Skip to main content

tv   Washington Journal  CSPAN  April 12, 2016 7:00am-10:01am EDT

7:00 am
fund-raising and the role of outside groups. our guest sheila krumholz of the center for responsive politics. you can join the conversation on facebook and twitter. ♪ good morning. it is tuesday, april 12, 2016. at house is set to gavle in eln 2:00 p.m. for the next three hours, we will be here with you on "washington journal" and focusing our program on the issues of campaign finance. we will talk about the continued impact of the citizens united to bring court decision and discussing efforts to add more transparency to campaign fund-raising and spending. we begin by turning our phone lines over to our viewers to get
7:01 am
your ideas for reducing money's influence in politics. to do that this morning, we are setting up our phone lines a bit differently. if you are someone who has made a political contribution in this or previous elections, want to hear from you. 202-748-8000. if you have never made a political contribution, your number 202-748-8001. you can catch up with us on social media this morning on twitter @c-spanwj. on facebook, toery good tuesday morning you. it is anyone's guess how much money will be spent one campaign 2016 is over, but as of the end senate forhe responsive politics had numbers on how much had been spent on this campaign so far in terms of candidate fundraising. well over $1 billion has been raised by candidates and the super pacs supporting them. $619 million by the candidates themselves.
7:02 am
superillion by supporting the various -- by super pacs. we will get into the various numbers this morning on "washington journal" but that massive fundraising and how it electionng up each cycle causing concern. here are some recent numbers from pew on concerns and the money about money -- in america about money and politics. when asked to name the biggest problem they see with elected officials, the influence of special interest money on those elected officials tops the list of named problems. most americans including majorities in both parties believe that new laws will be effective in reducing the role of money in politics. pew research center noting majorities across demographics and partisan groups say there should be limits on campaign spending. that money's impact on politics has increased and the high cost of campaigns is driving good candidates away. some of those who are concerned about money and politics made
7:03 am
their voices heard yesterday in front of the united states capitol in washington, d.c. hundredshe headline " of democracy spring protesters arrested at capitol hill si t-in." that was after they heard from ty newkirk, the director of democracy spring. he spoke yesterday before the march. here is some of what he had to say. >> it's simple. we say to those who would be the people's representatives that they must listen to us. the vast majority of the werican people agree that should have a government in an equal of us have voice. where it is not the big money of billionaires that matter, it is the votes of everyday people. we are saying to them, there are solutions, their ways to solve this problem. they are sitting in time is
7:04 am
collecting dust! when theyaccept that have the power to solve this problem they refuse to lift a finger. we are here today to say, you must use that power. you must take action immediately to end this corruption of big ensuren politics and free and fair elections that give us all an equal voice and you must do it now! we'll be talking about some of those options that have been discussed among those who want control over money and politics. things like public financing of elections, new exposure rules go over alloing to of that this morning. for the first 45 minutes, we want to hear your ideas for reducing moneys influence in politics. if you made a donation, the number for you 202-748-8000. if you have never made a 48-8001., 202-7
7:05 am
silva comments from those on facebook. marty writes in, " term limits. it would remove the rotting core that exists there now. public service has evolved into personal power. money really affects politics as much as you think? look at how much money jeb spent. where did he get him? "i don't see any way of getting money out of politics short of electing individuals who are morally very strong. but these types of people are very rare nowadays." on that line for those who have made a donation in the past, david, good morning. caller: good morning. valejo, that was the supreme court case that set
7:06 am
it up where money was equated to speech. that set the precedent that gave rise to citizens united. the differences and why that is a flawed case decision is because money is not -- directly itself, it is a conduit of speech. but it is not speech itself. and that takes a little more bee than two -- it can articulated that the two are separate and you have to make that decision first in order to win the case. when we look at citizens united, has a lot to do with -- bipartisan campaign reform that john mccain brought forward. this is something that was meant the -put in place to stop we had right before the election. election.naneral
7:07 am
what it led to ultimately was that the supreme court believing that people of their own free will will guide themselves and keep the system in check. and it was supposed be done to transparency. that is not the case. host: you are previewing some of our program. we are going to have christian deputyhe former general counsel of citizens united. and meredith mcgehee of the campaign legal center will be here for our roundtable in our next segment. let me ask you, if there is going to be changing the system, do you think it is going to be a major constitutional amendment or do you think it's going to come from individual communities and states first? what is the best way to make change in the system if that is what you want? caller: the number one thing
7:08 am
that has to happen is people have to start talking about it. the only candidate that is talking about is the person i gave a contribution to -- bernie sanders. he's really the only one that is voicing concern about it. first off, you have to get it in the minds of people that this is super important. in for thealling last two years saying this. you and i have spoken many times, honestly. people have to be informed about it. you have to give them the facts on what legislation was passed. you gtot to look it up. secondly, you do have to bring in the level, you have got to drop the hammer of transparency. it's the dark money that is out of control. te, we had thom tillis and kay hagan, that race for the senate was the most expensive. it cost $117 million for a senate race. so, i mean, that is what has to
7:09 am
happen. the dark money and transparency, that is number two. the last thing that has to happen is that you have to take the majority of the money away from not all of it -- if you put the taxpayers on the hook for all of this, that is going to be kind of not conducive to really spreading the message clearly, then you run into a whole other regulatory body of issues. quit -- will be will you have got to have at least the majority of the campaign finance publicly funded. the majority. the 60% role. one last thing, too, you do rmve to disclose in open fo all of the big donors. they have to be disclosed. host: we are going to get into a lot of those issues today.
7:10 am
you mentioned your candidate bernie sanders talking about this quite a bit on the campaign trail. here he was on sunday talking about it again as he looks he had to the new york primary coming up next week. [video clip] i think you are going to see us do very well in many of those states. the reason is that our message is resonating. people really are tired of establishment politics, establishment economics. they do not believe that a candidate who receives huge amounts of money from wall street or other special interest like secretary clinton really will be capable of addressing the major crises facing the working families of this country. host: that was bernie sanders on "face the nation." we are getting your thoughts about your ideas for reducing money's influence in politics. lines for those who have made a donation, lines for those o never made a donation. for those who have never made a donation, in woodbridge, virginia. caller: thank you for
7:11 am
taking my call. i've never made a donation even though i would like to because democratics united, free speech, it is legalized influence. undue anybody dumps tens of millions of dollars on anybody even though we are not -- is naive if they think that does not have any kind of undue influence. i would like to suggest an idea where each candidate that run for office gets public financing a long as they can put across reasonable agenda that addresses each and every issue that faces the working class in the country. typeson should have some of reasonable solution to all of these problems, then they can get public financing and get free time from the media. the airways, even though they
7:12 am
use mostly commercially, belong to the people as well. so those media transactions could give them free times for theercials or help -- but problems of the country and the issues of the people are expressed on those channels, like this channel for public broadcasting, where you can see the candidates record of voting and see their issues, not just focus on who is in first or who is in second and speculating who right now lose, which 90% of the political conversations on the media. that way they will take the oligarchs controlling the politics with their big-money and overshadow the one man, o ne vote, which we all know the politicians cater to the working class -- but after they get in office, they are beholden to the undue influence. i think that would solve the problem. publichen you talk about
7:13 am
financing of elections, there are some different ways of doing that. the states becoming a laboratory for some of those different ways of doing public financing. there are 13 states in the country that has some form of public financing. this information from the national conference of state legislators. if you want to check them out online. here is one example of that. public financing for all statewide and legislative offices to obtain public financing if you are running for one of those offices, you have to get 200 contributions from individuals of about $5.00 or less. and the promise to make if you take the public financing option, if you take the public funding for your campaign, you promise not to take contributions from pacs, labor unions, corporations a political parties. now, the amount of public
7:14 am
financing money changes according to what different position you are running for in arizona. if you're running for governor and took public financing, it would be $1.1 million for your campaign. for about $22,800 legislative position. that money is funded by civil penalties from different fees and penalties from civil fines that come in the state. that is the way it works in arizona. you can go to the national conference of state legislators to work in other ways -- to learn other ways it works. richard up next. has made a donation in the past. good morning. ut six: i called abo months ago. i have a perfect system that would get rid of all the influence in. politics said she agreed my
7:15 am
system would work but she said it would be impossible because it would get rid of influence. here is my plan. you would have total transparency as far as giving any kind of money. there would be a $2000 limit if you took a contribution from somebody up to $2000, you could vote on their issue in her name would go down. you could take $1 million conservation from anyone, but the primary business of that person you would not allow to vote on. my two examples are this. -- a casino owner. you can take a 10 million contribution from him bu t not be allowed to vote on gamin g. the other issue would be the koch brothers. you can take a contribution from the koch brothers. rec would be on your
7:16 am
that youo are not allowed to vote on any issue as far asr oil or fossil fuels. host: do you think that would lead to some members of congress who cannot vote on any issues? caller: that is exactly what greta's guest said. you would have some congressmen and senators who would be totally paralyzed because they would have nothing but large contributions. what they would do is get rid of the large contributions and politics. i said, isn't that our goal? take the limits off, total transparency. you just have to recuse yourself if you take a large contribution. you would have a bunch of people that would only take $2000 or less contributions. that would free them to vote on anything they wanted. host: on the idea of contribution limits, different roles in different states that do this. we are talking about federal campaigns but the states becoming a laboratories for some of these different options.
7:17 am
alabama, state that has unlimited individual contributions, unlimited state party contributions, unlimited corporate contributions, unlimited union contributions. no limits in alabama. arkansas, different system. $2700 limit for individuals. .2700 state and party limit and it goes on, that $2700 is corporateor pac and conservations and union contributions. there are a lot of states in between that have different contribution limits for those different types of organizations. again, check it out. ncsl has charts on all of this. you can see with the rules are in your state. we are taking your thoughts and ideas for reducing money and influence in politics. mark's made a donation. good morning. caller: how you doing today? host: go ahead. caller: i believe that the
7:18 am
people representing the people should be making minimum wage. all those guys make way too much money. they are all millionaires. all the establishment. something needs to be done. there is no -- what do you think about that? host: what do you think needs to be done? what could we do? caller: you know, i have no idea. host: listen to the program today. we are going to talk about some of the options out there and talk about some of these issues. we are getting your thoughts this morning. in arizona, has made a donation in the past. good morning. caller: good. morning. this is genius robert again, trying to lecture, ok. the big problem is that people do not believe in religion, ok? here's, give me some minutes to
7:19 am
explain it, ok? this country was formed on oligarchy and has been going around too long, too long. some people got very, very rich by abusing other people like the black people. they got very rich, right? and it's on and on and on. then they got very rich by abusing the mexican, so-called again, ok? even though they were not all mexicans. some of them were from south america, somewhere from russia. if you did not know what was going on, here is the explanation. i used to be a maintenance mechanic. i'm used to fixing things. host: how do you fix this campaign finance system? caller: it's easy. you know, the government prints the money. they are responsible. have our federal government do what it has got to do.
7:20 am
instead of having everything bought off. everybody in this country needs representation. that's why i'm a genius, because i look at things. in: that's genius robert arizona. in utah, never made a campaign contribution. theer: i'm talking about gentleman who made a comment about the koch brothers. not being eligible to vote on certain kinds of, he said oil and gas. right. the problem with this plan is this -- it is not the koch brothers. it is koch brothers industries, which is a conglomerate. it has all kinds of tentacles in so many different industries that he's not thinking about. manufacture, import export.
