tv Representatives David Jolly and Rick Nolan Discuss Congressional Fundraising CSPAN May 17, 2016 5:45am-7:01am EDT
>> we all know it takes money to run for political office, in some cases, a lot of money. and that equates to a lot of time politicians spent convincing donors to send cash their way. david jolly was first elected in march 2014, with a reelection bid only six months away, and he said he was shocked to hear from party elders that in the next six months he needed to raise $2 million, and that, he was told, was his first job. in february, he introduced the stop act, which would ban members of congress from personally asking for many. rick nolan was one of the first to cosponsor the legislation. he served three terms in the house in the 1970's and was later elected to congress in
2013. he says that when he returned, he hardly recognized the institution because of the amount of time members spent buying for dollars. today, congressman join us, to get members of congress to put down the phone and actually solve america passes problems. our guests will speak for a few minutes and then answer questions aired we have a number of reporters listening on the phone. if any of you listening in would like to ask a question, please e-mail them. welcome. would you like to begin? rep. jolly: a sincere thank you. i knew we wanted this to be a bipartisan effort right out of the gate. we did accomplish that. i will spend a couple of minutes talking about the actual construct. i think the narrative has been told and i will give you a little of my perspective and i
know rick has comments as well. in many states, including the state of florida, state legislators are prohibited from raising money when in session. judges on the ballot and elected in the state of florida as well as a total of 30 states are prohibited from directly soliciting campaign contributions. the prohibition was upheld by the u.s. supreme court. the supreme court indicated prohibition might be constitutional, but perhaps it would require different construct for elected officials in the legislative quality. i took a model and said let's of why it to congress. the act is very simple, it is four pages and every member of congress can read it before we vote on it. cindy says known may directly solicit a campaign contribution, including in person, including phone calls, including e-mails, websites.
it removes the member of congress from the solicitation. the main focus of the stock act is less on campaign finance reform. i would be happy as a republican to enter into a debate on campaign finance reform. we can do better. this is a congressional reform that says the following. we know the amount of money in politics. let's talk about the amount of time it takes to raise that money. in a single congressional case where your member of congress may have to race in the dollars, or a senate race, where they have to raise $49, consider the amount of time it takes to raise that money. i tell the story, the tale of two candidates.
i was a first-time candidate three years ago. i had a law practice and a consulting practice. when i decided to run for congress, i was able to decide how much time to commit to fundraising and parades, you name it. the only consequence was on my own business endeavors. that was as a first-time candidate. once elected, and as mentioned in the introduction, realizing i had seven months to raise $2 million for reelection, consider the opportunity cost, the time it takes to raise that money. as a sitting member of congress running for reelection, the greatest responsibility i have for every minute of every hour of every day is to represent the
people who have trusted me to serve. to spend hours upon hours everyday raising money and not doing the job i was elected to do, i believe that is a violation of the public trust. i had the discretion and luxury to decide how to then my time. as a sitting member of congress running for reelection, i do not think we should have the same choice. having members of congress should be told to do the job you were elected to do it let's make sure the resources are there to raise the money. as a sitting member of congress i have had the opportunity to study congress from every angle. i rose up through staff ranks. i was council. i was supporting the appropriations chairman during 9/11. there are certain unique
perspectives and this is one of them. it is the pressure on a member passes time to do some the other than you were elected to do. the stop act was simply say, let members of congress get back to work. i say this every step of the way. the story line is not to judge or criticize my colleagues. our colleagues are begging for some breathing room. they all ran on priorities they want for their constituencies. health care and immigration reform, members have priorities they want to work on. this is not to judge or criticize my colleagues. with real world challenges.
the second narrative, we can discuss it during questions if you would like. the narrative developed that it was somehow david jolly or certain members versus the party. that is not the case. this is the amount of time people spend raising money for their own campaigns. the requirements and expectations to raise money for your party, which is now something we have seen, the obligation is not there, it was focus on the total amount of time for fundraising. i am tired of retired members of congress pulling back the curtain and lamenting the amount of time they spent fundraising.
