tv Executive- Legislative Branch Relations Panel at William Mary CSPAN August 27, 2019 10:05am-11:22am EDT
joint -- joined carl grove and jim hodges for a discussion about the relationship between the executive and legislative branches and a polarized air and. former abc white house correspondent and constant program. the it was held at the college of william and mary. ann: thank you very much, and we have an incredibly talented group of people to give you hopefully, some real perspective that you have not considered before on our topic today. let me introduce them one by one. first, the president, madam president of the national conference of state legislatures, representing illinois' 47th district, senator toi hutchinson. [applause] ms. compton: former united states senator and former governor of the commonwealth of virginia, george allen. [applause]
ms. compton: former governor of south carolina, jim hodges. [applause] former majority leader of the u.s. house of representatives, virginia's own eric cantor. [applause] ms. comes in: and finally a , former senior adviser and deputy chief of staff in the white house for george w. bush, the amazing karl rove. -- carl grove. [applause] ♪ ms. compton: doesn't it always seem that the moment we are living in is the most chaotic, the most dysfunctional that we have ever seen in american politics? except we know looking back at american politics, it is really not.
what you all to explore what it is at the federal level and at the state level that has made this government so dysfunctional and so problematic, and how, looking forward, are there ways that all of you can help get past that? when i graduated from college in virginia, i went right into my first job. i covered the virginia state legislature for wdbj television in roanoke. and talk about dysfunctional. the first republican governor had just been elected since reconstruction with a democratic lieutenant governor and a democratic attorney general who wanted to be the democratic governor. and capitol square in richmond was a war zone just to walk between the attorney general's office and a governor's mansion. and then the phone rang when i was down in the basement of the state capital in the press room, and it was abc news asking if i would come up and be interviewed to be in network correspondent. in 1974, after just four
years in virginia, i go up and abc news sends me into the white along, just north weeks after president richard nixon had left on the south lawn, the only president in history to resign in disgrace. talk about constitutional crises. talk about times when the american fabric of our society has been torn apart with protests against the vietnam war, watergate, civil rights. so, let me ask each of you now orcome up with some ideas, some thoughts, and i am actually going to go out of order and i will start with governor allen, i'm sorry, governor hodges of south carolina, because you come from estate that is now not only reliably red in terms of voting,
democraticwhere the primary candidate can be decisive for democrats. talk about not only your experiences governor, but your experience on the national stage as one of the cochairs of president obama's campaign. governor hodges? mr. hodges: first of all, thank you for choosing beauty ahead of age rather than george. it is great to be here. and i very much enjoyed last night's presentation as well. think, as you pointed out, everybody believes the times they operated in were run better than what is currently happening. that is always the case. i imagine george washington probably cursed thomas jefferson and talked about how bad things were with jefferson in charge, and it seems that things are different with people in political office. i will say this, i think -- my observation growing up in a small mill town in south carolina, and seeing the changes
that have occurred, i have an appreciation for why we have the trouble that we have. we are in a country that is politically-divided roughly 50-50, when you look at elections and how people vote. generally, every election is indicates50, which people have starkly different views on our country. when you think about it have been through in the past decade, you understand people's lack of trust in our institutions. we have had wars, we have had the great recession, we have a situation where people who were over 60 were in jobs that seemed more permanent, and now they are not. we have moved from defined benefit plans to 401(k) plans to sometimes no retirement at all. we have had people who haven't had wage increases for periods of time. and we have opioid problems. you go through the list of things going on, the rural communities in our country suffered a great deal, and i
think you begin to understand some of the issues that are out there, and people's lack of trust in institutions to solve these problems. because they believe that whether it is corporate america or banks, or elected officials , like us, many of them believe they have been let down and they have a lack of confidence. d then you add to that, i know this has been talked about here. we used to have a water cooler conversation around the three networks, what they provided, or what the local newspaper provided in terms of news. and then we have this dispersed we have this dispersed opportunity to get data that we want. we have the opportunity to shut out things you don't want to hear. and i think more people are choosing avenues where their views are reinforced rather than being educated. i say all that is a prelude to, i understand why things are harder now than they once were. ofn you stack that on top
the system in washington that seems designed around keeping things from happening, rather than making things happening, it frustration, not only for policymakers like eric and others, but also for the american public. but at the state level, i think there is a good reason why things work at her. one is that virtually every state has to pass a budget every year. and you can jam a lot of things in the budget, and you are doing things that affect teacher pay raises and the environment, and criminal justice, and things that are important to people, but you have to get that budget done. so it makes states seem more , functional. and in many ways, they probably are because they have these impediments they have to get done to be able to keep things going. ms. compton: well, your colleague, george allen, you were not only governor, but but you experienced a republican government with a democratic legislature, but of course, you come up and you arrive in
washington, and you have the washington experience as well. you once compared the pace in the united states senate when you got there as moving at the pace of a wounded sea slug. what? [laughter] mr. allen: it is true, i did say that. generally, overall, i look at fromountry and our society where i grew up as a family. where we ought to have a meritocracy regardless of everyone's background, race, ethnicity, whatever, has the equal opportunity to compete and succeed on a level playing field. and i like to see action and things done. as governor, i made more decisions in one morning than you do in one week in the senate. maidenfact, my first speech in the senate was on
behalf of a judicial candidate, roger gregory, who was in your previous panel on the judiciary, and is now chief judge of the fourth circuit court of appeals. mike thomas and i met with him right after i got sworn in, and he had been nominated by president clinton right at the end of his term. and is typical of the senate, it was held up and nothing happened, but he was on the bench. now, the republicans were in control of the senate. president bush was soon to be inaugurated a few weeks later. think thatd i, and i is you over there, chief justice -- that is you. good, thank you. judicial recognition. anyway, i talked with the candidate to see what his judicial philosophy was. i was so proud to listen to him earlier today, and was so glad to see everyone applauding to his commitment to the rule of law and the constitution and our
representative democracy. well, i ended up thinking, yeah, when i went in to see a judge, i was skeptical that he was a clinton appointee, but i got to know him as a person, his qualifications and capabilities. and my first speech of the senate floor was to ask my colleagues to go above all it takes and process and so forth, and judge roger gregory as an individual. i remember karl rove said, i saw -- i remember carl grove said, i saw the speech you made down there. what do you think of it? i said, i may be wrong, but my point of view is that you all ought to interview him as well and i think he will be just as impressed as i was. and it just took forever. so, president bush re-nominated him, along with about a dozen other judges he nominated, and it just took forever to get the senate to vote for him, and the most opposition was from fellow republicans. and i was just getting aggravated and more aggravated,
and i said, it doesn't matter. we have enough votes for him. and one of them who will remain nameless i am still upset, , president clinton nominated him. i said, i do care, just vote, darn it. just take it to a vote! and we finally got the vote. gregory is the first advocate american deserve on the fourth circuit court of appeals. i used thad cochran's desk for the final vote. his desk, as everyone knows it, is jefferson davis' desk. and there was a young person, bill thomas's son who was a page, african-american. they always ask senators, do you want a drink of water, i said, sure. i said, by the way, i will give a speech now and we will finally get a vote of the first african-american on the fourth circuit court of appeals, and i will give the speech on jefferson davis' desk.
