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tv   Charlie Rose  PBS  February 24, 2017 12:00pm-1:01pm PST

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>> toobin: welcome to the program, i'm jeffrey toobin, filling in for charlie rose who i am pleased to report is very much on the mend. we begin this evening with new york state attorney general eric schneiderman. >> i do see myself and other democratics ag in playing a leading role in several distinct ways. first of all, we're in a position to fill in 23 the federal government retreats from its, what we believe to be its duties to enforce the law. if they don't want to enforce the civil rights laws aggressively they dismantle the-- and aren't-- states can fill in that gap. second. if they take inaction as with this ban on immigration that actually causes harm to the people we represent, he can want chal-- can't challenge them in court. >> toobin: we conclude with a conversation about povertiy, fill an threey and the robin hood foundation with its
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president jeff levy. >> we done know of any other program that can relieve poverty more quickly for more people at less cost with no new legislation, no new executive orders. this money is is there for the asking. and it's not a shiny new toy. it's basic blocking and tackling to, in effect, create greater awareness, and motivate poor people who are entitled to these benefits to make them aware and make the process as simple as possible for them. which they can do in new york city by dialing 311. or start by asking.org. >> eric-- eric schneider man and reynold levy when we continue. >> rose: funding for charlie >> rose: funding for "charlie rose" has been provided by the following:
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>> and by bloomberg, a provider of multimedia news and information services worldwide. captioning sponsored by rose communications from our studios in new york city, this is charlie rose. >> toobin: good evening, i'm jeffrey toobin filling in for charlie rose. democratic state attorneys general have emerged as powerful forces in fighting president trump's agenda. leading among them is nocialg state attorney general eric schneiderman. his office is is fighting the immigration ban as well as president trump personally in the now settled trump university lawsuit and in his continuing investigation of the trump foundation. i'm pleased to have eric schneiderman at charlie's famous table. good to see you. >> thank you, jeffrey, good to
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be here. >> toobin: okay, so dhs, this week said we have new orders in tempter its of how we're going to deal with deportation, of undocumented immigrants. short version, there is going to be more enforcement. you're going to try to alleviate that, fight it how? >> well, we are-- we anticipated this attack particular itly regards so called sanctuary injures diction and it's important to understand there is no legal definition as to what a sanctuary injures diction is. so we anticipated that there would be an attack coming and last month issued guidance for the firs time set ising out a legal road map of what a city has to do which are obligated to do under federal law and what you don't have to do 50eu78's pleased to say there have been injures dictions in new york, and all around the country using our legal road map to help rewrite their local resolutions
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to compare themselves to make sure they are in compliance with the law 9 two memos issued by dhs are followups on executive orders trump issued in late january and deal with how we handle the immigrants already in the country. we already have the big fight over the ban on imgrailings and refugees which-- . >> toobin: we're waiting for a revised executive order on that one. >> but that was where you mentioned my colleagues rising up as a force, that is where you saw democratic ag's all over the country, from every part of the country stepping up, working together, getting in courts all over the country, backing each other up with amicus briefs and eventually getting a stay of the immigration ban. these new memos and executive orders on which they are based are really more likely to be taken up first in individual cases of people who are being apprehended. it it it con tell plates a massive expansion of what are called, you know, expedited
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deportations, deportations where people don't get the right to a hearing. that raises a lot of due process issues and also does include various provisions attacking what he defines as sanctuary injures dictions. >> let's talk about this issue of sanctuary cities, sanctuary injures dictions. as you point out there is not a specific legal definition of what a sanctuary city is. but i think in rough terms what it means is a city even a state like california saying we don't want our local officials, our cops, our state police to help ice the immigration authorities deport people. is it legal for new york city to say we are not going to help the federal government deport people. >> yes, to a great extent. the reason we issued a guidance which is available on our website, ag.ny.gov and it's being used all around the state,
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there are certain things you are required to do. and the statute, the relevant statuteuu sc1373 has some requirements. but most of this is optional. they can't force local law enforcement agencies to essentially become an arm of the federal immigration services. local agencies can't sign up for a program 20 join in but it's optional. and there is is some information you're required to turn over to the federal government if they get a judicial warrant, you have to collaborate with them on whatever that warrant requires from you. but to a great extent, injures dictions have the option to say we actually in our judgement, this is what the nypd made clear, the biggest state city in america, we are a sanctuary city, in our judgement we don't want citizens not to come forward as victim its, or crime witnesses. we believe it is safer for officers not to be perceived as agents of immigration and in most cases, local governments can refuse to cooperate.
