tv Politics and Public Policy Today CSPAN August 24, 2015 9:00am-11:01am EDT
captioning performed by vitac if nothing else these pieces should help to inform international actors of the historical role detrimental to truly supporting democratic process that international actors have played inadvertently or not in haiti. one of the positive aspects by these long elections is that the plethora of haiti's political actors, serious ones or not, threw their hats in the ring and vowed to participate. i say serious or not because 126
political parties? we will see what becomes of the vow to participate following the first round. hopefully serious actors will continue to engage. but will haiti's populous known as voters engage? no one is trumpeting a voter participation of 18% according to the cep as a step towards democracy. that would certainly be an exercise in lipstick. there are variety of reasons of course, why haitians are not engaging in political process. one of them they are frustratedy with the outcome of participation, by coups and nonresponsive officials and other factors and they've probably become somewhat jaund ised in democratic politics. a number of prominent haitian observers and have been calling
for a different solution, calling for a transitional government or some kind of mixed commission that would place management of the political process in more diverse objective and inclusive hands. listening to these folks and engaging them seriously is not such a bad idea. after more than four years of high profile international engagement, and playing nice with political actors who are failing haiti's democratic process and vilifying those in opposition to it, perhaps it is time for international actors to show greater respect of haiti's people and support of the democratic quest that most of them hold by engaging all actors and their ideas of how haiti begin to break out of this electoral cycle of deja vu all over again. i'm not a political scientist as peter correctly mentioned, i'm a development guy.
elections are not my mother's milk. i'm frustrated that the political process which gains all of the attention tends to put under a cloud or eclipse serious development issues not being addressed as haiti continues to be mired in poverty and 80% or so continue to struggle on a day to day process. in closing, i would say that as hurricane danny bears down on the caribbean, i'd like to bring your attention to a very important story that appeared on april 17th with the headlines of kol era human change, let's watch the elections but let's also pay equal attention to development issues. >> thank you, bob.
>> thank you, ending with cholera is not the best way to look at the future but it is the predicament of haiti. as we know, the road to the 2015 election has been very difficult. it may still take the tool that winds up in a major political crisis. since the fall in 1986, haiti's unending transition to democracy produced fraud elections that are prone to violence. the run-up to elections and announcement of results of consistently generated controversy for an intrusion and social tension. growing popular cynicism about the elections and governmental institutions. in a recurring cycle, winners
seek to monopolize power and losers refuse to accept their defeat claiming foul and undermining the legitimacy of elected rulers. it is very likely that this scenario will be repeated in 2015, even the generalized disorder sporadic violence, low turnout and closing of a large number of voting centers that -- the elections are three years late but this time has not been used to ensure an effective preparation on execution of the process. far in it. the election has plagued with logistical problems, ranging from the massive shortage of party observers credentials and late openings of most voting centers to a lack of basic access to polling stations and the use of ineffective indelible ink.
these are major organizational deficiencies they are not the principle obstacles to free fair and legitimate election. in fact, deep seated behaviors embedded in zero sum patterns of governance and state decay as well as the role of external powers undermine haitian institutions to the point of ee advice race. the elections are three years late, taking place only after popular protests, the fall of prime minister's government and in the context of parliament's dissolution and presidential rule by decree symbolizes this eevis ration, another fact is after 28 years, haitian rulers have not managed to transform the electoral council into a permanent electoral council.
they've barely been able to revive the institution at each election as provisional council. it's as if the country had permanent provisional council. not surprising the formation of the provision of electoral council, known by french name is always a rea source of political confrontation. it was no exception. it was the product of protracted negotiations between the government, and political parties. composed of nine members elected from different sectors of haitian society, to select the qualified participants from among the extraordinarily high number of political parties and candidates who registered for this year's election. 192 parties in all, along with
40,000 candidates and over 2300 parliamentary hopefuls and 70 presidential candidates. while they disqualified a good number of candidates, the field remained so overcrowded and included enough of what we call dubious credentials that many observers have likened it to the circus. it is a circus with consequences, cep disqualified some of the best known and most powerful politicians. moreover. cep has declared that while all disqualifications were final and ir revokable, it reserved the right to reject candidates who had previously qualified, embroiling the council in controversy, undermining its credibility and sparking allegations that it only serves interest. so far, cep has disqualified 15
presidential candidates, including the two potential front-runners, former prime minister lemot and director of the university and designated candidate of the party. he and his wife and well known businessman reginald were also disqualified from running from the senate. the cep claimed that it excluded individuals who lacked an audit from parliament certifying that they appropriately managed funds during the prior ten years in office. not surprisingly, they excluded presidential candidates and challenged the legty of their disqualification and claimed that the election will amount to a farce cal selection. demanding their certification and inclusion into the electoral process, organized reporters
which are accused of being corrupt and inept. in addition to these challenges, the public declarations of the cep's president have already undermined the cep's legitimacy. in a recent interview in haiti, he asserted when he was director general of the cep, that administered the 2010 ballot, the international community and powerful domestic forces compelled him to falsify the results to enable the election to the presidency. these disclosures are have intensified national sentiment and cast doubt on the impartiality of overseers. on the eve of the first round, haitians feared that once more for an interference would thwart the popular will and the cep lacked the organizational skills to bring the process to a successful conclusion.
and yet as we know, the first round of the elections took place as scheduled. it was no surprise however, that they were chaotic, to the point that some political actors have called for their an nullation or creation of a commission to investigate allegations of fraud, violence and mismanagement. rejecting these claims, the president engaged in a self-con grat tri speech, deeming the process as globally satisfactory. even if you recognize that 5% of the voter centers wsh forced to close. similarly, the foreign community acknowledged there was serious organizational problems but ultimately it sided with the assessment. for instance, the head of the organization of american states observers claimed that the simple fact that the election took place at all was reason to celebrate. to put it bluntly, while
international observers deplored the significant irregularities and violence of the ballot, they believe that the process was good enough as it were for a dysfunctional state like haiti. by contrast, haitian organizations who are extremely critical of the election, which in their view constituted and i quote, an affront to standards. the national network for the defense of human rights and national observation council and haitian council of nonstate actors reported that according to their 1500 observers overseeing the voting process, that the at least 50% of voting centers were affected by incidents of violence, intimidation and electoral fraud. they warned and i quote, that the election raises questions about the legitimacy of the representatives who will sit in the next haitian parliament.
the haitian observing institutions recommended and i quote, that the cep be weary of all of those who claim that everything went well. it is in this context that the cep's attempting to regain legitimacy and initiative by acknowledging that august 9 was not so globally satisfactory and disqualified 16 candidates for their involvement in violent disruptions of polling stations in addition it report d yesterday that the rate was 82% nationally and 90% in poll press and the elections will be re-run in 25 constituencies countrywide. finally, the nonofficial
provisional results so far as can say on radio stations but available in the cep web page, it is up and down and not working very well. in any case, what we have heard, is that senate, there's not a single kand date elected on first round. and that for the lower chamber, out of more than 1600 competing for the 119 seats, only three or four, it's not clear, managed to avoided runoff. it remains to be seen whether
elections in october. this protest will also offer opportunity to the excluded presidential candidates who are not permitted to run to call for a new cep and new elections. it is an opening for a period of great political disturbances and uncertainties. on the over hand, fearing another major political crisis, haitian politicians under the strong influence of the major foreign powers may ultimately come to a reluctant acceptance of a bad election with the hope that the next electoral round will be more legitimate. since the fall of the leadership in 1986, the country has been
unable to untie successfully this, with the exception of the 1990 ballot, haitians have been compelled to accept very dubious results and improbable leaders. once more, they are confronting a similar fate. this may explain their utter political disenchantment and absence at the polling stations. so while the elections are to be welcome, they are marred by presift ent doubts, moreover, it is unlikely they'll solve haiti's profound economic and social predidment oreion going problems with the common can re -- dominican republic. whoever becomes president and whatever party assumes parliamentary power, will find it extremely difficult to generate long term patterns of self-sustaining economic growth
and food self-sufficiency, much less transform haiti into a more equitiable society. nevertheless, elections still establish an important political ritual. a ritual that checks authoritarian tendencies and enlarges freedoms. in haiti, polls at the capacity of renewing the political class unincorporating into the structures of governance, people who so far been exincluded, elections are a means for less prifl privileged groups, particularly from the lower middle classes. while this type of sharing is far from ideal, it generates social welfare on redistribution that would not exist otherwise, even if it's a redistribution to the top. to that extent, however, imperfect, and the elections may
be, they do matter and do have consequences for the country's troubled reconstruction. >> thank you very much, robert and robert. that was excellent introduction. i wonder before we open for questions, maybe tough to ask you because you're both analysts, you're not political but in other words, right now if you had to make one or two recommendations to the international community, what would you suggest they do with regard to the elections? is there anything that could be done to put down, in other words, should the oas, for example, take a harder line in sort of like they did or is there any recommendation you would make? or is that too difficult to do at this point and not very helpful? >> i think it's too late.
