a difference. and people talk about the surname game. and this is not limited. there was a man in 1980 because history is important, whose name is john plumber. he won a seat in the florida state legislature because of his last name and the association of people naturally made was a very prominent and politically active family in miami-dade called the mum ber family. john plummer he spent $17,000 in order to beat a very well qualified engaging attorney whose name was allen rose hello o. plumber was a african-american
38-year-old bus driver who had not even attended a public meeting because of his last name and his avoidance of use in a photograph in any of his o-called campaign materials. a so it's not critical in sense of negativity. it is and it is a device that is used by people as a strategy to gain votes in a demographic world. and we cannot judge, evaluate, or defend its use. >> let's not forget even recent history.
multi-member districts were used in a way to deny minority elections. and that was a reality. one of the recent reforms made possible single-member districts. that would be worth a panel just by itself. that's more in a perfect world. it's lity is though important to put on the record. until a single-member district ecame a reality, multi--member districts were used to deny minorities election. >> please comment on the lack of concern with discrimination
against african-american republicans and hispanic republicans. the claim of prejudice seems used as a political play. >> i'm sorry. repeat that. >> please comment on the lack of concern with the discrimination against african-american republicans and hispanic republicans, the claim of prejudice seems to be used as a political ploy, i'm going to guess. >> i think if -- i think what that question is referred to is more of a concern about the media and that i've heard. i've heard that concern a lot. but -- >> but you also see it on social media. you see it on twitter. >> yeah. >> the anonymity behind social media has really had an impact on race, on -- and it's not as george knocks would suggest it's not even innuendo, it's just
very straight right at your face accusations and certainly, it's i don't think it's a surprise that we're seeing the rise in the level of it except it's done through tweets, for example, where it can be pretty darn anonymous. >> if you look nationally, i mean, we have three hispanic u.s. senators. and two of them are republicans. we forget how many hispanic governors. a majority of them are actually republicans. the parts of label are difficult because i think -- i'll speak candidly. both parties often use that ploy. and each claiming to be more
responsive to a particular group or the other and i'm not a knot sure either one, at the end of the day, it's about winning elections. >> maybe the question suggests that an african-american is going a democrat and not going to be a republican and the same goes on a national level in south florida. a hispanic would definitely be a republican but not on a national level. >> it's a very important point what you brought up in terms of the last -- the last time we had a national conventions. it impressed me that in terms of statewide officials or hispanic, or candidates, you know, i was impressed by the fact that except for senator bob me mean dez. -- men mean dez.
- men den dez -- menendez. >> that was impressive. but on the democratic side, even though they had very, very few, the hispanics were in the audience. the hispanics were attend's to the -- attendees were in the convention. >> yes, i think for example, the reception nationally that hispanics and african-americans are more democratic. whether or not that has resulted in deliverables to those communities, you know, i think there's a lot of hispanics, for example, who are -- haven't done
more on the immigration issue. you could make the same statement about if you're a strong christian, you're more likely to be a republican. >> you know, jim, i've been told at -- and we've had a jewish members in the legislature. but i have been told that as someone of the jewish faith could never win a state-wide race in florida in 2014. you know, we think we progress and maybe we don't. george knox, our comments about issues relating to racial matters every acceptable? for example, a latino man or woman winning in a predominantly latino area or a black or white person in similar circumstances. our comments relating racial
matters ever acceptable? are we ever going to eliminate that? >> well, acceptable is another one of those words. the things will there be conversations or thoughts weected towards race and can not decide whether they are acceptable, but accept them as a reality. a reality that we will either nfront somewhere between statements by the nevada farmer and references to liberty city as being a home of every person of color in miami-dade county, for example. and where does it bring into your mind? so this whole idea is for everybody to accept without either getting angry about it or taking license wit because it's not going any place.
and the most sympathetic victims of racialism are people who mean well. who don't know or appreciate, just like i made reference to a connotation of a very clever statement made earlier to make a point that was so far away from what i said, but the fact is that there's relevance in both of those things and that's the tragedy of innuendo. because one thing touches me one way and one thing touches someone else who does not have my experience in another way. and it looks exactly the same. >> but george, when you look at the issue of the debate on gay marriage today, and you see how that is one issue where as a society, the united states has moved so dramatically in just a
decade. don't you see that -- or would you say perhaps that there are -- that there is enormous progress that's being made to be more inclusive, more accept -- that there's a great acceptance that difference does not necessarily something to be feared, just a fact. and if you don't want to embrace it, it's nothing you have to run away from either? >> precisely. and the fact that human relationships are that have existed from the beginning of time are now acknowledged as human relationships without good, bad, or other connotations allows for this to happen. because it became a part of the conversation. we will not allow race to become a part of the conversation because we are too sensitive yet with what our organizers call
the third rail, which means an untouchable conversation, especially anybody in public life. and so we haven't gotten to the point where we can candidly talk about a celebration of differences which contribute and so we can't make a list. this contains green peppers, greens, lettuce and containmentos and it has become a salad. but we can't forget about the valuable. the valuable component parts that institute -- constitute this new unified entity with all of its unis and components working in harmony to create something that is satisfactory to the consumer. >> well in a way, it comes back to being what is american and we go back to the american debate. we go back to the -- immigration debate. it's not the same as the caribbean american who is in
