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tv   Matter of Fact With Fernando Espuelas  KOFY  April 10, 2016 7:30pm-8:01pm PDT

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announcer: today on "matter of fact" -- the panama papers exposed a 'web' of global corruption. and it's reverberating at home. hillary clinton we are going : after all these scams. president obama a lot of it's : legal. that's exactly the problem. announcer what you need to know : from the man who knows best. >> they were buying secrecy. announcer do you know how : brokered conventions work? can both political parties survive this election? >> it's a risky strategy. it's fantasy land. announcer: the ads don't always add up. how to put your candidate in the best 'spot.' fernando: i'm fernando espuelas. welcome to "matter of fact." secret off-shore accounts, drug
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smuggling, french villas. it sounds like a hollywood movie -- except it's not. an international group of journalists has exposed a massive corruption scandal engulfing politicians, billionaires, and celebrities. a report, called "the panama papers," charges that a law firm in panama has been used to hide the assets of some of the world's wealthiest people. following the revelations, the prime minister of iceland stepped down. accusations continue to swirl around the friends and family of russian president vladimir putin and chinese president xi jinping. very few americans have been publicly identified -- yet. gerard ryle is the director of the international consortium of investigative journalists. his group led the investigation. welcome to the program. the panama papers -- something that is a historical disclosure of mass fraud? scandal? what is it? what can you call it?
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gerard: it is 40 years of records of a firm in panama called mossack fonseca, and it is pretty much every detail of their clients. all of their e-mail addresses, all of the bank accounts they were holding for clients for up to 40 years, right up to december 2015. fernando: and who is in the database that you have? gerard: it ranges from everything from prime ministers, to presidents, to kings, to drug dealers, to mafia bosses. and not just talking about just the italian mafia, you've got the japanese mafia, the american mafia, people who have served jail time. fernando: and what were these people trying to achieve through this law firm in panama? gerard: what this firm sells is secrecy and what they were doing is they were going to this firm to get offshore accounts set up in various tax havens around the world to conceal what they were doing. so they were buying secrecy. they were setting up offshore accounts. and what happens there is when you set up an offshore account
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in the british virgin islands, if you link that to a swiss bank account, which is what we were seeing, then there was no link between you and that swiss bank account. and that's more or less what we were looking at. fernando: so they are hiding money? gerard: they are hiding money, but they are also hiding their assets. they're buying property in places like london and new york through these companies. so again, there are whole streets of london owned by offshore companies. and no one in london knows who they are of course, until we started examining this. fernando: and several countries, including the u.s., are looking at the data to find their citizens to see if there is something that happened, to see if there is evasion. how do you see that playing out? is there enough evidence for some of these investigations to bear fruit? gerard: there seems to be investigations in about five or six countries, and we've already seen victims of this exposure. we have the prime minister of iceland resigning over this
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because we found a secret offshore company that held millions of dollars in bank bonds. you've got the british prime minister. the british prime minister, david cameron, is under enormous pressure in england because he revealed that his father made a lot of money out offshore, while the son is now campaigning for more disclosure on this. fernando: and interesting enough, the kremlin disputed the story before it came out, that putin was somehow linked. what's the evidence linking putin to these accounts? gerard: well, when we went through the documents, we found a lot of people who were very close to vladimir putin. for instance, the godfather of his child. and we found 100 of millions of dollars flowing through offshore accounts, so secret companies, getting big loans from russian entities and russian banks. and there were very strange transactions where you would get them -- get the right to an $800
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million loan for the sum of $1, and no apparent pay back schedule there. we put questions to these people a week before we published. and instead of answering these questions, the kremlin held a press conference and denounced our work. there has been no denial. fernando: interesting. so no one has said these records are false? gerard: no, absolutely not. in fact, everywhere they are proving to be 100% accurate, even in embarrassing cases. fernando: such as? gerard: well, there was the head of transparency international in chile for instance, found out that he had five offshore accounts. he had to resign as a result of this. we had a police raid in switzerland to the headquarters of uefa, the governing body for soccer in europe. fernando: beyond the massive irony of all these cases, what's the practical implication? what do you expect to happen from here? gerard: i think there will be investigations into this. i think the stories will continue to flow.