and i say that is too late because anyone who knows haiti knew or should have known that what happened was going to happen. that was very clear. the problem now, if you want to go back and say elections are not good, you have a huge problem because you would need to remove the cep. if you remove the cep, then you need to create another one. the current climate, there is no possibility of creating the cep. we know what happened for the last three years. no one could agree among the political class in haiti. this is part also of the kind of inher ent zero sum game we've had in haitian politics. those who govern want to keep the state for themselves and want to redistribute the spoils of state powers -- this is not
just this is something that happened since 1986 and obviously way before. since the unending process of transition. there are people in haiti who say, we need new elections and we need a transitional government. imagine that by miracle, it would slowly fade away and say, okay, i'm done. who is going to replace him? what are the agreements that political parties whatever we may want to call them, can effect given the current con juncture. i don't see it. the best thing that could happen and i'm not even sure i should say best. the thing that is probably going to happen, you're going to have a seconds round and hopefully it's going to be better organized. and hopefully and this is maybe why the web is working so poorly about the results, that they don't know how many people are going to be disqualified.
there's -- you only have 16 candidates who have been disqualified so far. and there are a number of candidates from the various parties. now, this morning i was listening to, i don't know if you remember, and the leader declared that there should be at least 400 candidates who should be removed. now, that proposition would obviously find the immediate an tag nix of the parties and i say parties because you have those and probably the third. not going to accept that. when you listen to the radio, admittedly the radio in haiti tends to be partial. when you're listening to reporters all over the country and i was listening, i have
multiple things listen, there are reporters are saying that the main culprit was in fact -- not a single member has been pushed aside. whether it is, i don't know. according to reports from the radio station, that was the case. so what i'm saying, you have a crisis. it's not easy to see how you can extrick indicate yourself from the crisis. the international community has been way too lax in terms of its overseeing -- and more cynical people say they haven't been that lax, they want their own person in power. if you listen, declared publicly that falsified the results and that's why he's president, then you have to question how the same person is still president of the cep. and has been accepted, not only by civil society in haiti, what is called civil society but the
international community. grave doubts about the role of international community, to put it bluntly, most have no affiliation whatsoever in international observers. >> bob, do you want to -- >> that was such an extensive answer. you know, i tried to throw out a few options in my prepared comments but i'm not quite sure how realistic it is to do anything but to try to move on with the show. as flawed as it is and try to take some corrective measures, but i agree with robert 100% in his assessment of that. i think we're really at an impasse here. and i don't see -- those calling for transitional government or mixed commission, i don't see them getting very far. there's not a cohesive institutional force that really supports them in this.
and as one paper wrote the other day, it's been much more of an emotional response than a wholistic response so -- >> we're going to be open for your questions, comments, why don't you start us. >> thank you. just -- >> we're going to take two or three questions then -- >> stepping away from the specifics -- >> tell us who you are, i'm sorry. >> i'm john varva, the director of haiti college fund, stepping away from the specifics of the electoral process, i'm wondering what is the effect of this chaotic process on the functioning of the government, everything from the day to day operations of getting permits approved, to longer term restructuring and plans to develop ministries much health, et cetera, because those of us who work with the haitian government, we need to
understand how this political process affects the ability of the government to operate as a partner. >> the lady three rows back, all the way to the right or left. >> speak up a little bit. >> eileen slep, did an article for latino magazine. in my research, i found that the state department was being asked to be more involved and we were asked, there had been a request for $30 million for the elections. and i was wondering if you could clarify that. >> one last question before -- >> thanks, mark cohen, i guess two questions, once, in the 1990
election, i think it would be fair to say there were competing ideas notwithstanding the underlying structure that robert has explained very well today and in his books but this seems much more driven by personalities and just competition to get the goods and i hesitate to characterize it that way given another country that has an election that seals to be driven by personality, coming up next year but the campaign has started already. second up i understand there are also local elections for local councils and executive bodies occurring and it seems to me, a lot of day to day development issues that bob mention are actually handled by those bodies
and i think thehasn't been a lo election since 2001 given the chaos for a smaller number of elections, what are the pro spektds for local elections being smooth and a good democratic process? >>. >> bob, do you want to start off this round? they are both bobs. >> he's bob, i'm robert. we differentiate. >> yeah, i'm going to jump first into mark's questions because i think all of the questions are very good and i think this one really is a crucial one. i think this idea of elections based on competing ideas is one that's kind of gets lost in the mix of these personalities. as i tried to emphasize, what are the motivations of people to run for office? you know, it's not like they are lawyers running for office and if they lose they go back to
their job, a lot of the motivation here is to get a job. i can recall, for example, the first parliament that was elected in 1990 and the handbook done on them by -- which unfortunately still does not do this. there's some that could do this, this could be of great service, to have a handbook on who gets elected. but one thing that struck me was that most of the people in the lower house did not speak french. they put their language as creole. and most of them did not have a profession that they listed except for farmer or merchant or something like that, which is kind of like informal economy. so what drives a lot of this is the personality because the motivation is to get in office, to get a job, to get access, and in some cases depending on the personality, to revel in
immunity, that is granted to political actors in haiti, once they get elected. the issue of local election it always flies way under the radar. what has actually flown under the radar which i find rather disturbing is the fact that that over time the current president appointed all of the mayors of haiti because elected officials lost their term in office, their time expired. so that every appointed -- every municipal official in haiti's 133 municipalities is a martelli appointed person. given that dynamic and what we've seen happen on august 9th. i think it's pretty optimistic to think that any kind of local election can go very smoothly. those appointed mayors are not suppose d to be able to run for
office. but certainly they've got their candidates and they'll use whatever qualities they can to support them. >> yeah, it's very difficult to see how the election in october is going to be much better than the one that took place on august 9th, to be blunt. especially given that you have not only second round of the legislative elections but you have 25 constituencies where you're going to add another re-run. then you have the presidential elections which obviously the big enchilada. to some extent, it may well be what happens at a lower level will be ignored and everyone will concentrate on the presidential election. but the danger is there it may be also quite bad. we're going to have to see.
now the question imposed by the elections as a competition of ideas, different idealogical position, this is gone. it's been gone since 1994, for all practical purposes. we are ultimately in a neoliberal world. whatever you may want to say once you get to power, you are almost compelled to follow the neoliberal model, as the greek were much more structured than haiti and we know what happened. so it leads to a great amount of cynicism. whomever you elect, it's the same old stuff, you have the same problem, export oriented baseballs and textile, nothing is done for agriculture except when you export certain things. the country is wide open to goods from abroad. so haiti produces virtually
nothing. we are becoming a periphery of the dominican republic and import so much, there's no national strategy of production. it doesn't exist. and that leads to the question about the government. the government that be eviscerated for a long time. this is a simple reality. what the government does is to organize to put it bluntly, carnivals and we have one right now, which is, a full week where you're going to have celebrations for, cultural celebration, whatever that means. some people have argued that the announcement of the results was to some extent postponed because they don't want problems during that. thsz what many haitians are saying. you have on eviscerated state, which has been even more eviscerated as a result of the tragedy of the earthquake.
reconstruction has been very poor to put it bluntly. and that's the optimistic version. now you have a situation where there's a crisis, if you read the latest report in terms of food security it's becoming increasely serious, you have the possibility of the storm becoming another major natural ka tras trow fee. the scenario is quite bleak. i'm sorry to say that. i don't see a way out, given the political class that we have, given the international involvement. i think the key actors are essentially doing what they've been doing for the past 40 years with no surprise, the same results. so i think five years from now we'll be here and say the same thing. >> i hope i'm completely wrong.