south florida. jimmy morales, even an experienced puerto rican, it's in the immigration debate. there's a conversation that if you're not a citizenship isn't included, then you're making a second klaas american. and if puerto ricans who are american citizens by birth can't vote for the president of the united states if you live on the island, but if you live on the i-4 corridor, you could. it occurs racial and ethnic racial group. there's been political tension between the catholic community and the haitian community. people forget that the ugly word that starts with a k used to describe jewish-americans was
invented by german juice about jews comingjuice -- to new york city. and i can tell you as a half cuban-half puerto rican, neither community knew where i fit in. and so, you know, there are differences within community and sometimes in those play outside those communities. so it's not just black versus white or hispanic versus non-hispanics. there's even subtlies within ethnic and racial groups that have political consequences. and the innuendos there are even probably more difficult to figure out. >> and as we wrap this up, just a brief one-minute statement from each of you. final thought on this all-important topic. just a quick minute. lyndon. -- lincoln. >> it's getting better. we're not -- in no way is this
society perfect but it's getting better. and, you know, we got to work to continue to improve it. >> george knox. do you think you can make it a little positive before you leave? >> no. [laughter] here's the difficulty. the difficulty is that once again, all i wish to do is to make a contribution to a truth that all of us must face. and i'm not being negative at all. i'm not failing to acknowledge progress at all. but the fact is that everything that we've done that's good must be accelerated and the only way that we can accelerate it is to have a conversation about the things that are deepest in our hearts, our greatest fierce and challenges, and our common purpose. and nobody wants to go first. nobody wants to say we are interdependent and we need each
other. we rather say, ok, something that connotes that we are not in this together. and thereare barriers are riders. and the fact is that we are all in this together and we must acknowledge each of us have both a role and value to contribute to the society that people in dubuque, iowa, are praying that we demonstrate to them. >> and jimmy morales, i apologize that you come after these two great speakers. but that's what yaw get for sitting in the back of class all those years. >> that's true. i have great hope in the millenials. we've come a long way. my father came to miami in 1947 and told me stories of buildings that said no blacks, no puerto ricans, no dogs. so we've come a long way. and i think this current
generation -- i have a 20-year-old and a 12-year-old. at least maybe in urban areas like ours, where they may grow up in a university, particularly public education and you have ds like mine who are quarter cuban, russian, what are they? they don't tolerate. they embrace it. tolerance is a horrible word. i tolerate pain. to tolerate one another. while we use that term a lot. and that has probably been a right word to use for a long time. americans for a number of decades tolerated diversity, maybe. the newer generation embrace it. that's all they know. and in fact, i think that's what for example, a lot of young people coming back to south florida because they like it. so i am hopeful. that's my personality. >> everybody, thank you so much. [applause] captioned by the national captioning institute --www.ncicap.org--
[captioning performed by national captioning institute] [captions copyright national cable satellite corp. 2014] fun panel. that's a great panel. i know these guys forever. >> one of the states in flux is north carolina. u.s. senate candidates to debate tomorrow night and vote voters will be able to see them live. here's a quick look. >> right there in black and white. house speaker thom tillis threw a bull's-eye on public schools, cutting nearly $500 million. he creates chaos in our classrooms and hurting middle class families while giving tax breaks to yacht and jet owners. thom tillis, cutting our schools, giving breaks to the wealthy. the democratic senatorial community is responsible for the content of this advertisement.
>> a accountability is a foreign language in washington. obama cares about the disaster but the president won't admit it. the debt's out of control and needed four years to stop it. kay hagan refuses to clean up his mess. so you and i have to clean up hers. i'm thom tillis. i approve this message and that's why i'm running for the u.s. senator. >> raleigh tv station reports the candidates are tied in the polls with 42%. the same margin as early august. our campaign 2014 coverage of the u.s. senate debate starts on c-span. for the second time this year, president obama is visiting the baltic region near russia. he will meet with the presidents and also spend time with u.s. troops who were sent to estonia for military exercises that were meant to serve as a deterrent to
russia. he will attend the nato summit on thursday. at 12:30 eastern, we will have live coverage of today's white house briefing with josh earnest. he's likely be asked about the trip. and expectations for the nato summit in wales later this week. and we will be live for today's defense department briefing. admiral john kirby will be answering reporters' questions. u.s. military attacked the network in somalia. that is will one topic of discussion tonight starting at 2:00 eastern. and to get us up to the white house briefing in about a half hour, a discussion of the nato summit in wales. they previewed that summit which will focus mainly on the ukraine-russia crisis.
>> good morning and welcome for the center of strategic studys and i welcome you all this morning. i promise we don't have any interns tweeting this live. but other than that, i like to proceed and move on with heather conley, who's our senior vice president for europe. and she's going to kick it off. >> andrew, thank you so much. good morning, everyone. it's great to see such a full room. it seems only like a few weeks ago that i was talking with many of you about the president's trip to europe. and in fact, we now return to europe again. -- as the president was there just in january, traveled to
warsaw, brussels and normandy. i'm going to do the trip in order. so we'll begin with the stop in holland, estonia and then we'll move on to the nato summit discussion. i'll do an overview and give you some of the context of that visit and then cat will give you much more of the details and the defense capabilitys and can also talk about obviously, the global complex this today. we were going to expand the world a little bit beyond the president's trip to europe. beginning in holland, this is the second time an american president has traveled there. the very first time was president george w. bush in november of 2006, prior to a nato simultaneous that was being -- summit that was held. president obama just saw is on the jan president just last august. he met the three baltic presidents. in august, he spoke with them by
hone in march, just prior to russia's annex san diego of crimea. has with the leaders of certainly brought deep engagements between president obama and the baltic leadership. i can't begin to tell you how critical it is that the president visits nato's new frontline. and i found that it was interesting as i was preparing for this discussion that in march as the president was discussing and -- with baltic leaders. vice president biden was visiting they talked about america's commitment to the baltic states. the nsc press release they now used the word iron clad commitment. i don't know if you have seen