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tv   Steve Lombardo on the Koch Brothers  CSPAN  November 27, 2015 1:30pm-2:15pm EST

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intervene. it is a vision of the police government usuallyand the .ndividual 200 years ago, thomas jefferson predicted which of these two visions would have the upper hand. he said, "the natural progress of these things is for it is sad to say that prediction has very much come true. does that sound extreme are extremely inaccurate to you? consider a few fact about our nation. first, occupational licensing requirements which make obtaining certain jobs enormously burdens and especially for low income and .inority jobseekers in several states in fact, hair braiding, license requires more
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training, time, and investment than is required for emt's in states. it takes 372 days to become a licensed cosmetologist while it takes 33 days to become an emergency medical technician. consider also the government's uber monopoly and strega hold on pricing that municipal taxi systems have enjoyed for generations and very assays across the country. consider our criminal justice system which will send someone to jail for life because he has been busted for possessing and selling small amounts of pot three times, three state -- strikes and you out role. another one of the for the same crime due to his or her standing in society. consequencesl-life
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of a command-and-control situation where politicians try their supporters from competition. it is this mentality, this reluctance for government to allow people to succeed by helping others improve their lives that fuels charles koch and the company he has been running since the 1960's. to go down that path but i want to stop for a moment and for you to understand about the company i work for and when it does. yes, we are in the energy business and that includes oil refining but we also invest in -- and innovate heavily in biofuels like ethanol and biodiesel's. we make building and consumer products including dixie cups and plates, paper towels and toilet paper that come from our georgia-pacific plants. another company of koch is mullex.
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you ever hear of lyrca o stainr master? that is us, too. car parts,roduces clothing, and countless other everyday products. and pollutionrals control devices. we are based in wichita, kansas. we employ 100,000 people globally and 60,000 here in the united states. we are in 60 countries. skillede good manufacturing jobs. -- include engineering, i.t., and other jobs that are critical to operating a business but no matter what industry we find ourselves and we strive to be the best among the best in our competitive set. we work to deliver the best possible products to our customers while using the fewest
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resources and protecting the environment. here are a few facts about koch you might not know if you just listen to harry reid in the senate. we and best heavily in energy efficiency to drive down our consumption of fuel and how -- powered by millions per year. that is not to mention the great work our companies have if they come together and earned over 1000 awards for safety, environmental excellence, community stewardship, innovation, and customer service since 2009. they are doing great things to impact the world for the better. for example, and this is pretty agronomic services
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increase crop yield and reduce pollution or hazardous runoff. this will help feed the estimated 9 billion people who will inhabit earth by the year 2050 by growing food on roughly the same amount of land used for farming today. there are many similar stories that i hope these examples begin to illustrate that there is more to being a successful company than just dollar signs. what makes coke industries -- we look atries run, a win-win mindset. kochphilosophy has enabled to grow tremendously and it was key to turning a company valued at one million in 1961 into one
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valued at over $1 billion in 2014. an investment of $1000 would have a book value of $5 million today, i returned 27 times higher than a similar investment in the s&p 500. framework that has allowed koch to keep pace with the dramatic changes that have occurred over the last several decades. energy prices have reason and fallen and repeated cycles. global constitution has intensified. the geopolitical map of the drawn and reach on again. new technologies have transformed industries and businesses and the pace of innovation has accelerated. market-based management enabled while learningll what we call good profit. that again, good
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profits. the benefit everyone involved because they are voluntary and cooperative. good profit is the title of charles koch's latest book. both you and they benefit. bad profit created by market manipulation, cheating and subsidies is the opposite. for example when you go to the supermarket you have a choice of which brand of paper towel to buy. no one is forcing you to choose one or the other. it is up to the company producing the product turn your business by providing the best option and the greatest value while using the fewest resources. these types of transactions are win-win. value is created for the buyer and the seller and this generates good profit. what we see all too often in washington today and at all levels of government is politicians are reading the system to benefit a few. profits earned that way are