what we are trying to do is to say, let's start a movement today. members of congress are working to demand change and it lamented while we have the ability to implement congress and change the law. with the help of the american people coming in the mail and e-mail and on the own calls, i am optimist that we could make some advancements on the issue in the near term. so thank you for joining me in the movement. rep. nolan: thank you. thank you, tommy, and jamie horowitz, president of the newsmakers operation. a special thanks to my colleague, david jolly, for tremendous leadership in stepping up speaking out on the critical issue. with regard to what you were saying in your introduction, i
served elected office for 10 years in the late 1960's and early 1970's. i spent 32 years in business, domestic and international community service. it is a long hiatus. a couple of people referred to me as rick van winkle coming back after all these years, seeing what happened to congress, i hardly recognized the place. so dramatically different. david jolly suggested i join him introducing this, it made wonderfully good sense to me because among the things that have changed so dramatically was the massive amounts of money going to politics. as a result of the supreme court citizens united decision, we are talking billions of dollars. going into campaign elections,
much of it secret money or dark money, whatever you want to call it. most of it negative. it brought on a necessity for members and candidates themselves to raise enough money to defend themselves and get their message out there. without that, you might as well go home. he will get defeated and it is an affront to supporters to not do everything you can do to show you are all in as well. when i served, we did not spend time dialing for dollars. it was not done. republicans and democrats do not have call centers across the street where you were expected to do that. the single most important thing we can do, the two most
important things, are the reversal of citizens united to get all of this money out of politics, but the other most important thing we do is to pass this stock that -- stop act. the massive amount of money has totally changed the way we do politics. it has turned member of congress into telemarketers dialing for dollars. it is no secret, republicans and democrats have told us, you should spend 30 hours a week dialing for dollars and another 10 a week in actual fundraising events, luncheons and cocktail parties. you are approaching 40 hours and we are only in town three nights a week. it is a seven hour trip door to door for me.
that is 15 hours and you have not spent time governing yet? i am proud to say i have not spend a minute in the call centers across the street. we are elected to do the people's business. go to washington and go to work, that is what being a member of congress is all about and that is what has made the country the great country it is. to complement what david has said, members do not want to do this. whether they came from conservative or liberal backgrounds, they came with ideas and they wanted an opportunity to express and argue them. they wanted to have a vote on them.
that is how you find common ground. we spent a lot of time talking about the integrity of the candidates and that is important. process matters. if you have already consumed 50 hours a week in travel and fundraising, there is not a lot of time for governing. we see the results. they call it gridlock. we are looking for the congress to be the most unproductive in the history of the country. if everybody's busy raising money campaigning, there is no time for governing. that is why. that is how you find common ground. i served at a time when everything came up in committee process, we were in session five days a week. if you have an idea, you got the
opportunity to offer and argue it and debate and let it rise and fall and that is how we found common ground. that does not happen anymore. if they're going to be in amendments, they are very limited. back in the day, it was not uncommon to have hundreds of amendments on a particular bill and you argued and debated everyone of them. you develop respect for your colleagues, the opportunity to develop the best ideas and the arguments, and that is how you got things done. that is why this act is so critically important to the process. if members are coming to washington, and becoming telemarketers, they are not doing the job we were elected to
do. that is why the stop act is so important. this is diverting time away from the people's business, which is what we were elected to do. i do not mind telling you it is discouraging people from running for election. i can think of countless examples. in my state, a wonderfully successful businessperson is very interested in running. he got out here and when he was told the fundraising that would be required of him, he said, that is not why want to go to washington. to become a middle level telemarketing. make no mistake, it is destroying people's confidence in the whole political system,
in addition to disrupting the process and the simple truth is if the congress will work and we will fix things and get done, if we will find the common ground, we need to be in the briefings in the great issues of our time and meet with constituents. we do not have crystal balls. that is why you meet with constituents. they can tell you what is and what is not working. we need to be debating. that is how you find the common ground. the stop act is so essential to the process.
citizens united notwithstanding, we need to reverse it, but whether or not we do, it is critical to get members of congress back doing what they were elected to do. you go to washington and go to work on the people's business and that is what this is all about. the future of democracy depends on the passage of this legislation. it will not be easy. i have had a lot of our colleagues come up to me and say thanks. so you are going to see growing support for this stop act as more and more people around the country and the importance of it, i am convinced in my heart of hearts that it will become a reality. it is happening in states and counties and is happening in the nation. thank you for your leadership on this and thank you to the press club for healthiest highlight the importance of the issue and thanks to the committee sponsoring great debate on these issues. i am delighted to be here and be part of it and more than happy to take any questions anybody might have.
