tv New Jersey Senate Debate CSPAN October 28, 2014 8:00pm-9:01pm EDT
that is the unmanned an tars rocket exploding seconds after liftoff from a commercial launch pad on wallops island shown on nasa tv. space agency officials said there were no injuries. the 14-story rocket reuters says built and launched by orbital sciences blasted off the seaside launch pad. at the wallops facility. at 6:22 eastern carrying a singus cargo ship for the international space station. it exploded in a huge fireball as saw. some comments from members of congress nearby, andy harris of maryland whose district is nearby tweeted that a few of my staff were at nassau wallops observing the launch. thankfully no one on the ground appears to be injured. virginia senator tim kaine saying my thoughts are with everyone at nasa, wallops and orbital sciences who worked so hard on this launch and relieved to hear no injuries reported. we'll keep you updated if we
hear more. and continuing on looking at our campaign 2014 coverage on this week before election day, on c-span this evening, midterm elections and our debate coverage up next new jersey incumbent senator cory booker faces republican jeff bell. in south carolina, senator tim scott is running against democrat joyce dickerson and independent jill bossi. that debate is in an hour. and later we'll bring you a georgia governor's debate with incumbent nathan deal and his carter grandson of former president jimmy carter. and "washington post" editor ben bladlee who oversaw "the washington post's" coverage of the watergate during the nixon administration his funeral will be held in washington at the national cathedral and we will have live coverage at 11:00 a.m. eastern here on c-span. well, in new jersey, incumbent u.s. senator cory booker faces
republican jeff bell. cory booker -- >> this is vote 2014. the new jersey senatorial debate. today's debate is brought to you by 6 abc philadelphia. wabc-tv new york. and the league of women voters of new jersey. and now from our 6 abc trenton studio in alphabetical order, the candidates are republican jeffrey bell of leonia, and democrat cory booker of newark. our panelists are matt friedman with the "star-ledger." mariela saigado for telenoticias 41. and jonathan tamari for "the philadelphia inquirer." moderating the debate are wabc-tv's anchor saying saying nd jim gardner of 6 abc. >> hello and thank you for joining us for this debate between the two candidates running for the u.s. senate in new jersey. >> they have gathered here for what we hope will be a wide ranging and informative discussion of the major issues in the campaign. and a quick note about the format.
each candidate will have one minute to answer the question posed to them by jim, myself, and our three panelists. the candidates have also agreed to one round in which they will ask each other one question. at the end of the debate, each candidate will have one minute to make a closing statement. >> and so let's begin by random drawing. our first question goes to mr. bell. mr. bell, only five people have been diagnosed with the ebola virus in the united states. and each one has a direct connection, an obvious connection, a first generational connection with the source of contagion. are we making too much of this? are we overreacting to ebola and by that i mean the government, the media, the medical community, and subsequently americans? or is this an ominous public health issue and if so, what would be the first priority of the federal government? >> in my opinion the government has underreacted and underestimated the ease with
which this spreads and gets around to a given country. we should have cut off on a temporary basis all flights from the three west african countries involved. and i think president obama has once again failed and helped an institution, namely the c.d.c., to fail by political appointments and complacency. we absolutely have to have a temporary travel ban, screening people in the airports isn't enough because very often the symptoms are delayed. i don't think just saying that the experts think that it won't help is enough. i think we have to earn the side of caution and aggressive containment of this disease. >> mr. booker. >> first of all i want to thank the sponsors of this event and the moderators and my opponent as well as the viewers at home. this is a clear difference for new jersey voters in the choices you have in this election. between someone already who's obviously about a tea party
attacking, attacking, attacking and hardening of positions as opposed to somebody in the state of a crisis that really reaches out and finds ways to work together. look, i'm the senator right now, and the biggest call to my office is from new jerseyians worried and concerned about this issue. and so as a result of that, what i've done first and foremost is make sure that after tea party and others look to cut organizations like the c.d.c., that they had their funding. and join with my colleagues on both sides of the aisle to get them $88 million more. on top of that i say we have to hold the people accountable. and i've been talking directly to heads of c.d.c., health and human services, even going out to newark airport to make sure all the policies and procedures are there. christi g with the administration to make sure our hospitals prepared and i will be held accountable for keeping us safe. >> the next question goes to mr. booker. mr. booker, the shooting at the canadian parliament complex in ottawa certainly heightened fierce about a homegrown lone wolf terror attack.
it's believed the gunman was sympathetic to isis and given that new york and new jersey are really considered the leading targets for terrorist attacks, how would you make sure that there are adequate resources given to the state to combat terrorism? >> first and foremost, the number one time, the only time in the situation room in the white house was to work on the challenge of homegrown terrorism. and we need to make sure that our agencies that are in charge of protecting us have the resources necessary to do the job and we're being very aggressive about that. that's why i've supported investing especially in new york and new jersey which have been targets in the past making sure that our local law enforcement officials and our state officials have the resources they need and the kind of coordination to stop these attacks. but i want to tell you, i have a worry. i worry right now that while in states like new jersey, we have good laws in place to try to keep guns out of the hands of crem analysis we still live in a nation where someone who's on a terrorist no-fly list, that we worry about committing
terrorist attacks can go down to virginia where my opponent has lived for the last 30 years and go to a gun show and just buy a weapon without background checks. we need to tighten up common sense gun regulations to keep weapons, guns, out of the hands of criminals and terrorists. we should change these laws as soon as possible. >> mr. bell, your response. >> i'm astounded that anyone would turn this situation in canada into a sermon on gun control. this is a worldwide problem. it is not just a matter of an individual criminal or terrorist. president obama is very reluctant to call things like this acts of terrorism. and that is part of the problem. we have to be honest about what the nature of the problem and the extent of it. and we have to take greater measures to prevent this from happening, to screen more people as they're coming into the country. but more important, it's a worldwide war. and to say that it isn't a war as president obama insists on doing, whether it's the
domestic war or what is happening with islamic state, is -- is just unconscionable. we have to be truthful about the nature of the problem and much more active both overseas and here. it's better to do it overseas before it gets here. >> and a quick follow for you, mr. booker. do you support putting american troops on the ground to fight isis, and if so, would it be for a limited time period or would this be open ended? >> first of all, isis is a real threat and they've been cutting swaths through the middle east and putting in danger ethnic minorities, beheading citizens, doing harscompsh horrendous things to women. and they must be stopped. but at the end of the day i disagree with the president that he should have come to congress actually to have an open debate about our commitments to this crisis. i'm a big believer that they must be stopped. but before we rush off to war, let's make sure because we've learned the hard lessons in the past, let's make sure we have an open debate and clear objectives.