7:21 am
so, basically, if you took money from the koch brothers, then there's a whole array of industries that you cannot vote in. i'm saying that no one in congress can vote then, because the individuals are not like -- it is not like you made your money doing one thing. koch industries is huge. host: you don't think that system would work? caller: no. i think you have to vote the rascals out. every election cycle, needs to be a revolution. you need to kick the person out that's term limits. according to my theory, the only person -- i don't like him by the way -- is trump because he has never held public office. so, he's the only one eligible to run. host: because of how he is
7:22 am
running his campaign when it comes to funding his campaign? caller: because he has never been elected. [laughing] he has never held public office. he is not a politician. he hasn't picked anyone's pockets yet. he has not made loss to suit himself. every election needs to be a revolution. vote th rascalse out. host: donald trump has talked a lot about his efforts to mostly self fund his campaign. here is some of his comments about that topic. [video clip] mr. trump: i'm self funding that campaign. i am putting my own money in, right? and all of the people that are running for office -- they take money and from all the special interests where they can't make proper transactions -- and that's going to stop. it's going to stop. host: speaking of donald trump,
7:23 am
the lead story in today's "new york times." "barage of ads may undermine trump campaign." recordan half of the spending on negative advertising during the 20 16th presidential primary has been directed at donald trump. millionore than $132 spent on negative ads, nearly $70 million has gone to commercials going after donald trump. superpacs haven made it to her main focus to take him down. on monday, hillary clinton crossed party lines to add to the onslaught. that is the lead story in today's "new york times>' ." david's up next. never made it can train -- a campaign contribution. completeet me make a statement or finish my thought. if we stop allowing elected representatives and legislators
7:24 am
the ability to get themselves access to our personal property, and using imminent owning, their eminent domain, their influence would not be great enough for somebody to want to buy. they need to be a defense mechanism and not a delegation mechanism. there you go. thank you. int: we'll go to don sycamore, illinois. has made a donation in the past. good morning. caller: hi. i just wanted to point out that moving as far as citizens united, we can turn that around, that is a real important thing. that closes the floodgates after nations. and a lot of the dark money. host: who have you donated in the past and how much of you donated if you do not mind talking about it? caller: very small amounts president obama, a few dollars here and there a couple times.
7:25 am
and also now to bernie sanders. bernie is the only candidate who wants to move to publicly funding elections, which is a step beyond turning around citizens united. if we just turn around citizens united and go back to how we were in 2010, that is like the good old days for bill and government wase still bought and paid for. if you want to get rid of that, we have got to move to publicly funded elections. that.are ways of doing it should be an honor to serve as a leader, to be elected as a leader, and we are just going to have to be very transparent. their books are going to have to be open to the government and i think we should actually give them a raise and get the influencing money out of politics. make it a positive thing for them as well. that way they will not have to be spending all day trying to get contributions for the next campaign.
7:26 am
they can do the people's work. host: can i ask you about your contributions? do you expect anything in return? your call to be returned if you have a question? do you do it with any sort of expectation? caller: not really. i try to understand what their issues are and how they deal -- go about it. if i feel they are telling the truth, that i, and i think it is important enough, then i would contribute. i used to not follow politics at all, but things were getting so crazy that i had to start paying attention. but anyway, that is where i am at. host: stay on that line for those who have made a donation. george is on that line. how large of a donation did you make and you expect anything from the donation? caller: yeah, i made two
7:27 am
donations, republican party, maybe $25 a-month. every six months. no, i did not expect anything return. i just like the persons idea. i don't mind the likes of the koch brothers and the george soros's of the world, giving money to people so they can buy ads and try to get their candidate elected. it's kind of like they are trying to bribe to commercials for a vote. but what i have a problem with is an individual trying to bribe people to vote for him using other people's money. vote for me, i will give you free this, free that. that is not his money. that is other people's money he wants to use. the koch brothers are spending their own money to get their influence known. he is trying to bribe somebody to vote for him, so they can
7:28 am
have free education. but he is not paying for it. that is the difference. of citizenst rid united. go back to using only public finance and restrict all spending. make free speech free against!" here is a story from wisconsin public radio from last week. 11 wisconsin communities voted this last week to show support for reforming the country 's campaign spending laws. officially calling for an amendment to the constitution to overturn the supreme court's 2010 ruling and citizens united. that decision giving free rein to take spending. wisconsin united to amend, a grassroots organizations working to get anti-citizens united referendums on ballots. according to a volunteer for the organization, two communities have passed them so far.
7:29 am
getting your thoughts this morning as we are talking about citizens united and money and politics, campaign finance reform. we want to hear your thoughts for reducing money's influence in politics. della in miami, florida, never made a contribution. good morning. simple i hope this is a solution to the problem. i would give the next -- network stax breaks for the candidates to appear at a specified time, the best time. and this way you eliminate all these tax -- they are going to do it on television. they don't have to travel around. they can do it where they live. and the networks would get the tax breaks. host: is this instead of campaign commercials, is what you're saying, or as a form of debate? debate? above. all of the think about it.
7:30 am
they get the free time and the networks get the tax breaks. host: what if a candidate really wants to communicate with voters in the days before an election in a certain state? is this something that would happen repeatedly? caller: this is repeatedly, during the runs for office. to do it continuously and i think the networks would love it. ed is in fayetteville, north carolina and has made a donation. caller: good morning. that youike to propose have real transparency. when i say that, i'm not just talking about who made the donations. if you take -- take a donation from a big-money donor like
7:31 am
fossil fuels, dupont or anything else, you should have to send a shotgun blast by a e-mail and -- thee-mail and spam mail to party sitting exactly how much you took and who you took it from. that way everybody knows from the gate who you are getting your backing -- who you are getting your backing from. jacketuld have to wear a that all public appearances -- at all public appearances where it reflects who backs you. host: like ads on nascar uniforms? caller: exactly. way, everybody can see exactly who funded you during your run and who you are taking your money from so they know where your allegiances lie. i think you should have term limits on everybody in congress. i'm not talking about quarter or five years, i'm talking about
7:32 am
maybe two terms for both senate and house. stagger the terms so you have somebody that has been in there for a while to help the new guys. host: who would be wearing a jacket with your name on it? caller: bernie sanders. a lot of names would fit on his jacket with his millions of donors. caller: big-money donors. if you are taking money from small donors, like 20 dollars apiece from individual donors, then you don't have to wear one of those jackets. that gives you incentive to take your money the right way, from the average citizen and public funding. that is ed in north carolina on disclosure.
7:33 am
here is what's happening in some of the different states when it comes to elections. very different rules across different states about when you disclose or how you disclose your contributions and expenditures. have to candidates disclose contributions and expenditures, but they do it on and don't have to file electronically, just submit it to the state election committee. in maine, you have to disclose contributions and expenditures bi-annually.-- they do it daily if a contribution is $1000 or more. 42 days before a general election and 42 days after an election and they have to file electronically. we can go through some other
7:34 am
states as you call in to talk about disclosure requirements. those are for state elections and not be federal rules we are talking about, how you would reduce money in federal politics. david in nebraska, never made a contribution. caller: i would like to point out that donald trump is talking out of both sides of his mouth because he has donated hundreds of thousands of dollars to reed. and clinton and what was he trying to get out of that is what i would try to say and as far as -- he is getting donations. spends, heoney he will try to get back from the republican party. makingalking about him loans to his campaign as opposed to strict -- straight donations?
7:35 am
caller: that is exactly what i am saying. saying heare right in is taking contributions, although on a very different scale than his competitors. --ald trump has taken $34 contributions this cycle from individuals. that is different from hillary clinton who has raised $159 million for her candidate pac. super pac's supporting her have raised another $62 million. thethese numbers are from website that is run by the senate for responsive politics. we will talk about -- we will talk with the director of the center of responsible politics.
7:36 am
stick around for that, over the next 10 minutes, still just getting your thoughts and ideas on reducing moneys influence in politics. don has made a donation, go ahead. caller: i have made numerous donations and the only thing i can say is go to your local or county level and meet the candidates, meet the people. i had given money to third-party candidates. host: what do you get out of doing that? why do you do it? caller: i believe that every person has to participate in order to make the public stronger -- republic stronger. money thatt have the
7:37 am
other people have, but you have time and can work the phones or go door-to-door, i've done that for individuals on both parties depending on what their stances on the issues are. that is the way that the average person, at least we can try to, except i don't -- i want to tell everybody that bernie sanders and donald trump are being ripped off by the establishment. the best thing is for every person is to get out there and vote every incumbent out. ofneed a couple of years good government that big money cannot buy. if you have to run every two years and the primary starts the year right after you elected, anybody that goes to the dinners -- events and tries to
7:38 am
that's the only place you can get money and reach out and check these guys hands. say thank you for calling and send you a form letter. if you spend your time and a few dollars, you can actually make an impact. host: thank you for the call. a couple of our earlier callers talking about public financing of elections. -- maybe i don't want my money to go to elections, public financing would force me to do so. pat in south carolina has never made a campaign donation. caller: thank you for taking my call. -- lady that call then called in -- one of the things i think they can do is stop years of campaigning.
7:39 am
every state should have a primary vote on the same day just like we do general elections, that way the money will be cut back and you won't see these people day after day lying to us to start with. i think it will help and i appreciate it. host: you think they might just start earlier to hit all the states in the country and campaign just as much as they do, just target that one day and then target the general election as soon as that is over? caller: the news media could cut them off and then we would not have to worry about that, they can say we will start covering at this date and then don't put them on there until that date starts. i get tired of hearing it all because they open their mouth, they are lying to us. more we will get back to of your calls in just a second, just a few stories to run through.
7:40 am
that of people watching breakfast meeting this morning that is set to take place between the chairman of the senate judiciary committee and supreme court nominee merrick garland about that meeting that is happening. look for stories tomorrow about what came out of that meeting. the story from the wall street journal and several other papers about secretary of state john kerry in japan, going to hiroshima. the first sitting u.s. secretary of state to visit the site commemorating victims of the u.s. atomic bombing of hiroshima. the story ending by noting that speculation is rising in both japan and the u.s. about whether president obama will visit hiroshima when he is in japan in may. john kerry said he did not know if president obama would come
7:41 am
while in office -- quote, everyone should visit hiroshima and everyone means everyone, so i hope the president of the united states will be among the everyone. one of several stories in the papers about that meeting at the white house about the zika virus. public health officials meeting at the white house and talking to the news media about the gut. -- about zika. there is a picture of some of the health officials that were at that meeting, including cdcs and check it -- ann shuckit. if you want to go back and watch , you watch all of our programs of our programs on the washington journal on our website. time for a few more calls.
7:42 am
steve in virginia has made a few donations. had a big disappointment, i gave money to the virginia republican party to back ken cuccinelli and they sent my money down to thad cochran. have thad happy to cochran as my senator in virginia. host: what do you mean send your money like in terms of how they spent the money? caller: they basically took my money in a fraudulent way and send it somewhere that i did not want it to go. i have stopped completely donating any contributions to the ash republican party. is a pot of party corruption. the republican party is not much better. host: are you only going to donate to candidates themselves in the future? caller: yes.