yes. >> what is your opinion on the new book, "confessions of congressman x"? what he is saying is not only are we running to raise money, because what he is writing seems to be to term limits. some want to raise the money to keep the jobs. what do you think about that? rep. nolan: on that issue, the congressman is right. if you want to be here to help play a role in reversing citizens united and have a voice, you better have several million dollars to defend yourself. reading the accounts, the congressman seems simultaneously unethical to say the least. i find colleagues from every perspective to be men and women of integrity who have good ideas that differ in many ways but they represent a large and diverse country that we live in.
when you bring them together as opposed to sending them across the street, we can find common ground. it works. rep. jolly: when i was first elected, there is the story where was told to raise $8,000 a day. i was a member of leadership who wanted helpful. here is how to get elected in six months. i thought, that is great. i will get all the wisdom i can about how to get reelected. it was a second grade math equation on the whiteboard. $2 million divided by the days, $18,000 per day.
that is where i was told your first job is to raise $18,000 a day. my chief of staff is in the room and i turned to my deputy chief of staff and said, here's the problem you will face. your boss just got elected. he wants to be a good member of congress. your job is to make sure he is on the phone raising $18,000 a day before he does the job. it is the reality. i have pre-ordered the congressman x book. we are willing to sign the name to the cause. on term limits, i represent a district that president obama won twice. the answer to term limits is to create competitive district across the country where members have to compete for votes as opposed to representing the party first and simply raise money to get elected. thomas: if you have questions you would like to ask, watching on c-span or listening online, the e-mail just, and as i call on you, i will start with the question that will be the old and in the room in some ways. how much is this a tactic to raise your profile.
and second, getting anything passed this year seems impossible. rep. jolly: when i introduced the stop act, i took a pledge to abide. i did that as the front runner in the u.s. senate rates in the state of florida. every political consultant would tell you i'm crazy and if you look the fundraising numbers, it is true that has created significant headwinds. when someone suggests the member of congress is the most influential fundraiser on the team, that if you take direct solicitation outcome you're hurting yourself on finance, think that is an indictment and its beef to the transactional nature in many cases. you asked the question, is it a
campaign gimmick or not heard no. i always say this, members of congress like rick and myself and others who pursue good policy, it naturally makes for good politics. this is a 100% issue at home. should we abandon it simple because we are in the middle of an election or should we push forward because american e-book are craving for this. poll-tested this topic. you talk about congressional reforms and campaign-finance reform in a town hall or a civics meeting, it does not matter what the group is. the response is 100%. the american people yet the stop act. you know what else they get? a do-not-calls on
registry. i talk about the british model of taking political ads off the television. that gets a 100% response at home. good policies make for good politics. the focus is on driving good policy and the politics will take care of themselves. >> at let me follow up on this. you seem to be making a distinction between congressional reform and campaign finance reform. tell me a little about the difference you are trying to make between those. rep. jolly: i want to get it done. of the great political scandals of our time is the amount of time members of congress ours and that spending raising money and not doing their job. not even in their office. because it is illegal to raise money there. they are not even there. because of the pressures to raise money are outside the office to time focused in on the congressional reform much like you saw five or six years ago, members of congress who potentially were trading on inside information. i call this congressional reform because it is focusing in on what i call a scandal in congress, the amount of time members of congress are shirking
from doing their day job. that is not to shy away from campaign finance reform. i would be open to a package that balances the privilege of anybody to participate in an election with reasonable restrictions. >> does that include reversing citizens united? because i am going to ask the same question to your colleagues. rep. jolly: i think we can do better than what we have now. citizens united opened up a flood of new money. i would like to see how we drive down the amount of money in politics. i think it is political speech for people to be able to contribute to a candidate's reelection, whether or not that should include unions or corporations, i think that should be a question to be visited.
>> congressman nolan, back to you. you absolutely agree with reversing citizens united. rep. nolan: i do. one of the first things after returning the hiatus is to take a look at the whole process. i came to some conclusions about what i thought had changed from when i had served and what was good and what was that about it. i introduced a comprehensive these of legislation a couple years ago. it did a number of things, starting with reversing citizens united. that has unleashed massive amounts of secret money and required candidates to raise massive amounts of money to defend themselves and get their message out. a good colleague of mine whose name will go unmentioned was looking at raising $50,000 a day. he said, i'm not going to do this anymore.