we have contingency plans because we've seen what happens and how things can go wrong in the past. and let's make sure that we have all the resources we need to do the job and that our allies are footing some of the bill and bearing some of the burden. america can't just rush off into this. we need to have an open discussion and debate about what the strategy and tactics are. and make sure we're doing this in coordination with our allies and make sure we have a real plan to stop this isis threat. >> mr. bell, your response. >> again, i'm astounded that you would say that the priorities to get the allies to spend money on this. there are no allies who can take the leadership. america has the only 21st century military in the west. and to say that we have to wait for allies to spend money, we have to have a debate in congress concerning that a declaration of war exists. that is what we need to do. we have to have a debate about the strategic objective. not the ways and means, not the type of bombing, not whether
troops are ever deployed. some of them already are. but that's irrelevant to the issue of what is our strategic objective. franklin delano roosevelt was a great war president because he knew the situation we were in world war ii the only policy toward the nazis and the japanese empire was unconditional surrender. our debate should be we have to destroy isis. we have to annihilate them before they annihilate us. which they have consistently threatened to do in beheading our captives. >> our next question comes from mariela saigado and it goes to mr. bell. >> mr. bell, more than 30,000 accompanied minors have traveled into the united states illegally from central america. they claim they're escaping from poverty and from violence. and they are in new jersey and they are in the state and more than 1,500 to be exact are living right now in new jersey. would you support any sort of plan that integrates them in our society, in our schools, since their families have been here already or any plan that
would give them temporary or special status for this -- these families and these children? >> we have to be compassionate, mariela, toward those who have been sent across the border by parents who are desperate. either unaccompanied they came or accompanied by coyotes. but i think it also illustrates the failure of the obama administration on the issue of immigration in general. when the dream act failed to pass, president obama went out and gave an amnesty to young people who would come here with their parents, not of their own accord. and it seemed like an unacceptable thing to do in some ways but here two years later we have a national embarrassment and humiliation with this system and this nonsystem we have causing this flight from the south. toward our borders. we have to do everything to change the immigration system, to replace the mess we have now with a legal immigration system that includes both a path to
citizenship, for those here illegally, and also a guest worker program for those who want to work here temporarily. president obama pays lip service to this. but he did nothing when he had the majority of votes for immigration in his first two years in office. >> so the state of new jersey shouldn't wait any more and grant them some special status to these families? is that what you're saying, mr. bell? >> i believe we need to help them. whether you need to legislate a special status or not, i'm agnostic about that. but certainly we can't act as if they are criminals. >> mr. booker. >> thank you very much. i support the comprehensive bipartisan immigration reform that we have seen going on and actually passed through the senate. and it involved people from both sides working together that would have helped so many children in new jersey. i support the dreamers act that again has some bipartisan support that can give those kids who no other country but the united states who have learned from our schools the ability to stay here and contribute to our great economy and our great country. what's really remarkable to me
is that my tea party-backed friend already, in this little small debate, just a handful of questions, has shown the kind of attack, slam and slander he is. he says he believes in tea party mill tancy. has already mentioned the president and attacked -- i'm counting now seven times already. that's not going to bring us together in washington and move us forward. we need people that don't believe in tea party militancy but come together with people on both sides of the aisle and solve difficult problems like immigration. there's a comprehensive movement going bipartisan, not like my opponent who wants to retrench and actually wrote a book called "the case for polarized politics." we don't need more what's making washington bad. we need people who will bring folks together and move our country forward. >> i would like to answer that because apparently the senator is unaware that i have worked for 10 years for bipartisan comprehensive immigration reform. even working for a latino civil rights organization, la raza. raza, president, jana magia
called president obama the deporter in chief and he is a complete phony in saying that he wants immigration reform and senator booker, not a word of criticism to had complete abdication and failure on his part. i have a track record on working for a bipartisan immigration bill. i even -- i was filmed in the office of senator ted kennedy in 2007 working on that. it's really silly to say that i am a phony on that. >> mr. booker. >> sir, i had the privilege of meeting ted kennedy and no two further apart politicians than ted kennedy and my opponent. and i have a simple belief. someone tells you who they are believe them. if they look like a duck and quack like a duck, then believe they're a duck. this is a guy who is supported by the tea party. this is a man who actually wrote a book called "the case for polarized politics." if we send him down to washington, he's not going to be involved in bipartisan coalitions. he himself has told us, i
believe in tea party militancy. that means digging in, don't compromise, the kind of shut down government problems that we've had. america's had enough of that. it's time for people to come together and work on solutions to our problems. >> i thought the whole point of working with people who are different idea logically is to bring them together on things they can agree on. but i guess senator booker has a different definition of bipartisanship. >> and gentlemen, we're going to have to move on. the next question comes from matt friedman and goes to mr. booker. matt. >> senator, this is a good segue into this because with the congressional inaction on immigration, president obama had planned to issue major executive order to overhaul the system, as much as he could by the end of the summer. but amid pleas from democrats, who are locked in tough races this year, they feared voter backlash and president obama delayed action until after the midterm elections. do you agree with president obama's decision to delay action on that executive order? >> absolutely not. the president was wrong.