7:43 am
i donate to candidates themselves. sort of like dying a lollipop or something like that -- by eating a lollipop-- buying or something like that, it does not matter much. the government does with the government has to, quote, unquote, and then the rest of the money should go right back out to everyone and child in this country so that we can experience prosperity. that is the way it was designed and supposed to be done, all these super pac's and other nonsense, it is just crazy. i don't understand where we went. it must've been the drugs in the 70's that caused our political system to go crazy. massachusetts,
7:44 am
david, who have you made a contribution to? caller: i have not gotten anything out of it, i have been giving $10 a month to bernie sanders. a new votinged rights act is what we need. we need to get rid of two corporations that are affecting theelection, that would be republican national party and the democratic national party. they seem to make up whatever rules they want. we need to have anyone who turns 18 become a registered voter, automatically. airways thatt the the american people own used for debates. things like
7:45 am
the fcc is having an auction for more spectrum coming up. that is our airwaves and that is where the debate should happen. they should happen for free for the candidate as a service to the american people. that is one of the ways. the other way is that all of this gerrymandering has to end. it has to be fair. they cannot be rigged by a party. it has to be rigged by the people. small donations, and that is how i would do it. host: thank you for the call. you mentioned the need for new voting rights acts. the body in charge of enforcing election laws is the federal election committee. the washington post with a lead is sure real -- lead editorial
7:46 am
about the fec. the board writing of the federal election commission is supposed to enforce rules that prevent wealthy people from asking their political spending by routing through straw donors. the editorial board ends by writing the real solution is for -- ress to argument that -- against transparency. now that the channels for political money are wider and the opportunity for significant thinner, politicians have chewed -- changed their
7:47 am
tune on disclosure and said congress should amend an end to dark money. jerry who is to waiting in alabama, has not made a donation in the past. i really don't care about how much money is given or who gives it. the problem is our government is the problem is, that the congress has been frozen since 1913 and there -- 435 members of congress in the house of representatives in 1913, 435 members of the congress today represent the district in 1913. over 800,000is people in the representative district. every district has been gerrymandered and they do it
7:48 am
with this -- they gerrymandering to the base and play 50% on the rest. they gerrymandering to that point. it should be at least 1900 members in the house of representatives and we need to reduce the senate term to two years -- two terms. if we did that, we would have a representative congress, and we would not worry about money, how much money they had or how much was given until we look at the problems and that is what our real big problems, is adequate representation. if we had that, in little over 35,000 people would elect a member of the house of representatives, he would be responsible to that 35,000 people.
7:49 am
the parties would go away. in thiswas asked caller segment of the washington journal, but we will be read -- revisiting this issue at the end of our programs and did not get in, stick around. coming up, we talk about the impact of the 2010 supreme court citizens united decision, the impact. it has had on money in politics. we are joined by christian berger, former deputy general of the council of citizens united and the policy director for the campaign legal sector. -- executive director director of the center for responsive politics is coming up here on the washington journal. ♪
7:50 am
>> he had a couple of meals and the steam shovel, and i think again, it's one of the other ironies, he is so rabidly anti-government and oh your entire fortune to the governments. >> author and investigative journalist sally talked about her book the profiteers, which takes a critical look at the -- one of the largest engineering and construction companies in the world. not them, who is the united states government going to get to build these projects throughout the world? it to be them, but if the american taxpayers are paying for it, it with enough the american taxpayers should have some access to the contract,out
7:51 am
the amount of money, the workers safety -- the worker's safety. >> sunday night at 8:00 eastern on c-span's q&a. secretary -- madam secretary, we proudly give 72 of our delegates to the next .resident of the united states, ♪ >> washington journal continues.
7:52 am
host: in a tuesday roundtable in the washington journal, we are talking about money in politics, the impact of the united -- citizens united supreme court decision. christian berger is former deputy general counsel at citizens united and he that we us, ofgin with -- remind what citizenship was about and what changed as a result. people losea lot of the fact that this was a small nonprofit corporation trying to make a movie about hillary to an -- about heller a clinton. when a look at the federal election campaign finance laws, they realized they were several crumbled code that penalties if they were to run television ads saying come watch our movie. they went to court to promote a film, they went to court for some basic first amendment rights and that gets lost in
7:53 am
this debate. a lot of people say citizens united is about corporations, corporations being people. it's not why citizens united went to court. they just wanted to show their movie. host: take us to 2016, impact of that case you are seeing. seeing int we are 2016 is the impact of not always this and united, it also another case decided at the appellate level and we have secret money, no shareholder protection, and we have single candidate super pac's. aboutf those were talked in citizens united, but are the results that we have. we have a decision that was wrongly decided in the sense that it created this right for corporate free-speech in elections. we are not even getting what the court promised. that thehe disclosure
7:54 am
court voted for, we do not have the ability of shareholders to extent of the corporations they have shares in and we have single candidate super pac's that are coordinating closely only in the legal definition, are they somehow independent. we really have a wild west of money with dark money groups, it is hard to lay that necessarily at the feet of citizens united, i think the irs has a lot of credit for these groups that could have foreign money in them. theeally have no idea what sources of money is and they are spending significant amounts to influence the outcome of the 2016 elections. we are not only talking about the presidential level, but also the congressional and even state races. the presidential level gets a lot of the attention. host: and that billion dollars raised so far in this campaign cycle, that is just the presidential cycle, not the senate or house elections.
7:55 am
that wild west term, do you think it has become a wealth west? guest: i don't think it has, i think when you look at super pac's, which is what a lot of people talk about, that is all transparent. we know where the hundred million dollars raised to support jeb bush came from. we can see that in the fec report. certainly a cost the spectrum, -- so we across the spectrum, there is the worry that corporations are going to buy elections, it is not come to fruition and in this cycle, we are not being it happen. what we have is, some disclosure of the federal election commission where the super pac money is coming from. to ae of those donors super pac is a group called americans who love america, we have no i'm it -- we are no idea where that money is from. it is very limited and inefficient.
7:56 am
we don't even know where this money for the super pac's is coming from. we have had llc's that have made contributions. that there is disclosure for super pacs is a bit of a misleading characterization. host: citizens united is not the first ruling on money and politics. what was the legal precedent that this case was built on. when you hear people blame citizens united for a lot of things -- decades of legal precedent have made clear that money is speech. host: what was that case about? guest: this is about whether or not you could curtail how much an individual can that candidate could spend on their own race and you cannot limit that. money is speech, it is a proxy for speech. guest: i think this notion that
7:57 am
money is speech is not exactly what buckley said. there are a number of issues at play in buckley, everything from expenditure limits, contribution limits, limits on independent expenditures and what candidates can spend, themselves. the court in that case did not say money is speech, but it did say that very serious implications for the first amendment. i think justice stevens in the nixon case that it much more on point -- got it much more on point that money is not speech, it is property. the -- there is a very interesting notion about how you apply the first amendment through the notion that money is speech versus how you apply those restrictions and protections if money is viewed as property. host: let me open the lines to get callers. phone lines are open.
7:58 am
republicans, (202) 748-8001. democrats, (202) 748-8000. independents, (202) 748-8002. we will get your calls in just a second. united, 2010, mccutchen 20 15, either -- are there wins you hang your hat on? guest: i don't want to limit spending, that is not the point. the point is, you have a situation where average people have very little ability to have any sort of impact on the races that are occurring. i want more speech by more people. i want more participation and we have a system now and it was raised in mccutchen by the
7:59 am
dispensers, saying that we have -- got ridat allows of the aggregate contribution limit. youhave a system now where have the ability to drown out the rest of the voices. this is really a question about an application. we all want to have a system in which every american not only can, but wants to to state. we don't have that right now. host: are people being drowned out? guest: i don't think mccutchen let's -- led to that and i don't think so. that is all the courts did. i think post citizens united, people have more speech, more opportunities to speak. they can join together with their friends and their peers and the people with similar situations and interest to raise
8:00 am
money together and speak with one voice. they have more of a megaphone now than ever before. host: christian burke is a former deputy and citizens united. guest: i now represent super pacs. do you have questions, phone lines are open. robert is in harrison, arkansas, a democrat. caller: good morning. i think this is a timely topic. i understood that nonprofits was specifically for welfare purposes only. go, we nowseen it have two major players. organized labor -- organized labor and the chamber of commerce. may take a partisan stance. the first thing i would suggest lose theirprofits status if they are not for social welfare purposes.
8:01 am
the red cross was there. they were not picking politics. the man that is there that is s,gal counsel for these pac you are there for profit. then a corporation with an individual, they should be limited like any other individual, if it is $25 like it is here in arkansas, that corporation -- i think it is outrageous for some of to think that it is a person. it is in accounting principle to protect the assets of those people there making money. those people should be recognized and should only be able to give the amount of money allowed like here in arkansas. i appreciate your time. host: i will let you start. guest: one thing to bear in mind, there are two forms of
8:02 am
corporations when we talk about nonprofits. a 5013 c charity. if they do engage in political spending, they lose that status. and we have 501(c) for social welfare groups, which exist to engage in public policy ideas, advocating positions. i think it is incumbent in them to use every tool available in the toolbox. will throw up definitions for our viewers if you want to see it. guest: i think it is a point to talk about 501(c) four. c3 charitable, c4 -- this is the
8:03 am
world of the nonprofits. if you look at the law, the law says if you are a social welfare organization, you are exclusively for the purpose of social welfare. the internal revenue service interpret that to say you do a little bit of a little bit of put collectivity but significantly you should be doing social welfare. in practicality and in practice, we now have a system in which a c4 social welfare organization spent up to 50% of their money on political activity and can still be considered a social welfare. how that is exclusively is beyond reason. had hearings up on the hill where the issue has been how can we have a law that says exclusively and yet allow a social web organization that does not disclose its
8:04 am
donors. host: where is that interpretation from? the irs. it has not changed since 1950. this is one of the situations where there is so much to be done without having to change the law. you go to the irs and a look at this question about what constitutes exclusivity for social welfare. you go to the securities and exchange commission and say what should shareholders he able to know about political spending of their corporation, which the citizens united case promise will happen. whether it is the federal communications commission where you know who is running the ad, of the ad, ornsor you go to the election committee and they define questions like what constitutes coordination. all of these things can be done right now and do not require any constitutional amendments and do
8:05 am
not require congress to act. in cap a,s go to john florida, and independent. byler: i have been appalled the way the news media has a total blackout on the way merrick garland supported citizens united versus fcc ruling that equated the grasp of big money and political campaigns to freedom of speech. how could he be qualified as a supreme court justice when he these simplequate concepts? citizens united has been disastrous for the country. please answer this question. host: do you want to talk about merrick garland? guest: we have a system in our judiciary. the district court from the district of columbia is bound to abide by what the supreme court has handed down.
8:06 am
i think judge garland in that court is bound by supreme court precedent. the question was there in the speech now case and he did confirm and the way the court looked at that was to say, this is what the supreme court has said. i think we don't really know where we would come down on this . tois not really a role challenge with the supreme court has said here it is not necessarily a reflection of how do not knowe, but i we will get an opportunity to find that out. host: a lot of eyes on them. darlene is in st. paul, minnesota, a republican. good morning. caller: good morning.