>> just a quick comment on the question about the state department greater involvement -- >> i was going to ask that, yeah. >> the price tag for this first round of elections is being thrown out there at $38 million. i don't know if that will be something like $4 a vote or something like that. but you know, most of that is covered by international organizations and the u.s. takes the lead on that. there has been question about funding gaps for the remaining two steps so this is probably the source of that information. but i think it's also worth stating that there's a new team in transition at the state department to be responsible for haitian affairs. the person who was serving as the haiti special coordinator since late 2010 has just stepped aside. this would be tom adams.
and his place of former ambassador to haiti ken burton has been -- he began on monday as the special coordinator for haiti. the current ambassador, pamela white, who has been an extremely polarizing figure within haiti, is in her last few days. her successor has been confirmed and will be going to haiti presumably sometime in september. now, to what extent this will shift u.s. policy or u.s. actions, it's certainly hard to tell. it's been my -- to my frustration how the u.s. seems to have enabled martelli over the last three or four years to act the way he's acted and
hopefully that might change in the last few months, hopefully of his presidency. but i'll at least have some guarded optimism that things could improve with a new team coming from the u.s. because there is no doubt that it's -- it's the u.s. that is the major player in haiti. and robert of course talks about this very explicitly in his presentation. >> the crisis in haiti now would have significant repercussions on the elections in the united states, if only because of hillary clinton. this is something that people should remember. something that is going to have an impact on to put it bluntly the the democratic administration managing of those elections, they can't afford the
major crisis with all of the consequences that this entails. >> mr. ambassador? >> thank you very much, paul spencer, organization american states, since reference han made to the statement of the observation mission and since i was there, i thought i will just make a comment. one, the oas has not lowered its standards of observing elections. the statement did it indeed say that important consideration was the fact that elections were held. that was against the background that up to 8:00, as you know, many polling stations had not opened. but compared to 2010, where observers were present, the process was seen as a successful
conclusion on that date. on 2010 because of indemic balance because of many parts of the country, we had to pull our observers out of both areas by a certain time. we did not have to do that this time. so i think it's in that context you must see the reference to the fact that elections were in fact held. and that was an important and significant aspect. we also made a number of recommendations or commented by issues we saw, the logistical challenges, even the violence that was witnessed in some areas, and disorganization aspects in many areas. we have been put together a number of recommendations which we hope will be taken aboard by the cep. in fact, yesterday's press conference, we noted that the cep indicated it was going to address all of those issues
prior to the next elections and it's a process. and a delicate balance has to be found between you now, indicating that elections were so fraudulent -- not fraudulent, so flawed that it will ban any future elections in this current realm. thank you. >> another question? this gentleman here. >> i have father joseph phillip from university in haiti. i have a comment. thank you for your presentation and i'm in agreement with your recommendations but for the last 27 years i have been trying to help the people to promote democracy. first, to help farmers to
have -- second to help them to get access to water and sanitation, to education, to most of the basic human needs. and actually, we have a key in haiti to solve the problem of haiti. this key has three heads, the young people who need access to higher education, the second one is the local grass roots organizations and the third one is the haitian -- my question is, how can you help? thank you. >> third question? >> thank you. ryan peck, george washington
alumni. my question is, have foreign government or ngos taken any role in helping to hold or set up the haitian elections and has there been any reaction from the haitian public to their involvement or lack of involvement? >> michael the last question. >> thank you, michael shifter, interamerican dialogue. i thought the medium we had this week on brazil was pessimistic but this one has gone further than that. something to take note of and then a question. one is that you know, there used to be a time not too long ago when haiti was the example of international cooperation in the hemisphere and with the rome of -- [ alarm sounding ]
>> must have been something controversial -- >> we may have to -- >> may i have your attention please. there has been a fire emergency reported in the building. please leave the building by the nearest station. >> we have to adhere to the -- rule of law. sorry. >> okay. michael? >> okay, as i was saying, i want to thank the hard corps troopers for coming back. i had two points, one was really just an observation about talking about the role of the u.s. government and haiti and but this was for the interamerican dialogue and other groups, this was the example of
roo regional cooperation. with the interest of brazil and other countries, that seems to have changed dramatically. i wonder, just an observation, but if you have any reactions to that. and the second one i was asking robert after a bit, when i hear the term political class that he's mentioned four or five times, whether thgs this is completely frozen, static, unchanged over the years? is there political class completely identifiable. are there people joining the political class or challenging the political class? is there any more fluidity or is it fixed and fixed for the last generation and always be fixed? >> this term political class, if you can get a little bit below that, that was my question. thank you. >> broken instead of fixed. >> okay. so it political class to me is
essentially the politicians in haiti, ir respective of political parties. but we've had especially after 1994, is an increasing amount of apportionism, that people move from one party to another and they move from the losing party to the party that looks like it's going to win. and i mean you can see for instance the creation of parties is really artificial. you have for instance, not a party before now it's a party and those who came from nowhere and it's a very powerful party. you have the party of bre val and what happened is that people moved and people moved to the different party. and the candidate of bre val,
there's movement. there is a new group of people moving, especially at the lower level. people get old. you have to replace them. and at the level, this is a new political class. there are few young emerging in particular from the haitian ee let, want to be part of the political system. i mean, the poster boy who is running and looks like he may be winning, i think this is a different kind of politician. you know, kind of moderate elite. but in terms of political programs, you don't see them because party emerge for elections and that's what it is. buk clear had a completely new party and there are a lot of new people, in particular at the regional level. but their party created by the establishment, if you wish.
a candidate and there's -- there's a lot of talk now about the -- who's going to be the presidential candidate ultimately that martelly is going to support, is louis, but there is steve from buk clear. one may be dropped and it may be muiz, who knows. and people who moved to martelly. and it's split. a lot of people moved away because they were not happy with the selection. so you have, you know, the french saying of the political parties but there's new people coming because people -- >> right, die. >> just to add a couple of things to that answer.
one is that the nature of political thought in haiti. i think we mentioned earlier in the session that nobody is fighting elections over ideology. people are fighting elections over personality and to get access. so to think of haiti's political structure along a continue um of front right and center i think is misleading. i always thought of haiti's political structure more like a horse shoe shape where people jump over, jump sides, left to right and do it open tune is stickally. one of the motivations, politics is one of the few avenues of social and economic mobility in haiti available to the average person. i mean, it's politics, you can become a politician and get involved in religion. that's another avenue. but you talk about
entrepreneurship and business, no, it's not an avenue because people don't have access to resources to be able to really climb up an economic ladder. so there's a real strong desire to get into politics to affiliate yourself with the leader who has the greater chance and become one of his foot soldiers so that then you'll get access. we've seen this repeatedly over the past 30 years. i'd like to just make a couple of comments on joseph phillipe's question about the grass roots groups -- yes, yes. you know, i mentioned in my presentation, i'm a development guy and i'm a development guy because i worked for 25 years with the inter-american foundation and supporting in haiti grass roots development, in other words, funding initiatives that were coming not
from the -- as much as from grass roots organizations. and it's always been remarkable that haiti has such an extensive network of community based organizations that are organic and that arise within their communities. but are generally left out of the equation. what does a development equation generally take into account? it takes into account organizations based in the united states, be they ngos or for profit contractors and takes into account huge amounts of money that go to the organizations to sponsor projects. i mean, $126 million for a feed the future project in two water sheds, $83 million in another feed the future project in two water sheds up in the north. you know, these -- unfortunately this funding does not directly work towards supporting these organizations that you mentioned. i'm a little less cognizant of
the diaspera because it's been my experience to try to provide opportunities provide opportunir young haitian americans who are rising juniors or seniors at university who would want to photo haiti and try to go to haiti and find a way to fit in. people from the diaspara come in with their own ideas and not connect so much with haitians. i would recommend that these kind of organizations, particularly the grassroot groups and outmeasuyouth% merit shou should listen to them. what development agencies tend to do is go in and say what are you needs, we'll give it to you.