the president should have stood up and made the call to do whatever he could to advance what's right for america. you know, i've spent the last years travel all around my state while my opponent was working in a think tank in washington for the last 30 years. and when i talk to people both business folks as well as people in the community, they understand that we have a problem. whether it's people who come to our schools and graduate from our universities, as soon as their student visa is up we are kicking them out when they want to contribute to our economy or young kids being denied access to citizenship even though they spent pretty much their entire lives here. we have an urgent immigration issue. there should be no waiting for politics. i didn't support the president's decision. and i will continue to go to washington to work to bring people together to make sure that we in a unified way solve this problem. >> senator, no one is going to come together if the president threatens unilateral executive action. it's just not going to happen. you pay lip service to
bipartisanship, but you've just advocated something that would completely foul the immigration debate. having the president do everything by executive action which he's not constitutionally entitled to do which would drive republicans and everyone else in congress away from the table. you talk a good game on bipartisanship but that answer shows that you really don't mean it. >> may i respond to that, please? this is a typical tea party cry. attack obama, attack obama, attack obama and call him king obama for all the executive orders he's done. if you look at the numbers, president obama is doing less executive orders than other presidents from jimmy carter to ronald reagan to even george bush. again, this is exemplary of what he does. he's part of a movement that is going to be slamming and slandering and not stopping that madness and finding ways to bring people together to work together to find solutions. we've had enough of that in washington. his book tells you that. the title of it is "the case for polarized politics." we don't need more gridlock in
washington. we need to work together and solve our problems. >> polarization is sometimes a public service because it enables voters to see the difference between two points of view. that's the sense in which i think polarization is sometimes good. >> let's go on to jonathan tamari for mr. bell. >> governor christie said he's tired of hearing about the minimum wage and later said the focus should be on creating better and higher paying jobs. democrats have been saying they want to give a raise to 3.3 million people who earn the minimum wage or less. the federal minimum wage has been $7.25 an hour since 2009. should it be increased? >> it's a bad time to do that because the openings are so limited. the young people here, particularly high school graduates, will be priced out of that market. just the other day, i read about mcdonald's which is having a significant decline in profitability because of the prospective minimum wage increase will go to technology to replace low wage workers.
that's counterproductive in a very, very difficult job market. >> mr. booker. >> my opponent says a bad time to do what's right. i've talked to people in our state and i've heard from them. heard from a guy who lost his job, had a good minimum wage job, lost -- lost his job and now is working -- you had a good job and now lost the job working for a minimum wage job trying to support his family. it's a good time for him to raise the minimum wage now. talk to people at county college who are trying to go to school, work a full-time job and making the minimum wage and they can barely afford to make ends meet because they work a full-time job and are still under the poverty line. it's a good time to do it for that person. and what about that single mom who's working double shifts because in new jersey, when you work a full-time job, at the minimum wage, it in no way is enough to meet the minimum basic needs of her family. it is a good time to raise the minimum wage. we are america. nobody should work full-time and find themselves under the poverty line, having to go to
food banks and rely on public assistance just to make ends meet. it is a good time to do the right thing. in fact, it always is. >> that is typical of why we have a jobless recovery. the minimum wage, even if you like it, is redistribution. it takes money from one sector and gives it to another. it has nothing whatsoever to do with fixing the economy and creating new jobs. >> let's look at some statistics as long as we're talking about jobs. the jobless rate in new jersey is 6.5%. which is .6% higher than the national average. but newark's jobless rate is 11.3%, camden's is 14.3%. and i think most experts, and you probably would agree, to say that the jobless rates are really much higher than that because of all the people who have stopped looking for work. economic recovery or not, jobs tops the list of most voters' lists of concerns. what kind of program would you
support or for that matter create to bring jobs to new jersey? >> well, it's not what i would do but what i've been doing for last 11 months is working hard on that fundamental idea. is how do we get people back to work in new jersey? that's why i fought to support our community colleges with programs now bringing back millions of dollars to link them actually to industry and to jobs that exist. when i go around and talk to manufacturers, and other businesses here, one of the biggest things they tell me is hey, we don't have link -- links to qualified leadership. we need everything from machinists to other technical positions. and so bringing back resources to train our workers for today's jobs is so important. i've talked to businesses that sate biggest inhibitor to growth for them is often access to capital or making that happen. i've talked to some of our major industries and they say one of the biggest problems we have is a tax rate that's not low and fair and puts them on competitive footing. and i've been working with others across the aisle to lower our corporate tax rate. and finally, we've been doing everything possible to make sure that we have a fair
economic policy in this state. that means that a woman that works a full-time job and does a same job as a man gets the same way. these are things that would help drive our economy because when consumers have resources, we can grow our demand and grow our middle class from -- grow our economy from the middle class out. >> mr. bell. >> everything that was just mentioned involves an expansion of government programs. some of them may be good programs. but we've had six years of trying to stimulate the economy from 2008 to 2014 by increased spending, printing more money, the economy hasn't been stimulated. we don't have as many full-time jobs today as we had at the end of the recession. there's a few more part-time jobs. this is not growth. this is not stimulus. it is failed. and he agrees with president obama's approach. spend more government money and print more money to fund that spending. and it hasn't worked. and if you want to try something different then you're going to have to vote for me.
