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tv   Washington Journal Stephen Spaulding  CSPAN  April 5, 2018 7:33pm-8:03pm EDT

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"washington journal" and on american history tv on c-span3. tv on c-span3. >>host: chief of strategy and external affairs with common cause, talking about the new report on the nra, stephen spalding talks about coming cause who are human to fundd you? and i can on partisan grassrootsse organization dedicated to upholding the core values of american democracy creating open and honest and accountable government with 1.1 million members around the country. we have former secretary of
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labor mr. rice to reduce money and politics to make sure we have successful access to the ballot to keep the media open with information flowing to uphold those high ethical standards funding comes are people all over the country that makes small contribution sitting down at the kitchen table withmo checks also foundation support as well. >>host: large donors? >> guest: we are fortunate to be funded by the democracy fund him a number of organizations throughout the country also are 1 million members help to sustain our organizations as well. >> why did you decide to do a report on the nra? we do have a crisis of gun violence in this country it is one of the leading causes of death of young people and of
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course the constant barrage on herou street and in our schools and communities through out the country it is a crisis that our leaders are not responding to quite frankly those in power have not been responding so we wentui to examine why that is and not responding to the crisis. there is a lot of talk with the nra beinge a large funder of candidates and campaigns it is true it has been tens of millions of dollars giving money directly to candidates 23 million since 1989 compared to independent spending from citizens united. it spent $53 million on federal elections not going to candidates by independent
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expenditures and tv ads and what have you. >> here is the chart with a direct contribution twice and the money this way? >> is a premium court decision found corporations including certain nonprofits like the nra have a first amendment right apparently to spend unlimited amounts of money in politics so they do that to get the attention of elected officials when you have that threat of spending you have elected officials and the state legislatures throughout the country and to be put even more guns on the streets and the nra can use the threat of spending in combination with
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lobbying spending $1.8 million in 2007 on federal funding in washington d.c. just last year they spent over $5 million of a combination of their lobbying and campaignof spending with her 5 million members they say which i think from capitol hill but as it shows it is pretty clear with their leadership they are out of step but only with american voters for their own members to support universal background checks they have been vociferously opposed so they are out of step and have a lot of outside influence we have to shift back to voters with money and politics to ensure everybody has an equal voice in the decisions that affect their lives so you
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found in 2015 the nra paid a single vendor to focus on building its membership why? >> so to engage in building membership because the tactics and interest groups do this but to pass on the policies but also to build their membership with benefits or insurance or magazines there are activities they offer members meanwhile they push
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policy on behalf of weapons manufacturers that are out of step with their own members. >>host: wire they doing that? on behalf of their membership with their corporate funders with weapons manufacturers, when operating as a trade association for gun manufacturers and dealers. considering some of the policies of capitol hill back in september on the brink of yet another shutdown, rather than talk about funding the government, from the house of the representatives members were debating gun permits to bring them across state lines that just goes to show how unfortunately they have changed priorities changing the conversation about policies to be made stronger and better. >>host: if a definitive number exist that corporate partners
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contributed between 19,000,060,000,000 to the organization but it has contributed at least 15 million to the nra so how did you find these numbers and why should people believe this? >> guest: there has been independent analysis. you can go to the report there has been a number of analysts that have looked at the corporate programs different tiers of corporate membership they put that on their own website it is enough that note they talk about that roundup program when you purchase a product or a weapon from them you can roundup your purchase that balance goes to the team for legislative action that
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doesn't just add money on lobbying but on politics and a source of a lot of its funding. >>host: wise and allowed to do that? be maxis and united even though five/four decision that corporations can spend unlimited amount the justices did say that americans have a right to know who is influencing their views unfortunately i think the court was naïve to assume that laws were up-to-date they said find this information at the click of a mouse but the laws have not keptr pace as the supreme court increasingly deregulate transparency laws have not kept place -- get pace so many of this has still been undisclosed. >> and gola indiana is that right? >> you were on the air. >> i have a question will you
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do the same study about the influence of union money? >> and i have another question how much money have you george soros or the clinton foundation and i will take my answer off thend air. >> i really appreciate that question no question are a number of special interest in washington d.c. and they can do that because of the money and attract the attention of elected officials but in terms of common cause the small donors that support us including the foundation like george soros certainly not since 2009 we are proud of our supporters working to open honest accountable government