that just hasn't worked. rather to go in and talk to people in their communities and their organizations and say what is it you are doing and how can we help you do it better? and that way we are responding to and supporting these networks and these institutions at the grassroots, which grow and strengthen the political process as well. >> one thing about the diaspara, what's interesting it's not voting after a lot of talk. there was a lot of talk that the diaspara would participate. they are not. so that tells you that there's a real problem. now the logistical problem is massive. this is a fact. the other thing about the youth and i think one of the real problems for haiti is the youth
represents the majority of the nation but they have no future. even if you get an education you don't have a job. in creole you used to say [ speaking foreign language ] meaning getting out of debt. however the bad situation in dominican republic, haitians go there. why do they go there? because there are jobs. miserable jobs but jobs nonetheless. so there's a fundamental problem that's not been addressed by any government about the youth of the country. there are no jobs. people move from can country side to urban areas. there's no jobs. instead of doing something where you can revive the local economy and prevent that massive migration. this is for another time for
debate. >> go ahead. >> thank you for your comments. one, i think we are trying to get the involvement of the dispara because most of them are connected with their community of origin. they want their community of origin to be recognized, preferably if they want to stop talking and writing and doing something, we can meet with them there. and also at the university we are educating job creators, not job-seekers. and we have sent about 75 young people outside of haiti in france, in trinidad, in cuba,
all of them come back and now they are the leadership of the organization. when we talk about the local grassroots organizations, we want high school, college graduates from university to go back home and to create job opportunities and business opportunities and i think john has the experience of a graduate from the university -- if he wants he can share that with you. >> thank you. yes. the haiti college fund supported the education of a young man and he was one of the first students to go through and has returned to his community with his degree in veteranaiary medicine.
he has been able to teach people how to raise better food for the animals. working on papaya projects. his ability to be a leader is really remarkable, and he is so in touch with the local community. so he's our sort of poster child for the idea that with an education you can go back to your local community and create opportunities where there were none before. we're not telling him about these projects, he's coming up with them on his own. >> thank you. >> those are wonderful projects. the problem is they are microprojects. but this is a beginning. i'm talking about the micropicture. one thing about dispara is supporting haiti to the tune of $2 billion. without that the country would be in a real mess.
so there's a very simple reality that haitians in haiti need the dispara. the question is how do you integrate two? that's very complicated. many people in haiti feel the dispara is competition because they take jobs from haitians in haiti. so you have that reality. but without the dispara the country would be even real in desperate shape. >> any other comments, questions? >> i just would like to say something about that. my name is ann hastings and for 17 years i was the executive of haiti's bank for the organized poor which started as grassroots
organizations from around the country, and what we learned in working with the dispara is that these remittances are enormous and around the world we're trying to find ways for people not just to use remittances that they receive for consumption purposes, but somehow to get people to use the money they are receiving to start enterprises. and we did a project in haiti where we worked around the, in the rural areas, with remittance recipients to help give them some entrepreneurial skills so they could start a business. now when you talk to the dispara, they want to invest in projects in haiti. they don't want to just go in and control them. but they need an intermediary
that can tell them which of these entrepreneurial projects like you're talking about. there's dozens. i mean there's tons of those little microprojects. some of them can work. and so the capacity is there. the knowledge of what needs to be done is there. but the problem is the way u.s. policy and the general efisceration of the government you talk about gets in the way of people actually being able to do this kind of development work that bob was talking about. and it is becoming critical, the hunger problems are really serious, and as my son said the feed the future program is really a feed the consultants program. >> if you allow me, you know --
[ inaudible ] >> george washington. >> george washington. thank you. we want to find a way to educate the local elected officials so that they can write bills which promote and which secure the local community organizations. >> i'll be happy to speak with you off the record. >> let me say i'm sorry we got interrupted here. with time we're going to have to let everyone go back to their jobs. but bob and i have been talking and we're going to sort of have another session sometime this fall, and maybe things will become clearer, maybe become clearer in ways that are hopeful or become clearer in ways that are not so hopeful. but i think the dialogue and
george washington will continue to work together on that and i'm sure robier will be a part of this willingly or not. and anyway, thank all of you for coming and for coming back. we appreciate it. [ applause ] >> thank you. the c-span city tour visits literary and historic sites across the nation to hear from local historian, authors and civic leaders every other weekend on c-span 2's book tv and american history tv on c-span 3. this month with congress on summer recess the city tour is on c-span each day at 6:00 p.m. eastern and we continue monday with a visit to colorado springs. we'll learn about explorers, treatment of tuberculosis and inventer nicolai tesla.
that's today on c-span starting at 6:00 eastern. host: good morning. ♪ good morning. it's monday, august 24th, 2015. we begin today on the washington journal, discussing the u.s. ad constitution. theed legendary document has on been amended 27 times in its nearly to 30 years all of the leading 2016 presidential chang candidates have one or more ropa proposals how to change the s constitution. the latestans proposal from sod republicans that has gained attention would rescind birth d right citizenship, but democratic candidates have supported their own constitutional amendment to dreo overturn thef citizens united decision and other amendments have been proposed. this morning we're asking our viewers whether you think it's a good idea to amend the u.s. constitution and if so tell us what you would change and why.
republicans can call in at 202-748, 8001, democrats twitte 20-748-8000 and independents 20-748-8002. catch up with on facebook or tweet us journal @c-span. >> katrina in 1777, ratified in 1788, the united states constitution is the world's longest surviving written charter of got and we're asking our viewers how would you amend or should we amend it if could you. give us your suggestions for how you do it. the phone numbers are on the screen. this is a subject that was brought up by a recent national journal story all the ways the 2016 contenders want to change the united states constitution. that story reads in part that en mere o suggestion of altering america's bedrock law can make a splash in a crowded 2016 field and as long as presidential
candidates vie for attention. of course this issue of birth fr right citizenship has been one of the issues that's come up in regards to changing the united states constitution.e this issue that you're an american citizen if you're born on u.s. soil regardless of the . immigration status of your parents. the story noting that donald fo trump set off ar firestorm of debate over the weekend by to calling an end to birth right citizenship. for now trump is not explicitly advocating a-- constitutional revision but that hasn't stopped other 2016 republicans doing just that.ere was on the sunday shows yesterday this was the topic of tor te conversation including an interview on "face the nation" with senator ted cruz of texas. here's what he had to say about ending birth right citizenship. >> as a policy matter i think now and i thought then we shoulr end birth right citizenship and in 2011, in that same conversation i publicly said we
should end birth right citizenship. i said so in writing. there's a second question. how does one do it? constitutional scholars differ in terms of the way that it can be effectively done. some constitutional scholars argue congress could pass a law defining what the words in the 14th amendment subject to the jurisdiction means. others argue, no, it count to be done by statute, it must to be done by constitutional amendment. my viewve there's a good faith argument on both sides. a we should p pursue whichever on is effective but as a policy matter, we should change the t, law. but what i also said in that interview and this is important john, is we're facing crisis with illegal immigration and law enforcement crisis and nationaln security crisis. any change in birth right citizenship be it statute or constitutional amendment will take many, many years. >> senator ted cruz on the espod sunday shows inyesterday. several other candidates also responding to this issue of changing the 14th amendment and
birth right citizenship.ng the democratic side of the nite aisled the leading proposal that's out there is overturning the citizens united supreme court decision. here's bernie sanders, pre presidential website, his campaign website.enti it's timeal for a constitutiona amendment to overturn citizens united supreme court's decisionr inn citizens united airlines a other cases. open the flood gates for a billions of dollar s that threatened to undermine our democracy. we need a constitutional also amendment to overturn e citizen united. hillary clinton has also expressed her conto openness to idea of a constitutional un amendment to overturn citizens united.d consid here's a story from msnbc. i would consider it, this story from late last month, so how would you change the united states constitution? should it be changed? if so tell us what and why. eric is up first in cedar town, georgia. eric, good morning.