8:07 am
i would like to ask both of your on this. comment the unions have been doing this for decades. the unions have been contributing hundreds of millions of dollars every election cycle. what is the difference? as far as i am concerned, -- no money in politics. unitedhink the citizens decision is just leveling the playing field. so i would like to hear from both of your guests on that. guest: i agree completely. you have had outside influence for decades. in a way it said everyone has the ability to speak. voice, -- that guest: it is important to remember when the 1970 law was
8:08 am
revised originally, the notion was a lyrical compromise. was not necessarily a realization that they were the same type of organization. we have seen a huge increase in membership. i think you would find the sway of unions and politics and certainly with union members, decreasing. as much say ase they did 20 or 30 years ago. there is speculation the citizens united decision applies to the treasury fund of unions. therefore, they can have the same rights to make these independent expenditures. the issue here is not so much whether or not you they should be treated as similar types of entities or if they should be treated differently, which is
8:09 am
what the union members claim, they say they're nothing like a corporation. that is a different discussion you have with the unions who have not been very happy with the legislation. talk about the campaign legal center. guest: a nonpartisan nonprofit that works on issues related to money and politics issues, voting rights, redistricting reform, and we really try to take a look at those issues from a nonpartisan way. our president is trevor potter. some of the viewers may know him from his appearance on the colbert report. was john mccain's general counsel and a republican member of the general elections commission. a democrat who has done a lot of electioneering law and voting rights litigation for democrats. i have done nonpartisan lobbying for 30 years.
8:10 am
taking your calls and questions, in cincinnati, ohio, a democrat, good morning. good morning. hillary has taken -- taken money from the fracking business. know, to component out, can you all answer that question for me? host: charles hung up. did anyone catch that? guest: i think his point is hillary has taken a lot of money from special interests and is a recipient of a lot of super pac funds. look at bernie sanders, who has won eight of the last nine contests against hillary clinton while disavowing citizens united and super pac's. it has really shown the ability of small donors to have a voice in the process. host: you are the numbers on hillary clinton and bernie
8:11 am
sanders. hillary clinton has raised $159.9 million for her individual campaign committee super pac supporting her and has raised $62.6 million. bernie sanders has raised 139.8 million for her campaign committee. that's supporting him, $48,000. as my friend talks about, hillary clinton being the -- the recipient of super pac funds. butkust want to net dick -- supposedly, the funds were to be totally independent of the candidates. it shows you how ridiculous this is. everybody knows what is going on. this notion that the citizens united case talks about where independente expenditures, it is a farce and everybody knows it is a farce.
8:12 am
even if he describes it, he sees it as a farce. is are saying she recipient of the super pac. host: what is the line of what you cannot do? guest: you cannot directly coordinate. the super pac cannot eat with the candidate about how to spend the money. they cannot have any discussions about it. do the samen do is thing anybody does, open up the newspaper, try to infer how could a best spend their money. if you are the brother-in-law, mother, former staffer, you do not have to have a lot of tea leaves to read those. host: how do you prove coordination? to impossible.xt that would mean someone has to be in the room when they have the conversation. even if you did, even if you
8:13 am
found proof that there was a conversation, we had a federal election commission so deadlocked, there would be no enforcement. everyone feels free to go ahead and figure out where the blurry lines are and not worry about it. talk to lawyers where they can say, we know what the rules are. but there are no rules, particularly because so many super pac's are run by operatives that are very close and have worked with these candidates for so long, they do not need to have that conversation. super pac's are going to be run by people supportive of a candidate there are no question. people who are supportive may ofe a history overtime supporting a candidate or being familiar with the candidates positions or ideas. it is no surprise to me that people who have long been in the orbit of a candidate would set up an organization to support an
8:14 am
event for that candidate. beach, anest palm independent. caller: with the funding, and passive in the candidacy race at this time, it has been forever. with 5013 c and a 5014, those are the money factors holding the nonprofits and the corporations together today. with new seeds of funding like the corporate packages they have those types of funding options allow a different type of schedule of funding to the candidacy's party. the onlyd of the day, thing that will matter is elect world votes.
8:15 am
-- electoral votes. host: tennessee, a republican, good morning. caller: thank you for taking my call. something i found astonishing , of you showed your chart how much each candidate had raised so far, i found it very that theng to notice democrats were raising twice if not triple the money of what republicans were raising. when i hear people talk about the main people i hear hollering are democrats. it is almost like they are talking out of both sides of their mouth by saying, we should taxhave all of these evil s and people giving
8:16 am
money, and yet we do not hear about the candidates other than bernie sanders, who has talked some about this. even he has raised $150,000. host: just to show you a different chart, and i will let talk to your point, the original chart i was showing you what the candidates still in is a chart with the same number, the over $1 billion with individual campaign committees and supporting those, of all the presidential candidates have been in the race, and there is a lot more charticans there on that -- including the other democrats who have run as well. your caller does not quite have a complete view of a lot of people in the tea party with politicians
8:17 am
working. it is one of the reasons you see the move behind donald trump. there is a new organization working on the issue from a conservative point of view, called take back republic. a campaigny who was manager, of the representative of the. can tour. -- eric cantor. george w. bush's ethics counsel. book,a very interesting taxation only with representation. he looks at how the current for our national security, bad for business because it encourages -- it is bad for having a competitive race and holding incumbent members accountable. these are not from democrats or rhinos or whatever. are from very conservative
8:18 am
republicans who think the system is really out of whack. is campaign finance a partisan issue? guest: i am not sure. i think there are two positions one is poor regulation is one is for deregulation. disagree with that characterization that i'm not pro-regulation. what we need is a system that enables more americans to feel they have a voice. and what are the incentives? we do not have any right now. illinois, line for democrats where harold is calling in. thank you, c-span p are diverse a lot of good ideas on this. term limits, gerrymandering, all that, but let's get down to the fact the issue. donald trump came out and said what all republicans think but they usually keep under there
8:19 am
had. and gave toficials their campaigns hoping to get something in return. in the old days, you went to jail for that. lobbyists, it used to be that you went out and gathered nonatures and you found signatures in your district and your person would address the issue. now, if i can give you a bunch of money, you will vote my way. i think it is just a matter of the people getting back the power of sending these people to jail. if you bribed a public official, then you ought to go to jail. if the public official takes the money, he ought to go to jail. that would end all of this. i think the way this is set up right now, they are not going to do nothing about it until the people stand up. i am voting for bernie sanders and i hope he makes it.
8:20 am
the bernie sanders thing will work is after you elect bernie sanders, you need to get rid of congress since chart all over. thank you. , start withian berg you. legal definitions again. quid pro quo, campaign contributions, what does it take ? if someone is actually buying you off, if there is a direct payment for service, like meredith said, you need someone in the room to testify. has: meredith mcgehee, anyone been sanctioned under the idea of quid pro quo? guest: this is a very difficult prosecution for the public prosecutors. you have some representatives like cunningham, who was brilliant enough to write down his right list on a cocktail napkin. this is probably not the calendar -- caliber we will see
8:21 am
with most members of congress. i want to take an issue with the caller when he talks about legalized bribery. i talk to a lot of business people, i know a lot more about legalized shakedowns. it is expected to give a contribution. play the game, their interests and business and whatever issue they are interested in will be hurt. the reality is it is coming from both weird but there is a sense that if you do not play, and you talk to most lobbyists in washington, they feel like, if i do not play and have that breakfast, go to that fundraiser, make sure to bundle money, my clients or the interests i represent will be hurt. there is a feeling of the pay to play that you really have to do theere and i would note quid pro quo idea and the notion of corruption, part of what happened in karen -- is very
8:22 am
dangerous. and that is, justice roberts has basically said corruption is quid pro quo bribery. there was a much more expansive concept of what constitutes corruption. ability to show the money toen can be very difficult prove. we're seeing that in the mcdonnell case this month. i think meredith highlights something that is important. she is talking to her friends downtown, these lobbyists, and this is part of why so many americans are fed up and frustrated with washington, d.c. you look at the rise of outsider candidates like donald trump and ted cruz. explain what that case is.
8:23 am
guest: the case with bob mcdonnell, he was convicted in , he has challenged those convictions, that what he not an official it therefore cannot be corrupt. when he gave access to mr. williams, he used the governors to meet with mr. williams and discuss what they could do. a businessman selling health products. giving a rolodex to the governor, letting him drive his car, catering his daughter's wedding. the defense governor mcdonnell's putting up is because none of those things about arranging the meetings constituted an official act and there was never annexed explicitgreement -- an agreement i would do that with
8:24 am
the rolex -- rolodex. [laughter] you know, this will be a very interesting decision. has sown net -- is so narrow, you think of mr. jefferson, $100,000 in his freezer. he also made a claim that writing letters was not an official act. it is a big question about what you expect. abdul, maryland, good morning. us is my first time calling. my comments are based upon earlier. you mentioned a nonprofit organization in the constitutional political race.
8:25 am
why would they not be will to running,e to someone and also, i like the comment on donald trump. proposing lowering corporate tax, is this -- thank you. guest: i can speak to nonprofit speech. use,inly helping at risk but if you're on the left or the right, i will always believe more speeches better speech. i will always fight for your are --, to the extent we quote -- participating in the political process is speech, i think it is important and within the wheelhouse, within the right of an organization to advocate
8:26 am
for candidates, for their policy. even with citizens united, the court did not say corporation can give a direct contribution to a candidate. an independent expenditure to express their views, but they still upheld the restriction on the ability of a corporation, whether a 501(c) corporation or a different kind leading directly to the candidate. host: tom, texas, a republican, good morning. caller: thank you for taking my call. every year, billions and billions and billions of dollars are spent campaign for democrats by these leftist super pacs, abc, nbc, cbs, npr, the our times. would he have any objection to putting strict limits on the amount of money that abc and nbc and cbs spend each year to
8:27 am
produce their product? if so, what is the basis for her objection? in several cases, and it is ironic you bring up about the media, one of the groups that has claimed the media exemption thatederal law which says abc, cbs, and other newspapers can spend their own money to express their views, one of the other groups that has that exemption is citizens united. and this hasa, gone before the court several times, about whether or not a media exemption is appropriate or the courts have looked and said, it is not necessarily a controversial topic, even with all of these other disagreements in the 54 decisions. -- is toaving a robust
8:28 am
ensure there is an ability to have these views. concerned about this if we were talking 20 or 30 years ago. with the growth of the internet, with organizations like citizens united now having the immediate not think thatdo is necessarily where the problem lies. i want a robust debate. i want more in the system. it is not about getting money out of politics. getting more out of money. it is saying, how to we take a system in which there are very few players, far less than 1% of all americans get $200 or more. it is something like .05% tier that is pathetic and it is dangerous for democracy. what we really need are changes that will have the ability to energize more people and give incentives to both the candidates and individuals who
8:29 am
want to participate and get money to those involved. when you look at the election and see a billionaire running, you see someone like hillary clinton, who has huge amounts of money and super pac's, you see all the other candidates taking money from sheldon and those super pac's, it dissuades most americans from feeling they have a voice. host: daniel in west virginia, a democrat. and thankod morning you for c-span. i would like you to ask your we used a point to america when it comes to going outingorruption and corrupt officials. panama we frown on the the wealthye corporations and individuals stash their cash and avoid
8:30 am
paying taxes? pac's, also tax havens as well, finally, i would say, amplifying speech, if my grandmother is listening to her radio and i am with you to 90 watt speakers down the basement, you know who will win. can you please answer the question for me? are they donated the money they are donating to the super pac? guest: you certainly covered a lot of topics in that question. the panama papers, money being stored by individuals off-shore, but the issue does not have much to do with campaign finance. pac'se look at the super and citizens united, this argument that widespread
8:31 am
corruption, i have not seen this play out. see anyone standing up saying they're paid for and bought four by a corporation. i do not see anyone saying i am corrupt as of campaign finance law. it does not happen. i think citizens united has given more voice to more people and that is great. the more we process, the better. i think the question of corruption, again, the united states being a eakin of how you actually try to fight for democracy and corruption remains a large question. about howt to talk policy -- you do not have to go to much further than chuck hagel. group that i work with
8:32 am
called issue one, a bipartisan of money and the role in politics, a film i would recommend to everyone, and mr. role oflk about the special interest money. our defense policy, how we could end up with systems that the department of defense does not want. with levels that are not necessarily the best things for the the policy. i think we have a system here in which we are threatened with a correction that is not a matter of saying here is a dollar -- that is the way you want to look at it. the dynamics of a very complex democracy. notion that there is nothing that can be done is absolutely wrong. i am urging all of the viewers
8:33 am
to be in regular contact. i think this is where christian and i agree. we want more voices in the system. we may disagree about how you do that but that is the you have a more vibrant talk. host: you mentioned the federal system earlier in the show, in our opening, we highlighted some of the things going on in the campaign finance level in the state system contribution limits that different states have, the disclosure requirements that , -- is there anything happening that you think is working in the federal level? i think a lot of things are going on. in seattle, every voter is going to get four vouchers for $25.