>> are you saying that we are not in the midst of an economic recovery? >> it's a jobless recovery. the g.t.p. has gone up lambert but it's the weakest recovery in economic history and the reason is that small business hasn't been able to expand because of the federal reserve's zero interest rate policy which is going on for six years in which president obama wants to continue indefinitely along with the fed chairman. that is the single biggest reason why small business can't expand. the banks, the little banks that normally lend to them are on the sidelines because they can't make any money, even with a good loan. >> and my next question is for mr. bell. and piggybacking on jim's question about jobs i want to turn our attention now to atlantic city. we know that a third of the casinos there have closed. many of them are nearly bankrupt. nearly 8,000 jobs have been lost. what will you do to create more jobs in southern new jersey and to make sure atlantic city thrives once again? >> the first thing we have to do is stop the hemorrhaging and i'm totally opposed to the idea
of having a casino in northern new jersey. having another casino or a set of casinos will solve no problems and it will make everything in atlantic city worse. we need to have atlantic city remain at least for the state of new jersey a destination. that's why i don't favor sports gambling on the internet. if we're going to have sports gambling, if it's upheld in the courts it should be only in atlantic city and perhaps a few racetracks. we have to stop the hemorrhaging. i was in atlantic city two days ago at a forum that senator booker chose not to attend. and the whole idea of starting businesses and diversifying, there's a cup put on top of that, a cap that says you can't start a business without enormous problems of regulation, taxation, permits, and you can't get the bank loans, the lines of credit needed, especially for a new business. that's the first thing we have to solve. atlantic city and the rest of
new jersey are suffering heavily from a national problem. >> mr. booker, what will you do to create more jobs? >> thank you. and i disagree with my opponent and the first thing we need to do is stop the hemorrhaging by opposing a casino in the north that's past discussion stages. help the people in atlantic city. months and months before the casino closes i sat down with the republican mayor of that town, born in the federal department of labor and others to say if these casinos should close let's be proactive. and make sure that we get grants to help those folks to bridge and train to other jobs. let's make sure we help our veterans that are involved in some of these layoffs. to get those special programs that veterans can get. you see, my opponent says he opposes federal government intervention. well, if that's the case, why is he going to washington? i'm going to washington to bring back resources to help people like the folks in atlantic city. and i believe that some of the things that can help them are us investing in infrastructure again. that's why i support improvements to the atlantic city airport that will bring people there and make it more easily for people to travel. i've worked with republican
governor christie on this. as well as the airlines. i believe in doing things for south jersey like expanding patco, light rail that will bring lots of business and economic growth. it's smart strategic solution that is always begin with first and foremost having a senator that's going to be there for people in trouble. >> it may be in the discussion phase, and only in the discussion phase, but will you support a casino in north jersey? >> under no conditionly support a casino in northern new jersey if it will underminor hurt atlantic city. >> that's a subjective -- >> no. >> judgment. >> the reason i say it's not a judgment is there are some people that saying that atlantic city could share in some of that revenue. so before i make a universal recommendation against something the key thing here is to help atlantic city. that city is a great new jersey city. >> one more time. will you support a casino in north jersey? >> i will not support a casino in northern new jersey if it hurts atlantic city period. >> do you support legalized sports gambling in new jersey?
>> i'm with the governor on this. right now, it helps to bring revenue in the state. this is an illegal activity that's been going on for a long time. let's regulate it, tax it, and get the benefit here in new jersey. >> mariela saigado, a question for mr. booker. >> going back to immigration new york city announced a municipal i.d. card for undocumented residents, to bring them out of the shadows so they have a better relationship with police and they get some small benefits from the city. would you support a single federal i.d. card system for undocumented families? >> i do not like the idea of a universal i.d. card. the social security card is close to being that. but i think it's making a big mistake to go in that direction. especially with the surveillance issues that we've had during the obama administration and earlier. i do think that that is an illustration of why we need to attack the whole problem at once. comprehensive immigration reform. that erects a legal system to replace the illegal system and the mess that we have now is the only way.
those little steps like new york city, i wouldn't necessarily repeal it. but it isn't the answer. the answer has to be negotiation between republicans and democrats in a serious effort to achieve comprehensive immigration reform in the next congress. >> mr. booker. >> right now, we've driven undocumented immigrants into the shadows. and it hurts actually american citizens. i've talked to mayors from patterson to camden that have stories about immigrants being victimized by crime because criminals think let's prey on those people. because they're not going to go to the police and report it. we need to have a system that brings folks out of the shadows. that we know who they are. and can work with them on a pathway to citizenship. right now the system we have is unacceptable. and so we need a comprehensive plan to do that. and in order to do that, that plan is going to have to come from washington, d.c. and voters are going to have to make a choice. who can best actually get into the trenches and negotiate and bring people together to bring about that kind of solution? with the tea party has proven time and time again that they are a block toward broad based
coalitions for change. my tea party candidate, would make what's wrong with washington worse. i'm going down there to work with my colleagues to find a real solution that -- >> i thought all we needed was an executive order, sir. >> you don't have to interrupt me when i'm talking. we have to make sure that we have civility back in washington. not the kind of aggressive tea party attacks that we're seeing from my opponent. >> do you support giving them driver's licenses like other states have? >> i would support first and foremost finding a comprehensive system to doing this reform and i think we're on the verge of doing that if we can get the tea party in the house to step down. >> the executive order is what he said is his solution. yes, it is a solution that comes out of washington. but it's something that will completely foul the move for getting this program, this problem out of the way. with a comprehensive solution solution. i'm a negotiator and worked with liberal democrats to try to achieve immigration reform in the bush years. we failed but it was a major good faith effort. he agrees with president obama that no negotiations are needed.
