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tv   Key Capitol Hill Hearings  CSPAN  March 28, 2014 8:00am-10:01am EDT

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i am sorry that they're not here today. it's excellent that they revealed some information because we do want to have more data but that's very incomplete. first of all, by not not includg the information, it does not give a complete picture, and surely sallie mae has control over, no worries about any kind of instructions from the department of education not to release that information, so that would be extremely useful information. ..
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>> thank you very much. i'm very disappointed that sallie mae did not come today, and i think it's important that we take a closer look at how all of our servicers are performing. but we need accurate data to be able to do that, so thank you. want to ask a second question, that's about the student loan program. you know, student loan program just from 2007 to 2012 are now on target to make $66 billion in profits for the united states government. just that small cohort. and let's keep in mind these are the best data we have available. these are government data, these are not data anybody else made up. the gao, the cbo to, the fed are all looking in the same direction at what's happening to students that are loading up on student loan debt. and right now best estimate we have is that the interest rate we're going to charge next year to our students is double, nearly double, the rate that
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undergraduates would have to pay in order to have the program break even. and as much as triple for graduate students. i think it is obscene for the federal government to be making profits like this off the backs of our students. so the question i want to is ask is with $1.2 trillion in outstanding student loan debts and a third of borrowers more than 90 days delinquent on their student loan debt, this is crushing our young people. and i'd just like you to talk about what the implications of this are for young people who are starting their lives. dr. cooper, could you talk about that, please? >> absolutely. i think that we definitely need to keep these things in mind because as we extend even some of our repayment options to 20, 25 years out, we have to recognize that then delays students' ability to make life choices like buying a home,
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saving for retirement, things we've all heard about, i'm sure, in various articles and reports. so we need to be mindful. we want our students to be effective and active parts of our economy. we don't want them saddled with debt for the first 20 years after college. >> i see that my time is up. would it be all right if we had a couple more responses? just responses, i won't ask any more questions. anyone else? >> of my clients who did not succeed the first time around, the debt is crushing their opportunity to try again. and they really are trying again. i think if we looked at the cost that way in the long term, it would cost us less to have them actually succeed. >> i would answer from the perspective of having a many member of the few, young staff in my office as well as the students we serve. and, yes, they're delaying those life choices. they are utilizing the income-based repayment plans
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just to asuggestion them, but homeownership, all of the things we think contribute to a successful economy and that we want to have happen to drive our economy towards more health are being deferred or delayed because of the debt. >> i would just say that it is a burden, and i concur with what the other individuals have said, and that i appreciate what this committee is doing to help our students be successful not only in school, but in the repayment process. >> well, i appreciate all of you coming here today. i appreciate the work you're doing day in and day out and be, thank you, mr. chairman and ranking member alexander, for having this hearing today. there is no problem that is more urgent in our economy and in our country. we don't build a future if we crush our young people with debt and don't let them have a fighting chance to get a start. thank you. >> senator warren. >> none of you in your
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teimony's touched on something i also, we also need to look at, and that is the lack of any limits on graduate student loans. prior to 2005 kids going to graduate school could borrow stafford loans up to a certain limit. in 2005 a few program was started, the grad loan plus program. so today a student going into graduate school can borrow up to the maximum of their stafford loan, and they can go to this new program created in 2005 that has no limits. i'm just amazed at this. and i'm wondering that i've seen a lot of these loans and grad students that it's really accelerated since 2005. huge. i'm going to get more data on that. it's happened there.
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i have two questions. one, should we be looking at, again, establishing limits on grad plus loans? and secondly, how much does the fact that these graduate loans are going up to $100, $200,000 raise the average national lope indebted -- loan indebtedness that we see of all students? i've said before be i think the average is $29,000. how much of that is boosted up because of the grad plus loans that are out there? so those are kind of two questions. should we put be limits on it? ms. johnson? >> first of all, the statistic about the average indebtedness, when schools are required to report their indebtedness on common data set, etc., the question is always asked what is the average indebtedness of your undergraduate students. >> oh, i see. >> i have never been asked to
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report on the average indebtedness of my graduate students. >> do you have that data? >> no. >> how come? >> we've been trying to do, we've been trying today a study on our campus because we did get a grant to study this. it's difficult because you have to sort out -- many students come to you later after having done their undergraduate study, they've already consolidated some of their loans which are then in a big balance, and trying to figure out what's graduate, what's undergraduate is a difficult prospect. but, no, we've never been asked to do that. >> are you telling me we don't really know? >> i don't know. >> the indebtedness of these grad plus loans? is that a fact? >> senator harkin, what i can say to that is i don't know the indebtedness, but i do know that graduate student borrowing has increased between 2008 and 2012 which discuss suggest that we -- which does suggest that we may want to take a closer look at
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grad plus loan policy. >> but the grad plus loans comes through the department of education through that loan program, right? >> correct. >> and we really tonight have a handle -- don't have a handle on how much is going out there and how much students are borrowing? i find that disturbing. because i have -- maybe some of it's anecdotal -- about, you know, there are 200,000 departments and things like that for kids what go to graduate school. and they have these huge debts. and they may not get jobs after that that really comport with that. maybe they're going into teaching, and they can't pay that back. am i missing something here? >> it would also be worthwhile looking at how much of that's grad school debt versus undergraduate debt, and sometimes in the report it totals, we're not able to disaggregate what belongs at the undergraduate level versus what's at the graduate level. but as i said before, it has been for the grad plus loan
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program that we have seen increases in the number of borrowers in that program. >> just a moment. well, i wish -- is there anyone here from the department of education? i intend to ask them and find out from this committee what kind of data they have on these grad plus loans. how much is outstanding, how many are being defaulted on, separate that out from the regular stafford loans. this is amazing. last thing i would say is i have a bill in. it's s. 546, it's called the smarter borrowing act. to strengthen loan counseling, create more requirements for schools. i'd ask each of you -- i have a lot of cosponsors. i'd ask you to take a look at it and tell me what needs to be done to it to change it and modify it. one more question i have. ms. still, you said something that again startles me. you said under current federal
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regulations, schools are prohibited from acquiring additional loan counseling for students who appear to be overborrowing or who by statistical indicators appear most at risk of defaulting. i -- is this so? [laughter] >> yes, sir. thank you, mr. harkin. absolutely. the federal regulations require entrance counseling as a prerequisite, but after that institutions are not allowed to require additional counseling for disbursement. we can offer it, but we're not allowed to require it. and without the ability to require it, there's no teeth in it. >> anybody got any -- i saw you nodding your head. >> i would agree with her assessment. no, there is -- there was one with school, i believe, in florida that was attempting to do this, and then the department told them to cease because it was not written in so -- in statute so that they didn't have
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a legal -- >> is there a reason for this? anybody got any kind of logical reason that schools are prohibited from doing this? anybody? well, again, i think that's definitely something we have to look at. i was not aware of that. thank you very much. i'm sorry, senator alexander. >> no, i appreciate senator harkin's line of inquiry. i was handed in this information from an article this year from inside higher education that said the median overall indebtedness for a borrower who earned a graduate degree increased in inflation-adjusted dollars from $40,000 in 2004 to $57,000 in 201. but let me -- ms. dill, you said the average indebtedness, lee is a university with -- you don't have graduate program, right? >> we do have -- >> but most of your students are undergraduates. >> that's correct, sir. >> and your average ip debtedness is $29,000?