>> first i would like to respond to senator cruz. senator cruz what you would ca'' an ankle baby. his father was born in cuba. what we need is see senator cruz's mother's certificate. this is what he was claiming citizenship.other nowis on to the other issues wee dealing with. the constitution was a flawed document with a flawed documents from the very beginning because for the simple fact it was cauc designed basically as a document for white caucasian male. if you look throughout history, especially the dred scott decision that said there's no li righst that a white man has respect over black man. we're living this today. that's what you're seeing this from. >> --eric, how would you change that document today? is it still a flawed document it your hamind? >> caller: yes.can-am
it's a documenert that the r. k african-american -- you know what i'm saying. a check with insufficient funds. we still see where the police, e after reconstruction and all this was designed all this was designed under the government."' american people should have tha" flag don't tread on me no more. you have been treading on me ever since we've been old enough.ns >>ti eric, specifically what wod you change in the constitution? what amendment would you of th propose? martin o'malley is one of the th candidates on the democratic e, side of the aisle and he's worried about protecting the right to vote in this country is under assault, a story from the constitution center blog noting that in early august he said he wants a constitutional amendment to protect every citizens righti to vote.nd is that something you can get behind? >> caller: no.e fact for the simple fact is the
righted to vote has not helped e african-american.s the we should be a protest vote because the democratic party and the republican party, everythine remains the same. unemployment remains high. bill clinton is the one who put these criminal laws into effect. this is what i'm trying to tell you. chuck schumer, and these system democrats. and igaf you look at the situation, it's about a get t bipartisan since reagan. these people will get-together and use african-american people. bill clinton was wrong. tha everything that het said has bn verified. thank you. >> that's eric in cedar town, georgia this morning. on twitter monty writes in no oy amendments please. need a totally new constitutionr to deal withea the emerging realities in the last two centuries. we're asking our viewers what og you think and what specific amendments you would get behind or you yourself would propose to the constitution. tommy is up next, new york, new york, line for republicans.
tommy, good morning. >> yes, hi. they could tweak the 14 e chea amendment. you can leave fit you were born here. but you have to catch the just f cheaters. you can't have somebody who is expecting a child and have them come here and be american born r so they can all stay here. if someone is here, maybe they are on a green card, visa or e whatever and, you know, they are working and they feel they will live here for a while or maybe start a life here and they e hae happen to have a child here, fine. c but we havehe a lot of people tt are cheating, that are just coming over to have a child so the child could be american born and then go back to wherever they come from. that i feel we should change. >> talking about this debate over the 14th amendment. section 1 of the 14 d amendmentt readinesg in part all persons bn or naturalized in the united states and subject to the ed sta jurisdiction thereofte are nd o
citizensth of the united states and of the state where in they reside. this idea ofnday birth right citizenship playing out on the sunday shows. again yesterday arf donald trump brought this up last week. here's governor chris christie of new jersey on "face the nation" when he was asked his position on birth right citizenship. >> it's in the constitution. and hriis don't think that we sl be looking to change it.look now what i said was if we want to have comprehensive comes immigration reform i would be willing to listen to anything.ag but the truth of the matter is, that's not something we should t be focused on.ngs we that's an applause line. s it's in the constitution. let's talk aboutd th the things can fix and fairfax simply of without having to amend the constitution where we need two-thirds of the congress and 38 states to agree. >> chris christie on the sunday shows yesterday. that debate over the 14th amendment only the latest debate over a possible constitutional amendment that's been happening. in the republican party.
here's a recent story from the "wall street journal" about another republicanic presidentig candidate, rick santorum calls for a constitutional amendment t banning same-sex marriage. those statements coming after oy that supreme court case earlier this year that allowed gay ashi marriage acrossng this country. more recent story from lindsey graham from "the washington post" noting that embracing thet idea of constitutional amendment to marriage will hurt dline republicans in 2016. that headline from june 28th in "the washington post." this debate happening over the past several months of different amendments to the constitution that have been proposed. thought we want to hear your thoughts should any amendments be proposed and which ones. james in tennessee, line for independence. james, good morning. >> caller: yes. to tweet the constitution -- hello. >> i'm listening, james, go ahead. >> caller: okay. i heard mr. trump say he wants
to tweet the constitution to get the latinos out. w well after that happens, i want. to know when mr. walker going to want to keep the constitution. does he think that the r bac founders -- i was watching the program last night. do you know how we have to go k far back and go looking at all these books to find out who owned you, where you were sold like an animal, and then i would think he would twist, you can get the slaves back. thank you. >> want to hear from governor scott walker. he was on this week yesterday on the sunday shows. here's a bit of what he had to say about the 14th amendment. >> we need to enforce the lawss including those in the constitution. my point shafg this debate about anything else when we don't have politicians who are committed tr actually securing the border and enforcing the laws which means veryem simply in our country e-verify, making sure every
employer makes sure people working for them are legal in this country. that would resolve this problemm >> so you're not seeking to repeal or alter the 14th amendment? >> it should be a red flag to cg voters who heard lip service from politicians and are angry because politicians haven't been committed to following through o on those promises. >> this debate over the 14th pa amendment happening on our twitter page this morning and on our facebook page as well. you can check those out as we ask viewers about their views on changing the united states constitution. on our facebook page it's facebook.com/cspan. barbara writes in the constitution shouldn't be changed. it keepsac dictators like president obama under control. congress needs to do their job . and hold people accountable fort not following the law of the land and adam writes below that it's a touchy subject changing e
the constitution. i do not think the constitution should be changed but i do not agree with birth right citizenship. it is an open door for illegal imgrace and a topic that will receive much debate over the tun next few months. you can check out our facebook page as well. if you want to join the conversation or give us a call.d >> randall is calling in from eh stephenville, texas. randall, good morning.t think >> caller: good morning. i don't get much time with the national audience. give me five minutes here. i don't think the spirit of the law should be questioned.hospit if a woman knows she can come over to a hospital in el paso, lay in the aisle and have her baby to give that baby a bettert opportunity, i'm not going to
blame her mother. at the same time, i don't thinkt every issueo needs to be a firg squad issue. this is not -- america is not a war zone. i'm tired of politicians, television advertising, i'm e oa tired of everything that we're h in a militarized zone. the biggest part we're more of a hospital zone than a military zone. so what i do think, we may go back into those laws, the came constitution, there's a lot of things that came out of the hat spirit of the constitution, the spirit of the declaration of t, independence and the constitution that time maybe outran. but if you were brought across the border and your mom did hav you inin the el paso hallway of: the hospital, then you're first in line for citizenship.s coun
>> do you think we're too quick in this country to jump on a constitutional amendment fix?d i we talked about bitter right citizenship, citizens united. >> caller: it's gotten so bad ec that i think we're ready to gets out there and throw the knock cl out erpunch. >> the knock out punch to who? >> caller: it doesn't matter.s just let trump spout off. that's what got the republicans running scared is he's coming out and saying brash things. you go with a guy like bernie sanders, you see he's ready to address economics. and that's where the dignity has been lost to the little man. if you don't take care of the te little man and little woman -- and i'll tell you something. you're not going to make a to better country.securi you got to come out here and face the heartland.
that's ours. nixon put it in the general fam revenue sharing ilfund.ho you got to give the common person, the common family the right to dignity.would ch >> that's randall in stephenville, texas.n. i thought you were done. we're talking with our viewers how they would change the united states constitution. should it be changed why or why not? other proposed amendments that have come up during 2016 cycle already an amendment to balanceg america's budget.eeting nearly every leading 2016 at o republican contender has at one time oran another backed a or bl constitutional amendment that would compel congress to balance the budget. this from that national journal story all the ways 2016 candidates want to change the it constitution. another one taking aim at the affordable care act expressing opposition to president obama's health care law. marco rubio introduced a constitutional amendment in 2013 that would invalidate the individual mandate a provision that requires most americans to
purchase health insurance or pay a penalty. oth we'll talk about some of those and some of the ways that candidates are proposing e changing the constitution.ing. ann is up next, pulaski, irst 1 tennessee.ed ann, good morning. >> caller: good morning. in the first 16 years of the united states the constitution was amended 15 times.ts. when they started they realized they needed to add the bill of a reits and then added 11 and 12 very quickly. then after the civil war we added three more. then in the progressive era we added three, four more.e just so that it s is not an uncommon thing.do today we just say that it is too hard to do because they don't want to do it.is t it was put in constitution in the fifth article that the way d to change the constitution is to amend it. they didn't make it hard. so i approve changing the l issu constitution on several issues. one that you just mentioned and that is balanced budget tes have
amendment. that sounds reasonable. we have to do it in our homes ig and many states have to do that as well. and also in the issue now of having children, a parent comes for the expressed purpose of making their children citizens and not to contribute to the t united states and not to be a et part of the united states. we see this being done by several nationalities in different places in this country and that's not what was intend. if we go back and read the 14th amendment most of the authors of that amendment said that it was to make sure that former slaves. were now citizens of the unitede states and could not be deprived of their rights. so we need to look at everythind and to look at lastly i'll say v look at there 27th amendment. what does do it?smen every two years congress could get a pay raise unless otherwise indicated. now that was really important, but somehow that got passed. and other important things are being discussed as well.