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we are working with more than 100 media organization in more than 70 countries. they are still publishing. they are still scrambling now to finish their work, and we have a publishing schedule for at least one week, maybe two. then it's up to the authorities to decide what to do. our job as journalists at that point is done. we have revealed what we have seen. fernando: thank you so much for joining me today. according to a report released two years ago, an estimated 150 don't -- $150 billion in potential tax revenue disappears into offshore accounts each year. announcer: coming up -- for both republicans and democrats, it is a different kind of party in the big app
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anyando: talk to just about democrat or republican today, politics as a
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descent into madness. while canada's continued to pursue the primary voter, it is the delegate hunt creating buzz about a contested convention. it is not clear any of the republican candidates will arrive with a majority of delegates to win the nomination. can the party survive this internal battle? john feehery is a republican strategist and president of qga public affairs. john, welcome to the program. john: great to be here. fernando: thank you so much. there is a lot talk about a republican brokered convention. what is that? what are people actually talking about? john: what they are talking is going beyond the top two candidates, ted cruz and donald trump, and possibly finding a third candidate who would come in and get a majority of the delegate votes and magically sweep in and get the nomination. that hasn't happened since when when wendell willkie came in with 6% of the vote and came out with the nomination.
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in 1976, you had ronald reagan and gerald ford. ford had the majority of the delegates and was able to get the majority and that's the last truly contested convention. but what the people inside washington are hoping for, because they dislike donald trump and ted cruz so much, that someone -- perhaps kasich, or paul ryan, or marco rubio can get vote after vote on delegation floor. the convention floor somehow gets the nomination. fernando: but in that scenario, millions of people will have voted growth ted cruz and donald trump. what do you think people will think if the republican establishment engineers a different nominee? john: they will be infuriated. has said riots in the streets. you typically don't see white, middle class, old people riot in the streets. but they will be very angry and might decide not to vote for
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whoever the republicans nominate. i think it's a risky strategy. in many ways, it's fantasy land. republicans have to come to grips with the fact that it will be donald trump or ted cruz. and my sense is that it will probably be donald trump. fernando: if he doesn't arrive with that magical number, what do you think will happen? where will the opening be for that kind of maneuver? john: that's a good question. i think it will first start with the convention rules, where they will decide what rules govern the convention. the rules committee will meet, and they will decide whether they can put someone else in nomination. right now, there is a rule that you have to win eight states. there are only two people that have done that, ted cruz and donald trump. you have to change those rules to put someone else's name in, which i think it's going to be contested. and i think there has to be a destruction of the trump campaign. trump has got to limp into this convention. wisconsin threw him off track a bit. he got beat soundly by cruz.
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but he is going to go into new york and win over 50%. and i think he'll win new jersey, connecticut, and pennsylvania. so it's hard to make the case that he is just going to limp into this convention. maybe he will, but my guess is he won't. fernando: let's say that that's the scenario. trump is able to get the nomination. what do you think happens to the republican party considering that he, at least so far, hasn't gotten beyond 50% of any of the states that he has won? john: that is a good question. there will have to be one of two things happen. one -- the party coalesces, decides to unify in what i call a containment strategy. surround donald trump with people who know what they are doing. surrounding with a good vice president from candidate demand , a campaign manager that is respected by both sides of the party. do what ronald reagan did when hired george h.w. bush as vice president and jim baker as chief of staff.
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people didn't trust, didn't want reagan to be reagan, so quite smartly he hired out. he built a sense of trust. i think trump will do that, or the other scenario is party splits. you have this 'nevertrump' component, and they start a third party perhaps. there was a little bit of an element of that with reagan. you remember john anderson started a third party and he got 5%, and it kind of fizzled out. and you could see some people decide that they will never vote for trump and they will either sit this one out or try to find a third party candidate who is not determined yet. fernando: well, thank you so much. i appreciate all your insights. 1237 delegates are needed to win the republican nomination. 95 delegates are up for grabs in the next primary in new york, one week from tuesday. announcer: up next -- finding the right message. in all the right spots.