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holding our officials because we believe that people should have the power in our democracy not those with the deepest bank accounts. >>host: the democratic line go ahead. >> caller: thanks for taking my call. i haven't had the opportunity to read the common cause report but if you talk about the influence of the nra over politicians over time isn't at the root of that the revenue generated by the industry? i think sometimes people say those positions that it seems like money is really driving and then i have a quick follow-up. >> to the first question report is available how people
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can take on the nra. but we do put in a number of solutions rebalance the conversation first and foremost we urge everyone to register and vote election day is the one day when we are all equal equal power and make the voting process more fair and accessible and convenient we recommend preregistration there are 13 states that have that program like automatic voter registration that is already out of date the process by which the state government or elected official when interact with american to make it more accurate and more
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secure. maryland's legislature passed automatic voter registration so this is a reform enjoying bipartisan support bringing more people into the process to make voters more accessible than finally on the power and the money, it is true the nra has quite a bit of power with the independent expenditures with those 5 million members but there are other ways we can empower other constituents because they spring from a tiny segment of theyo population that funds the campaign if we pass solutions thatut empower donors like in connecticut there is more than two thirds of the legislature raising small contributions or grant programs what are the barriers to participation?
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not a lobbyist or the special interest to make that were more reflective and in connecticut with this program has been very successful in the wake of the newtown massacre passed a number ofth reforms spanning more than 120 a sole reference strength and background checks in the homicide rate has gone down in connecticut so if we can shift power back we could see a real fixn to this broken system. >>host: the main reason we don't have more restrictive gun laws on the books is people who oppose them are more likely to vote on the issue than the people that support them. >> guest: there has been studies on this about gun orders in particular that are voting that we have seen through the leadership from the marches this weekend from
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pennsylvania avenue people are motivated to vote because they know that is the one day when we are all equal but have to pass reforms but talking about our country caregivers and first responders people that can't vote on a tuesday between 9:00 a.m. and 8:00 p.m. we need to figure out otherer ways to make sure their voices heard early voting is one way making sure they can cast a ballot before voting or vote by mail if we can make voting more accessible to lower the barrier. >> now we go to boston democrat. >> i wanted to follow-up. >> talk about registration i do think you should tie that
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directly to the local school boards because if you can capture those students that is the governance that actually just like baseball opening day. [laughter] >>host: independent line in texas. >> caller: i had a question about citizens united. i'm 19 but in my opinion the nra with politics seems to be like the oligarchy and that worries me and i see no other way to get rid of that to take from a corporate interest so citizens united basically said money equals freedom and power
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with the electoral process so i was just wondering is there any other way besides voting every single one out to fix that problem? >> that is an excellent question z and again citizens united -- united was decided 2010 even if we could overturn that, it would take us back 2009 and we still have a broken system in many respects. but there are solutions when it comes to reducing undue influence and money and politics. many of those reforms are happening at the statete level. my organization has a presence in every congressional district that are moving these reforms and they are very envious with programs like matching public funds tax incentives with a lot of
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experimentation happening at the state level to ensure that candidates are listening to constituents and voters and not just the wealthy special interest organizing on the outside but following the money is a basic democratic value americans have the right toknow who's trying influence california rhode island massachusetts delaware passed reforms to ensure that american can see who is behind our elections because we have a right to know that. even though it looks pretty grim on capitol hill there are reforms happening at the local level and that changes but your elected officials need to hear from you. those townhall meetings, letters to theal editor and congress to rebalance c the
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system. >> the nra political fund for donations spike after they tripled amid public attacks against the organization following the shootings donating 779,002 the nra political arm marking a threefold increase compared to january will we be able to see who donated that? >> it just yesterday the nra sent a letter to senator wyden because mcclatchy has reported a kremlin connected russian tycoon trying to influence a 2016 election through using the nra and they responded and said we do receive some
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foreign money although it doesn't affect our elections now that is what they say but the rules are not modern and have not been updated with the federal election commission that is a joyous dysfunctional from the republicans that on that commission to pass regulations and investigate so unfortunately we don't know where it is coming from until we modernize and update the disclosure laws. >> that the fbi is investigatin investigating? that was donated to the nra? >> that has been reported. >>host: independent line you are on the air okay let's go to ohio a republican. >> caller: are you with us.