8:34 am
they can then give that voucher to the candidate of their choice. an interesting and innovative way of saying, we want every registered voter to and to to participate have a voice. i think that would be fascinating. gives a smaller of money. you have to have a candidate who has some ability to resonate with voters. it is an important part of making sure the system works. you do not just want to throw money to candidates and say go for it. you have a candidate who is repeatedly tested in the political marketplace and if the message resonates, they get rewarded. there are a lot of things that at state and city levels and it would be fascinating to see how it out. these ideashearing
8:35 am
and i hear the public financing , i am a free guy. if you cannot generate support, i get a little wary of government stepping in to help foster support. the system, i would be alone --vous about giving vouchers i think it is all of hours duty to join the process but i do not want the government to have to force or perverse you. host: alan is in new york, a democrat. bergr: i cannot thank mr. for a better way into my segway. people in the country do not know the history of broadcast rules and the government giveaway licenses for convenience and necessity. in the 1930's, with that compensation, it is understood broadcasters with the acting for the public.
8:36 am
then saying money is speech, there was never really a strong argument made then when the government began to give away public property to broadcasters for free. you basically have the government giving public money away without any compensation in cash for the public good given way for the podcasters. that problem became compounded when reagan did away with the fairness doctrine. .to require viewpoints you have a system taken over by using public resources without taking count their responsibility to the public. they have to buy back that
8:37 am
airtime from the broadcasters to pay for advertisements. --is an assert situation absurd situation because most people do not know the history. and a newderstood it broadcasters were using public resources without payment, they would demand far more in the way of public trust content and free substantive debate time and less profiteering than we have today. this is an issue i worked on for a number of years, if you go to a person on the street and ask, who owns the airways, people will usually answer, abc owns the airways. it somewhat relates to the the airwaves are publicly owned. the broadcasters and public trustees are supposed to fulfill
8:38 am
the public interest obligations. i think the federal communications systems have fallen woefully short in ensuring an exchange for saving those licenses for free, this is what people do not really realize. the local stations that serve, not the network, but the local stations that serve the community around the country do not pay anything through the federal government for the monopoly they are given to use the airwaves. ist we have often push for to have much more robust public-interest requirements in the sense that right now, it is an absurd system. candidates go out and spend so much time dialing for dollars in raising money. they get the money in their campaign and then what do they do? they spend 70 or 80% just to get on the airwaves that the public already owns. the only person really benefiting from that are the people running the station. it is an absurd system.
8:39 am
the federal communications system to try to put some real meaning behind what constitutes public issue that is supposed to be for the free licenses. it has not is happened and there have been proposals up on the hill to talk about what those public obligations should look like. the broadcasters have defeated those efforts. they are very powerful in their local community. i one-time talked to a member of congress and they said, you know the only thing worse than being on television and they're showing me picking my nose, it is not showing me at all. we could talk for hours on the fcc, i really do not have much to add. host: a hypothetical on twitter --
8:40 am
guest: i don't think so. the influence of money in the political process, but there are other ways you could speak out, go to a rally, have aer, find a way to voice. i make phone calls on behalf of candidate. i put in my time with my hours, my hard work supporting candidates i believe in. walter, baltimore, maryland, independent. good morning. caller: good morning america and what i call you, i want to talk to the people beyond those guest you have just to say this. when citizens united attacked hillary clinton in the right wing scam and then they got this decision from the right-wing court, i just want to ask them, are you serious? you and the right wing are frauds.
8:41 am
fortalk about tax breaks the job creation, they do not create any jobs, talk about edom of speech and deny the right to vote. you are out there with right-wing colleagues denying denying that there is voter fraud, that it does not exist. i just want to ask you, when will you stop the us against them, white against black, white against mexican. host: you have got a lot and i want to give christian berg to respond. guest: i will tell you what, walter. i disagree with you wholeheartedly, but i will fight to my dying day to make sure you have the ability to raise your voice. at the end of the voice -- a fan of the day, i believe in the first amendment and even when i disagree with you, i'm glad you have the ability to raise your voice and put the ideas out there. host: in pennsylvania, a
8:42 am
republican, good morning. religion -- i want to respond to the lady who said in washington that she will give vouchers are a want to know who will pay for the vouchers. i want to know why we have to supply a voucher to support abortion being promoted through a candidate. it is not anyone's business when the state teachers union takes money out of someone's paychecks and exempt them from the paychecks here does their name,, personally, that they gave the , supporting same-sex marriage couples. if this is free speech, i do not i do notdcasters -- want all of those alums on there. we give the money where we believe, and that money will be used for the candidate supporting us. i think i have to disagree with the caller in the
8:43 am
sense that we have a situation now where, with the current way that campaigns of finance, but cities,many states and you have where the candidates are forced to go to make these phone calls, to private interests, and safe on my campaign, and then they turn around the same day and go and vote on matters directly affecting the people. there is an inherent conflict of interest within that system. the question is how are you innovative in trying to get more people to participate. the seattle thing is interesting. we will see how it works out. it does not say you have to give the vouchers. it does not say whom the vouchers have to be given. here is the right, opportunity. if you want to give a voucher to
8:44 am
a candidate whom you support, then you can do so. you do not have to give us if you do not want to. you do not have to give it to a candidate you do not support. i think the whole idea here is to say, right now, the system is to gively tilted incentives to those who could fork over large amounts of money, if you are a member of congress, who will you call? 100 people to get $10 apiece, or one or two calls when they could give you 5000, 10,000, or even more through your campaign. we have got to change those. get in charles, who has been waiting in west virginia, a democrat. go ahead. caller: i appreciate your show and i like what is going on this morning. i think the american people need to know one thing. does all these here super pac's
8:45 am
get to deduct their contributions on their taxes? people that other give the money and do not know where goes to, they should still have a right to say, that money goes to not the super pac's. thank you very much. don't see a tax break for political contributions. , is thatedith mcgehee something that has been considered or no? guest: these organizations are usually tax-exempt. it does not mean that if you give to them like a charitable organization, -- that is a different question. these are tax exempt under the code. is therequestion here are some places here that are trying not only tax credit, but also other means of saying, if you give a political contribution, then you can get a tax credit for that.
8:46 am
the whole idea here is there is a governmental interest in having a robust democracy. you still want the voices of individuals to count more. the current system discounts the voices of african -- average an individual americans. it is great when you see a -- thate cap -- second can excite that. we will probably end up with a situation where we have candidates, either you have to be a billionaire, or you have to have a super pac and i do not think that is really the best way to get most americans engaged and involved. host: we want to thank meredith .cgehee and christian berg we appreciate your time this morning. up next, we will take a closer look at the fundraising numbers and the big players this primary season.
8:47 am
the that the director of the center for responsive politics will be our guest. we will be right back. ♪ >> he had a couple of meals and the steam shovel. i think again, it is one of the other ironies that he is so rabidly anti-government and those his entire fortune to the government. >> author and investigative journalist sally talks about her book, the profiteers, which takes a critical look at the -- one of the largest engineering and construction companies in the world. >> who else is the united states to fillnt going to get these projects throughout the world, and i think, it is fine for it to be that, but if the
8:48 am
american taxpayers are paying for it, it seems they should informationcess to about their contracts, the amount of money, worker safety, the political relationship. at 8:00 eastern on c-span's q&a. >> madam secretary, we probably -- probably get 72 of our delegate votes to the next .resident of the united states ♪
8:49 am
>> washington journal continues. is theheila krumholz executive director for the center for politics, and she joins us now as we continue our discussion on money in politics. explain what open secrets is in the work you do there. open secrets is the website for our organization. a nonpartisan nonprofit research advocate we transparency. if we cannot do it, if we do not have access, then the voters cannot do with a need to do to inform people and hold their elected officials accountable.
8:50 am
on her website, you can find all kinds of information about where the money is coming from and going to and what quantities and what the trends are over time, how our campaign finance system is evolving and we tried to present the data so we can answer whatever questions people have. we talked a lot about the citizens united case so far in the program. do, how the work you did that change after citizens united? guest: it has become far more difficulty or not only accept the data that is reported to the federal election commission and is provided to us, which is big enough in itself, because we are constantly gathering new data and standardizing it by organizations so we can present it in a lot of different ways in our website, we are also going to the filings of politically
8:51 am
active nonprofits with the irs, and those are not filed frequently. when they are, we grab them and then we have to do the digging to find out where those groups are getting their money and much of that is simply not available. host: in terms of the number of groups you are tracking, can you give us a sense of the number and how much that changed before citizens united and after? are hundreds of thousands of organizations represented in the data. these are based on contributions as well as individual donations which are itemized. going to candidates. the data we are getting on politically active nonprofits is a drop in the bucket by comparison but these other organizations that have really to the top in terms of the amount of money they are raising is pending and they can strikeit with laserlike on the most competitive races.