it is not what i am serving for. but my legislation also called reassertionent commissions, and they're telling us there are 40 competitive seats in the country. as david was pointing out, they should all be competitive. they should all be competitive, there should be 400 35. i would like to see it included in that. limits on campaign spending. limits on the time when campaign spending can take place. most western democracies have election contests that go 40, maybe 90 days out of the year. there is nothing magic about 50, i just know that 365 days a year is not right. and that has to change. my legislation provided for online legislation to be more
inclusive. it is remarkable the number of people denied the right to vote in this country and my legislation called for a ban on members raising money and dialing for dollars. last but not least, my legislation called for restoration of regular order. in fact, that is what speaker ryan was talking about. you know, the members of the congress on both sides of the aisle came to washington to make a difference. in juneau, i got on the transportation committee. in 20 learned they were not going to write a bill -- really? why be on the transportation committee? they kicked that can down the road 30 times. finally speaker ryan, he allowed the committee to write a bill and guess what? we found our common ground and came together and we wrote a transportation
bill. you can look at each one of the items separately. i tried to put it all together into one, and without regard to citizens united, that will take some time and in my judgment, it will be reversed and that will require a member of the cost vision and whether we passed that are not, we need the stop act so members of congress go to washington and go to work on the people's business and not go across the street to the call centers, republican and democrat, and then dial for dollars. it is disruptive of our whole public policy process. >> and dana from the washington post, i think you guys have, in addition to cosponsors, i do not think there is anything in the senate yet, the question is why. it seems like this should be obvious. what are you up against.
can you talk about that a little bit? it seems like there is a disconnect the tween these solutions and the willingness to do that. >> i think there is, in part, an understanding that the process as it is tends to be supportive of incumbency. to have someone who sits on a committee who has some jurisdiction over your profession or your occupation, calling and saying, i have got a tough election contest and i would like to ask you, 27 for the primary and 2700 for the general and i would like to ask for 5000, knowing the reader -- knowing the leader will call and ask him to go for another 500,000 to go with the five.
it is beneficial to incumbency and that is why in many respects, it is hard to get some of your colleagues to embrace the idea that we need to change the way we do politics here. it is not good for the country. i think we picked up two more since we talked to you. i think we have eight. and everything has got to start somewhere. otherwise we would be negotiating with the queen on this deal. this is a good start, a good beginning. i have every confidence it will ultimately become the law of the land. states and counties and cities have often times been experiment areas for new concepts and new ideas. and they are passing legislation. i know they are forbidden from calling lobbyists.
so, it is a new beginning and a good beginning and essential to become the law of the land to salvage our democracy. >> if i could add to that, dana i would say we have six more cosponsors than i thought we would have. but this is the reality. it is a heartbreaking reflection of how little gets done. it is also a heartbreaking reflection on where the priorities of congress are. as a result of the amount of money of members political survival that depends on raising money. --t is the reality will stop that is the reality. you can see it. members of congress i talked about, we tried to build a coalition of members so was not just jolly stepping out on this, we were trying to build a coalition. one colleague in particular jumped at it right away. i would love to, that is great, count me in.
and within about 48 hours, the member called and said i cannot do it. i am facing reelection. understand the conversations i've had on the floor, i said i would introduce the stop act and take the pledge now. that was a hard decision. whether or not to take the pledge. every consultant was telling me not to do it. but then i said if i do not take , the pledge, would it get traction? all of my colleagues, including two on the other side of the aisle, i said, cosponsor this. be the democratic co-sponsors. you do not have to take the pledge. i will get your back. i will tell everybody in the media you should not take the pledge. you can see the fear in their eyes about what it means for the election. for political survival. it gets congress back to work and also removes some appearance of impropriety of candidates
or members of congress being involved is listed in. someone rightly pointed out if you include challengers, it leaves an unfair advantage to incumbents. where unsolicited contributions must come. so we left challengers out. we have six more cosponsors than i thought we would. we have seen thousands of people e-mailing and calling of following us on social media. making their own videos and putting an online. it will take a continued pressure by rick and myself and frankly those in the media who , support the idea. and editorial boards. but it also will require leadership him and from presidential candidates. where is donald trump on the stop act? he has run his entire campaign on getting washington to work again. yes, we can talk about citizens united.
we can talk about finance reform. where is donald trump on the stop act? where is bernie sanders? it will take that type of leadership across the country. i think we can get it done. >> press club wire. i want to follow-up on the list of prospects for this legislation. how many cosponsors do you have, how many democrats and republicans and would you not need at least up to 100, and where does the leadership in the house stand? rep. jolly: i believe two democrats, -- we picked up 60 -- a few since 60 minutes and frankly not just because the 60 -- thatbecause of's because of constituencies calling up their congressmen. and that is the type of pressure we need.