just issue an executive order. that's not my idea of bipartisanship. >> let's move on. >> we have the next question that comes from matt friedman and it is for mr. bell. >> mr. bell, you've spoken out against guy marriage. we've had it for a year now. legal in new jersey. and it's about to be legal or is legal in the majority of states now. do you believe that any harm has come from this? and even though you do support a federal amendment to define marriage as between a man and a woman, do you think that guy marriage's expansion and yufrlte in this country is inevitable given the way the political winds are blowing? >> i don't think anything is inevitable. in a democracy you have to have a debate. new jersey denied that debate. because supreme court judges said this is a civil right, the founders wrote it into the constitution in 1789. that's a ridiculous thing to say. but even aside from that, i think it's -- if you're going to have social change, it's much better to debate it out and have an honest debate and
have a vote on it. which governor christie favored. but he was overruled. every new guy marriage state has been imposed by either state or federal judges. i think that is one of the most unhealthy things i can imagine. and it sets up a repeat of roe v. wade which expanded the abortion issue, prolonged it for over 40 years. it's a terrible idea. d i've been very honest in saying that i believe it's a self-evident truth that marriage includes a husband and a wife. and that's my position. but even worse is the idea of imposing this by unelected judges. >> but do you believe any harm has come out of it now that we've had at least a year -- >> taking the word husband out of the legal definition of marriage is a terrible mistake. especially at a time when we know that intact families, a mother, and a father and kids, that is the greatest income program there is. and it's the greatest
anti-welfare program there is. it works. and taking the word husband out is going to just increase the breakup of the traditional family. >> my opponent clearly has different views, not only than me but the majority of new jerseyians. he wants to take us backward to a time before roe v. wade and take away a woman's right to make her own medical decisions. he wants to take away the right for two people who love each other to get married and to be together. i'm telling you right now i would not be here right now if the rights of african-americans back in the 1960's were put up to votes for what's best and what's right. fundamental rights are just that. we have a constitution, 14th amendment, that says equal protection under the law. you can't have a law that discriminates against one group in favor of another or discriminates against anyone. we are a nation that is going to get so much further if we understand that we all are equal under the law and need each other to be successful.
i'm not not going to go to washington or new jersey and demean any group and deny them basic rights. we should let people who love each other have the right to get married. >> next question comes from jonathan tamari for mr. booker. >> mr. booker, the department of justice hags named 55 colleges under investigation for the way they've handled sexual assault complaints. that includes in new jersey princeton university, some of the stories have been shocking. that have come out. is this an area that congress can influence and should influence and how or is this best left to the institutions? >> well, obviously we have a problem. like we have right now in the nation. colleges and institutions are not doing enough. and i'm tired in this country of us not taking sexual assault and domestic violence as seriously as we should. congress has an obligation to make sure we are seeing fairness and justice play out. and in this case it's not. as you said yourself, these stories are egregious. and so i for one have joined with other of my colleagues,
many of whom are on both sides of the aisle, in saying that we must do something about this. and so i'm going to fight for -- against domestic violence and fight against sexual assault. and i'm going to find concrete ways to do it and one example of that is we have a system right now that while the nba and the -- and major league baseball don't have tax exempt status, a lot of other sports leagues do like the nfl, golf, and others. i want to eliminate that tax exempt stat us and take that savings and invest it in the kind of programs that protect and affirm women's rights. like domestic violence prevention. >> this is the obama-booker vision. which is if anything needs doing, it must be done in washington. and after the last couple of years, when we've had the i.r.s., the c.d.c., the secret service, letting people into the white house, and the director having to resign, all of these institutions failing under president obama whom is senator booker supports in almost every area, and he
thinks that even something as obscure as rules in the local colleges will be better handled by washington. of course there's a problem, senator. but don't you think that just once in a while you should let normal people and local government work it out to the best of their ability? they have a better track record than washington. >> may i answer that question? >> you can respond. >> look, when new jersey residents come to me with a crisis or a problem, i want to foined a way to do something about that. it doesn't always mean legislative actions or things like that but it means having a senator to be there to stand up for people. college campuses have not been dealing with this problem. and so it really hurts me to think that there will be a potentially senator going down to washington with extreme views on women and on gays and others when folks come to him for help to get him involved even if it's picking up a phone and letting the president of the college know this is wrong and we will be watching, i will be one of those united states senators when new jerseyians
come to me with a problem, sexual assault, domestic violence, i will step up there and be there for them. >> as we mentioned earlier the candidates have agreed to one round in which they ask each other a question. and we're going to start with mr. booker's question to mr. bell. >> well, i want to stick with that subject and we keep coming back to. you consistently shown that you want to deny women the freedoms and rights to make their own health care decisions. even in the most extreme cases, somebody is raped or a victim of incest. i want to know and understand, why don't you trust women in those extreme cases when they're victims of such violence and rape to make their own decisions? why do you believe that men like you should tell women what they can do with their bodies? >> certainly women have bodies and i respect that. they need to take care of them and have the right to preserve their bodies. but unborn babies have a body, too, senator. they have a full complement of d.n.a., the human genome, things that we have found out
since 1973. cory booker was once a one cell zygote and normally a one cell zgygofe grows up to be a human being and even a u.s. senator which i give you credit for. but i would have a hard time looking a woman in the face and saying even though you became pregnant through a rape you should carry your child to term. because it has a body. it has its sown life. but i would find it even harder to go to the most recent ms. pennsylvania who has worked for rape victims, but who herself was the product of a rape and tell her you don't deserve to live. >> all right. now, mr. bell, you have a question for mr. booker. > senator, the watershed authority's problems during your administration have been coming up a little more frequently lately. and i just like to ask you a simple question to clear things
up. which is on channel five in new york, last week, you said -- this week actually on wednesday, you said that the $700,000 in six individual payments, $689,000 to be exact, came as a result of -- you took your ownership with you and it was a buyout and they didn't have the money all at once. document is there a in writing that specifies what that arrangement is? >> so my opponent has spent a lot of time down in virginia the last 30 years and hasn't been taking attention much and that's why i appreciate him playing catchup now. but he's a big supporter of businesses and so when i was a private citizen, i helped to grow and make a functioning business that actually had a lot of value in it. and so when i was growing to run for mayor i decided i would stem down from that business and take my ownership stake. i agree with my partners that would be at alue
a certain amount and it would be a lump sum and they didn't have the lump sum and agreed to pay it over the course of time of and it was vrblely as well as a document. >> can you provide it to the public? >> that has private financial information on my partners. >> so you don't think the voters of new jersey have any right to see a document that gave you $700,000 in annual payments over six years, is there some kind of privilege that you have that the voters do not share? >> no. i think the privilege that i have is for you not to miscon -- misconstrue the facts. $700,000 in annual payments is not what happened. i made clear through ply tax records and show the public what i did. what i say right now is if we are looking at levels of transpatterncy of the two men standing here, nobody is giving -- i've exposed 16 years of my tax returns and let people see my private financial document. i'm not going to subject people to my law firm from that.