and young mr. thomas said, that is really cool. [laughter] mr. allen: but that is how the senate operates, very slowly. they need to set priorities, they need to have the governor not only pass a budget, there needs to be a balanced budget. you set priorities. you can say "yes" to everything. and i think the states are going to be the way we repel the -- the way we propel the federal government to finally have a balanced budget. secondly, they need to get back to basics. it is awful. susan and i will be watching people when the government shut and they did not pass the budget. workers, i am thinking, oh my goodness, and the real world if you don't get , your job done, you don't get paid. i think members of congress, their salaries ought to be withheld if they don't get appropriations' bills done on
time and get back to basics. [applause] mr. allen: then at the state level, we need redistricting reform so we have more fair, compact districts, rather than these maps that look like somebody flung spaghetti at the state map. and that is your congressional districts. i think voters ought to be choosing their leaders rather than politicians picking their voters. [applause] ms. compton: well, thank you, governor. let's before over to the white house. carl, you are the only one on this panel, who as far as i know, you never have run for office. --, boy mr. grove: demonstrating my superiority over my colleagues. [laughter] ms. compton: but when you look at the balance between the legislative and the executive from your perch at the white house all those years and our campaigns, what do you blame for the dysfunction? mr. grove: well, first of all,
thanks for having me. grave of all, i will do damage to governor hodges' reputation by agreeing with him. we are in a disruptive moment in american politics, where the two artie's are at each other's throats, where washington doesn't seem to work, where we are going to a populist moment. but the good news is, we have been here many times before. the first time there was a physical altercation on the floor of the united states congress was in 1796, when two congressmen went at each other with hand irons inled out of the fireplace the representative chamber. we have had populist moments before. my sense is governor yardley went home after the first meeting in the house of burgess -- to hiso is wife,
wife honey, you can't imagine , what a bunch of morons we have in the house of burgess. and this has been happening continually. and if you think it is bad today, there are times that have been worse. look like people are around the fireplace singing kumbaya. the gilded age makes today look -- in 1889 and 1890, the opening 5.5 months of the 1889 legislative session, the house of representatives does not pass a single bill, because the democrats in the minority announced they would not answer the roll call, and by doing that, they would deny the house to conduct business. this they would deny the house the quorum to conduct business. it took the supreme court. so look, this is continual. we will have to work our way through this. unfortunately, one of the things required to work our way through
it, is to have leadership at the white house at basically rises above the normal knickknack back and forth. you know? we came into office in 2001 under slightly difficult circumstances. there was this little thing called florida, you may remember it dimly. as a result, bush felt compelled to make certain that his colleagues on the democratic side of the aisle understood he was the president of everybody. so, the first member of the u.s. house he met with was george miller, the ranking democrat on , to talk and labor about education reform. the first member of the senate he talked to was not the republican leader, senator lott, it was senator kennedy, because he wanted to send a signal. learned atng that i the white house was that personal relationships between the president and the congress, even with members, and most importantly with members of the
opposition have to be aimed at cordiality. the president cannot get drawn into this stuff. he has to rise above it and be the adult in the room and take away.er is hurled he is kennedy of massachusetts said on july 4, 2003, bush lied about wmd in iraq. he knew that was a lie. he looked at the same intelligence, came to the same conclusion bush had, gave a speech and said, we need to use diplomacy and not force. but he was the guy who picked it off. but that did not keep bush from holding his tongue, trying to set the record straight and working very closely with kennedy for three years from 2005-2007 on immigration reform. but the president has to be that was in, and it is not an easy job. i remember one time i got a call from harry reid who said, i gave a speech, i didn't read it before hand. they just wrote it, and i called
bush a liar and a loser, and i did not mean to call them a loser. [laughter] mr. grove: will you tell them, i'm sorry? i said, senator, i have a schedule here, he is in the oval and he doesn't have anything on the schedule. and you can apologize yourself? click. [laughter] mr. grove: whether a president, like it or not, personal relationships matter. i can't tell you how many people, to me, i see representative goodlatte here, and some of his colleagues said, if you had told me i would have spent more time at the white house under a republican president than a democratic president, i would've laughed at you, but i did. that was because bush understood simply being able to look at andbody is a human being, not as some cut out that you bought on amazon of your political opponents so you could take it around to the town hall meetings and berate them to your face. that is important. ms. compton: it is not often i
get to say madam president. madam president, toi hutchinson, who was also senator hutchinson of illinois, you are here representing state legislatures. and there is a sense among many people that may be states work a lot better in terms of bipartisanship than the federal government. what have you seen, how do you see in the state legislature and also in the national conference of state legislatures, what is the secret sauce. -- what is the secret sauce? ms. hutchinson: if i had a secret sauce i could sell, i wouldn't be doing this. [laughter] ms. hutchinson the national : conference of state legislatures has 7300 legislatures across the country. and they are both democrat and republican. the interesting thing up -- the interesting thing about our
conference is you can have a conversation with someone for 10 minutes and then go, are you a d or an r? as opposed to if you go across the country, if you cross the middle of the street, you might be libertarian, we look at almost everything for partisan -- we look at almost everything through a partisan lens right now. what happens in the states, one of the think the governor mentioned, we have rules and procedures put in place that you can't go around. a budget has to be done at a certain time. there are constitutional things that say you have to do x by this time, and that requires conversation, that requires participation in a way that we don't see it when it is constant, like a rolling calendar that never ends. in those moments, you get to what we are all alluding to, personal relationships. our body politics now, if i know you and i know just who had