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anything but good. they are really bad. lendra.r se it has been politicized. i don't want to talk about the political part of that, that does not matter. rewardedgovernment this company with subsidies it distorted market prices resulting in hundreds of millions of dollars in loss, taxpayer money when the company failed. politicians have created a culture that encourages businesses to seek out political favors. when those businesses should be developing products and services that succeed on their own merits . this is corporate welfare. welfare for the rich and that is why we are speaking out about it. what is outrageous about this relationship is the largest in the fisheries of federal subsidies and tax credits are
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well-established corporations. for example like gen boeing who would do perfectly fine on their own. what sense does it make to force taxpayers to provide huge companies like these with tens of millions of dollars in subsidies and tax credits? it really doesn't. when government imposes excessive regulations on taxes, sometimes at the behest of those with the biggest lobbying presence or vertical crack -- clout, it becomes difficult with competitors and with less competition consumers pay more. in the end, you're left with a system of corporate welfare that stifles innovation, undermines prosperity, and destroys opportunities for the disadvantaged. koch oppose subsidies even though we would benefit. we do take subsidies in our ethanol business to maintain our
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competitive environment. oppose them, we lobby against them at every opportunity we can. this bad profit because we believe people should succeed by creating value for consumers and society as a whole . instead, our government is encouraging a system that creates corporate welfare for the rich. the not only corrupts business community, it simultaneously destroys opportunities for the disadvantaged. government is enriching the haves at the expense of the have-nots. this is leading to a two-tier society. this the recognition of corrupting mentality that spurred our interest in reforming the criminal justice system and eliminating barriers to low income people starting a business or even getting a job. but me talk about that for moment. at one point over the last
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several much you might have gone , to hear that right when president obama or valerie jarrett or van jones praised coke industries -- koch industries. it is that view that has led us to work with the obama administration and the aclu and the coalition for public safety among others to reform the criminal justice system and address the issue of occupational licensing. both of which are obstacles to opportunity for the most disadvantaged. if we want citizens to play a meaningful role in society, improve the lives of others and ultimately succeed, we cannot lock them up and throw away the key and forget they exist. when they are released we cannot treat them like second-class citizens. consider these sobering
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statistics. spend 80 billion dollars a year on incarceration in the united states. which is three to four times per capita what we spend on education. three or four times what we spend on education. the federal prison population has grown 870% since 1980. the u.s. imprisons 25% of the world's prison population. even though we only make up 5% of the worlds population. making the u.s. largest jailer in the world. offending --l offenders aren't first time nonviolent offenders and more than half of the federal offenders are in prison for drug crimes. african-americans who make up 13% of the united states population account for 40% of inmates. to bring apart -- about a transformation on this issue we must set aside partisan politics
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and collaborate on solutions. this is wife for more than 10 years we partnered with the national association of criminal defense lawyers to bring about positive change. one of our focuses is on restoring all rights to useful, nonviolent offenders. let me repeat, nonviolent offenders such as those involved in personal drug use violations. ,f x offenders cannot get a job education or housing, how can we possibly expect them to lead a productive life in society? and why should we be surprised when more than half of these people released from prison are again incarcerated within three years of their release? we should not be surprised by that. leave it or not congress is mobilizing around the issue as well. the house passed a comprehensive criminal justice reform measure earlier this year and the senate
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is moving a bill of their own both with bipartisan support. we're cautiously optimistic that 2016 will see a bill signed into law. that will truly help some of the most disadvantaged in society. we can't just sit around and wait for government to act area they play an important role but companies like koch and individuals like yourself me to talk the talk and walk the walk. remove questions about prime -- reviews, milk and or-- previous conditions convictions. they havewait until job offers until they ask about criminal histories. they kiss and the chance to explain what happened. we think this is the right move
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and we encourage other employers to follow suit. we cannot stop it criminal justice reform alone. that is not the only thing that needs fixing for we are going to help the disadvantaged. just as important is helping people improve their lives is addressing how government is making it difficult to gain employment or start a business to begin with. because of the burden saying -- burdensome occupational requirements. there are hundreds of these occupations and the government establish businesses keep down the up and comers. think about taxi commissions versus uber. those who are currently in his newcomers toant undercut them and destroy their partner -- profit margins. seen fees and excessive training requirements on these individuals trying to work hard to make a living. governments at every level cap