you about you haven't even matched my level of transparency with your own financial records. and i invite you to dot same thing. >> my tax returns are online. yours are not. none of them. >> three years of your tax returns, sir. go back 10 or 15. >> why are your most recent tax return you only let people see the first two pages and they can't see the sources of your income? >> we set a level of transparency that's not been met by any candidate running for washington in 30 years. meet the same level of transparency. >> we have a lot of ground to cover so let's move on. >> yes. >> mr. bell, some disturbing statistics from the vera institute of justice. you may be familiar with them. the united states represents 4% of the world population. it has 25% of the world's prison population. the united states spends six times as much on prisons as it does on education. and in new jersey, the state spends $18,600 per public school student.
nd $a 54,800 per inmate. is this fix scompble if so, how? >> jim, i am not an advocate of using dollar amounts to say how well a given problem is going. this country did have a big success story which is the crime explosion that we had in the 1960's and 1970's was checked. yes, an overuse of prison might have been part of that. but i think we have to be very careful about letting people who were accused of violent crimes out. they may have pled to a nonviolent crime. most prosecutors don't go to court to get these convictions. but i would very reluctant to see a drug dealer or somebody who pled to a lesser charge even though what he was accused of originally was a violent crime get out scot-free. >> mr. booker. >> i'm sorry. this is an utterly broken system. think about that. we are only 4% of the global population but we have 25% of the globe's imprisoned people.
and i believe like my opponent, violent people should be behind bars. but please understand over 07% of those people are nonviolent offenders. this is an incredible failed drug war. the overcriminalization and in fact it's so bad that only -- if you go to jail drug addicted only 20% of those people with drug or alcohol addictions actually get help. what happens when they get released? they come right back. there are common sense solutions that could relieve taxpayers of the extraordinary burden. we're spending a quarter of a trillion dollars a year running a broken system. money that should go to our schools. should be invested in our infrastructure. and so common sense reform, and that's why when i went to washington, i want to solve this problem. by working across the aisle with rand paul suspect others to design legislation that's agreed on in a bipartisan fashion to reduce our prison population. make our streets safer. and better invest taxpayer dollars or guess what? we'll return it to taxpayers because all of this spend annually hundreds of dollars to
support a broken system. >> what are the comments -- common sense solutions? >> getting drug treatment to people that actually have addictions. helping them had they come out it get connections to work. receipt now we have a system that has a resism right or correction system doesn't correct. so there are states like mississippi, the red state of mississippi, which has been dramatically lowering its prison population through common sense solutions and what's happened to their crime? the crime has gone down. you see, these are the solutions we can do if we work together across the aisle. that's why a major piece of legislation endorsed by people on the right and the left, with rand paul, to address these issues. safe taxpayer dollars. create safer streets. and elevate human potential. >> ok. >> judging from his endorsement by normal, the pro legal marijuana group, one of of those common sense solutions in his coming term if he's re-elected is going to be legalization of marijuana. >> i would love to talk about that. if you throw that out there. may i please talk about in? >> go ahead. >> my opponent doesn't even support the common sense thing here in new jersey of medical
marijuana. where we actually have sick people in new jersey who can't get access to a drug that would help them their families and their children. so i do support strongly re-examining pot laws. but not to legalize marijuana. but to do things that will help families in new jersey that i've talked to, that are going through terrible trials. because they can't even get medical marijuana. and i'll add to that. >> i thought you said we had it. >> i did put -- no, it's being slowed down and slow walked by the administration. but i'll tell you what -- >> by governor christie? >> yes, sir, by governor christie. and i'll tell you another legislation that i put in on marijuana. with a republican rand paul to say that the federal government in states that do have marijuana laws, like colorado, and washington, that we shouldn't be using our federal dollars to prosecute people that are abiding by the laws of their state. and so this is a chance for us to in a bipartisan way to do common sense things to make our streets safer, save taxpayer dollars and something i thought
my opponent would like and better invest in things that we need to grow -- >> i have to cut you off because we have to move on. my next question goes to you. i would like to pivot to the fatal shooting of michael brown in ferguson, missouri, and the chokehold death of darren gardner in staten island and these two cases reignited tensions between police and the minority community. and really just exposed deep mistrust with police. there is a recent gallup poll that shows 64% of blacks have very little or no confidence in police. what can you do to help bridge that divide? >> well, first of all, i want to express my sympathies to the families of both of these men that died. their deaths were tragedies. and i know their families are mourning right now. as many people in those communities. i stand here right now because our country has made a lot of progress on race. people understood that black or white, we don't have different destinies in this country for different groups. we have one common destiny. i believe there are common