>> at a time when things seem so split along party lines and that it's hard to get candidates on o both sides or members of hink congress on both sides of the me aisle together on anything do you think that we can move a constitutional amendment on some of those issues you bring up and get two-thirds of the senate ane to agree on it before than sending it to states for ratification? >> caller: i don't think it's t ever beeno easy to get these amendments. they had to right the federalist papers and some of them were locked out, i understand. so i'm sure there was opposition to every one of them. and strong opposition.uld se i'm sure that if we really studied it to a great deal we would see that there's been strong opposition to nearly every one of them. so thank you very much. >> excellent call from pulaski, tennessee. ann appreciate it. you're talking about the 27th l amendment theas last amendment
1992 was the last time that the constitution was adped, more orn than al200 years after it was proposed as part of the original bill of rights the amendment prohibited members of congress a from receiving anla increase in. salary until after the next election had been held and that was again 1992. before that the 26th amendment, 1971, two last amendments the pn united states tsconstitution.: ahmed is up next, ellicott city, maryland on the independence th line.c good morning.need >> caller: thank you fors taki my call. i don't think that -- i think to the american publicns needs to e understand one thing that changing the constitution is noi a priority for justice, liberty and pursuit of happiness.s fr and theseom politicians and oths are really distracting us from the core issues that divide us because of the injustices and
economy and crumbling of our social values and what we stand in the united states and distra throughout the world and how to be respectable nation.nion is these are distractions. this constitution, you know, no document is perfect. my opinion is that a document ht thato lasted for centuries shod not be the most priority thing a to be changed.publ i think these are very much b distraction and american public needs to understand tissue is social justice because these economic inequality these are making more and more less and less united.at nee sods this is the issue and that what needs to be addressed. unfortunately, the media is pick being out the talking points of these politicians and running with it, and continuing to distract american public. >> ahmed in ellicott city, w maryland.
sam writes in on twitter i don't want to see what they would do to it. make it worse.yo we can't trust them to do the right thing. continue calling in this morning on the washington journal on this question of should the united states constitution be changed why or why not.ry wal we'll show you some of the other news in this country this morning. jittery wall street starts the week on edge. lead story. u.s. stocks are set for a gritty start following their worst week since 2011.tartin on friday the dow jones industrial average plummeted 531 points hammered concerns by stalled chinese growth and falling oil prices. are asia stocks fell monday to a twi year low. u.s. index futures dropped indicating route may have further to go.story we'll be watching the markets this week. in a story in "the washington post" today on international affairs, senator harry reid endorsement boosts the iranian nuclear deal, senator minority leader harry reid gave a
forceful endorsement to the sa nuclear deal according to "the washington post." the nevada democrat said it's the best way curtail iran's military ambition and pledged to round up more support to thwart it's opponents. he's the 27th senate democrat t publicly endorse the plan while just two including reid as i friend and likely successor charles schumer of new york have come out against it. that story in today's "the one washington post." one other stor y to point you towards after that friday press conference from former president jimmy carter about his health condition the headline in the "new york times" big crowds sh's support at carter's first bible lesson since his cancer update. he spent less than five minutes recapping his illness before saying that's enough about that subject and glings son on faith, love and relationships according to the story in the "new york we times" this wmorning.we are some of the news a going on arod the country we want to hear your thoughts on this question we're asking should the united states
constitution be changed? sandra is up next, savannah, a p georgia. line for thdemocrats. sandra, good morning.k that t >> caller: good morning. i'm calling because i do think that the constitution should be changed. for several years now i have voted democratic and right now i'm feeling like i should be voting republican because it amc seems as thougha. we have forgotten, america has forgotten about america.blther i want toe say that yes immigration is a huge problem because there are so many ways that a person who is not a hosew citizen can get citizenship and one of those ways is marrying someone, soldiers go off to different countries to serve their country and yet when they are over there in these other countries they marry and they come back and the wives stay married to them for a year or so
and they now have entry into america. and as far as kids -- >> soldiers shouldn't be allowed to marry if they are on active duty? >> caller: i'm not saying they l shouldn't be allowed to marry, but i think that when they go over there, they are going over as single soldiers and so you can, for one person, but when ot you marry when they are over there, you are paying for two persons and if they have other e children you're now paying for three persons to come back to the united states. you w >>an sandra, you want this clarified in the 14th amendment on citizenship?th >> caller: well that is a way that the foreign citizen can come in to the country. once they get into the country or have a child, the soldier ort
in thehe country then they too n stay in the country. >> sandra is there an amendment you would propose? >> caller: i would change or elaborate on the 14th amendment which is already there because basically it's simple and it fits the times in the past. and all the things that are now occurring, the ways to come in f have changed. so, you hate to do it because ie you make one change then nother somewhere down c the line there has to be another change and another change and another ing n change, but i think explanation is the key to keeping things level. >>ro sandra in is a va narcotic georgia. roberto is calling from here inl washington, d.c. line for independence. good morning. >> caller: good morning. and thank you for take my call.-
yes, i am for changing the constitution and the reason is this. do we, the united states, want to stem the flow of illegal immigration into the united inte states? yes or no? if the u answer is yes, then wes a country must change the constitution and turn off one of the magnets, one of the main magnets for people around the world to come in to the united states. and this is gaining citizenship by issue of being born in the united states, even from parents who are well intentioned for - their own family, for whatever n economic reasons, whatever, the
reason is that they smuggle into the united states or come thing, illegal e via or legally as tourists or something and extending their stay or coming o through the borders, but the heu purpose is that they know once they make it here, they put their foot in the usa and once r they are on this soil it's enough for them to have a baby l or come with a baby already mad. in mexico or elsewhere and yes give birth in the united states or have the children here.babies so they are anchor, that's why it's proper anchor babies. do we want to stay forever the h illegal immigration? we need to take a stand people y illegally here should not be welcomed, will not be welcomed,
they must go back the way they came and re-enter the country ly legally. once this stand is taken firm then people will say well there's no way we can make it. now this time. and they would stop coming illegally. >> that's a great point. carl is up next. oxford, massachusetts. >> caller: good morning thank you for c-span. ahmed from maryland stole some of my thunder. i think in one sense it's kind of meaningless whether we change it or not change it. in a sense it's sort of like the bible. you can get two different people reading it and you can get a multitude of interpretations, and whether they make an amendment or not, whether they don't, we still -- we need common sense. we're still going tog, a go on fighting and bickering andm'wt d arguing no matter what's written down. we need to be -- we need common
sense in other words. like i say he stole a lot of my thunder. >> before you go do you think we're too quick to jump to a tr? constitutional amendment to solve a problem in this countryi i think we lost carl.ca sean in chicago, illinois. line for democrats. thank y sean, good morning. taking you're on the washington l answr journal. >> caller: thank you for taking q my uicall. i'll answer your question. i think we are too quick.un at this point it's like a unicorn. it won't happen. we have a polarized political climate. the left and right are so far apart. you can look at any analysis of polarization in congress or the national electorate. a constitutional amendment is not practical. it's a mythical dragon. we should talk about practical solutions. if people are afraid of these yu tourism children then you make a distance. you talk about the obligation ls being a u.s. citizen, impose tax liabilities, selective service.i there's obligations you have when you're a u.s. citizen not d
just all fun and games.games. even if you go abroad you may have tax liabilities because you're a u.s. citizen. congress could enact legislatioa that create aske reason why you might want to double think whether you should come here for tourism issues. 14th amendment is great. 14th amendment was enacted with the citizenship clause to dred correct the dred scott decision and the supreme court in 1898 said this covers birth right citizenship, a chinese person who was trying to come back in r here after 21 years living here was denied. it's ridiculous.ng tha the thing that would terrify meb of a constitutional amendment . today is precision. precision of language. we get very sloppy legislation that's very vague. why almost every law ends up int court to be interpreted. we depend on judges to interpres because congress can't write precise language. how do you overturn citizen united without infringing free
speech. you're talking about politics. independent exp -- i have a cel phone i can call you others don't. that's unfair.early what's the precise wording of that amendment. work around issue. 27th amendment to keep congressa from giving themselves raises, e they just gotss to work around. congress set themselves up so they always get a raise unless they vote to withhold the raise. they just reversed the situatio. to get around teamed. it's still the law today, every year they vote whether or not they should withhold the cost of living increase. it's a little silly. it's a game. >> let me ask you about anothet amendment that's been t proposea i want seems it could be a fairly short amendment, an amendment on term limits in thif country. setting a specific number of th years that a member can serve in the house or senate.
