tv Public Affairs Events CSPAN October 26, 2016 12:41pm-2:41pm EDT
so let's start off. my name is scott graytack, i'm counsel with a group called free speech for people, it's a legal organization devoted to taking ideas into action to promote and reclaim our democracy and to go from the defense to the offense in order to get initiatives moving that can help build an inclusive democracy for all. so speaking of a legal landscape and what we're looking at now, i'll turn to our resident attorneys on the panel which is brandon and ali to give us an idea of where we're coming from, how we got here. ali, if you want to start us off. >> sure. can you all hear me in the room okay? so first thanks to scott and acs for having this important conversation and great to be up here with these panelists. in terms of the legal landscape, probably the most well known money in politics supreme court decision is citizens united which was deced in 2010.
citizens united really unleashed spending by corporations on our elections. and the reasoning in that decision also paved the way for super pacs which are other vehicles that wealthy interests can use to spend in elections. citizens united really made a lot of people mad and it sparked a lot of great activism around the country that we'll hear more about. but at demos we see the problem in the legal landscape as going back farther to a case called buckley v. vallejo. that was decided in 1976. it was after the watergate scandal and around that time the congress had passed a fairly comprehensive package of money in politics reforms and some of the provisions in that package were challenged and the subject of this buckley litigation. so some of the provisions in that package were upheld and they remain part of our legal landscape today and that
includes contribution limits so there are limits on the amounts that individuals can give to a particular candidate or party, but on the other hand, the buckley court struck down limits on spending and that includes limits on how much individuals can spend of their own money on elections as long as they do so independently of candidates 130 we've never gotten a chance to see how this comprehensive package would have worked together but probably more problematic is the reasoning that the buckley court gave us in that decision. the court said the government has to have an important reason to pass campaign finance reform and it told us that the only reason that's important enough to justify campaign finance reform and limits on big money is to prevent corruption or the appearance of corruption. at the same time, the buckley
court said that government cannot act to enhance political equality or lel the playing field among candidates. so since the '70s, courts have been asking this really narrow question of whether campaign finance reform is necessary to prevent corruption. and the effect of this framework is that we haven't been allowed to address some of the biggest problems that we face in our political system and that includes things like barriers to entry. candidates aren't taken seriously politically unless they can raise a lot of money and that leaves a lot of people out. it also means that we can't talk about the vastly unequal political power and political voice in this country in these cases. and we know that elected officials are a lot more responsive to wealthy interests and the donor class and that's a problem for a lot of reasons, not least of which is that the donor class is
disproportionately very white, also male, wealthy and there aren't a lot of millennials in the donor class, either, given that we just don't control that much of the wealth and we're burdened by student debt. >> thanks, ali and thanks for having me here. one point i want to emphasize is it's not only the supreme court that's to blame for the broken campaign finance system we're living in. it rests in large part with the fec, the federal election commission which is the federal charged with administering and enforcing federal election law. a six-member commission enacted after the watergate scandal riersz four votes, four affirmative votes to take any action to take -- requires four votes to promulgate new rules, to open an enforcement action and no more than three members can be part of the same
political party. so there's three remember members, currently two democratic members, one independent. the problem with the fec is not so much that it's a partisan split, not that republicans want to enforce the law against -- republicans want to enforce the law against democrats and democrats want to enforce the law against republicans, it's an ideological split and the three republican members are ideologically opposed to the enforcement of campaign finance laws. so even the laws that exist after citizens united are not currently enforced. so, for example, as allie described, citizens united said that because independent expenditures are independent, there's little risk of those expenditures corrupt ago candidate and therefore spending by independent groups like super pacs can't be limited but if spending is not independent it does pose a risk of corruption, it's treated under federal law as a contribution to a candidate subject to a $2,700 limit and it
falls to the fec to preserve that independence and uphold the laws and regulation guaranteeing that independence, guaranteeing enforcement laws and regulations defining coordination but the fec has interpreted the law to allow presidential candidates to appear at fund-raisers for super pacs and the fec has declined to enforce even its weak rules on coordinated spending. and you've seen both presidential candidates this year edging ever closer to their support of super pacs, undermining the idea of any independence. and, again, citizens united, the reasoning rested on this notion that independent expenditures are genuinely independent and it's the fault of the fec that we have single candidate super pacs. citizens united also endorsed disclosure of donations, predicted that disclosure would help limit the opportunities for corruption from unlimited independent expenditures but dark money, undisclosed political spending has exploded in recent years and that's the