8:52 am
they can have an enormous impact even though there are not nearly as many, with the hard money reported contribution going to candidates. super pac's, regular packs, 501 before groups, when you do your job to try to bring transparency to the process, what is the toughest to crack there? guest: 501(c) nonprofit. charitable or a gift -- or educational organization's. these are organizations that are mostly not political. they have a limited ability to be political. 501(c) four's, social welfare organizations. along with the chamber of much morecan be political and some organizations, especially
8:53 am
following citizens united, have been created, apparently to be and see itolitical to be violating the terms of tax-exempt rules to act like a political committee, which reports to the federal election commission, but pretend they are social welfare organizations disclose that need not their donors. that is the crux of the matter. it is the real issue here. we have these organizations pertaining to be something they are not in order to deliver a secrecy to their sources. if you have questions about these groups and tracking money in politics, remember the house and senate campaigns going on, the phone lines are open in this segment. --
8:54 am
the 2016's get to cycle. what is the most interesting thing you are tracking? thing the most important to know is the incredible increase in funds raised and spent by outside organizations. as well as super pac's, which are technically independent expenditure only committees. independently of those campaigns and use unlimited sums from unlimited sources to do that. many of thee is organizations are very closely tied to the candidates and staffed by top lieutenants and even created by the candidates themselves. enormous sums of money are gushing into and through the organizations and our target is one of the most competitive
8:55 am
races, as well as competitive house and senate races. we are seeing already, $300 , six times spent what was spent at this point in the cycle in 2014 and three times the list then in 2012. we see big increases and bigger injections of funds coming from reportedly independent groups -- instead of truly independent groups. have dry -- drive their funds, spend more than $21 million so far compared to the last presidential cycle. that is only if the patterns from 2012 from this point and that cycle, hold. host: when we hear the term dark money, that is what we are referring to. generally, politically
8:56 am
active nonprofit organizations. most nonprofits are not politically active. research organizations like ours or a charitable organization. are advocating, they lobby on clean water or whatever the issue may be. what we're seeing now is a strain of politically active nonprofits which are pushing, if not blowing past the line of political activity that has allowed them -- questions or comments about political fundraising, that individual candidates, we can walk you through that. website, open seat -- open pennsylvania, a republican, bill, good morning. caller: once again, i am first up in the conversation and is
8:57 am
difficult to know where it is -- going.n general, in general, i am very concerned about so much be made of money buying votes and all that sort of thing. the only thing that counts is what the vote actually was. how did your legislator vote on specific measures? i do not care whether the guy is bought and paid for. i care about the way he votes and how that fits in with the way i think the government should go. finding who contributed what tells me nothing about sound policy, it tells me nothing about whether there is anything good or bad to the contributors point of view. it drives me nuts that the
8:58 am
public is generally being told that the government is bribed without anyhings, ornection to the legislation the rules or the things that are actually done and whether or not i agree with them. it just comes down to the voting record? yes.: yes -- caller: we spent all this time this morning on the subject, which -- it doests only if not count at all. what counts is what the government does. the more i go on the more frustrated i get. host: i appreciate the call. spend your was time looking into the money that goes into these campaigns. guest: i think we have had evidence that at times, money has been a very powerful force
8:59 am
in washington and that is why corporations stands a much money to lobby congress and try to shape policies in the government. spent touch is being elect members who are going to represent the interests of those donors. if those are the interests of those constituents, that is generally viewed as good. special narrow group of moneyed interests, then that puts a heavier burden both on legislators and the folks they represent to hold them accountable, to make sure that the money is not speaking louder than the merits of the policies they are deciding. i agree that money is not everything. money is simply one factor that the public and the press need to pay attention to her but it is a fascinating lens through which to look at washington. i think it is critical.
9:00 am
while it is true that money is to sustain a candidate not otherwise viable, that does not good campaign organization and good connections in terms of their rapport with the voters, it is so youl to victory, and cannot win without money. and that is why i think it bears scrutiny. lensesne of the clearest to look at it through, and the easiest to use his open lookts.g if you want to at their website as we talk about it in the second. iris is in michigan, and independence. good morning. caller: good morning to you all. god bless america. wondering when this noncompete policy will affect the government, so that when you leave government, you are done with government and you can't use your cloud or your power and
9:01 am
go into these five are ones -- 501's, which seems to be a stepping stone into having more clout with the government then you had before, because now you have access. and why is politics of different from what we call the real world? when are they going to match up with the people that actually employ them? are they supposedly working for us, not us for them? 1's,when you are in these 50 and you don't pay taxes, don't you have a different perspective on everything? we need to kind of cleanup the act and take it backed to what it was before the government 's forped these 501 themselves. i was just wondering what this young lady has to say about that, and god bless her. host: you want to start with the work you do to track that?
9:02 am
guest: on open secrets, you can find a database called a revolving door database where you see personnel that have revolved out of government service into positions presenting private industry. some of them are evolving into the super pac's to work as political operatives for these nonprofits. it's important to look at this because these are influential people who are bringing with often quite fresh contacts with powerful people in congress and in government, and ed whilee they develop in public service. they may leave the jobs for organizations board jobs is political operatives working for these super pac's and nonprofits intevac into government and bring with them the views and
9:03 am
themests and bring with the views and of their employers. creatednot specifically by money, but money does play a role. in order to lower a senior , those to do lobbying firms pay a premium because they can charge more to their clients to have that sort of shortcut on offer. door is anng important aspect of all this. i wanted to clarify the 501(c)'s are not themselves a trick, are nonprofits, and most of them, tens of thousands of these organizations do wonderful charitable work that is important to really the structure of our society. but what has happened is there has been a kind of variation, a
9:04 am
strain of these groups that is not honoring the purpose of these organizations, and it's k enforcement and rules in order to act like political entities, which should be disclosing donors. host: the revolving door database, you can see things like the feature revolver, the top agencies where people revolve through the database, ike the fact that there are 20 state or attorney general and the open secrets revolving door database. 's guide an washington, d.c., democrat. guest: thank you for this invaluable service. i was wondering if your guests at the opportunity to listen to the segment just before, especially christian birds united, anditizens her reaction would be to that. to her comments
9:05 am
about the organizations that have been formed as a result of citizens united, is it that citizens united is not working as it was intended, or is that ok chris really -- opaqueness really part of the picture? guest: unfortunately, i didn't hear the prior segments and i didn't hear that these the caller was mentioning. about citizens united and whether or not it's functioning as the decision was intended, it is not. in my view in the view of many others, the supreme court faced that decision on the present and that we had a functional for all ofregime these activities. when they opened the floodgates to any source contributing and spending any sum of money to advocate or oppose a federal
9:06 am
candidate, they did not understand there was this massive loophole allowing these organizations to fly into the radar, to keep their donors secret, and in fact, to keep their spending secret. the rules make it very difficult to both know who this is providing the original funding as well as what these organizations are doing. it's really a crazy quilt of rules and oversight agencies that come into play, and that is a major portion of our work now, in trying to make sense of all of the entities that are now participating in the system following citizens united. all of the public sources of information and crafting a website resource that allows people to really see what is happening. host: tennessee is next, tom is a republican.
9:07 am
good morning. caller: i was just wondering. parenthoodlanned takes money from the government, and they donate to all the s that are running in congress, senate, and everything else. have you ever checked into that? they are absolutely taking money from the taxpayers, supposedly. sudden, they of a are donating money to candidates that are actually on the democrat side. have you ever looked into that? i watched a lot of hearings on c-span about planned parenthood, and they're arguing over the taxpayers shouldn't be paying that money, and they are making money. and they are spending money on helping get democrats elected. i sure would like to hear your comments. thank you very much.
9:08 am
pulling up planned parenthood from the database, go ahead. guest: thank you for that. parenthood's a very politically active organization and has been one for a long time. you can find a lot of information about them on her website, there's a pac donation to members of congress and candidates for congress, as well as independent expenditures on behalf of or against candidates. i'm quite sure they lobby as well. you will find it different entry points in to learn about their activities in washington. i do want to point out that a group like that is really distinct from this new variation of nonprofits, which has cropped up following citizens united. which is not known -- many of these organizations use anodyne
9:09 am
or patriotic sounding names. their mission is not to necessarily advocate a single issue like planned parenthood does, or like the nra does. those are legitimate social welfare organizations, they take a position and they are politically active, but not primarily so. however, other organizations really exist for no other reason than to advocate on politics. limits,exceeding the which are themselves, quite lax in terms of how much money they can spend on politics. interestingat is an organization, because they are so politically active and they spend a lot of money. in 2014, the congressional cycle in 2014, here are the numbers. contributions, nearly $1.6 million in contributions,
9:10 am
$679,000 of that going into individual candidates. contributions also the 527 committees and outside spending groups, the open secrets website breaks it all down for you. that one forycle, $6 million in contributions ranked 169th out of the groups that were tracked. let's go to robin in greenville, tennessee. an independent. caller: good morning, thank you for taking my call. host: go ahead. number my question is, one, i think citizens united was just a blender. -- a blunder. i think the people here in america have kind of woken up to all thesehat delegates and these different things -- what if we just have one vote, one person, and accounts -- it counts?
9:11 am
i would like to know that my vote counts. host: how would you do that? caller: i would not have the electoral college, we just have all the states go to the primaries and vote. and elected president with your vote. i would like to get some of the money out of this and i would also like to have term limits. host: robin, with her changes for the electoral system. corey is up next in chickamauga, georgia. a democrat, good morning. i do have a few questions, if you don't mind. do have a few questions, if you don't mind. one person,bout the one vote and everyone should have the opportunity to vote. my second question is the fundraising and campaign raising , due to the commercials in such
9:12 am
. these companies the raise hundreds of millions of dollars for these foolish advertisements against one candidate or the other. when we're living in an economy like we are with so many people struggling, it seems like they want to argue about an increase in minimum wage her. and yet, they are throwing so much money down the drain as far as foolishness, these advertisements give the negativity of the candidates. another thing is, like with campaign, that he focuses so much on his own money being spent. isthat money that he spending on his candidacy, is it not also tax-deductible? so he basically is making a payday for his running for
9:13 am
president in the long run. that it is hard for people to step fact today. citizens today to hear all this stuff about these delegates, please bound delegates and all this other foolishness. they go out and they stand in these lines for hours thinking they are doing something positive for the country, to make some changes. discouraged, hearing the the 20 come out tomorrow is by line that ise next going to come out tomorrow is owned by the way, there's another ruled plays a part in it and change the outcome. there is so much going on to where you really has upset a lot of people in today's society. people were already angry about
9:14 am
things as far as the way governments run. but now, on top of that, we have all this other craziness with the campaign itself and people fueling the fire. i'm not going down on the media about it, as much as i am the candidates. host: i want to let sheila krumholz weigh in. i want to show you the front page of the "washington times." donald trump blasting the colorado gop for running a rigged system is the headline. their concern about the rules in colorado after he was swept at last week's convention, when it comes to delegates for the republican national convention. that perhaps speaking to some of the rule concerns you were talking about. sheila krumholz, a lot covered there. guest: there's a lot to unpack. ishink one salient feeling
9:15 am
there is just great concern for democratic integrity. the people don't trust that the system is functioning as it should. they don't feel and do not have access to information which should be public. how can they make good decisions for themselves at the ballot box and in their own political engagement? how can they hold the representatives, their politicians, accountable if they don't know who is supplying the money for their campaign? is a bedrock principle. we must regain the transparency that the system used to provide. it will be up to people, voters, constituents to hold the representatives accountable and let them know they do care about access to this information and transparency. and to make them hold the oversight agencies accountable. host: the caller was particularly concerned about the
9:16 am
ad spending and commercials. in the 2014 cycle, media spending by candidates -- these were just house and senate candidates -- media spending accounted for almost $1.3 billion. what do expect that number to get up to in the 2016 cycle? guest: it's hard to make a production about media spending. -- a prediction about media spending. but that's a normal -- an enormous cost in presidential campaigns. during the early part of the cycle, the investments are on administration on setting up campaigns. once candidates are in place and have their organizations in place, the images or focus turns to communicating their messages in their platforms. that is enormously expensive and a huge payday for broadcast companies in particular.