what is required for the hearing? our colleague has about two sitting there. i think a leadership decision can do it. i do not buy the notion that you have to have 100 cosponsors to get a motion. trying to be constructive and saying we are not criticizing our colleagues but we are criticizing the system. i will be honest, we did a press conference in january and february, i spoke about the stop act several times, we solicited cosponsors, but it has slowed. that is where we have tried to bring the spotlight of the media to this so we could perhaps have leadership push for at least some type of hearing. >> you said you turned the campaign finance raising over. over to the campaign apparatus. do actually to the fundraising itself? i would imagine most donors want
to talk to the key guy and not a lackey. rep. jolly: that is the indictment of the current system. why is it a member of congress is more effective in soliciting campaign contribution than a finance minister for a campaign? -- than the finance director for the campaign? i mean, this really speaks to the heart of sick vegan issues we have one it is to the campaign-finance construct that governments elections. and so that also speaks to the pressure. you want to know the anger that develops. i say quiet anger but it is a real anger. you get up. you get appear, you are -- you told byere, you get leadership that your first responsibility is to raise money. the staff culture buys into the same narrative. i am sure rick has had this experience as well. i have seen other clips of members of congress.
their own staff is clearing their schedule and putting call time on it. their own staff is running interference because the staff is feeling the pressure from the same reelection requirements in the same leadership push to get the member into a call suite. i have got the greatest staff in the world but the people i answer to a 700,000 people in pennell's county, -- nellis pinellas county, florida, and i get to decide what i will do for the people in florida. you know, youth inc. -- you think you got elected to represent those people in pinellas county, but you got elected to be one more marble on our side of the aisle to keep a majority and to do that, you have got to raise $2 million. that makes me angry and that is
why i introduced the stop act. thomas: jamie? jamie: one is really quick. first, have you considered having an online competition to get the public to put pressure and show members of congress there is broad support for the idea in the general public? >> we did. we put all of our organizational aresources behind that. we created a website called thestopact.com. that introduces you both to what the act does and to some of the literature. rick refers to, this is based on facts. an orientation packet said, here is your schedule, 20 hours a week raising money, 10 hours a week, other networking. republicans have received call sheets, here is what you call and here's what you say. we have put much of the material online so the american people can see this. we asked people to use #stopact. promote this. we are trying to create a movement. you get a letter from someone in iowa or a professor and watch date, california and maine who says, thank you for doing this. democrats and independents, it is remarkable.
we've got the website and are trying to encourage people to use social media to get in touch with members of congress. i agree less address campaign-finance, but do not say it is dark money and transparency in all this. it is all of those issues, but do not talk about those issues to distract from the merits of the stop act. that is where we need the american people to keep a spotlight on this. >> wouldn't it just be simpler to have publicly financed congressional campaigns? rep. jolly: i would be happy to work on broad-based campaign-finance reform.
some talk public financing and some talk tax credits. it is a group called issue one, a bunch of members of congress. -- former members of congress. how can we begin to approach a balanced bipartisan bill that protects the constitutional rights of individuals to contribute with reasonable regulation? i know you will have a lot more to say. >> i'm a strong supporter of public financing in concert with a system of small donations. the congressman is been one of the leaders on that. that combined with some limits on how and when money can be spent i think is ultimately the answer. as long as citizens united is out there, it is kind of irrelevant. in my judgment, step one is to reverse citizens united and set to is to pass the stop act. then put in a system of small donations and public financing.
a number of states have done it and it seems to work well. i think that is where we have to go as a nation. >> i wanted to pose a question. it is not a senate race but this will be one of the most expensive house races in the country this year. you have raised over $1 million thus far this cycle. i'm curious how your involvement on a day-to-day basis affects how you are raising the money you need to win reelection. have you personally stopped
soliciting funds? >> no, i've not been in the call centers across the street. i come to washington and go to work. i must say when the congress is not in session, yes, i spent a considerable amount of time raising money. i have a self funded opponent who says he will spend whatever it takes to win the election contest. my last two were among the two most expensive in the country. this looks like it will probably be the single most expensive race in the country and i feel strongly about the issues i have brought to the table. including the stop act with mr. youy stop and that brings -- i applaud tom. i have not taken the pledge. i am tying to make sure i have got enough money to's -- to defend myself.