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>> that reported data element is undergraduate. >> that's undergraduate. >> uh-huh. >> and, ms. johnson, yours is 30,000 for undergraduates. now, is that because that's about the maximum a p student could borrow in an undergraduate four years or five years? and what i'm trying to get to, are students simply because the interest rate is 3.86%, are they just borrowing all they can? all they're allowed to? is that not right? why are your numbers about the same? >> well, that is an interesting question. the aggregate loan limit for dependent undergrad student is $31,000. be. >> so your -- >> the aggregate limit for an independent student is $57,000. >> so they could borrow more. >> correct. >> is it your judgment that if you were allowed to, if students were required with each disbursement to have some sort of financial counseling, that that would be good for the student? or would that just be another
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federal regulation that caused college administrators to do a lot of unnecessary work? >> well, what i am advocating is that it would be allowed that we could require the additional -- >> but not required. >> but not required because you do have the statistical indicators of the students that are most probably capable and will repay. and you don't want to create an unnecessary administrative burden. but i am asking and advocating for the -- >> ms. johnson? >> -- authority. >> what we've done at our institution is prior to disbursement, we require a student to at least say, yes, i still want this or, no, i don't. and there is a link to repayment which says, oh, by the way, if you take the disbursement, here's how much it's going to cost you now. >> slide around it. >> yes. [laughter] >> but you do do it with private loans. >> yes, we do. >> so you'd like to have it as a tool. >> correct. i would agree. i would not make it mandatory, but allow it to -- or permit it. >> that would require changing a
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department regulation, is that correct? >> yes. >> the only other thing, you know, i'd like to end up where i started out. i haven't, i can't remember anyone who said to me it's easy to pay or more college. and for me it wasn't so easy, and scholarships and jobs and all that. but i think it's important as we have this discussion to remember that according to the new york federal reserve at the end of 2012, 40% of borrowers had loans of less than 10,000 or less. 70 had loans of less than $25,000. and less than 4% had federal student loan debt above $100,000, and the college board said a college degree's worth a billion dollars over your lifetime. so while all these problems we've raised we these to address, i don't want to exaggerate them so much that students are afraid, students miss the point that if you want to go to community college, it's
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freebaseically on the average as far as be -- free basically on the average as far as tuition and fees are concerned. and it's a few thousand dollars at a public university, and that loans are available, and the opportunity is there. and my hope is that because of this we can simplify the application form and simplify the various options people have for loan repayment, and we'll probably have a debate about expanding those opportunities. and as a result, many more students will find it easier to go to college and easier to find out this advance as you've suggested what their loan and grant will add up to before they apply to iowa state or to lee or to somewhere else. and then they're going to have an easier way to find out what their loan repayments are. so i thank the chairman for such an excellent hearing and appreciate be being involved. >> thank you very much. senator warren? we have time. i know the vote's been called, but -- >> thank you, mr. chairman. i appreciate your holding this hearing. very important, and thank you all for coming. >> it was great.
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we had really good testimony here today. i, again, would ask all of you, please look at that bill i mentioned and tell me what we need to do to modify be, change it, that type of thing. i would really, really appreciate that. i want to tank all of our witnesses for sharing their expertise today, all my colleagues. i request the record remain open until april 10th for additional statements and questions for the record. ms. johnson, i can't let this moment pass without thanking you for wearing the red and billion dollar. [laughter] red and gold of the cyclones, and i'll take advantage of the fact that mr. murphy is not here to say tomorrow night, go cyclones. [laughter] >> well, just a minute here. [laughter] at 7:15 tennessee plays michigan. >> tonight? >> tomorrow night. >> we're all be cheering. >> yeah, right. >> thank you very much. [inaudible conversations]
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>> today on c-span2 a discussion about marijuana policy and the potential for legalization to spread to more states beyond colorado and washington. live coverage from the new america foundation begins at 9:30 eastern. also air force secretary tennessee rah lee james will speak to the group women in international security. that's live at 1:30 eastern.
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♪ >> dear congress, our fames are shelley, hannah and -- [inaudible] and we attend an art school in phoenix, arizona. throughout the years we have encountered a handful of friends with mental illnesses, and throughout those years we have of seen how a lack of support for treatment can result in devastating events as well as emotional distress for those individuals and their families. >> when i look back on the incident that took place in tucson, the tragedy where i was shot and congresswoman giffords was shot and 17 other people were wounded and six people died, the young man who did those shootings, who hot us, had been -- who shot us, had been displaying symptoms of mental illness for at least two years before that time. >> we've announced the winners of this year's student cam video competition on what's the most important issue congress should address this year. watch the top 21 winning videos
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starting tuesday and ever weekday throughout the month be at 6:50 a.m. eastern on c-span and see all the winning documentaries online at studentcam.org. >> c-span2, providing live coverage of the u.s. senate floor proceedings and key public policy events, and every weekend booktv. now for 15 years the only television network devoted to nonfiction books and authors. c-span2, created by the cable tv industry and funded by your local cable or satellite provider. watch us in hd, like us on facebook and follow us on twitter. >> yesterday investigators discussed their inquiry into the closure of traffic lanes wailing through the george -- wading through the george washington bridge between new york and new jersey. lead attorney randy mastro says new jersey governor chris christie had no prior knowledge and assigned blame to an aide to
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the governor and a port authority official. this briefing is a little more than an hour. >> good morning, ladies and gentlemen. my name is randy mastro of gibson, dunn and crutcher, and i'm here today with my colleagues, five former federal prosecutors, a team we put together to conduct this investigation on behalf of the governor's office of new jersey. and we're here today to brief you on our report and our findings of after that ten week investigation. this is a team of professional former federal prosecutors with more than 50 years of government experience and many, many internal investigations. as part of our backgrounds. ten weeks ago we set about to do this investigation. we've since conducted over 70 interviews. we've reviewed more than 250,000 documents. and at the same time, we have
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facilitated cooperation with other ongoing investigations. and i'm here today to tell you our bottom line findings and then to answer your questions. we probably won't be able to get to everything today. you'll probably have many more questions as you read our 34 345-page report which we consider to have been based on a thorough and exhaustive review. i'll be happy to take questions as you go through that report later and to get you the information that you request. but for today's purposes, let me come to the bottom line, findings. first, in connection with allegations related to the george washington bridge realignment, we found that governor christie had no knowledge beforehand of this george washington bridge realignment idea and that he played no role whatsoever this
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that decision or -- in that decision or the implementation of it. we further found no evidence that anyone in the governor's office besides bridget kelly knew of this idea in advance or played any role in the decision or the implementation of it. what we did find was that after the decision to implement the lane realignment while it was going on and in its aftermath, the members of the governor's office -- some of them -- became aware of the lane realignment, inquired of port authority representatives and were told this was a legitimate traffic study and that it was an operational issue for the port authority to deal with.
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we further found that as the controversy grew by early december, that there were rumors about potential of others' involvement, appropriate steps were taken to try to determine if anyone else in the governor's office, anyone in the governor's office, was involved in the lane realignment decision. and that when those appropriate inquirilies were made, bridget -- inquiries were made, bridget kelly lied to her colleagues and even reached out to a subordinate and asked them to destroy a potentially incriminating dc unit. document. and we further found that it was not until january the 8th, 2014, when documented that had been subpoenaed were first revealed that they showed that david
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wildstein and bridget kelly had participated in this act, this decision and the implementation of it to realign this george washington bridge lanes at fort lee. and we further found based on our investigation that david wildstein is the person who originated this idea and orchestrated it. david wildstein went to bridget kelly for approval in the governor's office and that they had an ulterior motive for implementing that decision; to in some way target the may i don't have of fort lee -- the mayor of fort lee. we're not able to answer every question today. we're not able to answer what that ulterior motive was. but we can say that the evidence does not establish that that
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ulterior motive was to target the mayor because he did not endorse governor christie for re-election. in fact, there's substantial contrary evidence. in fact, the evidence shows that both the governor's office and the christie campaign knew as early as march 2013 that the mayor would not be endorsing the governor for re-election. yet by his own account, he continued to have good relations with the christie administration and, indeed, was on a list of mayors being considered for honorary appointments by the governor as recently as may. 2013. we further find that when the governor became aware that bridget kelly in his office had
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been involved in the decision to close these lanes, he took appropriate action, he fired bridget kelly, and then he commissioned this investigation and made a public commitment early on before our investigation had progressed beyond its initial stages that he was going to release our findings to the public. before he could have known what they would be and what our recommendations would be. and he directed us on the day we were retained -- which was the first time i ever met governor governor christie -- to find out what the facts are, whatever they may be, to report them back to the governor's office and to make recommendations as we saw fit to address the problems so that something like this never happens again.