a new baby and new grandchildren , who just got diagnosed with cancer and whoever office, it is difficult for me to call you a liar when i disagree with you, because i know you. so, we are missing personal relationships with people. where people talk about the old about how ronald reagan and tip o'neill would fight it out on the floor and then have a drink afterwards. our senate president makes it a point to have a dinner with all the democrats and all the republicans over the course of the session. so every night we have a dinner. ,and the first thing we kick off in our illinois state dinner is a conversation between republicans and democrats. it is the first thing we do after we settled offices. when we add the fact that we are not talking to each other and we are living in a place where everyone is screaming at each other as opposed to talking to each other, and that is exacerbated by this social-media loop and echo chamber. it also bleeds into our
elections to where we never stop campaigning. and if you never stop campaigning, it is almost impossible to govern. so, what we are seeing right now is this endless loop that is almost self fulfilling all the way around. operatestates to slightly different than the federal government. one because we are closer to home. two because we have procedures in place that make us have to reach certain deadlines. 90%the other thing is that of most state legislators across the country will tell you, 90% of the bills on the floor fly out unanimously. no big issues, very quietly. there is not a big partisan wrangling. you kind of understand that if you have a problem in a district, if it is a water problem in a district, it is not republican water or democrat water, it is just water. and when you know you're going to meet someone at the grocery store next to the eggs and they are going to stop you and said,
you know what, i heard -- when you know you're going to have those conversations, you try to elevate. it doesn't mean that the 10% of things we do that are partisan are significantly partisan. and they are so because so many of our national issues have nationalized state politics at the local level. and there is a danger in that sudden,then all of a things we never used to fight about we fight about. such as, infrastructure. we all know we need infrastructure. it is hard to be exceptional without infrastructure. those other things that did not used to be partisan. so this endless loop we are in right now, i think there are state legislators across the country that are determined to know their colleagues, have to compromise and work with their colleagues. also, understand that you can be polarized, but still get things done. and when i say polarize, i mean, you can think totally ideologically different, but it does not mean we are not passing
bills. doesn't have to equal gridlock. and gridlock is much harder at the state level, considering the procedures and policies we have in place. ms. compton: thank you. eric cantor, you are the only one on this stage who has been majority leader of your party in the united states house of representatives. talk about trying to get things done. think, from your perspective of it, what do you think maybe has worked in the past, and how important is that relationship between members in the house of representatives? mr. cantor: first of all, i am not so sure there is one secret that is going to be the panacea to all of the ills that affect our system today. i would say that there was some validity to what the senator was talking about in the legislative process, to know your colleagues, especially those on the other side of the aisle. because it is very tempting
right now to assume a posture of entrepreneurial, kind of a entrepreneurial, kind of a policy entrepreneur, where you are in competition with the other side and you are loaded every day given the incoming assaults or attacks coming from the other side. that wouldn't overrate element, maybe you call it social diplomacy, because you know, i think a lot of us grew reaganort of that ronald /tip o'neill myth, and reality back then, that everyone was going to get along and have a drink at the end of the day together. i think we would have been disappointed if we relied on that. i think maybe incrementalism -- right now, incrementalism is i think very underrated. because in this age of no compromise, by definition,
incremental progress is a compromise. but you know, i think you need that in order to start to build the trust and respect among colleagues in a legislative body so that you almost have like memory muscle, the it is ok to work with other people that may not come from your perspective. and you know, i saw it in the federal level in congress. this individual probably doesn't want me to say this right now, but i can tell you i had a great working relationship with joe biden. know, he was obviously on the others of the aisle as vice president when i was majority leader. and we had a relationship where you could pick up the phone, call them, and because we had experience in working almost on a routine matter -- working almost on routine matters. so when we aren't that trust , between each other, if you recall some of the debt ceiling days and everything else, we
actually had the trust we were going to tell each other the truth, and we could deal with it one way or the other, but there was no monkeying around about it. i wouldn't say no b.s., but it was a great productive , productive -- it was a great, productive, relationship. secondly, i think the temptation right now with things being so binary, it is either win or lose, it is your side of the others, the temptation is to want to assume what moves the other side, and assume that you are either going to get their vote or not, and really that assumption takes the place of any real conversation. and we saw this on the republican side of the aisle. we felt very strongly in the original days of president obama's administration. if you remember, it was right after the financial collapse,
lehman brothers, bear stearns, and the economy was shedding jobs at 400,000 a month. and president obama had said he wanted to do a bill that was later dubbed the stimulus bill. in the end, i was the whip at the time, so i took the brunt of this. republicans did not give up one vote for that bill. now, if you had one of their administrators here today, they would say wait a minute, we were bipartisan because we inserted things in the bill that your party traditionally supported. there was no skews for you not to support. but remember, you know, we are all political creatures. you know, leadership in the congress of the time had the obligation to look for the priorities that our membership had an our constituents one it's so we could go back and tell them, and instead of a productive dialogue, there was just a presumption made. so i think assuming rather than engaging is probably an ill you could easily repair.
the importancey, of remembering. and this is something for me now in the commercial and business world that is very different become sick -- very different because it comes naturally. you have to find a win-win situation if you are in business. you have to. whether you are in a publicly traded company or not, shareholders or the rest, you have people who have to be able to say, win-win. we gotta remember that in the political context because every single policymaker or elected official has a constituency that he or she is going to go home to , and believe me, that individual doesn't want to go home and say, hey, i got taken to the cleaners on that deal, but i voted for it anyway. that is not happening. way or the highway, andwin, or i lose, or i win you lose, it is very difficult to see how you make progress.