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>> can you hear me? >>host: good morning i am wondering why they don't have more people requesting personalty responsibility? did the deputy at the florida high school have a personal responsibility? as far as gun violence, guns don't kill people people kill people. thank you. >> guest: thank you for that question i think elected officials have the responsibility to reply to these massacres whether virginia tech or columbine or
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the full snipe loveland 49 lgbt people were shot to death or 500et people injured in las vegas or 17 people at parkland or a number of these massacres including capitol hill with gabby giffords shot at a meet and greet or mr. scalise shot at a congressional baseball game when teachers were shot to death in their classroom and congress did absolutely nothing that is an embarrassment and corruption of the political process. members of congress have not been responsive to this crisis when the people cry out 90% of americans support universal background checks banning assault weapons that congress is not responsive so to show
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tremendous personal responsibility that we should all follow. >>host: republican and and i remember good morning. >> good morning. the gentleman had a freudian slip but the membership of the nrame endorses the political activity of the nra and the other part i would say is around that program he talked about the retailer gathers money on behalf of the customers so there is a pass-through. >> guest: no question the nra talks about 5 million members i think many of those are law-abiding americans t cell benefits with the programs and magazines and training programs but really
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it is the leadership who ratchet up the political involvement by spending money in elections $23,000,000.31989 and 2015 was to federal candidates. 54million alone in the federal election 60% did not disclose -- disclose the source of the money in research we could track some of the money coming from the manufacturers themselves and that is why i mention they are really a trade association for corporations to manufacture gun guns. >> what i am talking about is like in chicago they have some of the toughest gun laws in this country but the problem is with the gun law they could
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buy guns at the specific gunshots who will sell to the same people over and over again a everybody knows which stores they are but if those guns are used in a murder or armed robbery if you keep on selling guns to the same people at a handful at a time then they should go to jail. >> guest: thanks for your comment. there are solutions to the broken system but to affect
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nationally we have to fix those laws that govern our democracy and election in the number of officials are not responsive to the needs of voters and citizens because we already talked about the money , but also gerrymandering and elected officials are using their voters rather than representatives there is a lack of responsiveness and frankly elections have not been as competitive as they should have been our we hoped they would have been where the power of ideaswe when not the wealth and the power that comes with money. >> good morning. >> caller: i have a question for your guest. i am a member of the nra but i
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find some of these assault rifles i i understand but let's say we take every gun out of this country how long would it take the drug cartel to re- furnish the country with guns? because $10 million to the drug cartel is pocket change so how many illegal weapon? thank you. >> guest: thanks for your call. i think the caller brings up a point to be a member of the nra and your support for universal background checks is not shared with the leadership of the nra making strategic decisions on how to be involved in the elections to defend lobbyist and that are
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forestalling action. >>host: the independence in minnesota. >> caller: . . . . >> i don't know why you think people need to take a machine gun to kill a deer or drop a bear or even squirrel hunting. >> okay. i think your views are shared by many tens of millions of americans. >> you can read more about the common causes report. if you go to their website and taking on the or thank you,
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mr. spaulding, for the conversation this morning. >> thanks, greta, i appreciate it. >> you're watching book tv on c-span2. book television for serious readers. >> tonight on book tv in prime time, books about world war ii, next an interview with novelist robert harris, author of " "munich", and talking about the rose bowl moved from california to north carolina weeks after the attack on pearl harbor. then, a discussion on women during war time, that's from the tucson festival of books. after that, a conversation with liza mundy, author of "code girls", and benn steil talks
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about "the marshall plan". now an interview with author robert harris about his historical novel "munich", about the munich conversation that took place at world war ii. this took place at the churchill library at george washington university in washington d.c. this is just under an hour. [inaudible conversations] >>


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