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if they get a judicial warrant thrarks is something else. >> toobin: what about the possibility that, and you are certainly aware of this through executive action, through legislative action, republicans in washington say fine, new york city, you want to be a sanctuary city, you can forget about your federal funds for your subways, for med case-- medicaid, have a great time but we're not going to get any federal money. >> we'll be in court in a heartbeat on that, because there are severe restrictions on the ability of the federal government to coerce state and local governments through the reductions of funding into doing things. that was at the heart of the holding of justice roberts decision of the affordable care act, the threat to cut off medicaid funding. if you want to cut off funding first there has to be a nextus between the program that the local governments not complaining with and the funding. so you could only look really at federal funds for law enforcement related immigration which is not very much money. you can't cut off funds for parks or subways because of a refusal to comply with a request
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on immigration. and there is a general rule if the funds are so-- funding is so large and it is something that local governments are depend ent on, this was in again in the affordable care act opinion t is really amounts to cooers and the federal government can't use funding in cooers and there has to be a clear statement when you let the local government apply for the funding that it is subject to these conditions. you can't retroactively impose conditions. so the ability of the federal government to cut off funding for sanctuary injures dikes is very limited. i think it it will be tested in courts that is one of the reasons we wanted to make sure as far as new york goes everyone knows what the law is and isn't. so now there is a road map for what you can do and what you can't do. but i would say that the executive orders that trump issued on these issues really do go beyond what the stated law is. but that shouldn't be a surprise, first executive order on bang immigrants and refugees was found by, i think, courts
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all around america to have gone beyond. >> toobin: let's talk about that order. that was the order, it seems like a long time ago but it was only a couple weeks ago. >> january 27th, not long ago. >> toobin: where the seven muslim majority countries, there were new restrictions on immigration. district court in seattle said it is unconstitutional. ninth circuit affirmed that ruling and the trump administration now said they are going to rework it in a way. but to similar effect. do you think there is a way they can rewrite that executive order so that it it is is constitutional? >> well, not that executive order. i mean they can take pieces of it and perhaps do it. >> toobin: what is the problem with that executive order? the presidents have wide authority over immigration. why can't they say these seven countries, we want to stop and take a look. >> so it is-- there are so many problems with that executive
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order. i mean there is is an article written about it via someone as brookings called mall ef lens temp erred by incompetence which sums up a lot of peoples feeling about the executive order. keep in mind t said no one from these countries, these seven countries can come. it con tell plated the departments of state and dhs, providing the president with a longer list of countries to be added later. that was in the original order. and also shut down our refugee program completely for a period of time. and permanently banned syrian refugees. i don't think there is anyway to constitutionally do what they tried to do. it was clear from the language of the order itself and while ultimately the ninth circuit decision is the decision that stayed the order and then the trump administration said we're not even going to try and appeal it it. we'll go back to the drawing board it it is important to understand that we went into courts all around the country, district courts here in cases all around the country, first brought on detainees and i went
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into court in new york, my colleagues went into court in virginia, and other states. and if this is something where every judge that saw this republican and democrat alike issued some form of stay of the order. some stays were broader. some stays were narrower. it became clear that the court in washington was doing a national stay and that is why we through in bob ferguson the washington ag and received amicus briefs from all different sectors of the business community, religious groups, from activist groups. the damage to the country caused by such an extreme termination of immigration from some, any countries in the world, really, but certainly from these seven, we documented its real harm it it would cause to new york and new yorkers. we are a state that lives off international commerce. and our heal care sector would suffer. there were doctors who were not able to get home from family vacations, medical technicians. our academic institutions, state institutions would suffer. our tech tect sectors, finance