to the point the governor made earlier, in this age of social media and the hyperbole that dominates the discussion online, it is a really difficult thing to achieve right now, when what we are really talking about is win-win for everybody. ms. compton: carl, you want to jump in there? mr. grove: i have never told you this, but i had an experience in 2001 the reflected on your visit to the cabinet room. i have a great pal named ben stein. [laughter] mr. grove we were supposed to : have dinner one night in washington, d.c., we happened to both be there, and he called me up and said, carl would you like , to have dinner with larry summers? i said, yeah, but he is not going to want to have dinner with me, the national economic council director for president obama. he said, he would love to meet you. weird story. anyway, we end up having dinner. ben stein, a comic and economist, larry summers, and his wife who is a poetry professor at harvard, and me.
and out during the course of the dinner larry summers spends half , the dinner talking about the indonesian economy. afterwards i sighed to ben, what was that about? he said, he wanted to show you he is the smartest guy in the room. but during the course of the evening, somerset, i don't understand why we only got 11 republicans to vote for the stimulus bill. i said, that is interesting, can you explain that? he said, let me ask you a couple of questions. i said, were you in the room in the cabinet room when the president set cut off eric cantor, who was supposed to present the republican option for the stimulus bill by saying, i won. he said, i was there. i said did you see anything , wrong with that? he said, no. i said, did you ever contemplate asking the republicans what it would like in the package? he said, no, we had the right package. and i said, did you ever go to
capitol hill and the with the republicans, and say, boys, -- boys and girls, what did you want -- what do you want? no, we had national economic council meetings and we made the decision for what is right for the economy. and i said, why use -- why shoot -- i said, why would you be surprised nobody voted for your bill if you didn't give them a seat at the table? sometimes you have to sit back and say, eric, what do you want? we will put that in our thing. they have to do that even with little or no anticipation of getting your vote. saying, i won, is like saying, i am not going to pay attention to you. it goes back to what toi said a little bit. you have to deal with people. and sometimes the best thing, and i sure the governor did it when he was governor. i know governor allen was forced to do it because he was dealing with demo rats. he have to put in with the other side wants in order to say we're all in this together. the dinner took place in a korean restaurant in washington, d.c., the smallest town in america, everything gets out,
but no one has ever reflected on this. showing that larry summers was not really followed around by the press, although he did have a secret service detail and an armored up suv, which i never saw the national economic council director under bush have. i always told him that andy was a cheapskate. o.b. would never allow you to have an armored up suv, particularly if you were the national economic council director. ms. compton: let me ask you, gerrymandering. you talked about gerrymandering. >> can you all here? ms. compton: gerrymandering! [shouting] [laughter] we will start with governor alan. mr. allen: the question was on gerrymandering! [laughter] mr. allen gerrymandering, and : have an example, eric cantor,
on some other problems in washington. and in governance generally, you need to listen to the other side. i see chief alston here. there you are. i learned a lot as governor listening to virginia indians, something i knew nothing about. it was not an issue i run on, but you need to listen to people and learn about all the people. it is best if you actually run an election based on the agenda and ideas, and if you are given the honor of serving, you keep your promises. it helps. with a democratic-controlled legislature, every bill, you had to get a democrat sponsor on truth in sentencing and abolition, welfare reform, educational standards and so , and gerrymandering fits
into this. we had a commission on juvenile justice. they said juveniles were dangerous, they were stealing gum and hubcaps. anyways, we had a commission to make the streets safer, and some juveniles are very dangerous. the democrats had another commission that looked at how you could turn kids around who just need a structure in their life. and so, we were ready for a big confrontation, us versus theirs. and i said, will you know, our crew was looking at the dangerous folks. the ones who can be turned around. why don't we bring out the best of both? take the best of their ideas to turn kids around they need structure and discipline in ours, and itd take ended up passing like 95-2, or something like that. computers, they come up with these districts that what
legislators are worrying about is a primary. they are not worried about the general election. eric cantor getting knocked out that here you have a majority leader from our commonwealth of virginia, he gets knocked out in a primary, and he was accused of being too friendly with the obama administration. ms. compton: too moderate. mr. allen: yes, he gets knocked out. and then with this ocasio-cortez, representative in new york winning, the democrats are finding that same fear. and part of this is because of thattricting, that they -- they end up, the politicians create districts that are convoluted districts. i got hit by it when i was in congress for 14 months. they split down our log house on a gravel road and split it five different ways.
and i ran for governor. they probably should have left the district alone and it would not have to deal with me as governor. [laughter] mr. allen: but it has gotten so truly that the worry is, can i win my primary? if you get to a situation that carl or eric, or governor hodges is talking about, where you find a consensus, that is the compromise is akin to capitulation. and so, we need to have districts that are more compact, more contiguous. splittinga, they are because so many precincts and people don't even know who they are voting for. the town of culpepper, was 15,000 people, is divided into three senate districts. you know? who was responsible for the town of culpepper? one of the three senators in that district in virginia. this has to be solved at the state level. the supreme court made that decision. virginia has a really good process going on right now.