>> caller: i'm not huge on termn limit. i've seen the amendment from the states. the research coming out with states, such as florida that t have term limits, the effects of the term limits aren't necessarily that different from nonterm limits. there's so much research out there with the fact we have this great laboratory of states to look at that do different e things. it doesn't have a huge effect. i want transfers power over to c higher party officials who then pick and choose which candidates are running.host so it doesn't necessarily solve the problem and lot of the research that's out there shows it doesn't solve the problem. >> sean in chicago, illinois this morning. we're getting your thoughts on this issue of changing the constitution, of course, coming, up in the past week because of the birth right citizenship debate. wild and wonderful write, i don't have ar problem with an amendment to clarify natural born citizenship. fred in his column today in theo "the washington post" takes up this topic of birth right citizenship. he says it isn't a problem at
all it's one of the things that makes america great. from many countries what's in your blood or dna defines whether you can belong. americans by contrast are bound together by a civic ideal. of course most americans take pride in their ethnic heritage. often they have paid the price t for that heritage but eventually every prejudice has been worn down if not erased by the shared notion of americanness, conviction citizenship trumps tribe and every infant is born h entitled and likely to grow up o tost be president as any other. we're taking more of your calls for the next ten minutes on the washington journal.ah davis inoma, oklahoma. line for republicans. davis, you're on the washingtone journal. >> caller: good morning.dle i need to apologize. i cut into the middle of the a program before i made my call oa and i guess you're asking about constitutional amendment for ion
citizenship? >> any constitutional amendment, should the united states constitution be changed if so how would you do it, davis? >> caller: yes. think i think there's a critical change to the structure of the republic with the passage of the 17th amendment. i believe that's the one without having my constitution in front of me which makes senator-elected by popular vote. that amendment changed us from the republic that was intended by the founders to a populace nation. and it's had a tremendous impact on this country since its passage in the early 1900s. >> you got your timing right. 17th amendment, 1913 when it was passed. but go ahead, davis. >> caller: yes. people may not realize, but that was a critical change to the fu entire structurendin of the repc set up by the founding fathers. and basically it took the powers that were supposed to be place
residual to the states and individuals and placed them in the hands of the federal government. it was a very critical change and i would simply repeal it. >> davis, any other amendments you would propose or your biggest concern is the 17th? >> caller: i think the 17th is the key log in the jam. as i say it changed us from a republic to a populace nation and that was a tremendous switch and the total philosophy of our government. >> mark is up next in ohio. novelty, ohio, line for independents. mark you're on the washington journal. >> caller: good morning. thank you for c-span and for taking my call. i'm sort of like neither way onu your question this morning because we continue to follow the constitution. what are you guys talking about? for instance, it says in the
constitution property taxes shall never be funded by, you lc know -- i correct myself. funding of public schools shall never be incurred by property taxes.s we do that in so many states, it's extortion, it's not capitalism, it's socialism. payn people with no kids in public schools shouldn't be paying foro other people's kids. there's people who make more than ten times than i do a year, and i have to pay for their kids that go to school? that's about as communistic as e you can get. i wish we would get back to the constitution. changing, you know, when peoplet are born here from another country and they are illegal, that obviously isn't right. i think maybe that's a states
issue, but right now the states have way too much power. too muc we don't have big brother taking care of us at all. and we need to get back to that. and follow the constitution.d thank you. >> mark in ohio.on nee sandy on twitter says that the constitution needs to be amended to both place a cap on federal c taxes and to force congress to balance the budget yearly.wj here are the tweets. follow along with feed @cspan. time for a few more of your calls. i want to point out some of theo other news happening around the world and this country. front page of the "wall street journal" today u.s. trio hailed for thwarting that train attack in france. spencer stone there is a picture of him, an airman in the u.s. air force and two boyhood friends won praise for stopping a man with an ak-47 on friday on a high-speed train to paris. the government surging great are vigilance among 5 million dailyf
train travellers in france. editorial board in "wall street journal" talking about this incident and actions of those three americans. they wrote that heroism used to be celebrated in hollywood although rarely is in these cynical days and it still exists in much of american society that knows the difference between good and evil and willing to ran make sacrifices to defend a fref society. th ae heroes on the french trai show the world the kind of men e america is still made of.s segmn get back to phones get a few more of your calls. john is in annapolis, maryland. line for democrats. john, how would you change the constitution, if could you?ninga >> caller: well, first i want to say good morning and thank you for taking my call.ment the way i would change the constitution is i would propose an amendment to overturn cing a citizens united. i believe that's the central issue facing america right now.
besides that, voting rights, equality, all these issues can't be solved unless you get money out of politics first because until the american people get their voice back and heard, nothing else can be changed. that's my thoughts on that.ink s >> john, who do you think is the leading voice on this issue in n the presidential primaries happening now, couple of : democrats talking about this, hillary clinton, bernie sanders >> caller: i believe that both a parties are talking about campaign finance reform, though i do believe that the democrats are the ones who are actually making it a priority point in their policy versus the republicans, so i'm undecided on who my democratic candidate would be at this point but it's either a toss between hillary clinton and bernie sanders.ers >> john in annapolis, maryland. here's the bernie sanders webpage, urging support towers
sign the petition for d. constitutional amendment to overturn citizens united.republ let's go to joe in augusta, west virginia, line for republicans. joe, you're on the washington journal. >> caller: thank you. first of all, we're not talking about changing the constitutionn but just the 14th amendment, basically. and we should never do the constitution. if you go back and read about the founders, those were the ae most intelligent, thoughtful people so far above in what we have in education in this country any more. i don't think we can ever improve on them. in i was thinking that the 14th 19 amendment came out in 1969. we had ellis island from 1892 for about 60 years to screen it. and the founders could never is havesu envisioned such a porous border as we have nor the speed
of mass transportation and, of course, media to inform people that they could come to this country and just have babies and then they would be citizens. and i think it's wrong that lea people who do not want to come here and learn english and be aa assimilated can come and have a baby and then say well now you're citizens. they don't want to assimilate into this country and i don't a think that the founders could have ever envisioned anything like this. think t >> so technology in society is sort of outpaced the 14th amendment? >> caller: well, it's sticking to principles. i think is what it is. it's like people can't understand that you stick to the principles of something, even though it's, you know, just rstd things have changed around you. you don't change the principles. i think it was henry adams that said democracy was made for moral people, for example.we
and they knew that the people that were going to be in this w country if it was going to workr would basically be under self-governed, in other words they would be people who had me. own self under control before they tried to be in the government. and i think that's one of the n. p-)4i1%qe in this coun. look at our drug problems and many other thing. that's another thing that our founders could never have envisioned the things -- who tht citizens would be that supposedly are going to take over the government. and i think that, you know, we can't improve on what the ave to founders did, but we do need to look at certain things that are out of control that had a good purpose when they first startede just unions. unions when they first start hyphenkemberly dorvilier a very good hepurpose.ut the but then it got out of control. so i think that's what you have
to stick to the principles of what they meant and then adjust it accordingly. they couldn't envision what ne o we're w facing right now.if y 'ro society, what are you going to do? you are going to tear down. esst: we will hear from j in california -- jeff in california. go ahead. caller: >> jeff the last caller in this segment. >> caller: i think the 14th amendment should be changed because the mentality of people coming here from mexico. i have a group in the farming community and from what i understand is, is that the people in mexico were never happy with the deal of us buying arizona, california and new mexico and nevada and they have this mentality to rob us.