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sectors. really, we put forward evidence of the disaj that would be done not just to the detainees but to lots of others, millions of others new yorkers an people all over the country. so i'm proud of the fact that the attorneys general around the country responded quickly, within 36 hours of this order dropping. we issued a very strong statement because we were getting nothing but obfiscation and confusion from washington. in fact one of the complaints by the folks on the ground working for the federal agencies was they had no guide lines. there were inconsistent applications of this elsewhere. we put out a statement that we were confident court would strike it down it was unconstitutional, unamerican, between now and then we're committed to working to minimize the pain and we followed through. >> toobin: so we'll see how that evolved. do you see yourself as sort of the voice of the opposition to trump? you have democrats in congress. they don't have spp power. you have spp power. do you see yourself as one of the major checks on the new
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administration? >> well, i do see state government, state attorney generals in particular as a major check because it's become clear that at least up until now the republican majorities in congress are reluctant to pose much of a check on this administration. that brings us back to the wisdom of the founders of providing for this federalist system where a lot of po ber is retained to the state level. i see myself an other democratic ag's as playing a leading role in this, in several distinct ways. first of all, we are in a position to fill in if the federal government retreats from what we believe to be its duties to enforce the law. if they don't want to enforce the civil rights law aggressively they dismantle the consumer-- and aren't consuming protection laws or labor laws. states can fill in that gap. second, if they take inaction as with this ban on immigration that actually causes harm to the people we represent, we can challenge them in court. and this comes up in many
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different contention texts. ironically, now defending the queen power plan, the rules that were issued by odd bama administration, epa, on green house gases came after my office filed a notion of intent to sue them because they were too slow in following up on the supreme court decision that essentially directed them to do so. so our ability to file lawsuits to protect people, the people we represent from overreach or bad public policy coming out of washington is unusual. and i think that it, we're going to have a new test of the strength of our federalist fabric. the opportunities are there, we're not looking for fights that don't exist but the reason the immigration ban was-- became the first flash point was it took effect immediately. >> even before president trump took office one of the responsibilities of the attorney general of new york is to regulate charities. and you sued trump about the use and abuse of his foundation. >> we determined that they had
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not done the proper filings in new york to raise money here and issued a directive. they complied with it. they couldn't raise money here any more and now we're working our way through whatever their problems are. that is being handled quite roasksally. their lawyers are cooperating with our lawyers. >> so tell me about the trump university investigation. >> trump university was a different matter. this is a lawsuit brought in the summer of 2013, long before anyone thought he would hold the president position that he does. it clearly was not a polit k58 case. we were looking at for profit colleges generally and we have had actions against several for profit colleges. trump university was supposedly a new york state university. and we do have rules here in new york. we're kind of picky, you can't just say this is toobin university, come in and get a diploma. >> so we sued because it was a really straight up fraud it was something where mr. trump's role was really as the pitchman. we have videos of him saying my
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hand picked experts will teach you my personal secretary is receipts on real estate. and of course we got sworn testimony that he wasn't involved in that at all. >> toobin: you settled it for $25 million. a relative pitance, it seems. >> weren't you-- didn't you roll over a little in that case. >> no, no, believe me, this was an excellent settlement. folks who had been ripped off by this university have been waiting a long time for their money. they wanted to get as much relieves they could. and they received compensation and we got on top of that a million dollar fine to the state of new york because of their abuse of our education laws. so i was very pleased with the settlement. keep in mind, he said how many dozen times i can't even count, i will never settle this case, i will never settle this case. i will win this in course, it will be an easy case to win in court. so look, he's a new yorker. i'm the new york state attorney general. and so we have gotten to know each other in the context of litigation and investigations in the past. >> toobin: and what do you think of donald trump. >> you know, i think that it is
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extraordinary that he has done what he has done. give credit where credit is due. but he is now the president of the united states. and whatever our relationship was when he was a private citizen engaged in good or bad conduct is is very different. i mean my-- we are not out to get mr. trump. we are out to uphold the rule of law. >> toobin: speaking of rule of law, let me ask you a legal question. in the course of your foundation investigation which is continuing, trump foundation investigation, do you have the legal right to spp his tax return? >> well, i don't comment onion going investigations. i don't think we're there yet. as i say-- . >> toobin: i'm not saying are you spping his-- spping, but do you have the legal authority to do that? >> i don't think that is something that is richard under the circumstances of this investigation. can we're become careful not to overstep our authority.