sense things we could do in criminal justice reform to actually repair that problem. take marijuana what we were just talking about. there are no differences in marijuana usage for blacks and whites in this country. the last three presidents admitted to smoking marijuana. in fact, maybe the exception one did not inhale. but the reality is that blacks are almost four times more likely to be arrested for marijuana usage than whites are. these are things we have to have an honest conversation about. and work together to correct. we live in a nation that has an interwoven destiny and as your united states senator, i'm going to be working on those common sense solutions to get beyond rhetoric to do things to make a fairer criminal justice system. >> i have to say that i also mourn for those families for their losses. and i do think the police have to do a better job of reaching out to the community in communities where they are not doing that. but i also am worried about the militarization of police departments. if that is the best we can do
as a way of preventing or stopping crime, i think we have a problem. i believe that william bratton, the pless -- police commissioner of new york, revolutionized law enforcement with his community policing idea. being opposed to the broken windows, even though it's a small misdemeanor, it leads to much bigger consequences. a disrespect for the law. and i believe that hands on policing is the way to go. rather than tanks and things like that. belonging to plids. -- to police departments. >> we have to tighten this up and get a few more questions in. mariela for mr. bell. >> i want to continue on education because on the topic. new jersey is one of the worst states in achievement gaps and we're talking about minorities. nearly 75% of black and latino students in new jersey are not proficient when it comes to math pour reading. is there anything that you plan
to do to help this minority to close this gap? >> we have to get education back to the state and local level. washington got into this in something called the national defense education act in 1957. when we enacted that, the first federal intervention in education, supposedly to stop the missile gap or have our own sputnik. it really had nothing to do with that. washington just needed an excuse. and in the entire period that we've had federal involvement in education, education standards have declined. all over the country. now there's a common core program that is going to try to put everyone into a cookie cutter. it doesn't let teachers teach. it stops spontaneity and it dumbs down the entire curriculum. instead of that, and instead of bribe programs, legal bribe programs, like race to the top, which is, for example, bribe massachusetts into dropping much higher standards than the common core had or will ever have, we need to destralingize
-- decentralize spending and get the federal government -- yes, i would abolish the department of education. 60 years of a failed experiment is enough. this country developed the first universal education system. by means of popular control and experimentation at the state and local level. we need to get back to that vision. >> ok. thank you. and our next question comes from matt friedman. mr. booker, you want to respond. >> i definitely want to respond to that. this is my opponent who wants to take us backward. i'm looking to go forward. he doesn't think that we should have a department of education, the strongest country in the globe should not have a federal department of education. and things like the e.p.a. and other things, he wants to underwind investment in our kids and unwind protections for our families. i'm going to washington not to destroy government. i'm going to washington to solve the problems that people say we have in our communities. and this means things like investing in universal preschool because every kid, black or white, how >> for or against the common
core? >> i haven't interrupted you and this is an example of civility tkoub in washington it's not going to work. if i can finish my 60 seconds. >> quickly. >> we need to have a person down in washington is going to fight for our kids and invest in things. and even things like affordable college and one of the biggest things i hear from folks is the expense of college education. so from universal preschool all the way to getting our kids to school, this is something i'm going to go to washington not to destroy the department of education, but to make sure that we are investing in the things that matter to new jersey. >> we are nearing the end of the debate. so if we can keep our responses to about 30 seconds. so we can get through a list of other questions. our next question comes from matt friedman for mr. booker. matt? mayor tor, you y weren't of -- you weren't mayor of newark too long ago so going back to that time, investigating the watershed agency for allegedly illegal payments to its former executive director. that happened dug your time as mayor and while you wrote ex-officio chairman of this
agency. you said you tried to eliminate the agency and rein it in but during this time you did not attend any of its board meetings. so i'm wondering if you feel any responsibility for letting this get out of hand. >> well, the fact of the matter is it was out of hand when i got into office and i took responsibility right away by trying to get rid of the agency. we tried to get rid of it legislatively. failed through the council. we tried to get rid of it in other ways and kept failing. we knew it was out of control. we knew it had problems. and we wanted to correct them. and the malfeasance you're talking about we discovered it before the public or your papers were writing about it and we turned it over to the authorities and said they should investigate this individual actor and if they done something wrong they should be held accountable. i will work aggressively, whether it's as did i when i was mayor when i was a united states senator to root out the problems and try to solve them. like i did. >> mr. bell, how long did you know about the scandal before you disclosed it to the public? >> may i answer that question? i knew about it for probably moments. as soon as we discovered it. >> moments.