people coming over right now and having babies are doing it premeditated and very clandestine and they are winning. they are slowly -- they are slowly coming in and taking over to whole country. they manninged to take over our good paying skilled jobs. they are not here just picking fruit. i know several farmers every year they are on the newstalking about how they can't find anybody to pick their crops. the reason why they can't is because they are working in manufacturing jobs, meat-packing plants, construction jobs that pay really, really well, you know. >> jeff it is an enforcement issue or a change of the constitution issue? >> caller: i would say it's a change in the constitution. since this is the topic, you know, i think it should be -- i think it should be reamended -- it depends on -- just can't
waltz in here under the cover of darkness and have a baby. maybe was a good idea when we were a fledgling nation. but the trough is full. too many cows in the pasture. >> our last caller in this segment of the washington journal. up next we'll talk to ed martin who took over president of the eagle forum. he joins us to talk about the conservative and political legislative agenda heading in to the 2016 presidential elections and later we'll be joined by barry lynn. we'll being right back. >> said it, august way ninth marks the 10th >> saturday august 29th marks the tenth anniversary of hurricane katrina one of the five deadliest storms in u.s. history. c-span's special coverage begins live today at 10:00 a.m. eastern
with the atlantic magazine's conference in new orleans. and all day event featuring officials, authors and community leaders. at evening at 8:00 more from the atlantic conference with new orleans based poets, activists and others. tuesday night at 8:00 c-span's 2006 tour of new orleans. and then a house hearing featuring new orleans citizens. >> they told us they would take us to shelters where we could get help and get seniors to help. and they loaded us up on these military trucks. then they declared the city of new orleans and the parishes a war zone and it still didn't sink in we were the prisoners of war. >> on wednesday night at 8:00, 2006 tour of saint bernard parish. >> that's your whole life gone.
nothing rubble left. your friends family everybody is gone. now it's going year later and still your family and friends you don't see any more that you used to see. hell of a feeling. you don't forget it. you never forget it the rest of your life. >> followed at 9:00 with a town hall meeting. >> i'm relying on you. i know all this is state level, federal level and all other levels. i don't have them. i voted for you. so represent me on the local level. i don't know where else to go. i don't know when a else to do. >> thursday night starting at 8:00 more from the atlantic conference with craig fugate and dean baquet.
at k we show president obama's trip to region and remarks on the recovery effort ten years after katrina. all this week on c-span. washington journal continues. . . . . he took over that group earlier this year. he replaced in that role a legend in the social conservative world, ed martin, how do you fill those very big shoes she left behind? >> i hate to quote another prominent woman in america. it takes a village to replace phyllis schlafly. we are building the organization to continue her work going forward. that's how we look at it. >> talking about the work of the organization, here is a tweet, a quote from you last week from
the eagle forum website. politics is where the action is. we are waging the war. >> what are the front lines in that war? what issues are on the front line there? >> phyllis has been at every republican convention since 1952. she has been on the platform most of the time. one of the great successes she would point to. she has a book coming out this fall is the creation and the implementation of the pro-life platform plank of the republican party. 1974, folks like richard nixon and gerald ford, the supreme court has spoken on roe v. life. get over it. instead, phyllis put this in. the front lines of politics and the action is the republican party on the issues we care
about. she has not been shy in saying we are interested in the two-party system and contributing to the republican party as a conservative party. as an organization. we spend a lot of time in states educating about the public schools and schools in general can be impacted by common core, how badly we think it is. she uses the term military superiority. it is a different understanding of america's place in the world. she talks about the role of judges and judicial supremacy. republican appointees that have changed the balance of power in
america. >> what would be your answer to that question we posted of yours, should the u.s. constitution be changed and if so, how would you change it? >> one of your callers from illinois said what phillis often says, it is very difficult and generally a waste of time. she believes it is a mistake and a red herring. i think she would say, we need people, elected officials, exec testifies an judges to live up to the current constitution. when the president says he has a pen and a phone, that's sending a message about executive power. i think we think that's kind of
a waste of time. we have to find better people in office. >> if you want to talk to ed martin, the new president of the eagle forum, took over early for that group. republicans, 202-748-8001. democrats, 748-8000. independents, 748-8002. check out eagle forum at eagleforum.org or follow them on twitter. choice or echo. sold about 3.5 million copies. it was called choice or echo. it chronicled her 1952, '56 and '60 republican conventions. how she saw the kingmakers pick
the candidates, whether it was eisenhower over taft or back down. it said, don't let the kingmakers pick. let's have a true conservative. that launched goldwater and reagan and the modern conservative movement. the new book, the new addition of choice not in echo, was written published last fall. it chronicles forward again. fascinating stuff, john. in the 1980 chapter, you will see that kissinger was pushing reagan to have a sort of co-president with ford and, of course, reagan did not do that and picked bush, which had its own implications for the conservative movement. that new book, a choice, not an echo. it is updated. the title. that's what we are talking about. we don't want an echo of the same, old politics, the same old policy. in the current environment, you are seeing a conversation. the presidential environment, about real choices between
conservatives and what is the status quo choices. >> we will get to your thoughts about how a conservative should navigate this 17-member primary field. i want to bring in the callers. nick, line for independents. you are on with ed martin of the eagle forum. >> caller: look, gentlemen, i consider myself a street philosopher. this country suffers from two malowedies, economic dope position where we get the national debt. they are the dope pushers an the rest are the dope addicts. there are way too many dope addicts, wealthy as well as poor. secondly, political correctness. it is eating out of the core of freedom of speech and the whole nine yards, freedom of religion, bla, bla, bla, immigration is part of that too. look, we have to address these matters. only two candidates so far that
will address political correctness. dr. carson addressed the debt but that was dr. carson and donald trump. we don't grow up. look at the country. a schoolyard. you have the bullies and the slime balls called academics and the rest of us, lower classmen. we are constantly badgered and extorted by the bullies. then, that would be the democratic liberals. then, you have the toties, the establishment republicans. they sit there and come and play with us and talk to us when the bullies come around. they do their bidding and get a little bit of our lunch money in exchange. the others activate. along comes this kid from a different school. he doesn't care about anything
and he is a real bad "a" and he sits up there and goes up to the bullies and spits in their eye and doesn't care what the principal or anybody else says. his name happens to be trump. i want to hear your guess speak about those issues and how trump is addressing them and why. when they claimed they couldn't do anything about obama, because they didn't have the congress. then, we gave them the senate and they still didn't do nothing and all boehner and mcconnell are toteties. >> let's let ed martin jump in and talk about the schoolyard analogy. >> well, i'm not sure i can carry that on. he sounds like a real street philosopher. political correctness is a problem. the answer is, as ben carson says, to speak the truth in charity and love. speak the truth.
our organization and phyllis opposed the e.r.a. and we still talk about the imposition of the feminist movement on all of us. sh he wrote a book about two years ago called who killed the american family. not just left push on marriage and homosexual marriage but what no fault divorce has done to america. it's called eagle council. you can go to eaglecouncil.com and find out more. as to the debt question, there is a great sort of also street philosophy named eric hoffer.
he said, every great cause begins as a movement, becomes a business and degenerates to the racket. we are at racket state. the political parties, both and the powers in washington really like the system. they have consolidated power and are making a great living. it is the racket stage in many ways. that's why this conservative movement is having a debate about the future of our country, whether it is the spending of the debt or the power consolidated by the regulatory state and the judges and everybody else. your caller brings up an important point. trump for us, our positions on china, on american sovereignty, which is those international trade deals, eagle forum is a conservative organization and oppose all the trade deals as violations for our sovereignty and bad for american families. we go all the way to somewhere other than the republican right on that. trump is speaking to china, which is a huge threat. he is speaking to our americ