fault of the fec. that's the fault of the fec undermining the existing disclosure laws by narrowly interpreting it to only apply to -- what a nonprofit spends on elections they only have to -- so any nonprofit can assert that none of the contributions that were made to it were given for the purpose of funding those particular ads therefore we have no donor disclosure therefore we have dark money. so the system wouldn't -- the political system -- the campaign finance system wouldn't be great after citizens united if the fec enforced the law but it would be a lot better than what we have right now. and also looking forward it's important to keep in mind that a critical element in any campaign finance system, in any campaign finance regime is the administration and enforcement of the law even if we successfully overturn citizens united, congress enacts new laws, those laws will really not be worth the paper they're written on if they aren't effectively administered and
enforced. so in this -- this can seem disconcerting but in some ways this is an opportunity because fixing the fec is a lot easier than overturning citizens united. the commissioners to the fec are appointed by the president. the next president could appoint new commissioners that enforce the law. one of the things that we have been calling for is for the president to appoint a blue ribbon commission of non-partisan retired judges, non-partisan retired law enforcement officers and they can come up with a list of potential commissioners and we can see the laws that need to exist after citizens united effectively enforced. so that's one thing. there's also been bipartisan legislation introduced in congre congress. so that i think is one thing that can happen legislatively or via the executive branch after
citizens united which would make a big difference in improving our campaign finance system. but after citizens united there's plenty of room for proactive legislation in the realm of disclosure, in the realm of realm of disclosure, in the realm of coordination, strengthening coordination rules and also public financing and i think a candidate who will be coming here later will talk more about that but you have seen congress is hopeless. congress is not going to pass any proactive legislation on these issues but you have seen many states and cities really advancing proactive legislation, south dakota has a ballot initiative currently pending that would improve disclosure. seattle recently enacted a really innovative democracy voucher program where every voter gets four $25 vouchers to give to a candidate of their choice. california improved the coordination and california has improved the coordination laws. so those are the few things to still happen even short of overturned citizens united,
confirming a new justice on the supreme court. >> so, overall, it's not good news but there's reason for hope. you know, we focus on the first two branches a lot. right? the legislative branch and the executive branch but a lot of the work that the american constitution society is focused on is how is the campaign finance system affecting the judges? these are state court judges. they're elected in 39 states across the country. 95% of all cases filed originate in state court. state court judges hit on a ton of major policy issues from the environment to labor, criminal justice, voting rights. and we'll be talking later about the report that the american constitution society put out talking about who makes up the state court benches and are they reflecting the communities that they serve. but it's important to keep in mind the same time that, you know, superpacs have come to dominate elections andike same story for judicial elections. you have seen more spending in judicial elections across the country than ever before, special interest groups having a
larger role and spending that -- larger piece of that total spending pie than they ever have before. we'll get into that later. so let's turn to what has been possible, a little bit of bright lining to this. and we'll go to austin with the democracy alliance. so, you know, 78% of americans across the political spectrum oppose citizens united, a good rallying point, especially for young people. can you give us a sense of if there is any good news, what is that good news and what is possible underneath this world we live in? >> well, thank you, first of all, for having me, asc. having all of us in the conversation is going to be rich because there are a couple of points brought up here i think we can have even a bit of debate about even amongst friends. but i will say that it's kind of strange having somebody from the democracy alliance which is a network of well think liberal donors talk to you about getting money out of politics. a little paradoxical. the trust is, there's a
difference between liberal donors right now and conservative donors across the country. and it's actually a bit of good news to allie's point which is that traditionally the donor class has been pretty conservative in its views about some of these legislative jurisprudence issues but you have millennials who are inheriting a ton of wealth, entering the donor class and unlike the counterparts are spinning a lot of resources figuring out how to get dark money out of our politics and which may seem like a self-defeat things. but many of them know that over the long haul the interests of the 1% and the interests of the 99% in terms of inclusive economy and democracy that works for all, there's intersecting there. that's one silver lining that i think people should think about. and why for the democracy alliance the issue of money in politics is front and center for the community. so there are a ton of movements we have seen over the past few years, post-citizens united which have been able to tap into the consciousness of a new