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we don't want anyone to get that there is a political aspect to. this we are treating it as much as we can like a normal investigation into another foundation that had troubles. have i to say to his credit, his lawyers have been dealing professionally and responsibly making information available. to submeana tax records when people are withholding information. >> >> toobin: what one of the paradoxes of your role is that you are both a law enforcement official and a politician it. i mean you run for office. are you a democrat, you supported hillary clinton for it the as virtually every attorney general is an elected official. isn't there something inherently awkward at least if not an actual conflict of interest of being an active and proud democrat and being someone who wields the power of law enforcement? >> no, not really. and his torically there really hasn't been. we have had a long history of
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the republic has lasted a long time with elected officials being attorneys general and fulfilling other roles that do have pros cue tor yal powers, congressional investigations and things like that. i this i it is is just really depend ent on us being responsible. but look, we're, again, if something is going to hurt new yorkers, i represent the 19 plus million people here. i'm going to take action. i'm sworn to do that. and there is, i will tell you, that at least among my democratic colleagues, there is a sense is of professionalism about our work that we are the guardians, we're not just representing our individual states. we're the guardians of the rule of law, of the system of constitutional laws that this is a government of laws, not men, certainly not of one man. and i think there was a real sense in which my fellow ag's got riled up by the immigration ban because of this sense of disregard for the rule of law. they actually took the position in that case, that in the area of immigration, the president has unfettered discretion, not
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subject to review by the courts which for any lawyer who takes the system seriously is a pretty offensive position to take. i don't think this is a matter of liberal versus conservative. this is not an ordinary set of political battles. we're dealing with an administration that has shown a disregard for the constitution. an effort to sir cum vent the checks and balances that are established under the constitution to keep a chief executive from running amok. and this is something that we will stand up to wherever he tries to manifest it. >> one of those checks which had here too for been rather on cure were the a mol yent clause which says in plain english that foreign governments can't pay the president. there are some who suggest that through the hotel in washington and perhaps other ways, trump may be in violation of the he molud. s clause. is that something within qulur injures diction or is is that something-- who could ening for
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that challenge it. >> this is a fascinating set of questions. and we're in totally unchartered territory. and let me remind everyone that there are two separate issues here. one is the unprecedented refusal to die vest himself of his holdings. unlike other presidents who created blind trusts or divested his holdings, he still has interest in cans all around the world. second refusal to disclose what those interests are, which adds another level of problem. there are two clauses in the constitution, article one there is the foreign emoluments clause which says unless congress approves of some enitch respect-- enrichment, by a foreign po we the president can't accept it the case law on this, there is not much case. >> toobin: hardly ever any case. >> so we're talking about the gifts of the stallions to a president in the early 1-9dth century, reading the
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research is on this and they are talking about ben frank line getting a jeweled snuff box from the king of france. we're in very obscure territory. my view is that our representatives in congress really have to at least know what his business interests are so they can fulfill their duties under the clause to approve or disapprove. that is something that i think we'll be litigated at some point. the second emoluments clause, keep in mind at the it founding of the republic there was a concern about big states versus little states and one state having too much power in this new union says that the president gets whatever his salary is and can get no further emolument from the uniterred states or any state, the fear that the state might pay off the president to get more favorable treatment. so that raises a similar issue. how can states know whether or not they're violating the clause if they don't know what his business interests are. this is something we're looking at carefully. we're aware of the litigation already brought on this by the
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center for center for spobilityd and ethics in washington. others have brought others us to. it it is is something that i do think the combination of his refusal to divest or place in blind trust his assets and refusal to disclose what those are will come to a head in litigation at some point, whether we are a part of it or it is members of congress or someone else. i'm not sure at this point. >> toobin: let me just ask you about a purely new york state sloo. voting. now those of us who write about this issue, we are always very indig tenant about north koor linea is cutting early voting and ohio and texas. new york has some of the worst voting laws in the country number us liberal bastion, very liberal absentee voting, why. >> this is something we can't blame on republicans in congress, or donald trump. and you have written about this, so my office, first of all i
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have been an advocate for expanding the franchise of early voting for a long time. but when i became an attorney general our office set up a hotline for election days, if people had problems. last year the phones were ringing off the hook. we had to bring in additional staff because there were so many problems with voting. and we did an investigation into the board of elections, issued a report in december. and then took our findings and combined them into something called the new york votes act which we have now introduced if both houses of the legislature which would bring us into the 21s century, have early voting, no fault absentee voting. open up the registration process. new york in 2016 was 48 out of 50 states in terms of participation by eligible voters. shame on us. >> toobin: that sun believable. >> shame on us. and that is something that some would argue is lower voter turnout favors incumbents of both parties because they know who the prime regular voters are, some consult ands make money selling you the triple prime voter turnout of people who show up even in a hurricane, tiedal wave and and