vivian watts and ken plum, what passed is outstanding. equal number of democrats and republicans and independents, you need at least one from the others to pass it. if you press it again next year, -- if you passed again next year, it goes to the voters for ratification. and it is absolutely essential that it gets done this year regardless of who is in charge, so we don't have in virginia unelected federal judges, and commissioners from uc irvine drawing legislative maps here in the commonwealth of virginia. so the states need to take the lead. i like virginia is doing. other states have done it in a different way. i think the virginia approach you all crafted last year is outstanding, and the best of all, and the legislature has to approve it. ms. compton: real quick. governor hodges, then eric. mr. hodges: when i think of gerrymandering, i have a brother in 1980 4, 2 walter mondale
in 1984,ually be -- told me that walter mondale would beat ronald reagan, because everyone he knew was voting for mondale. i told him, mark, you need to get out more, you might see things differently. [laughter] mr. hodges i think about : gerrymandering in those terms, because district are drawn like that. the perspective i have about this, and i think george talked about a number of important points on gerrymandering, but here is the thing that is most important. i have college tell me when i was a legislator or that they did not believe -- legislator that they didn't believe poverty existed in south carolina. and i thought, you know, you would be better served living in a district where you had rich people and poor people, he had corporations and shop owners, where you had to learn to navigate dealing with all those different constituencies. and i found over the years that the best legislators, and i am sure it is true in virginia, that those who served
communities that had to deal with lots of different issues, and navigate that politically and balance those. that is really how policy is made. and i think that is the big danger of gerrymandering and how we do reapportion it now. we are homogenizing districts in way that people cannot communicate effectively, and people don't really understand what is going on in their state. ms. compton: that is true. mr. cantor: the times we are in are also different now than when this controversy first started. since i have been in the legislative body a long time ago, it was right before george became governor, so 1991 was when i first served in the house of delegates. but if you look at what is happening today, if you look at the senate of the united states right now, only nine states out of 50, only nine have a divided senatorial delegation, meaning
there is a republican and a demo at together serving that state, which tends to say, hey, it is not gerrymandering in the senate. this is self-electing, if you will. and i think it is less than a quarter of the population of the united states actually lives in the state where there is a divided government in the legislature. so, and away, people are beginning to sort of live with, or think like people they live with, and choose to do that. which goes to i think the point george made. if you stick to the priority of being community representatives, and really make it so that you try and pay attention to political boundaries, you naturally force -- i think what governor hodges is saying -- to try and have an individual that can take into consideration more than just one way of looking at things. ms. compton: for the national conference of state legislatures , this is a huge issue. ms. hutchinson: yes, we have a commission on it and we study it.
and there is a lot of conversation about the country about it. we are talking about district packing. when there is national gerrymandering conversations, and a look of the congressional delegations versus what is happening the state legislatures, we have examples that went to the supreme court about whether or not there would be a change, but they kicked it back to the state. i serve in a district in illinois where on paper, it doesn't look like i could be senator at all. not at all. most people would assume an african-american legislator would have on all african-american district. it goes to some other myths that what people can represent everybody, but black people will only be the representative for the black people. and i don't represent a district that is like that. i ended up having to learn to have conversations, listen better, listen harder, listen more. talk to various different people in ways that before i was
elected, i did not even know i had those muscles. it really does make you a better legislator when you are forced to listen to people who do not look like you, don't have the same experiences you have. and district packing stopped that. when you have an entire district where you only have to deal with your base of people, you never have to go outside those things and figure out how somebody else lives. thing you come to a legislative body in your face with this reality. how do you negotiate with someone you are supposed to kill? how do you do that? it is difficult to walk into a room and negotiate. there is no such thing as negotiation absent good faith. there is no good faith if there is no trust and there was no trust if i don't know you. ,e talk on a regular basis legislators across the country when we come to our national summit, it will be in nashville, tennessee, august 5 and that will be one of the topics we discussed.
. legislatures are charged to deal with this. review with so many more things to do than simply pulling together districts that would have worked 20, 30 or 40 years ago. because there is what eric said, self selection. people are moving into places and choosing to live with people they know and are comfortable with, and that they share common ideals and values, history and culture. there is nothing necessarily inherently wrong with that. it is just that it is happening at the same time. that the way we receive our media and information is also self-selecting. we also can stay in our own bubbles, stay in a place and in a zone where we only listen to ideas that reinforce the way we think. i remember being in a town hall and i said, who in here wants me to tell them the truth? every hand shot up, tell it like it is. i said, wait a minute, the minute i say something you don't agree with, you will stop clapping. and that is the difference between campaigning in governing.
when i am campaigning, i need smiles, claps, and applause. when i am governing, i need to get with people in a room that think differently than i do and figure out how to move the ball forward, and i can't do that if there is no benefit to my constituency. so, we are living in a world now when you don't get a benefit from being bipartisan or compromising. but you also have a large that theydissonance will turn around and say at the same time, we just want you to get things done. [laughter] ms. hutchinson how do you get : things done, you sent me into kill them and now i can't negotiate. nothing is happening. we all end up so frustrated and we end up with these systems where most general people will talk about how they hit the institutions. that they know their person and they like their person. they like their person. they will come out and say, a hit congress, they don't do anything, all politicians are liars, tricks and thieves but not you. [laughter]
ms. hutchison you are doing such : a great job. everybody is like, really? sharedt gets reinforced, , and from facebook instagram this waiter to the memes. kind, butys really also kind of heartbreaking whenever i walk into someone -- walk up to someone, and they say, i did not know you. i enjoy talking to you. i didn't know you thought that way. or, i disagree with everything you just said, but i appreciate the fact that you believed strongly in what you just said and i will give you a chance. those encounters are becoming more and more rare because we able to come into our own little corner, and not when i see -- and when i see another person, i am hoping that i am not wondering whether or not this is a real human face. whether or not you are republican or democrat, or
anywhere on the spectrum, but that i see human being worthy of having discussion with. hurts with where we are today as a result of that. and i don't know what the answers are to that, but i do know that it is worth continuing to fight about it. it is worth continuing to debate about it. it is worth being in the arena to try to solve it because it is the only place that it is going to happen, absolutely in the states. [applause] ms. compton: i want to turn to a question. i will start with carl. problem,mmunications' the people finding their own comfort zone, the proliferation of cable news, internet sites, the less influence of the major
networks, the less influence of that morning newspaper -- i hope some of you still get them on your doorstep every morning -- is it the fault of media? i tend to blame the digital age itself for changing these communications. crawl? mr. grove: yeah, technology is the enemy. we must take all the machines and break the internet. [laughter] we must destroy electricity and return to a purer, simpler more faithful age. [laughter] look, social media is corrosive. social media is bringing as back to a point where we sort of cocoon in our own comfortable sources of information. on the other hand, we have been there before. the country began in an image in we got oure in which information primarily from newspapers almost exclusively, and they were party organs controlled by politicians.