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-- have prevented the creation of 3 million jobs and lowered entrepreneurship rates, harming low income communities the most. like our focus on criminal justice reform we are getting ready to address these issues in the coming months. we have heard the white house echoes similar sentiments so we are eager to carve out a pathway to reform on this front as well. ,rom all that you have heard clearly there is a lot more to koch they may have thought when you walked in this morning. you are probably thinking mission accomplished, that a good job. will bet you have another question. i am sure you are saying everything is well and good and i am happy you are talking about important products and using resources effectively, i am happy that you care about the environment. i am happy you are trying to help people get jobs and stay out of jail but you're still trying to take over the country by spending hundreds of millions
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of dollars on elections. it is a fair question. it is an important one in want to address it this morning. what most people do not know and i did not know until it started koch's with koch is that foray into politics started in 2003 as a result of dissatisfaction with president george w. bush's policies. the out of control spending, the growth in the size and scope of government, and the counterproductive wars. the seminar the koch family started was a gathering of like minded individuals who were and are worried about the country, the trajectory of the country, and it wasn't a partisan gathering either. it was about ideas. it's less about republicans vs. democrats than about working to promote policies that will help people improve their lives. if you saw charles koch's interview recently with anthony mason on cbs a few weeks back, you may
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remember him saying the democrats are taking us over the financial cliff and toward a two-tiered society at a hundred miles an hour and republicans are doing it at 70 miles an hour. mr. koch's political involvement had less to do in fact nothing to do with really maintaining republican party supremacy. for example, and more so with electing those individuals more aligned with policies that will help people improve their lives whether republicans or democrats or whatever. charles koch describes himself as a classical liberal. let me repeat that. i saw media outlets report that charles koch considers himself a liberal, in other words a progressive in today's politics. because of the fundamental misunderstanding of what the term actually means, a classical liberal is someone who wants a society that maximizes peace, stability, tolerance, and well being for everyone. to do so requires equal treatment for everyone under the
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law. it promotes a society and business environment in which people succeed by helping others improve their lives. regarding spending specifically let me talk about that. it is projected to spend more than $250 million through a super pac and other advocacy groups in 2016. it all depends on how much the contributors actually decide to give. now that is still a good chunk of change but it's far less than the almost $1 billion figure that is often thrown around in the media reports. super pac money is often referred as dark because you
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don't have to disclose the donors. considering the heat the kochs receive for their political involvement including 153 death threats last year alone, not all donors are willing to put their names out there. i get that. but it is also their right. 40 years ago justice william brennan wrote when it comes to money and politics the first amendment considers political contributions to be the exercise of free speech. the supreme court has repeatedly recognized this right. just as important as the 1995 ruling in mcentyre vs. ohio, election commission, which protected an anonymous speech and prevented the government from mandating the disclosure of identity in order to speak or support a cause. now, some may not like it and were free to debate the pros and cons of such a system. but the supreme court has been steadfast in its affirmation of the role of money in politics specifically one's right to remain anonymous.
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and to that point, charles koch deserves a little credit. he personally remains transparent in his spending. what he gives personally to the foundations and to the pacs like koch pac and freedom partners pac is public. and that is not most of what he gives actually. most of what he gives goes to his foundation, which funds multiple endeavors throughout the country including contributions for organizations like the united negro college fund, youth entrepreneurs, salvation army. he also funds the charles koch institute, an educational organization that is dedicated to giving others the opportunity to learn the principles that transform charles' life and enable him to accomplish more than he ever dreamed possible. in other words, he supports ideas over politics. now, i don't say these things to make excuses. there's a lot of money in politics. there's a lot of money on both ends of the political spectrum.
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and the worst of it is the corporate welfare money that is crippling this economy. corrupting the business community and destroying opportunities for the disadvantaged. we believe that the only profit that is beneficial is that which results from creating value for others. not through coercive means as we've seen through government mandates. but through mutually beneficial transactions. let me close. in short, we need a principle driven framework that focuses on creating freedom, opportunity, and well being for everyone. especially the least fortunate. this is the key to unleashing a free society. and making america everything it can and should be. colleges such as s anselm can play a pivotal role by ensuring tomorrow's leaders are educated and inspired by the ideas of freedom and that science not partisan politics provides the intellectual foundation for change.