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and that is what we have done in our 345-page report. now as to the second issue that we were asked to investigate involving hoboken's sandy aid, we find that mayor zimmer's allegations that members of the christie administration delivered a message from the governor to her threatening hoe boeing b's sandy aid -- hoe boeing been's sandy aid unless she supported a private development project are not only unsubstantiated, they are demonstrably false in material respects. mayor zimmer's subjective perceptions do not match the objective reality reflected in the hard evidence that we uncovered during our investigation. in fact, they are contradicted
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by contemporaneous documents, witness accounts and her own prior statements. so no remedial actions are required in regard to those allegations. finally, i wanted to briefly summarize some of the recommendations that we have made to the governor. because while the actions of the few, there was a violation, a breach of the public trust that we take very seriously and we take our mandate very seriously to make recommendations to the governor that something -- in the his office that something like this never happen again. so among the recommendations that we have made to governor's office are that iga, that's the intergovernmental affairs
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office, that was run by bridget kelly in 2013, that that office be disbanded and that the governor's office be reorganized and its functions be combined with those of the governor's office of constituent relations into an office of legislative and condition stitch went -- constituent services. to get back to the original mission of that office. which was to provide constituent services, to provide services to local elected officials in a nonpartisan way, open to all. the way that office functioned during the first three-plus years of governor request christie's -- golf christie's administration until the aberrational behavior directed by bridget kelly in 2013. and the mission of that office should be made crystal clear: to
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be a service function for all in a nonpartisan manner. second, we've recommended to the governor's office that the governor appoint an ombudsman and a chief earth thugs officer for the -- ethics officer for the governor's office. the ombudsman would be a senior statesman of unquestioned integrity and independence to report directly to the governor and to issue periodic reports to the public as both a resource, a sounding board and a place to go to for complaints within the golf's office. within the governor's office. and we have recommended separately the appointment of a chief ethics officer for the office of the governor to be responsible for ethicsen --
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ethics enfortment, conflicts resolution and training. and that that person should have a direct reporting relationship both with the chief counsel for the governor, the ombudsman and an ability to report to governor as well. finally, in regard to the port authority which is where this lane realignment was effectuated, we recommend the appointment of a bi-state commission to examine ways in which to fundamentally restructure or and reform -- and reform the port authority to insure its independence and professionalism. this incident exemplifies that there are times within the port authority where the rivalries between new york and new jersey have led to communication failures and other problematic
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issues. a bi-state commission appointed by both governors can look at ways to help improve the operations of the port authority to make it truly independent and professional, to serve the needs of both states. in the first instance, a commission will hopefully look at these types of issues. first, when it's appropriate to restructure so that there are new jersey and new york divisions, functions, projects principally in one state or the other that will be run by each of those states so that those states will be truly accountable for the projects applicable to each state. second, to look at ways to restructure the appointments process at the port authority to
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encourage independence and professionalism. terms of years, staggered terms that exceed the lengths of terms of governors and joint appointments by both governors to increase independence and responsibility within the port authority. that is a brief summary, ladies and gentlemen, of our findings and recommendations. and now i would be pleased to take questions. yes -- [inaudible] >> [inaudible] well, governor christie's lawyer, the fact that you found he did nothing wrong here because that's what you're supposed to do, work for him. and they would doubt these findings. >> sure, sure. the premise of the question is wrong, david, because the premise of the question is that our law firm works for an individual. our law firm was retained by the office of the governor. we were retained by a public office, and we have an obligation to that public office. and whatever the facts were that
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we found, our obligation -- and it was publicly stated -- was the report those findings pack to that office -- back to that office. and that office announced publicly long before we'd reached any point of rendering findings or knowing what our finding would be that those findings would be put out to public. and, david, had we found evidence to the contrary of what we found, we would have been reporting that. and, of course, in facilitating our cooperation with investigations we would have been providing that evidence to investigators. what we found, david, what we found was that governor christie had no involvement in the decision to close these lanes and no prior knowledge of it. not a shred of evidence of it. and we're obligated to report that back. that is our public responsibility. both as lawyers and to a public
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office. yes, andrea. >> did you interview witnesses under oath to, and what's chairman -- [inaudible] >> okay to. our interviews were not under oath just as initial interviews that other investigations are doing are typically not under oath. chairman sampson had denied any prior knowledge of the lane closure incident in prior statements he had made, so we had the benefit of that, but we did not have the opportunity to interview him. yes. >> most residents of new jersey are realizing that this cost -- [inaudible] gagging on their breakfast. what does the million dollars buy -- [inaudible] >> well, first of all, i have no idea what the cost of this has been, but i will say that to do an investigation like this and to have to facilitate
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cooperation with other investigations that have issued sweeping, overbroad subpoenas is a costly proposition. it's a costly proposition for the governor's office, for the legislative committees, for those individuals who are involved. but let me also say this, it's a search for the truth. and we believe we have gotten to the truth, or we would not be reporting it. it serves no one's interest, no one's interest be -- certainly not my or my law firm's enter, certainly not the governor's office's interest or the constituency it serves, the people of new jersey -- for us to have done anything other than to try to get to the truth here and to address it. because, ladies and gentlemen, there are other investigations that will make findings after we are done. we will be judged at thened of the day by -- at the end of the day by whether we got this right. we intended to get it right, we believe we've gotten it right. we've admitted where we don't have answers yet, and other
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investigations we'll continue to work with to see that they get those answers. but as to the most important questions, we believe we got it right. we'll ultimately be judged by that. and we had to work even harder to get it right now so that the people of new jersey could be assured as a matter of public trust whether the officials in their governor's office have conducted themselves appropriately or not. so, yes, our findings today are a vindication of governor christie and what he said all along, that he had no knowledge of this lane realignment beforehand and no involvement in that decision. but it's a sad day too. it is a sad day for all of us to know that there were people in public office, in the governor's office and at the port authority, who breached the public trust in this way. and that's why we have made the recommendations to governor christie that we have. >> [inaudible] >> yes, brian. >> a couple things on sampson.
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a, why you didn't involve him. he was quoted if an e-mail -- [inaudible] in an e-mail saying that he had made a big mistake. we know that wildstein had talked about having retaliation. the questions are, a, how does the governor prevent himself -- the governor -- from appointing basically people who turn out to be political hacks, who turn the port authority into their crazy idea of playpen, into their piggybank? other than reforming terms on the commission, i don't see and hear you getting to the point of how did he put these people in that position that they were, essentially, either morally corrupt or otherwise. >> there's many parts to your question. let me start with, and i think i answered andrea's question before. we didn't have the opportunity to question david sampson -- >> [inaudible]
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>> the wolf sampson firm declined to have party there interviewed. >> [inaudible] >> but, let -- please let me answer his question first. we're not going to interrupt each other. now, brian, as to your other question, we think the reforms that we are talking about here including someone like a chief ethics officer who'd be involved in screening are -- and ethics issues relating to appointments and conduct, we think that that many part addresses -- in part addresses what you're saying. i want to be crystal clear though. i want to be crystal clear. we found that it was the action of the few. this is not reflective of the whole. and the many honorable people who serve in the governor's office, many of them former l federal prosecutors themselves, have very distinguished and long careers in public service. so it is sad that bridget kelly
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did what she did. it is sad that david wildstein did what he did. and our report reflects our findings in regard to those individuals. but it is not reflective of the actions of the whole at either the governor's office or the port authority this. yes, yes. >> [inaudible] >> okay. but, brian, we have so many people here. you do one quick one, please. >> [inaudible] about sampson. would you recommend that the governor ask for his resignation? >> again, what our report reflects, it was not about david sampson or his conduct. he denied having any prior knowledge and connection with the lane closures. so that was not -- and he was not involved in the hoboken issue at all. the allegation that, made by mayor zimmer that the funding of a rockefeller group study by the port authority, a study of hoe
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boeing been's north -- hoboken's north end that the port authority paid for that found the rockefeller group's project should be designated for development, it turns out that it was mayor zimmer who asked the port authority to fund the study. and the port authority decided to fund that study before david sampson ever became the sitting chair of the port authority. so from our perspective, the issues you are raising were not the issues of our investigation. yes, please. >> [inaudible] >> yes, i know. i know, steve. >> since the lane closures had come to light, it's been reported and well documented that david wildstein had done other things in the past -- [inaudible] that would be seen as being vindictive. his leadership style had been characterized, let's say, as being very brazen. it was well known to many people -- [inaudible] with that in mind, i'm wondering
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then how did it come to this point where the governor or his administration felt comfortable putting him in such a position of authority that gave him the opportunity pretty much to do whatever he wanted to at the port authority? >> sure. that's a good question. our report reflects that we found david wildstein's appointment came about because bill baroni had been appointed to be the executive director at the port authority. that's representative of the new jersey side. and that bill baroni recommended that a david wildstein be his number two at the port authority. it was not a recommendation made in the first instance by the governor's office. now, the fact that it happened and this person was in that position and we've made the findings we have which is that this was a david wildstein-driven idea, this was a david wildstein-orchestrated land close off-- lane closure,
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that he himself had a history for some reason of caring about this, these dedicated fort lee lanes as some kind of favored treatment of fort lee. the evidence shows from port authority officials' testimony and internal port authority documents that david wildstein raised this idea, this concern about the fort lee lanes as early as late 2010 and came back to it periodically and pushed it in 2013. we were not able to determine why, why he had a personal or political animus towards fort lee or at some subsequent point the mayor who wasn't even mayor in late 2010 with. but we have concluded based on the evidence that we saw that there was some personal or political animus that wildstein must have had and that kelly joined him by approving in this.