big example not too far from here in richmond, in the run-up to the 1800 campaign, thomas jefferson but a notorious slander and libelous article on the whigs. he proceeded to write the first editorial that mr. jefferson had sired a child by a slave, so jefferson got a comeuppance for having hired the notorious mr. caulder. but we went through this age, and we went through an age of technological change. think about the moment and then 1840's when selling information began to be shared instantaneously across the country. before, it took weeks for something to go from boston to new orleans, but they invention of the telegraph brought an instantaneous national news
network. talk about the technological change of 1870's one along comes powered machines and we have a proliferation of every kind of newspaper. there are 13 daily newspapers in in 1896, which was down from their previous high. and again you picked the kind of , information he wanted. imaginative political revolutions of radio in the 1920's and television in the 1950's. so, our entire country's history has been one way or, how we receive information -- has been one way or, how has been one where how we receive information and how we process it, how we can check its sources and authenticity has constantly been challenged the technology. social media in particular is coarse and vulgar and corrosive. and the internet, i have a friend who was 94 years old.
she was was 1 -- one of the founders of the modern republican party in virginia. she sends me these emails but -- but she sends me these emails that she sends around her fellow ancient blue head republican gals. and it is funny. one says alexander ocasio-cortez is the son of aliens from mars. it's not true. oh, it isn't? well, then let me go ahead and change that. [laughter] mr. grove: and this goes on all the time, and you have to worry about it. it is corrosive. and's, oro if's, bud's about it. we have to find a way to deal with it. >> let me make a point. i look at the internet as the greatest invention since the gutenberg press for the dissemination of ideas. the representative democracy, who are the owners of the government? the people. so the people decide. the reason newspapers are dying, people can get biased information for free on the internet. people realize -- human beings
have a position and a view. reporting too much has turned into columns and editorials. before all of those wonderful milestones in history, if it weren't for the gutenberg press, who would've read those 95 theses that martin luther nailed to the church? the gutenberg press got those ideas out that led to the protestant reformation. i am not promoting that. >> reagan was a great baptist, thank you very much. [laughter] mr. allen: jefferson said, whether somebody believes in one god, 10 gods, or five gods, it doesn't break my legs or pick my pocket. so religious freedom means you , believe what you want, and you will not be diminished on account of it. but the internet, i think the social media that is changed
compared to the newspaper, letters to the editor, you had to put your name to it. now, it is anonymous. so, now -- so now, it is this ranting and hyperbole, and the media is on top of it. they used to talk about sensational headlines, it is now clickbait. everything is hyped up, and it is not just the bloggers who do that. it is all of them. mainstream media. ms. hutchinson: there are no bumpers are guardrails. mr. allen: there are no bumpers, it is called freedom. and people need to realize that just because it is in the newspaper on the internet doesn't necessarily mean it is true. you need to trust, but verify. mr. cantor: and we are about to see this go to the next stage , when you got video that is going to be, you know, put together, and these fake videos that are going to go in. and if you think it is difficult is difficult to
convince people what they are reading about aoc is not true, imagine the difficulty in telling somebody that what they saw is not true. we are going to get to a point, i believe, system of accountability. mr. grove there is a cautionary : note in here about reform. in the bipartisan campaign reform act of 2001, passed in 2002, john mccain and his colleague, a democrat from wisconsin enshrined a provision that said, if you put an ad on the internet, if you pay for advertising on the internet, you are not required to have a disclaimer. disclaimers on the internet are are the, you know, you committee for truth in america, you don't need to put a disclaimer on there today. we face not only the deep fakes of some kid sitting in a garage in suburban denver, but
remember, in 2016, 1 of the main drivers of news on the internet were a group of kids in montenegro which figured out that if they made of weird websites that were conservatived sort of manufactured information from public sites and gave a spin to it, they could get advertising money from putting up these websites and driving traffic to it. the click bait -- it might have been $22.50 a day but, by god, that goes a long way in montenegro. we are facing an international threat for not only the trolls of the gr you in st. petersburg, but we're facing the likelihood the chinese, the koreans, north koreans, and nonstate actors are going to be trying to play in the american elections as well as russia. mr. allen: all of what y'all are saying is true, but you want the government to somehow start regulating.
mr. rove: at minimum, i think we ought to have disclaimers required of anybody in political ads. if you have a political ad you , have to file in committee and facebook and others have to -- unlike television, where you buy a bunch of tv ads, the buyers know about it. you have to, blah, blah, blah. we have to make it public so we have to figure out, who is that committee? are they registered with the federal election committee or a bunch of g.r.u. trolls or chinese in beijing who are trying to interfere with our elections? second of all, we have a robust presence by our intelligence agencies to be investigating on all of this kind of stuff so we don't just indict 33 people. mueller doesn't just indict 33 people. we indict every son of a bitch who is trying to play in the elections in 2020 in real time just like they did with the hacker with capital one. ms. hutchinson: i do think our laws haven't caught up with the disruptive nature what have technology does.