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fernando: some ads help improve
tv-commercial
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the image of candidates, like this ad viewed by millions from the bernie sanders campaign. >> ♪ fernando: and it wouldn't be an election year without attack ads from opponents, like this one from donald trump. ted cruz: it takes citizenship off the table. it does not mean i supported the others. fernando: but now in the era of twitter, what works? michael delli carpini is an expert in political messaging and the dean of the annenberg school of communications at the university of pennsylvania. he joins me now from philadelphia. dean delli carpini, welcome to the program. dean delli carpini: it's my pleasure. thanks for having me. fernando: well, it seems when you have donald trump speaking directly to his supporters through twitter, something new is happening. what do you think is the impact,
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both positives and negatives, for the electorate? dean delli carpini: well, i think there are two different impacts for the candidates, and then i'll talk about the electorate. for candidates, they not only get a direct channel to their supporters or potential supporters. but because the traditional news media is monitoring these twitter exchanges, they get a second bounce, which is coverage on traditional news of what the candidates are saying and doing. and while that can sometimes hurt a candidate, one of the other unusual things about this election is donald trump does not seem to be hurt by the kinds of statements and what would normally be called missteps that have hurt candidates in the past. for voters or potential voters, i think it is a double-edged sword as well. in many ways, being able to hear directly from candidates and have it bypass the traditional
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media has a certain feel of authenticity and a sense of closer connection. but it also means you don't get the filter from journalism in terms of fact checking, trying to understand or parse or explain what's being said, or putting it into context. so i think we're in an unusual moment where things have clearly changed, but parsing out what's good about it and potentially harmful is still something to be seen i think. fernando: and going back to what has been the more traditional way of campaigning through the media, which are paid commercials there seems to be a , sense that they are not working in the same way they used to. do you see that as well? is social media replacing the campaign commercial? dean delli carpini: i think it is too early, both in general and in this particular campaign
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to go that far. i think paid commercials, their effects tend to be over time so we are still waiting to see. but i think we have seen enough to know that they are less central and less important than they used to be. there was a time when paid commercials were the only and best way for candidates to speak directly to potential voters. as i said a moment ago, that time is gone now because of all those social media options. that's one thing that makes them less important. second thing i think that makes them less important is that paid commercials are less of an important source of information even in terms of the news because the news used to be the place where candidates were a little nervous about being covered because they did not get to control it. in this campaign, it feels much
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more like candidates can say what they want and repeat what they want and kind of ignore the challenges that they get and have the impact that they used to have with paid commercials. the last thing i think is important in this process that tells you that they are less important is the republican front runner at least, donald trump is spending much less , money. it would be rare to see a front runner at this point in the campaign who has not been the biggest spender in campaign ads, and that's what we're seeing right now. and the insurgent campaign of bernie sanders though he is not , a front runner, and he has run ads, is also a surprise that suggests ads may not be as important at this moment than they used to be. fernando: dean delli carpini, thank you so much for joining me today. more than $4 billion will be spent on political tv ads this year, not counting amounts spent
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on other forms of media. announcer: next just like the , evangelicals, young
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fernando: we often hear "evangelicals" described as a religious force in america. but today, more and more americans describe themselves as having no religious affiliation. a recent survey shows the number of americans who don't identify with any religious group has grown, especially among young people. what's causing people to fall away from religion? dr. jason heap is the executive director of the united coalition of reason. he joins me now to talk about this religious divide. dr. jason heap: students are interested in issues that are secular in nature, but may or may not have religious ethic involved. but the students do seem to be interested in pushing religious agenda into it. an example would be fracking or
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other environmental ethics, lgbtq treatment, and hate rhetoric that is being propagated in certain parts of the country. because of that, i've noticed the younger generations are less inclined to go with party lines of religious belief but are interested in these social issues. but they don't feel the need to necessarily say i am going to view this from one particular, sincerely held belief. announcer: how will nonbelievers impact elections? you can see more of the interview on matteroffact.tv. send us your tweets, checking on facebook, or view and share videos from all our programs made when we return -- this campaign season, everything has gone just right.
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fernando: while many people recoil from the bitter rhetoric
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of this year's presidential campaign, i'm cheering the noise. of course, i'm not joining in the crass attacks against women, muslims, nato, or any other group that has come under a sustained barrage of disparagement. rather, in the chaos i see the promise of renewal. let's face it, part of the reason that donald trump and bernie sanders have defied so-called common wisdom in their success is that our political system is largely corrupt. you can see the direct connection between corporate money and legislation benefiting business interests. we now have a "donor class," a super-power constituency that virtually dictates to weak leaders. and, of course, a surplus of unprincipled politicians willing to sacrifice our most cherished national values for campaign donations and the sumptuous perks of public office. so why am i cheere noise? that's the sound of democracy we're hearing. because in spite of all the angst, bluster, and violence of this campaign season, there is
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one fact undebatable. on election day this november, we the people will be the authors of our national fate. i'm fernando espuelas. have a great week. [captioning performed by the national captioning institute, which is responsible for its caption content and accuracy. visit ncicap.org]
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