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>> brief follow up real quickly. >> brief follow up. we have to let other people have their chance, please. >> bill baroni -- [inaudible] port authority said, and he introduced people at the highest levels of the agency as a personal friend of the governor's. and he told people at the top of that agency that he had to have a top-level position on the executive board, that this was coming straight from the governor's office. did you find otherwise? >> we did not find that to be the case, and if bill baroni was making that representation to try to enhance his own or wildstein's stature within a very contentious port authority between new jersey and new york sides, it was not true. and we did not find any evidence to support any such thing. in fact, we found contrary evidence. yes. yes, chief. >> given that you're very close to rudy giuliani -- [inaudible] you weren't able to interview
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wildstein, kelly or -- [inaudible] >> okay. again, and i'm going to have to take each of these parts in turn. first, the word you just used. again, this is a vindication of governor christie in that we found what he'd been saying all along was true, that he had no prior
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as a matter of fact, it was true. and what we felt was inconclusive or we could not determine we said that in our report and said we would continue to cooperate with investigations. now i come to the third part of your question, which is that i didn't get to interview while sting. i can get to interview kelley. they both taken the fifth amendment. as a point to many of you in the press would not get to interview david wildstein or bridget kelly. that is true. neither has the legislative committee going to get to interview bridget kelly and david wildstein but because they taken the fifth amendment against answering questions. the litigation that's going on right now is not about whether they can be forced to answer questions. it's about whether documents will have to be produced. david wildstein produced documents including his personal documents. already produced them to the legislature and they have been
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put out publicly. bridget kelly and david wildstein to our knowledge are not talking to u.s. attorney's office because they are the focus of the investigation. and in our experience as former federal prosecutors it's unusual for people who are the focus of an investigation to be going in and telling their story. they are often taking the fifth amendment which, in fact, they are, but even if eventually they do come forward, you have to evaluate the credibility of what they say under the circumstances at the time of when they say. and the -- based on the hard evidence that exists out there because we have an old maxim in investigations, witnesses lie, documents don't. and we have hard evidence. we have seen and have unfettered
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access to files. not only government files from the governor's office, but the personal e-mails and text messages of the governor, lieutenant governor, former senior staff and the governor's office. so we know what communications they have had, if any, with david wildstein and bridget kelly. and we have, thanks to the legislature, we have david wildstein's personal e-mails and texts. he was given a subpoena to produce everything he had on the george washington bridge. he produced documents. i take it that he produced everything that he had responded to that subpoena. in fact, recently went back and unredacted more information that we all could see. and bill baroni didn't take the fifth amendment. he produced his documents to the
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legislature and we have seen some of his personal e-mails and texts. so what do we have now? we have wild scheme to kelly, while sting to stepien, while sting to baroni and wild scheme to others. official and personal. we saw a. we have baroni to wild sting. baroni to kelly. baroni the stepien. official and personal. we saw it. the only thing that we haven't seen and we seen a lot more than anybody else in this room has seen because we've seen the personal text and e-mails of those in the governor's office, senior levels, and even some former members. not -- but we haven't seen is stepien to kelly or kelly to stepien during the relevant period. but guess what? what we found was that whatever personal relationship, brief,
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stepien and kelly had, and ended by the first week of august 2013. and they largely stopped speaking. so i don't expect we know it from our witness interviews. and it was confirmed on multiple interviews. let me just finish. let me just finish. let me just finish. we shouldn't be yelling out but let me just finish. we don't expect necessarily to see anything more come from that. but we have seen so much. we've seen so much hard evidence, and after all this time one would expect with all of that hard evidence, all of those private communications that we have access to come and we've seen, some of which you've seen, some more of which you get to see now because the governor's office decided that we should publish this report. we believe based on that hard evidence that we can make the fines we have, and there is not a shred, not a shred of hard evidence that the governor did
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anything other than what he has publicly said, that he had no knowledge of the lane closures beforehand, and that he had no role in the decision to implement it, or any implication of it. [inaudible] >> will they be a waiver of attorney-client privilege? >> you are getting with the report today hundreds of exhibits. hundreds of internal documents that have never been revealed before. there are 1400 plus footnotes referring to those materials. they've all been posted online for you to review your selves. virtually every proposition in this document is footnoted inside the. the question you ask, of course the governor's office is aware
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that there may be implications for privilege from disclosing this report and disclosing the documents that have been disclosed. and i think that that says something about the governor's office that it has decided to release of the report, decided weeks ago to release this report knowing that there might be implications for privilege. we are -- let me just finish. one second. i know everyone has a lot of questions. and again i'm going to be happy to take questions individually later as you've had a chance to review the entire report, but we are cooperating with the u.s. attorney's office investigation. i'm not going to comment on what those discussions in jail, other than to say that we have briefed that office, kept them apprised of what we have been finding, reporting to them in some cases identifying witnesses they might not have been aware of.