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that is a more valt eubl list. i favor opening up the franchise t is easy to do. there are other states that do it. oregon went to automatic registration and early voting. my proposal is the same. >> toobin: so what is stopping it? state senate? is it going to get through the assembly, like let's name some names. >> i have, because the public was so outraged by last year and you may remember, and this was not just in one part of the state or another. this was all over the state of new york. and inconsistent instructions given out by boards of elections, peoples names being purged in the voter roles improperly, actually filed a lawsuit against the board of elections related to that, i really do believe the public anger about this makes this an excellent time to make a move it 45s already been introduced in the assembly. we've got sponsors there. i think that, and i have spoken to the leaders of both houses to the legislature about this. i think we have an excellent chance to make change this yearment it is also important to
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recognize this is part of a national debate. when you have republicans and conservative states where they are trying to cut back on voting rights, pointing to new york and saying oh, let's use new york. we're still better than new york. >> governor case itch in ohio said said that to me personally. said what are you complaining about. our laws are better than yours. >> well, i think one of the things you can look forward to i think in the next number of years is that states will be dirve rent yaiting themselves more one from another. will you not have the big homogenizing federal programs. you can already see if the federal government starts to dismantle the consumer financial protection bureau, stops enforcing laws, will you have sm states with strong viementdal protection, gun control laws, and some that don't, i think it is very important for new york to recognize that we're back to a period like a hundred years ago when the states are going to be the laboratories of democracy, we have to open up the voting. >> where is governor cuomo in this. >> he says he is in favor of it and we will try and get it into
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the state budget and hopefully get it done. >> how are you getting along. >> we're getting along fine. we're both very busy. one thing can i say for state actor this new administration has created additional layers of work for us. >> who ed go as long bet we are andrew cuomo, you or mayor de blasio. >> i get along with him well. >> toobin: are you going to run for gfer in? >> i'm planning to run for re-election at 2018 at this point. i can't-- things are so hectic right now i can't think any further done the road. >> toobin: some politician says this they are too busy thoi about running for office, i'm not buying that. >> i'm thinking of about running for office, more re-election. >> toobin: you have no term limits. >> i have no term limits but let's come back to where we started. there has never been a more exciting time to be a democratic attorney general with the ability to serve as a check on overreach by a-- what to me is a dangerous federal administration than there is now. and i have enjoyed working with my colleagues. i think our response to the immigration ban was the best
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effort of coordination among democratic ag's i've ever seen. and it is an exciting time to be in this position. it's a challenging 250eu78 because i do think that this is not an ordinary battle between liberals and con terve-- conservatives this really is a battle over respect for the rule of law, i'm up for my fight and so are many of my colleagues. i'm in a good place to be effective right now and that is what i enjoy, and i like the lawyering. >> toobin: good, you know, i actually believe that. attorney general eric schneider mfn, thanks for being on charlie's show. >> thank you. >> toobin: we'll be right back . i'm jeffrey toobin filling in for charlie rose. there are 1.8 million new yorkers living in poverty. reynold levy is is president of the robin hood foundation a fill an thrpee founded to alleviate poverty in new york city. it recently launched a campaign to help over 800,000 new yorkers receive the federal benefits to which they are entitled but are not getting. i'm pleased to have reynold levy
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on this program at charlie's table. welcome. >> thank you. >> toobin: so what is robin hood? founded in 1988 swi pretty recent by charity standards. >> robin hood was created by some is very publicly spirited hedge fund managers who wanted to give something back to the city. and were very concerned about poverty in new york city. and ways in which to alleviate it it. so in its current incarnation it raises every year somewhere between 125 and 150 million dollars. and distributes it to our nonprofit partners who provide services, everything from ranging from charter schools to food pantries to health services to income maintenance services for clientds all over new york city. >> toobin: let me ask you a little bit about poverty in new york city sort of generally. is it it better or worse than it
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was ten years ago, than it was a hundred years ago. >> so we have shifting definitions of poverty just as we have shifting definitions of wealth and shifting definitions to what it means to be middle class. it is certainly better than it was a hundred years ago. it hasn't differed very much in the last decade. and arguably, it's worsened in the sense that new york is a very expensive area to live in. and so housing costs and necessities have gone up considerably in excess of inflation rates. whereas incomes have not. particularly for the working class. >> toobin: and is that because of something that the government did or didn't do or is it about bigger forces that are sort of the government can't do anything about. >> we're fortunate in new york city to live in a town that's governed by both a mayor and a governor who in the last two years have made major progress and a major difference for poor people. increasing the minimum wage.