>> moments. >> ok. >> our next question comes from jonathan tamari for mr. bell. >> we talked earlier in this debate about gun laws. you have talked about your support for the second amendment. last year the senate could not pass bills to expand background checks or tighten other gun laws. there was opposition from republicans and democrats both. if thieves bills cannot -- these bills cannot pass and you oppose them what other steps can be taken to address gun violence? >> it should be addressed primarily with increased penalties for those who use firearms in the commission of a crime. i think that's been a much more successful approach. as to the gun show amendment, that was defeated, i think a big reason it was defeated is that a lot of veterans would be deterred and others would be deterred from seeing psychologists because having received psychological care was under some interpretations would have been made an inability to have weapons to --
in the cause of self-defense. so these -- these things having washington more involved, more and more involved, they always have their hidden consequences. and deterring people from seeking psychiatric or psychological help when they need it quoff been one of knows consequences i'm afraid. >> mr. booker. >> a copout on the actual question, over 90% of new jersey gun owners, 90% of the people in our state believe that we should have comprehensive background checks to prevent people from illegal folks from getting their hands on weapons. and yes, to prevent spousal abusers and people who are mentally unstable. the kind that have been causing so much violence in our country. my opponent who lives in virginia actually has the state that actually has the most weapons coming into our streets. we need to stop this flow of illegal weapons. and one of the ways of doing that is comprehensive background checks. that the overwhelming marmingt of new jerseyians -- majority of new jerseyians support. >> mr. booker, when your opponent ran against bill bradley in 1978 they debated 21
times. this is the only debate that you have agreed to. why so stingy? >> a couple of things. one debates -- i'm happy the viewers are tuning in. but not the only way. you can run around the state north to south and east to west doing town halls and community forums. meeting with business leaders and the like. and that's what we wanted to do is get directly to the people. my opponent is playing catchup. i'm not sure if many people know he moved back into the state by january or february. and has been now trying to run around the state and pretend like he knows the problems of our communities. and so i'm going to continue having direct contact with the voters until the very last day. because i think that's the best way to get the message out. >> mr. bell. >> you know, i hear a lot of specific questions put to senator booker. and the way he usually responds is by saying he has meetings. he has meetings with sympathetic people, with people that he's trying to help. but you still don't know whether he favors the north jersey casino because he's had a lot of middle eastings in south jersey and listened to all those concerns.
and apparently he thinks going to meetings with friendly audiences, and he is a celebrity, and people like him, and i don't blame them for liking him, is a substitute for actually debating the issues. i find that really disturbing. >> and mr. bell, i actually want to get this question in because again we are close to the end of this debate. you have lived in virginia for the past 31 years. and just this past year, you rented a home in leonia. how can you convince voters that you one, understand their issues and this you're going to fight for them? >> senator booker has reminded everyone that i was away for 30 years. and it's not exactly a gotcha point because i start every speech that i give saying that i've been away for 30 years. and that it is presumptuous for me to come back and ask to represent the people of new jersey. after that kind of an absence. and the reason is that i couldn't get anybody in congress or federal candidates for president and otherwise to take up this disastrous zero trait -- interest rate policy
of the federal reserve and move to a different policy. the wheels have fallen off the system and the fed is so powerful it's running our entire economy, retarding small business growth, and retarding job growth and not letting people have returns on their savings. and i couldn't get anyone to do it. it was a last-minute decision. >> i have 20 seconds. i agree with him. it is presumptuous to come back just a few months ago and run on a single vanity issue which is taking america back to the gold standard. something that was debunked in the 1900's. as something that would gut jobs and hurt the middle class. >> ok. >> i have to say that -- vanity issue is about the stagnation in our economy. i have a solution to it. your solution is keep doing what we're doing. under president obama. >> ok. gentlemen, thank you both. we have reached the end of our question and answer segment and now it's time for the candidates' closing statements. >> and the order was determined by a random draw. we begin with mr. bell. >> i really want to thank the league of women voters and the moderators and the rotters. i think it's been a lively
discussion and i want to thank senator booker for his willingness to debate even if this only one time. and i also above all i want to thank the voters of new jersey. yes, i did consider it somewhat presumptuous. but the voters of new jersey have shown they are open minded. and willing to listen to an idea that is off the charts. and make their own decisions about it. not by taking a head count of economists that senator booker has given as his only argument against the gold standard. or saying that it's an old system. but by simply listening to the merits, making arguments for or against it, listening, and having a reasoned debate. it happened to me before when i ran on the kemp-roth tax cut and even though i didn't meet bill bradley he and i worked together in a bipartisan fashion on the tax reform act of 1986. i'm proud of that record. i'm happy that i came back to the state of new jersey. and i really am sacredably grateful to the people of new jersey for hearing me out
regardless of what happens on november 4. >> mr. booker. >> i want to thank the sponsors as well as the moderators. a very clear choice between -- before the voters in new jersey. before -- before going back to programs that are broken and haven't worked or going forward to growth and prosperity. my opponent wants to take us back on women's rights. to restrict access to birth control, taking away a woman a right to make her hone medical decisions and opposing things like equal work for equal pay. he wants to go back and take the federal government out of supporting our local schools and even doing common sense things like making college more affordable. he wants to go back by having the federal government stopping investing in things that we who live in new jersey know we need investment in. like infrastructure with our roads crumbling and new jersey transit being inadequate to meet the demands that are there now. and yes, he wants to take us back to a 19th century idea universally. ed i want to take us forward and
not be a tea party person who doesn't work with things but work with democrats and republicans together. all of us here in new jersey one destiny. to bring ourselves forward as a state. >> i hope i get a chance to be your senator for a full term. >> gentlemen, thank you. and that concludes today's debate. we would like to thank the candidates for appearing today and we would like to thank you for watching. >> and also thanks to our panelists, mariela saigado, of wxti univision. matt friedman of the "star-ledger" and jonathan tamari of "the philadelphia inquirer." i'm jim gardner for action news. >> i'm sade baderinwa. and we leave you with the final words of the league of women voters of new jersey. >> i'm toni zimmer president of the league of women voters of new jersey. thank you nor watching today's debate. by taking time to learn about the issues today, you are helping to preserve and protect our democracy. for more information on voting,
please contact us at 800-792-vote. ltvjisit us online at www. .org. vote on november 4 and polls open from 6:00 a.m. to 8:00 p.m. campaign 2014 is bringing you 100 debates for the control of congress. stay in touch with our coverage. join the conversation at facebook.com/cspan. >> with the 2014 midterm next week our campaign coverage continues. wednesday, live coverage of the