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and we're going to continue that process, and we're going to continue to work with that office to provide full cooperation. so we are not today releasing the direct accounts of our interviews. we are going to continue to work with the u.s. attorney's office to facilitate their investigation. they have a different process. i'm not going to comment on their process other than to say we respected and we're going to continue to cooperate with their process. yes, please. [inaudible] >> well, i wouldn't put it that way, but the fact of the matter is that when you conceive of something like this and you decide to hide it from our colleagues and you decide to use personal e-mail and text so there's nothing reflected on your government communications, and when your colleagues like your immediate boss comes to you
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on direction from the governor to question you in particular, and july -- and you lie and then you go back and check your files and you call one of your colleagues, a subordinate and you tell her, i'm getting grilled about this, and to try to take her temperature to see whether she remembers what happened that week the way you do, and then when you realized she does remember things that we can remember skating a personal e-mail from you that might be incriminating later, and you ask her to destroy it, how is the governor, how is his senior staff supposed to have uncovered that? i suggest you that hindsight is always 2020 and there's a lot of people that now reflect back and wish she hadn't been given the benefit of the doubt. but she consciously tried to
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cover up her actions. that showing consciousness of guilt, and it shows something else. she was coming up for a reason to choose coming up from our colleagues like the chief of staff and the governor who didn't know what she did. that's what it tells you. go ahead. [inaudible] >> wouldn't the public know a lot more about -- if the governor had conducted an exit interview with her himself? [inaudible] >> i'm glad you asked that question. because the premise is wrong. there was no exit interview of bridget kelly. [inaudible] >> the decision was made when
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these revelations which came as a shock to the governor and others on the senior staff about bridget kelly's role, that she should be fired. and the decision was made to fire her right then and there on the eighth. and i think when one looks back in hindsight on that, one can understand exactly why that decision was made. so that no one could suggest there was any attempt to come in interviewing bridget kelly, to do anything to affect what would be a future investigation of h her. >> a lot of information she had but now -- >> let me, i appreciate the question and we have to let other people ask questions. now you've had your follow-up. so let me just finish with the follow-up. you know, would i have liked to confront bridget kelly? what a lot of people in the governor's office have liked to confront her at that moment? i think the answer is obvious. the answer is yes, but the governor's decision to fire her
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speaks, of somebody who made a decision because he believed she had to be fired because she had lied to him and his chief of staff and others in the governor's office. and i respect that decision. let that gentlemen -- [inaudible] >> whose motives you don't know. the governor's star, wouldn't they kind of serve the governor here? [inaudible] >> okay. i'm not going to comment on the latter category. that will be up to other investigators to determine. that was not part of our mandate, and you know, these are breaches of public trust, a wholly separate question whether, what else they might constitute. as to the first part of your question, it goes to something
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that has been raised by others. members of the legislative committee during this investigation who have been seeing the evidence we have seen. as of today we have substantially completed in the production of documents to that committee pursuant to its subpoena. they can see the evidence that we see, or the lack of evidence of the compass rose with you start to change the nature of the debate to be about whether a culture was created in the governor's office of partisan retaliation. now, i just have to say this. we found that to be unsubstantiated. and, in fact, we found substantial evidence to the contrary. and that is in our reports, on pages 135-137. but let me also say this, the
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personal and political motives of david wildstein as one of your colleagues in the press from cnn noted earlier, seen near you. he seemed to have all sorts of bizarre, personal and political analyst towards a variety of people. this may have had nothing to do with anyone thinking they were serving the governor. i'm not going to speculate. i can say, i can say, i can say he was -- it was clear to us that he was seeking to target fort lee and the mayor. it was his it was the driving force behind it. and we also found that the small group of people, including bridget kelly were longtime friends. so when he went to the governor's office, he which was long time friend to get signed
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a. so we don't know why she signed off for personal or other reasons. we don't know yet why he targeted fort lee and mayor sokolich. but we can tell from the nature of the communications that there was some ulterior motive behind what they did. but we can also look at the evidence and see that it is not established that, that ulterior motive was because mayor sokolich did not endorse the governor. in fact, mayor sokolich, it was known within the campaign and the governor's office he was not intended to endorse as early as march 2013, yet he continued by his own account to have a good relationship with the governor's office. he found it incomprehensible after the lane closures that it could be true, that it was some form of political retaliation. and, in fact, we saw hardcopy
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evidence during the several months afterwards that he continued to have a good relationship and even was on a list of mayors being considered for honorary appointments months after he already let the campaign and the governor's office know he wasn't likely to be in a position to endorse. >> what did you find with respect to wants in, that he spoke to -- [inaudible] >> okay. this is what we know about that. we know that david wildstein alleged that he spoke to the governor at a public event about the traffic issue during the week of the lane closures. we surmise from their since the
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only public event at which david wildstein attended at the same time as the governor was the 9/11 memorial event, attended by many, many people. and we know that the governor was in attendance there. with his wife, port authority officials, not just wild steam. many port authority officials, and that on a regular basis over the period, dozens and dozens of spectators and families came up to the governor for handshakes and photos. the governor recalls the same david wildstein at the 9/11 memorial service, always in that public setting. he recalls having brief interaction with others, including david wildstein. the governor as our report --
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that's our report reflects does not recall that conversation or mention of any traffic issue in fort lee, but the governor points out a that a mention of a traffic issue in fort lee would not have been memorable or meaningful to the governor. it's a common occurrence to have traffic issues, problems in the bridges and tunnels. so it would not have registered with the governor. what the governor recalls, the first time it richard with him -- into registered with them, it was around the time of an article appearing in "the wall street journal," or the publication or disclosure of an internal e-mail from the
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executive director of the port authority. this is the time from at around october 1. and that's the point having seen it was someone in the port authority, the executive director questioning the legitimacy of a traffic study, the governor says that it registered with him at that point, he has a recollection of that, asked his staff for feedback. and the feedback came just as it always consistently good from david wildstein, that this was a legitimate traffic study, an operational issue for the port authority to handle, and just more, once again, reflection of the tensions between the new york and new jersey sides. and that was accepted, made sense to people in the governor's office at that time. and as i explained by early december, as the controversy grew and more rumors, innuendo
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was coming back to his office, appropriate steps were taken to make further inquiries here and then the governor's office was misled by bridget kelly. [inaudible] >> bridget kelly and david wildstein apparently tried -- august 16. did that meeting ever happen? [inaudible] >> i'm going to get back to you on the specifics of that. i do think it's addressed in our report, but if you leave your name and number of a get back to you on the specifics of that. [inaudible] >> it's actually him it's actually not but i will get back to you, okay? thank you. go ahead. please, go ahead. excuse me, please. go ahead. we will call on you. please, everyone wants to ask
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questions but i'm going to get to many people as they can't and i told you i will take questions from people afterwards the want to call me. i would answer all of your questions. just you've got to let people have their chance. [inaudible] >> well, i know you'll be able to spend more time with our report after this, if that's not what our report said that our report said that the evidence was inconclusive as to whether bill baroni new of an ulterior motive. he has acknowledged, he knew in advance about this. and he says, he testified that he knew about this days in advance of the lane realignment being implemented. we did not see conclusive evidence like the kind of conclusive evidence we saw about wildstein and kelly that they
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knew that bill baroni no gimmie altria motive here, and that would be the issue. keep in mind managing a traffic study that went awry, none of us would be here. this is about whether there was an altria motive to it and in bill baroni's case, we did not find any conclusive evidence of an ulterior motive. we found evidence as we said was concerning and warded further investigation. but we did not see any conclusive evidence that bill baroni no gimmie altria motive wasn't any different position than a lot of other people how they been misled by wildstein. [inaudible] >> that's the same conclusion that we reached there. awareness of an idea but not knowledge of an ulterior motive. we found no evidence establishing that. this.
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[inaudible] >> to expedite this, yes, they were friends. yes, they had dinner and it is described in some detail here. and also what was discussed within the governor's office. so please read the report. yes, ma'am. [inaudible] >> we didn't speak to any witness who recalls anything other than they were in the same place, and we have photographs that show a group of people
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together, but, and we also the governor's firsthand account. yes, ma'am, go ahead. [inaudible] >> you have an interview to mr. wildstein. how do you know david wildstein told him about the traffic study? >> i'm glad you asked the questions i'm going to beat myself so hopefully it's crystal clear, okay? whether or not david wildstein mentioned that there was a traffic issue or a traffic study or a traffic problem in fort lee, that is not a memorable event to a governor as to whether the port authority is involved in some traffic issue in fort lee at a bridge or tunnel. it is simply not an issue that would register with the governor, with the governor as a significance. however, if there had been a
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circumstance where there's a discussion of ulterior motives, that is something that definitely would've registered with the governor. at how could that have been, surrounded by people, many people from the port authority, dozens of people coming up to him constantly. that didn't happen and no one has suggested it. all and 11's lawyer has in a letter to the port authority and the context of wildstein's not only seeking immunity from prosecution but also indemnification from the port authority, is that quote evidence exists, that the governor heard something about this during that, and during the week of the implementation. and let me please just finished one second. and the fact of the matter is that a mention of a traffic problem would not have registered, been memorable, the meaningful. there are traffic problems and
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issues all the time at the bridges and tunnels. so that would not be a significant event, a memorable event. and it is also telling that in making that representation, david wildstein's lawyer making a representation, it is an admission that david wildstein has no evidence because he is produced none can and his lawyer didn't represent such, that the governor do anything about this bridge lane realignment before it was implemented. because he didn't. yes, ma'am. [inaudible] are you suggesting the governor's office -- [inaudible] >> the governor, the head of the governor's office, the governor is being requested. hi's office is being requested t he ultimately runs that office
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to appoint an ombudsman or ombuds person, a senior statesman to be a sounding board, a resource and a place where complaint could be taken within the governor's office, and then report periodically to the public on any issues that arise in the governor's office. and separately from that the appointment of a chief ethics officer, someone who would be responsible for trying to make sure the ethics enforcement, conflicts issue resolution, and training that issues like this never happen again both in terms of who gets appointed and how they serve. [inaudible] spent the gentlemen in the back. the gentleman in the back. go ahead. [inaudible] >> okay, thank you, thank you for the question. and the answer your question is,
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of course. because the actions of bridget kelly, while they reflect adversely on the governor's office, or the actions of an individual there. the office as a whole, there are many fine, distinguished public servants serving there. there are people whose reputations have been besmirched because of what bridget kelly did, and besmirched unfairly. to let that cloud, to restore public trust, to make sure there are no misconceptions or appearance issues whatsoever, we have recommended to the governor that while these are the actions of the few, to restore public trust in the hole, and there are many honest, dedicated public servants in that public office, and the many ons, public service of the port authority. we made the recommendations we have to restore public trust. and now it will be up to the
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government to decide whether to implement them. okay, we're going to take two more. andrea -- andrea -- [inaudible] >> andrea, andrea. i'll answer your question as soon as we are done, okay? you have already -- [inaudible] i've already answered to a question to yes, we asked sampson for an interview, his firm on behalf of the people there. asserted -- excuse they come entry. i've answered your question. no head, please. sir, go ahead. >> they asserted they could respond to our questions but they had a attorney-client and other obligations and they declined to be interviewed. i'm just telling you what we were told. please, go ahead. go ahead. [inaudible] >> you seem to imply that this may have had some influence on
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her line to the governor, staff members because of the timing. but all were you also implying that this may be one of the reasons behind this mysterious ulterior motive that there's some link between the? >> i'm not implying anything. i'm not speculate. we didn't speculate on alternative theories. i'm stating what we thought we established as a fact. that for a brief period of time in the summer 2013, there was a personal relationship between those two individuals that had cooled by the first week of august, and that they've largely stopped speaking at that point. just stated the facts. [inaudible] >> sir, you're asking us to i'm going to answer your question. the relevance would be that it might explain particularly not speaking a lack of team occasion b-22 them during a critical period when this lane realignment decision was made.