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free pre-k to all new yorkers who have a trial of pre-k age. paid sick leave. a proposal now for free tuition in both state university and city university of new york. these have been enormous changes affecting the lives of poor people. but neither the mayor nor the governor control macro economics and they don't control federal entity e8ments. so those are areas that are outside the control. but those discretionary areas that are inside the control of the mayor and the governor, we really had two very progressive forces. >> now one of the thins you often heard from donald trump during the campaign was you know, poor people, their lives haven't gotten much better under barack obama. and he would often say what have you got to lose by switching your
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allegiances what about that argument? >> well, we'll find out. the future will tell us what impact the administration will have on poor people. certainly a three, three and a half percent growth rate which is being projected by the administration as a goal will be helpful in terms of job generation. new york city has been thriving, a significant number of jobs have been created in the hotel industry. in the transportation industry that have been helpful to poor people. the fact that tourism is at record highs, in the 55 million a year range, has been really significant in term its of its impact. so we'll see what the federal impact is. >> toobin: let's talk about robin hood. you have dwl 1120 million roughly to give away every year. how do you decide. there are lots of good people out there doing good work. >> so that's a very pertinent
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question to ask because robin hood over time has developed a very sophisticated set of metrics to determine the cost benefit of a gift. to a nonprofit. and we track the impact of that gift on clients who are served. so what is the impact of a gift to a food pantry, what is the impact of a gift to a special ed class. what the impact of a gift to enhanced tutoring or longer school day. >> toobin: let me stop threw in terms of metrics. because that actually has been very controversial in many areas. measuring student achievement rates, is controversy. you mentioned special ed. how do you measure the affect of putting money into special ed? >> so you have a control group that doesn't get a gift that may have small class sizes or doesn't get a gift that may have
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two extra teachers in the room. or doesn't get a gift that would allow for a longer school day. and then you measure the proficiency of the control group compared with that group that receives that addition. and you measure it over time. you see what the impact is over time. so this measurement is pretty expifns, sometimes. because it involves a longitudinal study and staying with those students. but you try to control for other factors that aren't related to the gift itself. >> rose: so you want a lot of bang for your buck. >> right. >> toobin: and you want to be able to measure it it. >> correct. and we hope that we'll come upon some solutions that are replicable that can go to scale and that can influence systems not only in new york city but elsewhere in the country. >> toobin: have you found that that has been the case so far? >> we found a few that we are think make a major impact,
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curriculum reform. and different kinds of curriculum reform. systems to make food distribution more efficient and effective in the food pantry area. and we're constantly searching for those. >> toobin: now one of your big initiatives that i mentioned at the beginning is to get new yorkers to get the federal benefits to which they ren titled but not receiving. like what? what is it that you are trying to get people to get. >> the start by asking campaign 230 kuseses on four benefits. the earned income tax credit, the snack program or food stamps, the women infant and children's program and the child tax credit. if all new yorkers who were eligible received those benefits, it would take hundreds of thousands of people out of poverty. there are roughly 800,000 new yorkers eligible for one or more of those benefits who are not
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now receiving them. and 1.2 billion of federal money that is fully legislated. it's there untapped. >> toobin: the obvious question is these people are entitled to these benefits, why aren't they asking for them. >> before i get there, around the country the figure is roughly 40 billion. to take one benefit, there are 44 million americans on food stamps. rough estimates are that there are 30% more americans eligible for it, 12 million americans. of those 44 million americans on food stamps, receiving food stamps has taken 10 million of those americans out of poverty. often working class americans who are eligible for food stamps. >> toobin: so what-- why aren't more people asking for what they ren titled? >> for some it is a stigma. so 30 or 35% of the eligible are senior adults. many have worked all their lives. now they are windows or widowers they are on fixed incomes, costs
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have gone up. they become eligible but they think of it as a welfare benefit. and they are reluctant to take it as a result. some are language deficits. some are concerns about immigration. and being new immigrants. and what impact enrollment in any federal program would have. some are bureaucratic obstacles. >> toobin: let me interrupted you since you mentioned imgraitionz and it is is obviously much in the news. these programs like for example food stamps, are people who are undocumented immigrants, are they eligible for food stamps in new york or anywhere else. >> they are not, their children are. >> toobin: how does a two year old get food stamps other than for their parent. >> they enroll for their children. >> toobin: they can enroll but if you are in an environment where people fear any contact with the government maybe they won't enroll and maybe their kids won't get the food. >> which is why the start by asking campaign has developed a
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pretty sophisticated triage system. so where there is a straight forward movement from awareness to enrollment, that can happen pretty automatically by is computer, or by face to face engagement. where it's complicated and someone is at risk, we want to be sure that legal assistance is is provided and legal guidance is provided on what the risks might be. and that requires detail, right, about the particular condition of an immigrant. >> toobin: so this is obviously a major initiative it of yours, why this as opposed to something else. is it because you think it could have this multiplier effect of getting all these dollars in to the hands of poor people? i mean why, why this program? >> jeff, we don't know of any other program that can bring-- that can relieve poverty more quickly for more people at
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less cost with no new legislation, no new executive orders. this money is there for the asking. and it's not a shiny new toivment it's basic blocking and tackling to, in effect, create greater awareness and motivate poor people who are entitled to these benefits to enroll, make them aware and make the process as simple as possible for them. which they can do in new york city by dialing 311. or stop by asking.org. and around the country, i would simply encourage any of your viewers who know poor people, who-- poor people who work for them, who are fellow parishners, who have contact, to encourage them to check out the availability of these four benefits. >> toobin: how do you feel a program like this intersects
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where the political environment in the country? i mean in is a-- a country that just elected donald trump president. we have a republican house, republican senate. and the idea that poor people are getting benefits and maybe too many benefits is pretty wide spread, at least in the federal government. did you feel this is out of step with where the federal government is at the moment. i do not, the stamp plam, the food stamp program has been in existence almost 60 years. by estimates it represents 12 prers of the dollar value of the food purchased in new york city. this is is a very wide spread program through republican administration, through democratic administration, through recessions, through good economic times, this are an income tax credit, one of the things that president ryan and
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obama agreed on. republicans support the. i think there is a consensus that people who work full time and hard at their job should not have to choose between paying an electrical utility bill or buying add sate-- adequate feud for their kids so there are proposals outstanding for tax reform legislation to increase the ceiling for the earned income tax credit. >> let's talk a little bit about how robin food runs. robin hood took from the rich, gave to the poor. i guess that is sort of the joke behind the title in 1988. robin hood is familiar us, perhaps even a little notorious for its famous fundraiser every year at the condition vengs center where you raise this astonishing amount of money in one night. how did that come about? and why did that event take on such a life of its own?