i mean, they are spending thousands of dollars against me in television ads right now as we speak. they ran some ads last fall accusing me of voting to find terrorists. and my staff -- i mean like, really? the guy runs a sawmill in a factory. he pedals newspapers. my staff did a poll and the staff came out and said only 3% of people believe the ad. i said really, that is a margin of victory in my district. so yes, i have got to have some money to get my own advertisements defending myself and getting it out there. i do not could i believe more strongly in this act. some of you may have seen that vanderbilt in virginia and others have done a study of the
effectiveness of congress and you are looking at one of the 10 most effective members of congress. it is not rocket science but you have got to show up when they bring an open rule. david and i are doing our business and doing our work and we get things done. that is hard when you are across the street dialing for dollars. that is why this is so important. >> you talk about the process as long as you have been doing this. and you bring up bernie sanders. is the system rate and are -- rigged? are things not getting them because of the money and can you tell us things congress will not do because the money does not want it? senator brown from ohio talks about how they cannot get enough get climate change
legislation. is that happening, in your perspective? >> is definitely happening. it is perverted and corrupt. have you seen an issue more front and center than immigration reform? we have not considered immigration reform. i have been here going on four years now. is there a reason congress cannot consider immigration reform? is there a reason congress cannot consider tax reform? is there a reason why congress cannot consider climate change? is there a reason why congress cannot consider a resolution that is the basis of continuing the middle east? is there some reason legislation comes up and they come up more often than not on a closed rule where no one can offer an amendment or at best, you have
to go before the rules committee yet maybe two or three amendments are hearing. i got one last week for veterans and service members on the interagency task force dealing with the abuse and use of the opioids. but like i have said for several hundred years, it was not uncommon to have hundreds of amendments and you were not limited to five minutes. you argued them till the debate was exhausted and then you had to vote. so yes. it is terribly corrupt of the political process and there are those who are doing just fine in our society and they're quite content with the status quo. they would like not to see the congress sitting down in a bipartisan way examining alternatives to the way we are doing business. especially the working men and
women across the country who are making less today than they were 20 years ago, paying more in many cases for health care were not getting any health care than they were 20 years ago, who see themselves and their pensions in danger, why don't we have a pension reform act considered? i could go on at great length and tell you how many issues congress is not debating or considering were not allowing a consideration of as a result of the process ignited by citizens united and then that exacerbated a need for the stop act. rep. jolly: i am very quickly, maybe it is because i an aging junior member of congress, i do not know if i've seen the heavy influence in campaigns contribution setting an agenda. i can tell you what you feel at the level of newer ventures is a bit of the influence. you see it with the scorecard community.
you do see that restrict an agenda often, because of political consequences going against a scorecard group is a risk that perhaps the caucus or leadership is not willing to take. i actually think you see a lot of the slowdown for two reasons. why have we not done border security or immigration reform? why don't we have obamacare replacement? why haven't we addressed the congressional position on the presidents foreign policy to a -- the aumf? two reasons. we are not really working full-time here. that is the whole point of the stop act. how much time are we put different -- half of the time is spent raising money. how much time are we devoting to
the issues of the country? in the face of growing crisis, you have got a part-time congress. the second, equally as damning, oftentimes congress makes a political calculation that it is safer not to touch a difficult issue. to simply go home in november and say, we promise we will do it next year. listen i would much rather do , border security and immigration reform bill, and stand in election in november to justify what is and is not in it and answering heart -- be hard questions and being held accountable about an immigration reform package and stand in november and try to explain why congress did not do anything on it. i think we are not doing anything on it because the political calculation is that it is safer not to touch it. that's wrong. as rick said, let's open up the floor of the house for the next six. let's have a debate over border security and immigration reform and see where that leads us. i would be proud to stand in november and justify how it turns out. >> i want to follow up on something you mentioned a few minutes ago. you mentioned donald trump. does not your legislation help self-funded candidates, millionaires, billionaires who do not have to ask for money, they can just write themselves a
check? rep. jolly: i think it reflects the reality of where we are already. as rick mentioned, citizens united and corporate money, and union money and the fact that they are self financed -- this is where we are already. this is where we can get to a better bipartisan campaign finance package and where we are now. does it help them? yes, but they already have an unfair advantage. you talk about super pac's and recognize, if we are not already in a cycle where it means very little, we will get there. look at the presidential race and look at the amount of money raised for bush's super pac as compared to simply his campaign committee. that's in most races. you have a congressional candidate in competitive races raises super pac out them by three times, five times, 10 times will stop if you take the contrast between a candidate's committee and the amount of money that can be raised by super pac's or what is self funders can do.