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yes, we are going to do two more. we will do two more. who hasn't had a chance before? i will let you go next and then we will do you last, thank you. thank you. [inaudible] >> what you do with adverse inference -- my question is, as far as your central premise goes, that mr. christie was not aware before the lane closures that there was any plan to do this, other than his statements to you, is there other evidence that shows he was not aware, or is it typically lack of evidence? as far as his phone and ingo goes, did he still have text on its own from august whether simply were no texts and they didn't bear on --
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>> our fine is based on the facts and the entire factual record. and the inferences to be drawn from the entire factual record, and we found not a shred of documentary evidence on personal texts, e-mails or government files anywhere from anyone that suggested the governor knew anything about this beforehand. anything. second, we look at the totality of the evidence common and we see that at critical junctures how the governor and his staff reacted to certain events and how they recount certain events. not just the governor but everyone on his staff. we've seen in their personal texts and e-mails, and we know that there's not a suggestion
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anywhere by anyone that the governor knew anything about this beforehand, about this decision to close these lines before and. and we see a governor reacting on the 12th and the 13th of december, having further in green bay to try and drill down on whether there was any involvement by anyone in his office in the lane realignment -- please, let me finish. let me finish. [inaudible] >> december 12 and 13th. the 13th you may be newer to the party. the 13th was the day the governor held a press conference. and we know that what he did at that time was he insisted on further inquiry being made. he directed his chief of staff to make further inquiry with bridget kelly. now whether she knew anything about this in advance, he convened a senior staff meeting on the early morning of december 13, and to confronted
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that entire staff and said he wanted to get to the bottom of this now, and that they better tell him know whether or not they knew anything about this, and that the confessionals are open and that he expected them to come forward now. that's not the action of someone who is sitting there with people who knew about the lane closure beforehand demanding that they tell him. it's the action of someone who's trying to find out if his staff do, and he detailed kevin dowd to question of bridget kelly. and this for the cooperates the compass star because he sends his account, since kevin odette can his chief of staff, former prosecutor to find a from bridget kelly whether she knew anything about this in advance from this associate close these lanes and whether she has any documents that reflect knowledge of the lane realignment. and what happened in that
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sequence. what happened in a sequence is kevin confronts kelly, questions or. she denies. she calls a subordinate, christine arena, to go over what happened the week of the lane realignment. and they have a kind of unusual conversation come to kind of conversation this within those they've done something wrong and they're trying to cover it up has with somebody who knows some information that the person try to cover it up hopes will never be revealed. and she has her go through what happened that week, the week of the lane rely from what you are we members happening. because bridget kelly knows there's documents out there that reflect -- mayor sokolich had called iga during the lane closure week and complained bitterly about the lane closures and that information was relayed back to bridget kelly on her
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personal e-mail and that bridget kelly responded hours later, good. bridget kelly calls christina that night on the 12th and she has her recount what she recalled happened during that week and she does recall that. she recalls the mayor sokolich complaint to iga and christina reporting it back to kelly. and she recalls kelly writing back later that night, good. that's a potentially incriminating e-mail. what does bridget kelly do knowing that kevin o'dowd, chief of staff of been detailed by the governor to find out the facts about bridget kelly. what does kelly say to christina? she says could you delete that e-mail i sent you that said good? that somebody trying to cover up their misconduct. cover it up from the chief of
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staff and the governor. and then what happens the next day? the next day kevin o'dowd is in her office because he was dealing with her by phone on the 12. he is in her office demanding that she go through e-mails and see what she can find. and guess what she does? also to cover it up and the chief of the staff and governor, what does she do? she prints out just thinking of that reflects the mayor sokolich complaint. and she cuts off a true picture only gives him the e-mail that says the mayor sokolich complained that week. which, of course, by her account, it wasn't a significant to me at the time. i didn't recall the. so here it is. having cut off and ask her colleague do not keep the e-mail where she said good, that he was complaining. now, you asked me as illogical person, i'm just a lawyer. i'm just an investigator. but you asked me, okay, you
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asked me come you asked me what i take from that, i take somebody who did wrong trying to cover it up from the chief of staff and the governor. last question. [inaudible] >> oh, since the information we received was that he had denied any prior knowledge, and there was no evidence in the port authority documents which we were able to see of samson having prior knowledge, there was an inference to be drawn about the prior knowledge question. i understand the questions you all asking come in a certain context privilege issues that are unrelated to the scope of our investigation. but i'm happy to answer them more in detail later. go ahead, thank you. >> you said there was no text or e-mail that the government knew about the port authority. have you established -- how did you established the government did not have a conversation --
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[inaudible] >> okay. [inaudible] >> let me go with each of them. the governor does not recall having any conversation with bridget kelly on this subject. he does not believe he had a conversation with bridget kelly on this subject beforehand or otherwise, but -- [inaudible] >> well, because she's taken the fifth amendment from which an adverse inference can be drawn to my friend over there. taking a fifth an imminent -- [inaudible] >> no, no. let me respond to your other question. we will have a spirited debate afterwards. i'm sorry to the second question? >> when you interviewed the governor, did you ask and it into conversation with bridget kelly?
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>> yes, and -- [inaudible] >> we had the opportunity to review personal e-mail and text of the governor and other senior staffers. and again, i thought johnny second part to question. >> my question is -- [inaudible] spent yes. you asked me -- [inaudible] >> the governor does not recall having had any conversation with bridget kelly about this issue before or during the lane realignment. he detailed kevin o'dowd to speak to her directly in december, and she was in the room when he demanded to know from everybody in that room whether anyone had any knowledge of this. and you asked me whether we interviewed the governor. we had as much access and as long a time as we ever wanted to interview the governor.
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he made himself fully of able to us, and we interviewed him on multiple occasions. please, please. [inaudible] >> i'm not going to get into specifics other than to say that lasted over a period of days and hours but i'm not going to say how often. just multiple times. [inaudible] >> whenever we were requested. and let me just, please, please can you already had -- [inaudible] >> how much of that was text, you know, phone records of the governor and what was -- [inaudible] >> we are not going to discuss what was in text or e-mail that isn't relevant to the investigation. whatever texts and he knows exist that are relevant to the investigation and response to subpoenas, we are producing to the appropriate authorities. and that is -- [inaudible] >> excuse me, excuse me. [inaudible] >> the governor and his senior staff, and believe me this was
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not a comfortable thing to ask people to turn over their personal cell phones and the personal e-mail accounts, but we had to review thousands of them from the governor and his senior staff, including some former senior staff. now let me please conclude, and i know there will be many more questions and i will be happy to take them. it's so great to see you again. it's so great to see you. let me just have one second, okay? i just, i make the invitation and i'm sure andrea will take me up on it. i just wanted to say in closing, you know, we spent the past 10 weeks trying to get to the truth. and i'm reminded of some wise words from winston churchill who said, the truth is incontrovertible. panic may resent it. ignorance may deride it.