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>> i speak as a historian. i what is not there. >> you weren't there when it started. >> i wasn't when it it started but are you happily the custodian of cashing those big checks, right? >> i am the inheriter and having in my prior incarnation of president of lincoln center i was not unaccompanied to benefits that raised sub staption amounts of money. but this is singular and i think part of it has to do with creating a special occasion and special spirit around poor people there is such energy when you come into the jaffities center with 4,000 people in the room getting exposed to the major themes of what robin hood has accomplished in the year just passed with a focus on metrics, on numbers of reporting back to our share owners on what their gifts last year accomplished an having-- as well. >> what about the argument that
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income inequality, the hedge fund people who have made all this money are in part responsible for the incredible, the poafort, i don't want to call it incredible but that there is something full var-- vulgar or inappropriate because they are such beneficiaries of the current system. >> let's con tell plate the reverse, let's con tell plate for a moment that they maintain the status quoa but didn't give a penny to help poor people by what ethical standard, by what what in our scripture would deem that a better situation than giving privately. i would argue that those who feel that the taxes should be reduced even further and that the government should play less of a role should feel a sense of personal obligation to give more of themselves. >> let's talk a little bit about
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you. you have had a legendary career in the nonprofit world. lincoln center, the rescue committee, 90-- 92nd street y, very different organizations, what is it it like raising money for high culture, lincoln center, versus raising money for poor people? how is is your job as a fundraiser different? i think the nature of the cause matters a lot. it is often said that people are convinced by the power of the salesman. if the salesman believes, they will believe. so i think looking over the right shoulder as i am now of you and imagining what could happen if jeff toobin offered a major gift to robin hood, what would that mean to kids, to hungry kids who would no longer
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be hungry. motivates the request in the same way that in a similar way to what might happen on a stage if someone gives a substantial gift that otherwise might happen or what might happen to the arts in schools if someone offered a major gift. >> there are are a lot of people that are sheepish about asking for money, are you not. >> not in the least. >> why not. >> because i've never encountered in my life an unhappy donor. >> what do you mean by that i mean that people who give of themselves, people who give to something beyond themselve ises feel better about themselves. identify with the cause. i am fond of saying when i was at lincoln center i said that if you gave a substantial gift to lincoln center, a gift of kens requests, a gift that might even hurt a little, an unprecedented gift, i would promise four
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things. you would have a better night sleep, you would have a longer life, would you have an unon strublghted pathway to heaven. and i would arrange for aisle seats when you got there. so with benefits like that, how could we deprive anyone of the opportunity to share. so there is a strong belief on my part that exposing a donor to a challenge and demonstrating that they could make a difference with their resources, not just helps the beneficiaries directly but helps them as well. >> do you mind when people say no? >> they really don't mean it it. >> they mean it was a bad quarter, they mean i came to your office, you didn't come to mine. no is the beginning of a conversation and how-- i mean you seem, you obviously have a great deal of experience in this world and you seem to have rules in a way. how different are people, i mean
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rich people or upper middle class people, they are often very different from each other but it seems like they have a lot more in common perhaps than someone like me might think. >> it's very important for the person asking for funds to find the intersection between the passion and interest of the potential donor and the cause. and that means trying to know as much about your prospect and what motivates them, their children, the schools they went to, where they came from, what their values are and to engage in a conversation that finds that meeting place. >> so you have to do a substantial amount of research before you go ask someone for money. >> yes, i'm in a position, i have been in a position where others do that research but i'm a consumer of that research, absolutely. >> now david geoffin just gave what was it, 100 million to rename avery firver haul. some people said it's going to cost $500 million to redo avery
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fisher haul. why did they give it away for $100 million. they should have asked for $200 million. how do you plaik a judgement like that. >> like why, whether 100 million is enough or it should be 200 or 300 or 50 million. >> you know t is sometimes said that every cab driver in new york t would be a better mayor than the mayor or think this he would be a better mayor than the mayor. i have lardly encountered more second guessing than the guessing about what others would give or should have given under what circumstances. so a hundred million dollar gifts to cultural institutions are very, very significant. it wasn't until maybe ten years ago that harvard, your at ma matter got their first 100 million gift. >> not from me. >> no. >> so for cultural institutions for libraries, for parks.