>> it's already out of whack, would this not make it worse? what is the point? rep. jolly: this is why i say congressional reform. truly. the great political scandal of our time right now is the fact that you have members of congress come to town for 3.5 days a week and spend more time raising money than doing their job. that is why i continue to call it a congressional reform. this is a scandal. this is a first-rate scandal. a bipartisan shakedown of the american people for members of congress sitting in call suites in washington dc when your constituents think you are working on behalf of the market people. the other night at 2:00 or 3:00 in the morning, i am flipping
channels. i came across "mr. smith goes to washington." i had not seen that in 30 years. i had not seen it as a remember of congress. it is the scene where he is trying to write legislation about creating a boys camp. he has all the idealism in the world and that is the point. he comes up against the longtime assistant who has been there. he starts walking him through all the inefficiencies. you have an idea. now what do you do? you judged the committee, then the chairman will do this, then the senate committee. all the inefficiencies. imagine if mr. smith goes to washington, if the assistant has said you do not have time to write that legislation. you have to spend 30 hours a week across the street, asking people for money. you know what happens in that scene? he introduced legislation that was appealing to the american people. if you remember, he started getting envelopes from boys with pennies and nickels and dimes, because it showed good
policies are what the american people want. it guess the response, it gets members of congress be elected, if you are doing right by the people. the people who send you here stop -- the people who sent you here. thomas: i'm glad you mentioned the movie. my favorite part is when they are at the national press club. [laughter] before i ask the last question, i would like to mention upcoming events. on tuesday, may 24, he does -- congressman andre carson ankita ellington, members of hundreds, who are muslim will be here to discuss islamophobia and the presidential election. may 26, the election -- the center for disease control be here to discuss the zika virus. june 13, we will have the head of the girl scouts of america here. i hope she brings cookies. my last question, tell me about your current relationship with the dccc and the nrcc? [laughter] the arrows out here.
i have a wonderfully good relationship with the dccc. in one respect, members of the congress are victims of citizens united, and the massive infusion of money into our campaigns and political process. if you intend to run for the election, it you believe in the stop act, if you believe in immigration reform, if you believe in any of the ideas that have been advanced for the resolution of problems we face as a nation, you had better have enough money to defend yourself and get your message out there. without money, you do not exist. we have seen the polling. if one candidate has got the money and the message, and you are sitting there with nothing, you lose. you don't necessarily have to have more, but you do have to have enough.
this country never operated that way before. i had an opportunity to see how it operated many years ago. those of us who studied our history and know our history, it did not work that way throughout most of our country's history. we have got to restore democracy. it is about congressional reform and campaign reform and bringing together a number of things that will get us back to a time when representatives went to washington and they were not intimidated by money. they were not driven by money. they were not compelled to raise lots of money. they came here to fix things and get things done under open rules and an open process.
whereby, that is why i support a system of small donations and public financing as well, so that you do have a level playing field out there. in many respects, any one of these things by itself is nowhere near as good as a package of half a dozen things to bring it all together. the public financing, the reversal of citizens united, the stop act, online voter registration, independent reapportionment. pull all that together and we can have a great renaissance in democracy in this country and restore it to the leadership role it has had in the world. that is getting away from us. the way change occurs is by people stepping up, like mr. jolly has here and i'm glad to be a part of it as well, by calling out honestly and with integrity what is wrong and advancing some ideas to fix it. that is what the stop act is all about and why i am glad to be a part of it.
rep. jolly: i have acknowledged this is a hard issue for many people to talk about. the stop act, there are hundreds of telemarketers in this town being asked to raise money for their parties. that is the reality. i'm not criticizing my colleagues, or the nrcc or dccc. let them raise as much money they want to. but i think we should remove members of congress from that process. we are one party and this is a difficult issue to talk about. i understand and support what the nrcc is doing, i just think members of congress should be removed from it. i worked for 13 years on staff and largely in my professional life, about 20 years, my predecessor, a wonderfully legislator and man by the name of bill young.
he came in in 1970. i was having dinner with his first chief of staff and he said, when we first got elected in 1970, the nrcc raise money for us, give us money. now we are in a world where you get elected as a new member of congress and you are given a bill. it is one of the worst kept secrets. people know that members of congress are told, here is how much you have to raise for the party based on your years of service or commitment -- committee assignments. i got a $400,000 bill this year and i am not paying it. does that put me on the outs a little bit? sure. does that mean we cannot find a way to continue to work together and support the nrcc?we are one party. this is a hard conversation we are having. i want to thank rick and the national press club in each one of you for taking the interest on the spirit we need the help of the american people to start a movement out of this. we need to pass the stop act. thank you very much.