generation and put a lot of momentum at the legislative and other strategies that the money in politics folks have been working on for a long time and there are three principles or cross-cutting strategies or trends that you can see in these movements, movements like occupy wall street which i think at the end of the century you'll see almost historians talking about the era before and after occupy wall street. when you think about the consciousness change or movement for black lives or other movements. and so here are the three things that i think, three trends that we should be excited about but we should also look at carefully if we're talking about reinvigorating a democracy movement in the country with millennials. the first is that the movements i mentioned a sec ago stepping into this gap and challenging the role of money in politics or other issues, they're national
movements, not local movements. and so, if you look at the way that the news cycle, for example, c-span is in the room and i'm sure all the millennials at home are watching right now. but the reality is that local news outlets have left the landscape and so most of the information that young people millennials are getting are coming from national news outlets. this is a big deal for the fight because a lot of the narrative that you all shared was national and that's what the movements have tapped into. that's an advantage for us. i think as we look at this. the second kind of trend that's happening amongst millennials that should give us some hope and optimism about getting money out of politics is that millennials aren't gravitating around organizationless per se but networks. and so, in the past you had people were a member of a local union or a church or a civic association that was place based
geographically defined and i think it made it difficult at times to reach scale where you can take on the big problems of money in politics and have large leap of progress and not the problem with the internet. now people are -- young people in particular are using networks to get to a scale and able to also mesh together the role of individuals and organizations. and then the third kind of trend that's happening that i think is an opportunity for us but some people may see as a challenge which is that millennials have been mobilizing post-citizens united at the margins and not at the mainstream. that in some ways the dissatisfaction at this convergence between rising inequality in the country and shrinking political opportunity has led to a radicalization of our generation that cuts across party line. and we have seen it play out in the primaries, of course, with bernie sanders and his campaign. i saw some recent polling that showed if you look at jill stein's support base or hillary
clinton's support base, across the board millennials are saying they want radical social change. so at the margins, not at the mainstream. so these three trends together, national movement, networks emerging and then this kind of radicalization how people are thinking about the role in democracy are great opportunities that should make us hopeful. the final thing i would say, how do we channel this energy and bring it into the democracy movement. are we building a teddy bear or are we building a grizzly bear. what millennials are saying in all i mentioned post citizens united, they don't believe we can take on the problems mentioned fcc and supreme court and presidency with the teddy bear with old incremental solutions with the gloves on. they think we need a grizzly bear. they think we need a movement dangerous enough to shake up folks. that's the kind of movement we
need to support and talk about here today. >> yeah, it's wonderful. as our forth panelists joins us, talk about supreme court, successful, other apart, campaign finance, not a lot of people realize u.s. supreme court had three consecutive positive decisions when it comes to fair and impartial. the biggest in 2009 effectively said if somebody spends too much money affecting a judicial election, that violates the due process clause. that's a constitutional principle the legislative and executive branch don't have in their operative frame works. this is something that applies in the judicial barrage. we had a victory, first time chief justice roberts upheld a restriction on a candidate's ability to raise money. this is about judges going to people and saying, hey, can you
give me $10,000, i'm running for judge. the state of florida had a restriction on that so they couldn't do it. this summer, decision about whether or not a judge oversaw prosecution of a defendant when that decision came up to him as a member of the pennsylvania supreme court he had to recuse himself in that. there is good news. i would say more holding the line. it has seen positive outcomes as well. perhaps you can speak to us about local movements that have seen some success. areas pushing back on citizens united, resolutions, local organizations, how they have responded to environment around them and see some positivity out of it. >> i apologize to everyone being tardy. i was a little confused about this event. my apologies. i'm with a 45-year-old organization committed to representing people's voices in the halls of congress, the halls of the supreme court, halls of power. i wanted to briefly just comment
on my experience working with peers, or nicing to take back and stand up for our democracy and drill down a little bit if that's okay. >> absolutely. how that's happening and how it can happen. so folks are pretty frustrated, and i'm sure we talked about that, because the game has shifted. we haven't seen as many movements succeed where people rise up, there's a lot of media coverage and you see congress pass laws to address that outrage. so i think a lot of millennials are feeling like so why, how does that work? is that what we need to be doing? then there's another group of people who i think feel like maybe we haven't had the right idea. if the right person with the right idea and the right way to market that idea would come forward we could fix the problem. i think our perspective and the