9:17 am
they can reap large sums of money, especially from outside, purportedly independent outsider information -- organizations like super pacs, that are running ads, some of the misleading, about the candidates. allowedizations are not the lowest unit rate the candidates are allowed. there's a lot of play here. in advertising, certainly, as with the last presidential election, voters at home will be bombarded with messaging, again, much of it negative. that will be fueled by billions of dollars, spent not just by candidates and parties provide is less accountable outside groups. host: on twitter, inconceivable one makes the same point that the first caller was making. it may be that a candidate must have money support to be elected, but that doesn't mean money is controlling the
9:18 am
election. ohio,s up next in marion, a republican. rich, good morning. caller: good morning. some great ideas. if we some points, shorten the election, we know one day is too short. the way it is now is too long and we get all kinds of weird things happening. if we would shorten it, we limit the amount of money involved. the other thing is our four and agents -- foreign agents are corrupting the system. spending to mind corrupt our politicians. we have to look at that. armiesious about foreign , how much they are lobbying our government. in a company and act like a company, they are allowed to lobby our government. how much is lobby from china, russia, and cuba?
9:19 am
and what happened with china in launching a multiple warhead attack on the united states. as satellites it that clinton help to get through, and now they sit with it, they can launch satellites or warheads. might be alast one little out of our ballpark in this segment. on foreign contributions, what are the rules on that? guest: foreign governments, corporations, individuals are not allowed to make political contributions to contribute in our system. unless they are green card holders, residents of the united states. again, if we have a system whereby the money is secret and we cannot know where the money is coming from, we also can't the assured that it is domestic. we've had a foreign money
9:20 am
scandal in the past, i don't know why people would think we are any less likely to have it now that money can be given anonymously. host: westfield, massachusetts is next, and independent, john is calling in. caller: good morning. i would like to make suggestion. -- a suggestion. many of these topics that are being discussed, we are wasting our time. the only way we're going to stop this abomination is by education. -- history,ctorate forget about it. it's all math, science, go to the moon and so on. i think there's a candidate that i might have heard about that wants to do some thing about that. when you could get 75%, 80% of the electorate vote, people
9:21 am
voting, we are going to have a lot of the different government. in a lot of these issues will be solved right there. host: who are you supporting in this election? caller: we can't afford it, but we can afford to fight numerous wars all over the world and so on. i'm sorry, what did you say? host: who are you supporting, who is the candidate? caller: i think it might be a guy named sanders. john and westfield, massachusetts. billy is next in russellville, arkansas, republican. caller: good morning, little brother, good morning, little sister. i'm in arkansas, and i do say listeninga few people to could even point where the state of arkansas is. there was a citizen's united group that was against one of our campaign -- campaigned against one of our supreme court justices. wantid the koch brothers to be secret about what they are
9:22 am
doing? why are they involved in arkansas politics? number two, i have always voted republican and i believe in less government. then all of a sudden, there are people doing secret things. why the secret about it if you feel that strong about it? if you're going to campaign and give $500 million to get your agenda through, why would you not want someone to know what you are doing? i don't understand that, i don't understand why we allow that. is, on theing republican side, they are thatng about 1237 people are going to shape this election. you take $500 million and by 1237, they want me to believe that money is not going directly to somebody?
9:23 am
how naïve do they think we are on the steel? -- on this deal? i've always supported republicans, but the only person by hear talking about the things i want to hear is bernie sanders. that's a long switch from republicans down to bernie. but that's the only one i hear talking about these things. bernie, isupport believe that's the reason a lot of people are supporting bernie, other than the disinformation campaign. these citizens united people, not only are they directly try to influence supreme court justice in arkansas, but they are spewing out so much disinformation that you don't even know if it's the truth or if it's not the truth, or if it's close to the truth just a bald faced lie. host: i will let sheila krumholz jump in. glad you called, i really think that republicans in servedlar would be well
9:24 am
that their members of congress understand their views on transparency. to me, this is not a partisan issue, it's a democratic issue. this form ofe government and have trust in our process without knowing -- having access to information. if we want informed voters, if we want to engage voters, they need to be able to see where the money is coming from and going to, and other kinds of information that are important to their political engagement. we want everyone engaged, left, right, and center. ultimately, it takes the voters -- who holds the cards in their an issue, to make this in their campaigns and communicate that to their officeholders. host: intimacy, leeann is a
9:25 am
democrat. good morning. -- you tennessee. caller: i was calling about this fundraiser. the only reason they are giving money to the senators who run and congressman are to get their idea over. they are buying their votes. i'm 65 years old, i'm in tennessee, when it's time for us to go out to vote, there are so many machines in areas work. the next hour, the machines are out of order. it's been done for years and years. the only way can stop is that the citizens get out there and you pull that lever when you vote. big money can't control that. it's up to us to stop it. everybody, whether you're republican, democrat, or independent, please, get out and vote. vote, it's for your own interest. thank you. host: in lancaster, california,
9:26 am
glenn, good morning. caller: good morning. i would like to talk about the outside group, which is the media, which is -- which does not vet our people. we have a sitting senator with a dual citizenship from canada. wondering if he ever voted in canada with his citizenship? if his mother renounced her citizenship to the united states so she could vote in canada? and what about -- my birth certificate has my footprints on .t and my handprints on it or we have seen no footprints or handprints from the media with barack obama. i'm not a birther, i'm a native american citizen.
9:27 am
american citizen also. i hold dual citizenship. ruined,try is being trump wants to bring jobs backed and fix social security with bringing jobs backed to america. the republican party is attacking trump because he is not controlled by the big banks like ted cruz and his wife. it's just a great big mess. host: birth certificates are not really what we're talking about in the segments, but your point attacked,p being there's a front-page story in the "new york times," about the amount of money that's going into anti-trump adds. us about thetell spending of the never trump movements, as it has been called? guest: you can find on our website all of the organizations
9:28 am
that are both lining up to support him, as well as those that are attacking his candidacy. spending inh of the prior to primaries need not be reported to the federal election commission, if it is for electioneering. it is a complicated system. a lot of these calls be to a lack of trust and a crisis of confidence, both in the party leadership, the current establishment, but also in the system and the structure of the system. we need people to comeback to the voting booth, because we have had such a dearth of voters in past elections. as well as to not leave it there but to get engaged on a more frequent basis and to make themselves heard. use our website, use other credible nonpartisan resources like open secrets to get
9:29 am
informed. but don't stop there, get engaged. host: let's see if we can fit in bill on chicago, illinois. the line for democrats. caller: i find it very disturbing that candidates can refuse to answer questions like -- i have considered myself a democrat. hillary.looking at she's telling people that it's not your business how much money on getting. -- i'm getting. i don't understand that, i'm for bernie. it's ridiculous that you can be running for president and tell people it's none of their business who you are getting money from. --see that happen in america it's been going on too long. thank you for letting me have my
9:30 am
say. host: sheila krumholz at our last 30 seconds or so. on open secrets, you can find so much information about where the money is coming from fire industry and interest groups. for much is coming from individuals versus tax. -- other other money money's that candidates of avail themselves over the years. the caller may be referencing the clinton foundation. their resources is closing information on that. -- there are resources disclosing information on that. i would caution callers about making -- conflating all of these kinds of moneys, not all of them are directly beneficial to the candidates. is important for the candidates to be forthright about. it does not serve their goals to not be fully transparent about
9:31 am
where their money comes from. host: the website is open executivemholz is the director of the center for spots of politics. thank you -- responsive politics. thank you for your time. in our last 30 minutes on "washington journal," we are asking our viewers for your ideas for reducing moneys influence in politics. leave a phone line for those who , and for it donation those who have not made a donation. you can start calling and now, we will be right back. ♪ >> he had a couple of meals in mules and hee of seems oval. it's one of the ironies to be so
9:32 am
antigovernment and all your entire fortunate to the government largess. talks about her book "the profiteers,"'s takes a look at one of the largest engineering and construction companies in the world. >> who else is the united states government going to get to build these projects throughout the world? i think it is fine for it to be them, but it's the american taxpayers paying for it. it would seem the american taxpayers should have some thess to information about contacts, the amount of money, , the politicalty relationship. >> sunday night at 8:00 eastern on c-span's "q&a." >> madam secretary, we proudly
9:33 am
give 72 of our delegate votes to the next president of the united states. ♪ [applause] fle>> "washington journal," continues. host: we are asking for your ideas on reducing moneys in politics. a recent poll showing concern about the influence of special interest money is a top concern among voters as they look at
9:34 am
problems with elected officials. we are asking for your ideas this morning, our phone lines are split it little differently in the segment. if you have made a political donation in the past or the cycle to a candidate, call (202) 748-8000. if you never made a political donation, want to hear from you, call (202) 748-8001. to get a sense of how many political donations have been made in this election cycle, open secrets has looked at the amounts raised by candidates and super pac's supporting those candidates. $1 number totals over billion. cycle,llion raised this $412 million raised just by the super pac's that support those candidates. on the campaign trail have expressed their concerns about money and politics. bernie sanders making it a central point of his campaign. here he is from "face the nation," on sunday, talking
9:35 am
about money and politics as he looks ahead to the new york rendering next week. [video clip] bernie sanders: heading to new york and heading west, you will see us do very well in those states. our message is resonating, people are tired of establishment politics, establish and economics. a candidatebelieve who receives huge amounts of money from wall street or other special interests like secretary clinton really will be capable of addressing the major crises facing the working families of this country. talking aboutrump campaign fund-raising on the campaign trail, talking about his effort to mostly self-fund his campaign. [video clip] donald trump: i'm self funding my campaign, i'm putting my own money in. as all of these people who are running for office take money and from all the special interests, where they can't make proper transactions to you.
9:36 am
and that is going to stop. it's going to stop. host: those to candidates getting a lot of traction for comments about that and concerns about money in politics. we want to hear about your ideas for reducing the influence of money in politics. karen in iowa has made a donation in the past. caller: good morning to you. host: go ahead, karen. all thei'm with bernie way, he is the first person i've ever made a monetary donation to. the best way to stop all the money in the election cycle, i think, would be to have a constitutional amendment or something like that i would say individual people can give. they can give as many times as they want to, put a limit on a little bit. and then we will know how much support each candidate has.
9:37 am
corporateutlaw donations and just be individual people could donate. host: so spending limits and no corporate spending on elections. think that would fix it? caller: i think it would help a lot. i think bernie sanders has the right idea. i don't think an individual person should be able to spend billions and billions and finance his own campaign. i think it should be individual donors. that shows how much support the person has. i think that's a start. it's a very good start in our democracy. this -- the say caucuses are -- they have to be reformed. they are an outrage. i participated in the caucus in iowa, i will say it was an outrage. it was not democratic at all. if they can change their vote after people have voted -- it
9:38 am
just blows my mind that we consider that a democracy. i very much against the superdelegates. i think they should have to go through the process just like everyone else. host: karen with concerns about campaign fund-raising and the financing process in the country. we should this before, donald trump on the front page of the "washington times," blasting the systemo gop for a rigged in the wake of the convention in that state, in which she was swept in terms of -- in which he was swept in terms of delegates. they have a lead editorial today whine,rump's delegate was payingtor cruz attention to the process. they say the trunk campaigns delegate counting blunders show the downside of running a one-man show from a boeing 757.
9:39 am
he is now paying the price now the delegates are chosen. concerns from the trunk campaign, we look forward to next tuesday -- the trump campaign, we look forward to next tuesday in new york. that primary race were so many delegates arrive for grabs on both sides. reducinglking about the role of money in politics, david has never made a role -- never made a donation before. caller: good morning c-span. it's hard to watch, because there's a 10 second delay. host: don't watch your tv. caller: to the issue at hand, which is about the money. i am never donated, but i've given my time and i've given my voice to candidates at the local level that i appreciate is doing a good job.