so we're accustomed to getting the information the way we get it. there's journalistic standards. now we have this new ability to say what we think and send out all these opinions and stuff without any of those same standards in place. you don't have to verify any of those things, i don't think our libel and slander laws -- mr. cantor: i don't this is where government will do it. it will be obsolete as government does something. i believe we have found ways going back to the kind of disruptive technology way back when centuries ago that society figured out a way to hold people account. i think it will be more market-based. you already got people out there now taking algorithms and trying to assess veracity and i think you will have a system that will develop out of the market. anytime the government gets involved, you start picking winners and losers. ms. hutchinson: two things can be true at the exact same time. you can have guardrails that got -- guardrails that ought and
must do. all of our conversations need to be either/or, these are the things we must act. mr. cantor: government needs to require transparency. >> i am with tony on this. one of the largest twitter accounts hacked in the election was tennessee republicans, which was being run out of st. petersburg. our government did not find out about it until afterwards. the private sector -- they were the ones that allowed to set up. when the tennessee republican party kept saying to twitter, hey, jack dorsey, this is not us. they reviewed to do anything about it. there ought to be tools to allow private individuals. there ought to be the possibility for the government to sanction people by saying you're violating the law. , you're impersonating a state political person when your name is --
mr. allen: so the problem with this to me is if you are joe public, you begin not to trust any information. you begin to think everything is fake news. whether it's "the new york times" or whether it's the things you see on the internet is -- we got to get our arms around this because no one believes any information that they see is real. because of the things they read about of what happens on the internet. i mean, this is the scary thing, we can't even agree on common sets of facts as to what problems are because of all of the things that are going on with the internet. ms. compton: in the very few minutes we have left, could each of you come up with an idea or two of what, not only governments do to change what bob gates this morning called unchartered territory, how dangerous it's become, but come up with an idea of what, not only governments might be able to do at any level, or what the
american people need to demand of the information and the leaders they put out? and i'll start with you, governor hodges. mr. hodges: part-time legislators. one of the things about congress, it's become such a full-time occupation that the people in the congress don't have a chance to really engage as much with their colleagues, with people back home as they might. i think there is a lot to be said you for a part-time congress where they spend more time at home dealing with people, talking to people about the problems that exist in the community, going back to the system we had in the 1950's and before. that's one thing that was pretty good then, is the time we spent at home back in the district. so as minor as it may seem, i think trying to move to a system like state governments have where people spend a lot more time at home, and it shortens careers too. ms. compton: we could get rid of air conditioning like they
didn't have. eric cantor. mr. cantor: what can the american people or government due to -- ms. compton: get past this period of dysfunction and hostility? mr. cantor: well, certainly if you look from the leadership level in terms of legislative bodies at the state level or in congress, i always say, we need to start -- we need to start seeing the practice of winning together again. and so at the legislative level, if you take an issue that may not be the sexiest or most consequential issue but, again, establish a pattern of working together, as i was saying earlier, it could really go a long way. we have got to start goa about -- start to go about planting those seeds again. i think it is about re-establishing some norms or stop trying to go in and break up the norms every single day we wake up. because there's actually some value in some of these institutions that have
developed, and they have developed based on what the subject of these several days are here in williamsburg celebrating jamestown, it is those pillars of democracy, that balance of power, the notion that we don't want mob rule, which is what you got online right now, directly impacting policymaking. so somehow there needs to be an intervention. ms. compton: karl rove. mr. rove: i'll agree with governor hodges, part-time legislators. you may not know about the home state of texas. where the second most populated state in the union. our legislature meets for 140 days every two years. but along -- we pay them $600 a month and begrudge every single penny we pay them and we, like every other state, have a balanced budget requirement. here's the other thing we ought to try to figure out how to do, and this will surprise you. we do not organize and we have not for 50 years organized the
texas legislature on a partisan basis. when i moved to texas, moved from richmond, virginia, moved and hacked up to austin, texas i , went to work for the senior republican in the legislature. he was one of 13 out of 150 members of the house of representatives, and he'd been a committee chair. today, we have 88 republicans and a majority of the committee chairs in the house are democrats. when i moved there there were , three republicans in the state senate out of 31 and one of them was a committee chair. today, we have 21 republican state senators and 10 democrats and we have democratic committee chairs. the longest serving chair is a democrat, chair of criminal justice. i don't know how we get there. we don't -- i mean, we passed a state budget. 147-3. when we had to cut -- when every state had to cut its budgets, we had to cut not the future of state spending, we had to cut our budget from $110 billion to $100 billion. cut it by $10 billion.
about 9%. it passed the house of representatives 149-0. because the members were working within a limited time constraint, 140 days, they were not organized on a partisan basis. we fight over redistricting and important things like the bathroom bill. by and large, it runs on a bipartisan basis. one other quick thing. i don't think we'll get out of this mess until we have different leadership and it's probably not going to be until 2024 that we have both parties nominating somebody who says, we're all in this together. the politics of the gilded age i mentioned earlier, it was terrible. 20 years of divided government, two years of republican government, two years of democrat government, five presidents elected, none of whom get 50% of the vote, two presidents elected with the majority of electoral college, but they lost the popular vote. and nationwide popular vote majority is 9,000 votes and an ugly politics that makes today's
literally looking like they were singing kumbaya. i was reading on a tariff budget. another one excoriates the former speaker -- first democratic speaker of the house in 18 years called him a thief and liar and a cad for having broken party ranks to support the protectionist position on this free trade measure. when finally, speaker randall said i have had enough of this, the chair declares the gentleman from georgia out of order, he turns to the former speaker and says, i will not blank you if you were a dog. four letters, you can figure out what they were. this is the tone of the times. and until along comes this mild manner, reform minded president who you never paid attention to named william mckinley and breaks the deadlock and ushers 32 years of republican denomination and has bipartisan periods of cooperation and it's because there was change of the tone in the leadership at the of top. it matters a lot.