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mouse may distort it -- malice may distort, but there does. based on our investigation, we believe we have gotten to the truth, that governor christie knew nothing about this decision to realign these lanes beforehand, that the allegations of a conspiracy among highest christie administration officials to threaten mayor zimmer over san diego unless she support a private developer and project -- san diego -- are not true and those are our findings. that's the truth. there it is. laid out in a 345 page report. thank you very much, and i'd be happy to take your individual questions later in the day. thank you. thank you very much. ..
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it then says the state-by-state approach to legalization could increase marijuana abuse and decrease tax revenue says the industry grows in size and influence. washington and colorado have legalized recreational use of marijuana. the issue could be up for a vote in 2014-16 and as many as a
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dozen other states including alaska, arizona, california, nevada and oregon. we believe that the program is still a few minutes away from starting so while we wait we will show you a little bit from acting director white house national drug control policy who spoke recently to lieutenant governors in washington d.c.. we will show you some of that wait. >> i am lieutenant governor of oklahoma and chair of the national lieutenant governors association. good morning and thank you for being here. we had a very busy first day and a great evening last night. this morning we welcome of very distinguished guest, acting director michael montici of the drug policy office. many states and territories face of growing tide of opiate
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overdoses. as leaders we all struggle with public health and safety aspects. we probably have great diversity of opinions even in this small room about what should be the future of marijuana in the united states but we find ourselves in a moment where it is no longer a question of whether marijuana is going to be legal in many parts of the united states. it is a question of how is going to be regulated, taxed, controlled if at all. said today we have a great panel of folks who come from all parts of the continent to give different perspectives on what we should do going forward in the way of regulating, controlling marijuana. i think without any further ado i will introduce my colleagues
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paul glastris, editor of washington monthly, who will introduce the rest of the panel. thank you very much. >> thanks for joining us today. i am grateful to philip longman, senior research fellow at new america foundation. i want to thank new america foundation for hosting this event. this event started off as a package of stories in the latest issue of washington monthly called out to save marijuana legalization. the concept is as phil said, legalization is happening. we have grave fears about how it is going to roll out and so we publish this package of stories
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which was anchored by mark kleiman, also jonathan rauch, we will be talking about that and other aspects of the subject. let me introduce our panelists and we will get right to it. mark kleiman is professor of public policy in the u.s./ucla public affairs and consultants to washington state and its legalization efforts and he is the author of marijuana costs and abuse, cost of control and co-author of drugs and drug policy, what everyone needs to know. pico edits the journal of american drug policy analysis and has worked for the u.s. department of justice for the city of boston as a legislative assistant to congressman aspin at kennedy school of government and blogs at the reality based community and washington monthly. hope i got all that. it is an honor to have you here.
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we have balas holcomb, criminal justice director of the aclu and washington state. previously served as vice president of washington association of criminal defense lawyers, chaired the legal framework group of the king county bar association drug policy project. in 2008, she was awarded the pauline sabin award in recognition of women in leadership positions in organizations dedicated to the ending of marijuana prohibition. we are pleased to have susan rusche, co-founder and chief executive officer of national families in action founded in 1977, helped shape the drug prevention fields under her direction and helped parents formed drug prevention groups throughout the united states, helped lead the volunteer parent drug prevention movement and contribute to the two thirds
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reduction in the past month drug use among adolescents and young adults and 500% drop in daily marijuana use among high school seniors. that drop occurring from 1979-1992. finally batting cleanup we have jonathan rauch, good friend of washington monthly, a senior fellow with the brookings institution in washington d.c.. he is the author of six books and many articles on public policy, culture and government and expert in the fields of marijuana legalization. he is a contributing editor of national journal and the atlantic and is recipient of the 2005 national magazine award. the magazine industry equivalent of the pulitzer prize. i would like to invite mark kleiman up to start us off. >> thanks very much for that, for setting this up and to all
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of you for coming out. it is an honor to be part of this group. i am violating my religious tenets by having a power point but i promise there's only one slide. when we talk about drug policy and cannabis policy, both sides of the debate tend to cast their positions in moralistic terms leading to a very high ratio of heat to light in the debate. i want to suggest when you look at legalization you think of advantages and disadvantages. it seems the beginning of wisdom is bad things happen with legalization. 60,000 people year will not be arrested. 40,000 people will not be behind
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bars. lawbreakers will not earn $40 billion a year for illegal activity. state and local governments will not spend a couple billion dollars a year in enforcement. and substantial revenue to the state on the order of $20 billion a year. 30 million people who smoke marijuana but don't break any law will suddenly be on not right side of the law rather than the long side so there is a gain in personal liberty and welfare and for those cannabis users who don't have a drug problem. it comes in the increase of people who do have a drug problem. that is not a tiny number, 20 million is a reasonable guess for the number of americans currently in the grip of the disorder were the try very drug involved in is cannabis.
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those people account for a small fraction of cannabis users, 33 million people will serve a they use cannabis in the last year but they account for 90% of the cannabis sold. so they are not peripheral. they are central to the market and will be central to the legal market as well. worried about increasing the number of those people, and in the number of high school students, even middle school students now, who are using cannabis and having that interfere with their education and personal development. hard to believe making a drug cheaper and more available will not increase the number of people who use it. in particular making it cheaper is like a number of people to use a lot. if you are a casual canada's user on adult income, two or $3 or $4 it costs to get stoned is
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not substantial fraction of your budget. you're probably spending more on doritos. it is hard to see casual users will be much influenced by a drop in price but if you are smoking eight joints that day which is an extreme but not the most extreme and of cannabis use that matters to you and if you are a teenager it matters to you so it seems to me that it is crucial to think in terms of price so as we design cannabis legalization we ought to be thinking about assigning formal legalization that gets us the benefits of getting rid of prohibition. little of the additional drug abuse as we can get if the goal is to get no additional drug abuse i don't think that is in this universe. it is going to have some disadvantages. my claim is that the alcohol model, private for profit production and sale with essentially unlimited marketing
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and modest taxes and regulations directed almost entirely keeping kids from buying directly from the stores is the current alcohol model, very unsatisfactory model for alcohol and equally and satisfactory model for canada's. that is the worst possible legalization outcome. and that is true in part because commercialization focuses the attention of the resulting industry on those heavy users and they will strongly resist any form of regulation that will reduce the growth in problem cannabis use and strongly resist anything that uses cannabis use by minors since that is the future of their industry now that we see the national cannabis industry association hired a perfectly straightforward lobbyist, we can expect that point of view will be heard. there are people in the cannabis legalization movement whose goal
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of having cannabis available to adults to use it responsibly is in my view consistent with public interest. cannabis lobby, cannabis industry has purposes that are inconsistent. therefore it seems bad idea to let them take over. as they are likely to. the current process of state by state legalization whether it is in colorado or carefully in washington, that process will likely lead to something like alcohol and if we do that in enough states when the congress finally gets around to legalizing we will be locked in to that model which again i think is the second worst outcome compared to leading the loss where they are. to structure state choice and need it now. whether that is politically
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feasible i leave to people who are wiser than i am. seems to me the goal ought to be to have some presidential candidate in 2016 say i am not against legal marijuana legalization. it is a plausible thing, let me sail word about what the substance of the policy would be. keep prices from falling. i see no benefit whatever in allowing cannabis to fall below its current illicit market price. is cheap enough, cheaper -- i don't see anybody who gains, we see lots of losses in drug abuse. we need to think about controlling the information. the mic inactivity of the industry and prevention messages from government and nonprofits. how much training should
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somebody have to be a cannabis seller? a bartender or a pharmacist or did i get that one right? a whole set of questions and what information we get to them and the supreme court commercial free-speech jurisprudence is in the way of doing that. one way to get out of that and other problems is not to have commercial retailing. that retailing on a not-for-profit basis or a government monopoly basis and the condition of sales and retailers could be no marketing. that gets around the first amendment issue. if we don't have a new version of but versus but light on next year's superbowl. the other crucial factor here it seems to me is giving consumers
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tools to protect themselves to protect bad habits. the obvious thing is not something we have done in any form inactivity. everybody who wants via cannabis users to sign up and set a personal quota. how much do you want to be allowed to buy every month? no upper lip and on that. can you can reset your limit any time you want but only two weeks. if you get to the store and you bought your monthly quota. i am sorry, can serve you until next month. i don't know how many that will save for substance abuse disorders. i can't believe it won't save anybody. hard to see any harm it does. that is the one thing i put on the table as the new idea.