9:40 am
my problem with the whole thing is about the money. our congress is bought. raise your hand if you think n't. ai the constitution says we should have one rep is edited for every 30,000 people. you look at these -- one representative for every 30,000 people. they have cities. how on earth are they supposed to be able to communicate with all of these people, sometimes one million or more? they can't. it was one person for 30,000 people, and he was forced to get out there and how to the ground -- not commercials on tv, there's no money for that. he's got to get out there and do like local politicians do. to what people, listen they say, and then go backed in a voter what we want. host: you think there should be more representatives in congress? caller: that will represent a
9:41 am
smaller portion. it's the money they need, because they are having outreach through the media. that just puts them in line with all you've heard this morning about how corrupt all that is. if it is perfect the level where people have to interact with him , and he has to go out and say vote for me -- what do you want me to do? that's what we treat our county commissioners, or civil councilmen -- city councilman, our mayors. he has to listen to us or he's not going to get elected. host: if that congressman's from downtown new york city, to reach their 30,000, when they have to spend ads as well enough to raise the money to put those ads on tv? caller: you think about a concentrated area in the middle of new york city with 30,000 people in it. i believe the man could walk the whole district in one day. if the half of those people in one day if they knew he was coming. his: that's david with
9:42 am
proposal from georgia. in richmond, virginia and has made of little donation in the past. caller: in the past i have been voting for democrats suffice it to seven with jimmy carter. host: what size of the donations you make? caller: me and my husband do automatic homages recently the last 16 years, automatic donations directly to the candidate instead of to the corrupt parties. host: how much do you think you have donated over the 16 years of you added it all up? caller: [laughter] i guess it all depends on how strongly i care about the candidate. to put a number on it, between the both of us, i would say posted $2500. host: when you make these are nations, do you expect anything in return? caller: i expect them to listen to us.
9:43 am
they are not listening to us. both parties walked away from for the workers, the poor, the voters. they legalized bribes. commercial, i'm not feeding the pig anymore. i'm feeding my family. anybody can do what they can do with that. this is the most discrepant -- corrupt dce establishment election that i've seen. the only one who was addressing everyone they walked away from his bernie sanders. host: carol is up next and midway, georgia. never made a political donation. caller: i have made a political donation in the past, but not in this election. host: i got you. way i think donations should be taken in is by individuals, not through any particular pac's.
9:44 am
the only people who are benefiting from the money of the people who run the network, nbc, abc, cbs, fox, msnbc. they are the one to a reaping all the benefits. -- they are the ones who are reaping all the benefits. the information they're putting out there is not fact checked. and individuals don't take the time to make sure that whatever they are saying is true. bob: all right, we'll go to in poughkeepsie, new york. made a donation in the past. caller: thank you for c-span. i think all roads point to bernie sanders. of extremeis problem money in politics. i don't think trump is the wildcard he says he is. i don't think he is going to fix it. think -- certainly ted
9:45 am
cruz and his goldman sachs contacts are going to fix it. i think to begin to solve the problem, all arrows point to bernie. he knows what he is talking about. it's an impossible problem, but the whole idea of citizens united -- the supreme court, there's a seat open. get amportant is that you nominee that -- which bernie that can help-- begin to solve the problem at the highest level. i don't understand why all of this business about pro-choice, antichoice supreme court nominee -- the people would vote against their economic interests. which this is, when you talk about money and politics and taxation policies that favor the rich, etc.
9:46 am
in citizens united, it's all about the money. it's not about social issues and a woman's right to choose. we ought to really -- people out to vote their pocketbooks and not their church. host: you mentioned the supreme court nominee. the presidents current supreme girl in the -- supreme court nominee is meeting with the judiciary committee chairman this morning, set to take place this morning. that story is getting a lot of attention with regards to whether the senate will take up merrick garland as a nominee. a programming note for viewers today, sunday to watch for on ,apitol hill, the u2 front man he's poised to testify tuesday afternoon at the seventh -- on the senate subcommittee.
9:47 am
is no stranger to capitol hill, the irish born entertainer has made several visits over the years and testified in front of congress. that story from "the hill." we are that testimony on c-span3 at 2:00 p.m. californiacoronado, and has made a donation in the past. what are your thoughts for fixing the system? caller: it needs a congress. all that sanders is saying, he cannot do. he is just catching and for himself. he's a socialist, he can't do anything without congress. all the promises he is promising to the students, he is getting big donations from the nra, he's a millionaire. he 700 thousand
9:48 am
dollars worth. he had his wife are being investigated for bank fraud. he doesn't file all the taxes on his real estate. all these things, people don't know. they need to get all this information before they support sanders, who is a socialist. we are not a socialist country. host: to bring about your backed to-- bring it our question, do you think that money has to much influence in politics? caller: i understand they need money to fund their campaign and pay the people who are working for them. money is needed to travel. all of them are making money from people that work -- like weaver and divine, all the people that work for sanders are cashing in big-time. people don't know this. they voted for someone who is too old, who will not be able to go 8 terms.
9:49 am
he 75 years old, he's lying, he wants to win and destroy the country. he can't do anything without congress. host: mary is not a bernie sanders support. in coronado, colorado. randy has made a political division nation -- a political donation in the past. caller: i have made donations to people like bernie sanders elizabeth warren. but as far as the amount, you were talking $50, $100 tops. requestsh, i got two to make donations from patty murray and debbie stamatiou. i sent him pac no donations, but i did send them a letter saying this -- i will not donate to any member of congress who has no allegiance to their constituents . and that was it. of, andu are one
9:50 am
sanders is for hillary. patty murray is for hillary. and that was it. send me any future donation requests. host: linda is up next to no park, illinois. never made a campaign donation. do you think the system has to much influence for those who give money, and how would you reduce the influence? me?er: can you hear host: yes ma'am. caller: it's a simple solution. i'm just looking at this, john. i think i have watched you as you got to be one of the best. they all say that lady is, but it is you. you have shown a lot of improvement in confidence. you look at who is running. i'm glad that lady called about sanders.
9:51 am
if you were so intricate in changing the system, did you not sit up in congress for many years as part of the establishment? you went along with it. and now that you are an old man, what is our future? we are looking at some of it is almost ancient. some of the ideas may be good, but he is getting money. ted cruz is part of the establishment. money. they will take them, because they know they can mold him and he will dance to their tune. .ot so with trump i don't know why john kasich has let them whisper in his ear, stick it in there and mess. it's all corrupt, because the love of money is the root of all evil. need to look at these bernie sanders, these hillary clinton's, these ted cruz, these john kasich. even trump. said it was a caller that
9:52 am
he doesn't care about money and who is donating to who, he just looks at the voting record. if he disagrees with the voting record, he's going to quote -- to vote against that candidate. if he agrees, he will vote for that candidate. caller: john, you have to look at it this way. people vote for what they are interested in. it may not be in the best interest of the country, but looking at the candidate and the people who support him, that tells you -- that psychology tells you a lot about the state of mind of the american people. you have a whole vast number out there that are into the whole bernie sanders type of thing. the silly old man. they have those that don't care how corrupt hillary is, therefore her. that lets you know what their mentality is. ruz, you hold the bible, trump holds it and tells a lie. he's going along with the establishment.
9:53 am
he is part of the establishment, people. anothergoing to pull one on you and slide him through because they know they can control him. you have to watch it, or they will slide another one and the democrats have to watch their peas accused before they get shafted. kansas, susiein, has made a political donation in the past. would you change the political system? caller: this is the first year i've ever met a donation. i'm a democrat in the state of kansas. what i've done previously is -- i would work at the polls in my county, wherever they need a democrat. because you need an equal of democrats and republicans. what i have done this year, because i can't get out and about because of my age, i donated $10 to the kansas $10 totic party and democratic committee of
9:54 am
washington, d.c. that feel a lot of it is there is too much of not wanting congress, a lot of arguments there. approve ofy don't big corporations donating as much money as they have. and that is all. have a good day. topeka, kansas. karl is in oxford, massachusetts and has made a donation in the past. caller: good morning, thank you for c-span. $30, the last candidate i supported with $25 was george mcgovern. i think bernie is the best one, it he will get us less involved with foreign expansionism, with
9:55 am
the militarism, and confident on this country. rebuilding the infrastructure and all that. these people who say he is a socialist, he is not that far left. was, he willke fdr try and rebuild the country. the roads, bridges, whatever. it will create jobs here. basically, that's it. thank you. host: we mentioned earlier that senate judiciary chairman met with merrick garland, the president's supreme court nominee this one. he tweeted about that meeting, the senator wrote had a present -- a pleasant leftist -- breakfast with judge garland this might, explained why the senate will be moving forward with this nomination. -- won't be moving forward with his nomination. we have a few minutes left in toay's "washington journal,"
9:56 am
ask how you would reduce the influence of money in politics. campaign have fusions for candidates, a public finance option, more disclosure rules when it comes to candidates and the money they take in. we have been pointing viewers to the national conference of state talks about which what the states are doing on all of those issues, how they handle the contributions, the disclosure, the public financing laws. , a state that has unlimited contributions to candidates from individuals, from pac's, from state parties, different from like arkansas that has a strictly limit. $2700 the chart on disclosure rules goes through when states have
9:57 am
rules about when they disclose income.ndidates' when they get contributions from donors around the country. maine makes candidates disclose contributions any time of contribution is over $1000. have specific dates on when those disclosure rules kick in. you can go over all of these charts on the national conference of state legislators -- state legislatures. on the public finance option, when states can help candidates finance their campaigns. arizona, the public financing option is allowed to kick in when a candidate raises five dollars from 200 different people, they can choose to state that best to take the state financing option. if they do that, they promise they will take no donations from labor unions, super pac's, or political parties.
9:58 am
it varies on which raise their running for. in 2014, if you were running for governor in arizona and each of the public financing option, it would be one for $1 million in public money you would take to run your campaign. for legislative campaigns, it was $23,000. these are options that efforts be explored in the states. we're asking for your ideas to reduce the influence of money on federal elections. time for just a couple more calls, linda is in pennsylvania and has never made a political donation before. linda, good morning. caller: good morning, c-span. is this on the internet, all the states, how much they contribute to the candidates? host: are you talking about state contributions? you can go to the national conference of state legislatures that has all that information i just ran through. if you want information about federal nations, limits on candidate contributions, go to the sec's website.
9:59 am
caller: you had a paper about social security fraud, could you let set up so -- lift that up so people can see what that was about. host: i'm not sure what you are talking about. linda, i apologize, i don't have a paper in front of me. we will go to liz in hot springs , arkansas. she has made a donation. caller: good morning. i think this is all of the sod -- a façade, because of voter fraud. when two people can get elected and not have the popular vote, like bill clinton and obama, and still become president -- we are done. this is all a façade. i think there are people who are going to get it, whether the people want them or not. is in ferndale, michigan. he has made a donation in the past.
10:00 am
your thoughts on reducing moneys influence in politics. caller: i think they should make the national election in national holiday. -- a national holiday. they will be paid for that day, but if they don't vote, they won't be paid. more people will participate in the process? caller: i am for bernie sanders -- i am sorry. i am a little nervous. that is what he is trying to do, trying to get people to vote, whether they are republican or democrat or independent. i think it will push people to vote. host:


info Stream Only

Uploaded by TV Archive on