ms. hutchison: it doesn't mean we need one person. to look for a messiah who is going to come in and save everybody. i do think our body politici doc needs to start to reward statesmanship. when people think why you go into public service in the first place, our general conversation about the discourse course is another one of those loops. we hate government. government does not work. we are not going to participate. all we do is yell and scream about it. we hate government because government doesn't work as an endless loop. i think that is -- when you are having your own conversations at the dinner table in your families, and everybody has a crazy uncle that says something crazy at thanksgiving. saves it up to say it at thanksgiving dinner. we're like, don't sit uncle so-and-so because you know he will say something crazy. today, those things are splitting up whole families. they're changing neighborhoods
and blogs and things. like, i can't talk to you once i find out what i think you believe politically right now. and i do think in this day and age, right now, if we don't start to, as a populace, deal with the fact that our institutions were created for a reason, they need to be protected because they are fragile. they are as fragile as democracy is. as long as we allow this corrosive discussion to happen amongst all of us across the country that government can't be , a power for good, that we don't need people to come in and have -- like this representative democracy is somehow fallible in and of itself because people are fallible, there is only one person that loves me completely, unconditionally, who i know would do anything in the world for me. that's my mother. i don't agree with her all the time. i just don't. and she knows that and i know that and our families know that. so looking for the person that you agree with 100% of the time and then anybody who is of an
opposing view is now the devil, you know, this constant delegitimization of the opposition, that you can't have -- you can't have a debate with someone who i won't even -- i won't acknowledge you even have a genuine premise i can argue from, that talk, that thing we allow ourselves to do, we do it at home, we do it in our living rooms, we do it when we come from church, we do it all the time. it's no surprise when you show up and it's election time and the ads start going and the internet things start happening and that gets seeped -- it's already in our public consciousness, that this in and of itself is an evil institution. so what i'm hoping for and look to do is remember that there is honor in public service. there is a reason to go into public service. this is a -- for some of us it's a calling. for some of us, it's a thing we are supposed to be doing when you care about something bigger than yourself and bigger than your own block, your own bank account, bigger than you. there is an honor to public service.
and as long as we keep behaving as though the entire political system isn't even worth saving, then none of us will come together to solve the most biggest, complicated problems we have when nobody trusts the institutions we have that are designed to solve those problems. we -- it's time for us to start protecting the institutions we have right now. because they are all of ours. ms. compton: governor allen. mr. allen: all right. cleanup. thank you, thank you, senator. i think any leader or anybody that cares to lead needs to lead by example on various areas that you can find common ground. governor hodges and i were glad to be with each other about a month ago. we both co-authored an op-ed that appeared in the virginia and south carolina papers in support of the united states-mexico-canada trade agreement. it's good for america. we need to be interconnected. trade is good for jobs and our competitiveness. so all of us, whatever our role is, whether in state legislatures, congress, or
elsewhere, need to show that sort of effort. the other message from this week in this remembrance is trusting the people. government closest to the people, representative democracy is created to protect our natural rights, freedom of religion, freedom of expression for men and women, private ownership of property, the rule of law, where you have fair adjudication of disputes as well as protection of our natural, god-given rights. and the states are those laboratories of innovation and democracy that closest to the people. we can learn from the states. everyone's talked about washington dysfunction. everyone talks about 49 states have a balanced budget requirement. ms. hutchinson: come to the summit. mr. allen: the old dolly singing "9:00 to 5:00." the folks who are public
servants need to be in touch with the way normal people look at things, and honestly, if members of congress don't get the one thing they are supposed to do done on time, withhold their pay. i guarantee you they will get it done on time. that's the way it is in the real world. and so we can learn from mistakes. we can put in those structures at the federal level. we can get a government that is reflective of what we the people want, but ultimately it's we the , people and what we should , insist on for our competitive states and our competitive country, from the very beginning until now until the future. if you want to be successful and your competition for jobs and innovation, public safety, you got to be willing to change, to adapt, to innovate and improve. standing still will get you put behind, and so we the people need to be propelling our public servants to be willing to change, adapt, innovate, and improve and always advancing
freedom and opportunities for all. ms. compton: and this is your panel's way of saying, we all depend on you as well as public citizens. after all, the power is in your hands. please thank this remarkable panel. [applause] [captions copyright national cable satellite corp. 2019] [captioning performed by the national captioning institute, which is responsible for its caption content and accuracy. visit ncicap.org] >> currently, congress is in a summer recess. florida senator rick scott is hoping his take it ready for tropical storm dorian. as it moves closer to florida with a possible landing predicted for late saturday or early sunday. senator scott writes that it is never too soon to get prepared. south carolina governor joe wilson met with constituents at the chamber of commerce. illinois congressman ronnie
davis is at the farm progress show and visited the caterpillar farm equipment booth. returns to capitol hill september 9. alan dershowitz was a featured speaker at the freedom conference and -- you can watch it here tonight on c-span. the retired harvard law professor was asked about his connection to jeffrey epstein and the allegations against him. >> i never met the woman. i never met her. we got some emails recently that were sealed. we subpoenaed the emails. the lawyers for her said they did not have any. we finally got them. in the emails, she admits that in 2011, which is nine years after she claimed she had sex with me seven different times in places i was never at.
in front of my own house, she says i had sex with her. at the time, i had a young daughter. we had video surveillance. she said she had sex with me in 2002. in a 2011, she written email proving she never heard of it. she has to be told, dershowitz, he is the guy who represented clausen bund bulow. should put him in your book. this is all in emails. he will help you sell your book. so then, she puts me in the book. as someone she did not have sex with. she said she had sex with her better steve, she says he had sex with lexi wexler. she said she had sex with bill richardson. you name it. but she said she did not have sex with me. she once met me with jeffrey epstein. then, when she meets her lawyers a few years later, suddenly, she remembers. she remembers, oh yeah.
that guy i never heard of. i had sex with him seven times. how anybody could believe this is remarkable to me. i hired former head of the fbi, who is a former federal judge, and i said here, you do this. i'm not going to even talk to you. here are all of my travel records. you do an investigation. he did an investigation. he said there was absolutely no truth to the charges. alan dershowitz talked about the robert mueller investigation, freedom of speech, and his defense work for clients such as o.j. simpson. you can watch his remarks from the steamboat springs freedom conference at 10:00 -- tonight, 8:00 p.m. eastern. >> the house will be in order. >> for 40 years, c-span has been dividing unfiltered coverage of house, andhe white
public-policy events from washington, d.c. and around the country. you can make up your own mind. yourn is brought to you by local cable or satellite provider. c-span, your unfiltered view of government. >> after reports that iran is increasing cyber attacks against the u.s. and infrastructure, the house energy committee looked at cyber threats to the electric grid. energy department official testified that according to a national intelligence rector import, russia is mapping the u.s. electric grade. many members asked experts what is needed to modernize the grade. -- committee members asked as birds what is needed -- asked experts what is needed to modernize the grid.