>> i truly don't know how much of this is khan's to to show. i really put a hard and soul into trying to solve this. that is a hard question. >> i am sure. legislationparency act. ofthink there are a lot republicans out there concerned about secret money in this case? >> i wrestled with, we have made an election where 13 or $14 million is made. my campaign made 1.3. you have a lot on tv where you did not know who is touting. i thought, what if you have legislation that says any outside has to get -- at least the voters face accountability of the message. the problem is that creates unlimited reporting issue so
that does not work. i thought there might be something there but at the end it could make it to worse. >> i think the american people are frustrated by the lack of transparency. [indiscernible] >> i assume you are raising money off this as well. >> there are unsolicited contributions coming in. we still have a finance director who is responsible for raising fines. the result of myself not making solicitations? of worse. i think we should deal with the stop act stop is the stop act resonating louder than any other issue? yes. -- policy makes for good
i am going to continue to talk about it. >> on much of you raised? >> i truly don't know. i know online -- you would have to look. minutes, 5000,0 10 thousand, $15,000. a woman sent in money. > $400,000 -- >> you said they gave you a bill. $400,000. >> you are given dues and i think this has been looked at. some calculation based on the number of years you have in the committee and you are expected to meet those dues. the first session i was in was only six months or so so i think it was about $80,000.
i think we may have missed that. the next full term was $400,000 a senate candidate, it is easy for me to say we are not linked to do it but how can you ask somebody -- if i was in a can i go13 race, how back and say i need another $400,000. >> and of course, the nrc disputed that. >> they disputed that? >> there was a memo calling you a liar. rep. jolly: [laughter] i think the lie was that the meeting never took place. i said if they wanted to name names i would be happy to do that. look, that was in integrity hit.
i am not trying to judge colleagues. they went straight at my integrity. i went to microsoft outlook, printed in the meeting notes from the calendar that day, printed the meeting notes from the calendar, where the request comes from the leadership. i said, if you want to ramp it up, we will. i don't want to. hopefully, cooler heads will prevail. ask anybody in town who contributes to local parties, they get solicitations. that is the way you meet your goals. >> you had a lot to say about, where is bernie trump and -- donald trump and bernie sanders. what is your response to donald trump saying, it is all my money, and bernie talking about the system is corrupt?
have you spoken to them or anyone? rep. jolly: i obviously don't have inroads with donald trump. >> no one has any inroads. [laughter] >> i think we tried a little solicitation to see if we could get his campaign interested. i want to know where donald trump is on this issue. if people like bernie sanders and donald trump talk about it if donald trump would talk about it we could get this passed. i need the help of every american. this includes the retiree and i was and this includes donald trump. i need the help of everyone. [indiscernible] [chatter]
>> nowadays it's -- they say it takes 17 hour days to pay for education. when did so many of us get there? [indiscernible] rep. nolan: it's a journey. you have to pay it back. the next generation will have the same benefits we had, maybe make them a little better. that's what drives me. [indiscernible] rep. nolan: i think the limits that are there, 2700 for the primary, 2700 for the general, those are reasonable. in the absence of a small donor public financing system. but that is not what released
all the secret to money. all the dark money. that was citizens united. >> their people arguing that citizens united was amplifying the things that the candidates themselves want. they say that the parties are more accountable than the super pac groups. rep. nolan: there might be some truth to that. let's stand by the podium. now you can say what you really want to say. [laughter] >> can we have a press club thing on the front of it? >> all right. perfect. great. >> thank you. >> that's great. >> good luck to you.
>> thank you. [chatter] announcer: democratic presidential candidate bernie sanders is in california today for a campaign rally ahead of that state campaign rally. live coverage at 11:00 p.m. eastern on c-span two. deal and theuclear white house messaging strategy on the agreement are the focus of a house oversight committee meeting today. live coverage begins at 10:00 a.m. eastern on c-span3. secretary, we probably 70 of oury give
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of the lgbt equality caucus on gay and transgender rights. ld trum's tax policy proposals. ♪ ♪ host: welcome to "washington journal." tonight, bernie sanders hold a rally in california. you can see that on c-span at 11:00 this evening. the director of national intelligence says federal employees and contractors looking for security clearances will have to undergo having their social media accounts and -- some observers of the court say there were only eight members serving in light of the death