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whether we like it or not we have a chase to make here. -- choice to make here. do we want control and dependency to define our nation or cooperation and competition? would we rather have a culture of entitlement among the rich as well as the poor or a culture of accomplishment? i am confident that if we want to expand opportunity for everyone, we must help people, their dreams, achieve those dreams rather than dictate how they should live their lives. as charles koch wrote in his new book "good profit" for individuals to develop and have a chance of happiness they must be free to make their own choices and mistakes rather than be forced to accept choices made by others. in the -- this is the essence of the difference between north korea and south korea. hong kong and mainland channel 9 -- china and in the past east germany vs. west and countless other examples.
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history has repeatedly shown that protecting individual rights and promoting economic freedom does more than create a higher standard of living. these societies also enjoy cleaner environments, higher literacy rates, lower infant mortality rates, and less government and business corruption. that is why i believe a free, fair, and prosperous society is worth pursuing. in fact, i believe that it is a future worth fighting for. it's up to you to decide if you want to do something about it. that's all i have and i'm happy to take questions as many as we have time for this morning. thank you. [applause] yes? >> what's difference between the koch brothers and george soros?
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>> in what way? >> just for my perspective the koch brothers -- and a c george soros as a champion in the media. i don't i don't. but i am curious. as you look at them and what they represent, what is the difference between the two of them? and what they may be seeking? maybe you can't speak to what george soros is speaking but i'm just curious. >> sure. it is a fair question. if you're talking about how they each use money in politics, i don't believe there is a much of a difference going on there. there are a lot of organizations on the left, the democracy alliance which has dozens and dozens of groups that support a progressive agenda and that's a lot of "dark money." that's been going on for years and that's fine. that is their right. they have a right to do that. george soros has a right to do that. it's interesting that when other
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organizations that don't match the ideology start doing that then i think some people take exception and you can't just have one standard for one side and one for the other. >> i am a democrat but not a progressive. some of us still exist. and in fact a lot of us know that the environmental movement is kind of coopted by a lot of marxists who use the environmental movement to get their agenda passed. you probably are in the trenches and i am wondering if you can give specific examples of where that's happened where you're producing energy but going against this coalition of marxism and environmentalism. >> i'm going to take a tack here that the environmental movement, you talk about the environmental movement in
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general has been a good thing for this country in some respects. okay? when i was a kid, i'm old, when i was a kid people were throwing trash out the window. that's gone now. people are respecting the environment and treat it as something that we need to take care of. our whole -- we have koch industries and want to make the best possible products using the fewest resources possible. so conservation is a huge part of the entire company across the globe and what we do. now when you manufacture things, stuff goes up in the air. okay? we're trying to reduce that every year as much as possible. all the things we use every day requires manufacturing, virtually everything. and so there are ways you can do that and do it better that's less harmful to the environment. that's what koch is trying to do and a lot of other companies are trying to do that.