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and yes, to alcohol and gaming as well. there is not more time, thanks very much. [applause] >> thank you for being here. a little bit of disclosure in addition to information, washington state initiative measure 502. the campaign director in washington the political action committee supported the initiative. you can ask all kinds of details of adopting it because -- i will be happy to answer those questions. our point presentation is back up. to have something to refer to defending having permitted
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corporate takeover of marijuana. i would like to begin with this observation. what the conversation should be focused on, is not something -- spending so much time focusing on the fire side strategies. on the war on drugs in general, we try to control the people who are supplying the commodities that is in demand and we don't spend enough time or resources on demand side, actually helping young people with special me to make healthier choices when they used marijuana or -- if we talk about minimizing the harm of legalization. if we can protect children and
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make smarter decisions and the intoxicant of their going to, that is the major battle. once children evolve into adults, get to be 21, 25, the risk of all potential outcomes by diminished. in my power point, i do have some questions. with respect to the alcohol model and big increases in heavy use, alcohol use has actually fallen in 1970, about 20%. not done with any criminal prohibition strategy. in the absence of any significant control on alcohol advertising. tobacco use has been cut in half, it has been cut in half
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since they started investing funds in strategies. essentially localized prevention strategies that work comment and 50% deduction in the tobacco industry, is the significant impact. policy details do in fact matter. let me talk about what that means. when we were drafting this initiative, we met with experts for prevention treatment, law enforcement and university of washington's social development research group is national institute that action will be studied what worked with prevention. what they will tell you is what we know about prevention programs compared to 30 years ago is significantly different. prevention actually does work. 30 years ago they would say
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prevention doesn't work because just say no doesn't work with selling images doesn't work. what will actually work is the holistic approach. increasing investment in protective factors for children. that is not necessarily just getting them information. in fact it could have the opposite effect. there are kids that never thought about taking drugs until their program was talking about them. not necessarily true that we want to get information to kids. we want to get effective prevention strategies funded. we know what they are but don't fund them and we don't fund them consistently. that is the issue, and excise tax which was talking about price, tax policy is a way to have an impact on price. we have dedicated 80% of the
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excise tax applied to marijuana to prevention, education, treatment and important we research and evaluation. we are going to have an independent body, the public policy conducting cost-benefit analyses on initiative 502 in 2015-2017-2022-2,032 because while we certainly believe and what i say we there's a different topic on initiative 502. we firmly believe the public health outcomes of moving to public health model in a way of the prohibition model are going to be positive we also want to be held accountable and measurement of that. that is what is missing from a lot of policies, regular evaluation and giving policymakers the data they need to make changes where necessary. what this event looks like is keeping kids in school. it could look like supporting
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single mothers or single fathers and making sure they are engaged with their children. it can look like a lot of different things. we should be very worried about anyone telling us sending that message not to use marijuana is going to work. stay level initiative leaves to about -- bad outcomes. i wrote it and supported it. i would also like to point out that national policy around marijuana has not been terribly good. look at the history of what congress has sent a marijuana back to 1937 where the one scientific expert, that they shouldn't try to prohibit marijuana through an accepted path was ignored. i was confident congress is the right body to help us shake marijuana policy.
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i do think there is a benefit to allowing in these early stages the individual state to develop different proposals how to go forward because none of us knows exactly what will happen. we have lessons we need to look at from alcohol and tobacco and nephew years we will have good data out of washington state that will help informed choices moving forward. i don't think we are ready to establish national policy. i am not confident in national policy would be beneficial for us. especially when i think about when president nixon was in office, 70% of national drug dollars went to treatment and 30% by strategies like intervention. that ratio has shifted so now we only spend 30% of our national dollars on prevention and treatment and 70% on
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interdiction that is clearly not working. it makes sense to let the states move forward and develop policies that are focused on how we actually help children make better choices rather than focusing on big marijuana. the last comment i would like to leave is what to think about milk what making big marijuana is anonymous. talk about big alcohol, you don't leave the consumer with any options. big alcohol is bad. i won't stop buying alcohol so you are not helping me make a choice to who i give my dollars to. did you know that budweiser, when it comes to marketing to children, whereas some other brand is actually doing x, y and z. a lot of bad activists because
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talking about economic gains here and reputation accosts are significant. if i know who the bad guys are, it is not necessarily the big guys, when it comes to buying a certain category of products i will make that choice and just as we see in colorado, even the prices have gone through the roof because supply is so restricted people are queuing up because they want to buy illegal marijuana. they want to do right. let's give them the option of doing that. if we tell consumers you will do better by children if you don't give your dollars to that marijuana cutler who is selling gummy bears across the street from an elementary school, they will have no choice. incentivize socially conscious capitalism.
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[applause] >> hello, thank you very much for inviting me to be here. i am going to add some of the same kinds of thoughts you heard from allison but i will have a different opinion about what we ought to do. first of all, i agree with mark and allison that we need to look at the alcohol model but we also need to look at the tobacco model and we can learn quite a bit about what might happen with marijuana if we clearly understand what is happening with tobacco and alcohol. first of all proponents of legalization say we should have an age limit and i will tell you age limits are not enough to stop children from using. national survey on drug use and health shows us five of ten
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smokers today are under age 18 and eight of ten new drinkers are under age 21 so having an age limit is not enough. there are two powerful industries with quite a bit of money behind them that are continuously marketing to kids and there are reasons for that which we will get to in a minute. to further exemplifies that point, this is all the illegal drugs from again the national survey on drug use and health and if i can get this to work -- it won't work. what this is showing you is illegal drugs used over the life span. the bars on the left the 12-year-olds, the bars on the right are not. in order to show you what happens with legal drugs from the moneys they have to market and advertise in order to increase consumption we had to
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make this slide on a 70% scale so that we could show you what happens when you have legal drugs, legal addictive drugs that increase consumption. the red bars are alcohol, the bars on a left on 12-year-olds, the bars on the writer 65 plus. the blue bars are tobacco and the green bars are not. there quasi legal in 20 states, legal for medicine, people have access to it and already is beginning to arrive with legalization, to see it become as tall as the red bars. the tobacco and alcohol industry in knows as well as we do that younger children are when they start using an addictive drug more likely to be conducted. and lifetime customers and children are the key to their
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business. in 1998 we had the settlement agreement with the tobacco industry which was heard by the state because the states realized they were putting out more money to treat tobacco related diseases through their medicaid programs than they were able to bring in with taxes and as a consequence they sued the industry and tried to hold accountable. 1998 settlement revealed through the discovery process just how much the tobacco industry depended on addicting children. you can find hundreds of these examples and a legacy foundations database. if you were really and truly not going to sell cigarettes to children you would be out of business in three years. lorelei said base as of our business is the high school student who. despite agreeing to stop
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marketing to kids the tobacco industry tripled its advertising and marketing budget between 1998-five years later, investing some 70% of its $15 billion a year on price discounts for customers who can't afford our products meaning children. the industry continuously creates new products not yet regulated by fda to attract children. this is one of many examples. so far cigars are not under the purview of fda and the industry is developing cigars and cigarettes was in wonderful flavors attractive to children. strawberry, white, gray, apple, etc.. the alcohol industry does the same thing, each day almost 5,000 kids under age 16 have their first drink of alcohol. ..

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