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to be in that class if i kaition of giving at that level is historic. and extremely meaningful and speaks to people about their importance. so david's gift was very significant. >> but we read today of hedge fund people whose yearly incomes are now over a billion colors, do you think that that new class of robber barons is doing enough in the philanthropic world. >> i quoo like to remind everyone that maybe 30 years ago bill gates was the subject of great criticism because he was earning very substantial amounts of money and giving away very little i don't think anyone says that any more. so philanthropy has a place in your life's tra ject ore. and often that comes in a later stage in life as certainly it it
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did for warren buff net his own giving pattern. so i would be patient with individuals who are have made a lot of money but haven't yet give ten away. the growth of donor advised funds, the growth of foundations, the increase in given in the country is is very substantial and i would suspect it it would continue to grow. i hope that there aren't tax constraints impieced on givers. i think that would be discouraging gretting rid of the tax deduct ability of charitable gifts which is one subject that sometimes is is talked about. >> or significantly reducing it. >> right. >> i think would have an adverse impact on not giving but the amounts that are given. but absent that jeff, i used to hear wealthy people talk about their private plans i out used to hear people talk about thrair
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third or fourth or fifth homes. i now hear wealthy people talk about where they should give, how they should give, how they should involve their children what forms they their giving should take the growth of philanthropy in america i think is very bright. >> it is bright but boy, i think gates is a wonderful example because he has established this foundation which is vast and active and has had tremendous impact in a variety of fields. but where are the hedge fund billionaires. where are their foundations, you say not yet, but there are a lot of needs right now. >> i will tell tu is is an illustration of where hedge fund people are. where our board is well-known. and many of our board members are extraordinarily generous and not only to robin hood but to many other causes i think you
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will see a sharp increase in the size of foundations and in the number of foundations kruing many new actors at significant orders of magnitude of increase. >> i take it it you have names in m people who really are step newspaper this way i expect are you not going to tell me on television but you think will are people getting ready, like mark zuckerberg just created this enormous institution. >> i know there are, i know there are and that tra jectory depends very much, i often say philanthropy is biography. >> what do you mean by that where you come from, what your values are. how you think about giving to others what form that might take. there are a lot of people who think that growing their firms and moving from employing 500 people to 50,000 people is an extraordinary important act and we value that, timly we value it
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in recessions, right? so there are certain times in someone's life where they are really focused on their business 24/7 and feel they can't do philanthropy properly to have that place so they push it it back and everyone has its time and philanthropy has its time. others get their earlier maybe because their parents started earlier, maybe because they were brought up in a different way. >> will philanthropy ever replace government in helping poor people. >> never. so every place where robinhood operates, any field in which it operates, government resources, dwarf by 20-1, 50 to 1, a thousand 1 one what private philanthropy can do and that is why they start by asking campaign is so critical. because there is is no way that private resources can possibly
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substitute for the women infant and children's program. a hung tree child is something we all can identify with millions of hungry americans is a statistic we rant to reduce those numbers and reduce them considerably. anyone in your odd thens who knows of people who they think are eligible i would just encourage them have them call 311 or start by asking.org. >> thank you, of the robin hood foundation, thanks for being on charlie's show. >> thank you very much. >> for more about this program and earlier episodes visit us online at pbs.org and charlie rose.com. captioning sponsored by rose communications captioned by media access group at wgbh access.wgbh.org
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on the next charlie rose a look ahead to the 89th annual academy awards with a.o. scott of the new york sometimes. >> whether this is a watershed moment s is tht beginning of a new normal, honestly it's just too soon to say, yes, this is progress, this is is the
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solution, no, i mean, it happens that there are some great film this year lead by african-american actors, people of color and that's great. but i don't know, in some ways i'm almost looking beyond the academy, looking at the blockbusters coming thark is almost more indicative where the industry is headed. >> rose: funding for "charlie rose" has been provided by: >> and by bloomberg, a provider of multimedia news and information services worldwide. >> you're
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a kqed television production. >> it's sort of like old fisherman's wharf. it reminds me of old san francisco. >> and you'd be a little bit like jean valjean, with the teeth, whatever. >> and worth the calories, the cholesterol, and the heart attack you might have. >> it's like an adventure, you know? you gotta put on your miner's helmet. >> it reminds me of oatmeal with a touch of wet dog. >> i did. inhaled it. >> p

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