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we produce pollution control devices that other companies are using at their facility so we are very proud of our record there. again, this isn't about being, you know, against the environmental movement. some things we believe go too far in the sense that it harms people. when you start harming people's lives especially those that are most disadvantaged then i'm not sure we're making some of the right decisions. yes? >> hi. in a recent interview with the wichita eagles charles koch claimed politicians are beholden to corporations and cronies that get them re-elected and deemed that welfare for the wealthy. the koch network has poured millions of dollars into our political system. do they agree the candidates -- >> i'm sorry the last part of your question was? >> do the kochs agree the candidates stay back or in the same way are beholden to them? >> a good question. a great question. i'm going to answer it the way
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charles has recently answered that. that is beholden is the wrong word in that charles is frustrated right now to be honest with you, very frustrated that a lot of the candidates that the network he is part of including a lot of other donors, hundreds, thousands, haven't done a loft the things they said they were going to do. okay? he is quite frankly very frustrated and we have not at this point in time supporting any presidential candidate and mr. koch believes, is worried right now that none of them are going to do what they say they're going to do. so the folks we supported in 2014, frankly, a lot of them have not lived up to the things that i've been talking about in terms of fighting corporate welfare, supporting criminal justice reform among other things. beholden is what, we all, ve who votes for someone or contributes money to them, $#, you're hoping that they're going
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-- whether it is five dollars, you're hoping that they are going to do what they said they were going to do. if you call it beholden call it beholden but to me i give $5 to a candidate because they said they'd do something and i go wow. i want them to do that. i'm giving them $5. call that beholden or $500 million or whatever it might be, i don't think it's the same way. we are expecting them to do the things they say they were going to do and frankly a lot of them aren't. most of them aren't. >> hi. so since 1997 the koch brothers have poured close to $80 million into climate change denial groups and climate change really threatens everyone on this planet but predominantly poor communities of color which it seems you are suggesting koch cares deeply about. if they do, how does continued climate change denial to protect
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koch's bottom line drive fairness and prosperity for these communities? >> thank you. good question. the climate change issue is complex. charles said recently in a loft interviews that the climate is changing. that the data that, you know, has been shown over the last hundred years or so is that the temperatures increased by 0.8 degree centigrade. and that carbon is up and that there is probably some correlation that some of this is man made. what concerns us and i think others is the politicization of that in some respects is about some of the solutions that are being offered. you talk about the most disadvantaged in society. some of the solutions being offered are going to harm the very people we purport to want to help especially when you look at
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the disadvantage throughout the globe and in other parts of third world countries where having energy to be able to power medical devices to keep people alive as real issue in lots of parts of the world. so we think it is an important issue. the environment is important us to. but the solutions people talk about we need to talk about the actual people. whatever solutions you were talking about. yes? >> yes. recently, on local television i'm seeing advertisements from some group with an innocuous name about ethanol subsidies and maybe the need to moderate and the mandates for them. i wonder what is the koch position on that issue? >> we oppose all ethanol subsidies.
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we're an ethanol manufacturer. we think it is a great product and should stand on its own. again, these subsidies and these sorts of things really disrupt the market. these products should stand on their own if they're economically viable. if they provide value for people. then they're going to work and survive and they'll thrive. any alternative out there we support all forms of energy. the all forms of energy have to stand on their own and provide economic value. they have to provide value to people in their every day lives. we oppose ethanol subsidies and we're in the business. >> one difference between george soros and the koch brothers is that the conservatives in this country have not defamed george soros from the united states senate floor as harry reid has and that gets to the question that i want to ask. i'm very impressed with the industries the koch brothers run
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but i think one issue that you fail to address is the news media entertainment stranglehold in this country and i wonder why with all their money the koch brothers don't buy abc, cbs, or nbc? ask them. >> if i had one to choose i'd go with espn. but we can spend hours and hours talking about, "media bias in the country." i'm not sure quite frankly that is the biggest problem we face. in terms of being ma layned on the senate that is senator reid's prerogative. he is protected by the u.s. constitution to do that. he knows he is protected on the floor of the senate and can say whatever he wants.
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i think a lot of people in this country just wish he o would try and help people improve their lives rather than going after u.s. citizens. >> hi, mr. lombardo. my name is sheila. i have a quick question about the kochs' political involvement. while the kochs claim they didn't enter the political sphere until the bush administration david koch did run for vice president on the libertarian ticket in 1980 and koch industries spent hundreds of thousands on political contributions during each presidential cycle since the 1990's. i was just wondering why the cotches are trying to hide -- the kochs are trying to hide their long involvement in politics and if you could answer that for me. >> that is a good question. i would argue with the thesis anyone is trying to hide their involvement. like any company throughout the years koch industries was involved in politics and through their contributions.
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david koch did run for vice president in 1980 on the libertarian ticket but what i was referring to is the seminars that started by charles and david with a group of donors started in 2003 but both of those facts are absolutely correct. >> thank you. the koch network has made climate change denial litmus tests for supporting political candidates. if it is truly sincere about criminal justice reform will the koch network pledge to only support pro political justice reform candidates? >> thank you. i guess is the question that if we support a political candidate who has a different view on climate change that that makes that support a climate change denier.
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i would argue the hypothesis. we support a lot of different candidates over the years and will continue to do that to some extent. although as i said i think there is some level of frustration in people getting things done. the support we're going to do moving forward is a lot going to depend on their positions, political candidates' positions on the issues i've laid out today. and had very little to do with their support on some of these issues. >> time for one more. >> what is the koch position on means testing for certain government benefits? >> we don't have one right now on means testing. that's not something that we've talked about. it is clearly something that i think candidates are going to start talking about. some of the substantive public policy issues, this is a fun election cycle and i think people are getting entertained.
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i hope at some point it starts to migrate into something like that but we don't have a position right now. thank you very much. i appreciate it. [applause] >> c-span's ongoing series of congressional freshmen the files continues tomorrow when we speak with mimi waters of california and [indiscernible] of massachusetts. >> how do you get more women in
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congress? >> we have to serve as role models to women. someone like myself, i take it very seriously that help train women, held bring them up through the ranks, i started at the very grassroots, i started holidayteering on a parade and i worked on campaigns so i started at the very bottom. i try to encourage and women, women my age in being involved in help give them the tools to run for higher office. one of the biggest hurdles that women face is trying to raise money. when i worked outside the home i had a lot of is this connections but then i left my job. i stayed home with my kids for a while before it ran for my first office. the businessof connections where i could have gone to raise money. are at aomen disadvantage of the decide to
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stay home with their children. people like myself need to help encourage them and give them the networks they need to raise money to run for office. >> a few lessons that i learned in iraq and the war. one of which is the value of leadership. it is amazing the impact that even some of the youngest people in our country can have on the lives of others if you are willing to stand up and lead. for example when i made the difficult determination that the best way to prevent iran from getting a nuclear weapon was to support the deal. not that it is a great deal but after a serious examination of the alternatives that it was the best position we could be in. a lot of people advised me to step back. this is politically dangerous, there are a lot of divisions. was not elected to sit back and take a politically easy course. i was likely to lead so i got out there and explained why i
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thought it was important. i was the only politician to 2ld open forms in august talked to my constituents and explain to them, to justify my position and hear their criticisms and complaints and answer their concerns. their israelthat value in having the courage to come out -- that there is real value in having the courage to come out. if we had more people explain the truth to the american public even when they know it might be unpopular back home. rest of our freshmen profile interviews with mimi walters and seth malton tomorrow at 10 a.m. eastern here on c-span. c-span presents landmark cases, the book, i guide to our landmark cases series which
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explores 12 historic supreme court decisions including marbury versus madison, korematsu, versus united states, brown versus the board of education, miranda versus arizona, and roe versus wade. the book cases, features introductions, background, highlights, and the impact of each case. tony morrow and published by c-span in .ooperation with cq press landmark cases is available for 895 plus shipping. get your copy today at c-span.org/landmarkcases. next, professors at the university of massachusetts amherst and political activists discuss the history of nonviolent protest. from the civil rights movement and anti-vietnam war protests to protests against the keystone xl
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pipeline and the black lives matter movement. this is one hour 10 minutes. >> i am going to introduce our moderator for tonight. that professor dan clawson agreed to moderate. activist andime union organizer, real inspiration for a great many of us on this campus. activecently he has been in building the educators for a democratic union, the progressive caucus within the massachusetts teachers association which is though largest union in the state and has been a tremendous organizing power. i will turn it over now to dan clawson. thank you. dan: here is how the evening will work. i will give you a brief overview
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of how the evening will work, a few minutes on the theory of direct action and questions to think about this evening and then i will turn it over to our panelists. each of the five panelists have been asked to speak for not more than 12 minutes and i will give them a time check near the end. the focus for tonight is on direct action, how it operates, what is involved in it, it's effects on the participants in the larger movement, what works, and what does not. the concerns raised within the movement and by those on the outside and similar questions. focus or will exclusively on personal stories specifics, this is what happened on this occasion, this is what we learned from it, this is why it worked or did not work. the focus tonight is not primarily on the issue that led to the direct action. forig

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