perspective we've seen in movements over the centuries in the united states is that we have to really shift power. we have to reach people. we have to be willing to get away from our phones and our desks and our beds, and wherever we're engaging online, and also not to exclude those things but also get out on the streets and talk to people who have power, figure out strablgly how to influence those people. if we don't have enough people working face-to-face with others to actually build stronger relationships, real face-to-face relationships. so i think part of the reason people are looking at ideas and marketing instead of movements, and i think there's a lot of millennials that get movements, i'm not saying that, but there's a big chunk of folks that say, well, if we just had an app, then poor people in africa might be able to access water. i've heard that from peers, right? maybe that's not the reason people are lacking access to
water. we've given a lot of power to corporate entities and seen an intense attack on government as an institution. democratic government is supposed to represent everyone in this room. it's ours. if it's screwed up and messed up, we have to fix it, right? entities gaining power are multinational corporations, not only american corporations necessary lichlt they are corporations with a profit motive, in many different markets at once. they are interested in more control than government, set limitations that might affect their profits. we're seeing a shift in attack on government. we're seeing a group of people that are extremists, do not represent most people willing to shut down the government and shut down and break the systems that are supposed to protect us, make education accessible so we have a country where equal
opportunity is a reality not a dream. when we break that government from enforcing laws and providing to set up to provide, the status quo runs the show. congress isn't making lawyers if regulatory agencies aren't doing their job. corporations that provide our transportation and our food are doing what they are doing. they are already in power, so they are going to keep the status quo. so i think it's important for millennials to find our own ways of organizing. i think there's so many different ways to communicate and build power through technology, but also to take back our government. it's our government. it's our democracy and it needs to represent everyone's voices. if it's not doing that, then we have to reclaim it as ours. we can't put it away somewhere. how are rebuilding powers? democracy movement focused on making sure we get big money out of politics and also protect voting rights. we need a constitutional
amendment that would establish reasonable spending on elections or allow congress to do that. we need small donner financing to replace elections we currently have. if government is a dinner table, and the election at the table decides what the agenda is, who funds the recollection, writes the laws, we can get money out of politics and make sure people are setting the table. then if we're taking away people's right to vote, they are not going to get to sit at the table at all, depending on the group. we need both. how are we doing that? we've had a sweeping movement all over the country. people have gone to their state and city legislators, gone to their county legislators and said we're tired of money in politics. we see congress isn't moving. we're going to take the action we can take, which is pass a local resolution, county resolution, calling for constitutional amendment to overturn citizens united and related cases. 700 cities and towns have done
that, 17 states have done that. it's on the ballot in washington state and california. so that's really, really exciting. that happened because people decided to get together face-to-face, think about who has power and how to hold them accountable and build their own power as a collective. we're also doing public financing all over the country. there's a campaign in the district of columbia. i'm actually going to pass around a petition you can sign if you're in the district and you support changing the way that elections are funded so that we're not -- in the district of columbia, the people who fund d.c. government are contractors and people who have construction projects in the district. biggest asphalt company marks all the roads and actually do a really good job. also, there's been a number of scandals with them, 20, $25,000 and millions and millions of contracts from the district. they are a monopoly here.
they make a small investment and get millions of dollars of our taxpayer money back. if we have a different system where once the candidate shows they are serious and get small trickses from district residents, public funds can match those small contributions, so we reward candidates serious and have public support. but we also don't have fort meyer and some of the big construction names you see all over the district literally running our elections here. they own our elections because they provide 40% of the funding for those candidates. you can bet they are doing to be careful. i know, probably running low on ti time. the our thing, south dakota, washington state, all have public financing and bills on the ballot. i'm not going to take too much more time. we do have a thunderclap if you
sign the petition for d.c. elections share thunderclap that lists all the different measures on the ballot for democracy on november 8th. so you can spread the word and help us score serious wins for democracy all over the country. thanks. >> great. thank you. perfect. we're talking about issue intersectionality, if we could. millennials, in marriage equality movement, the fight for 15, good recognizing citizens. a lot of this stuff is pretty dense. it's difficult to understand campaign finance reform. there's a lot of intricacies even for the attorneys among us. at the other end of the spectrum, issue one. if you get money out of politics, you can fix issues, whatever the range of issue you care about, there's a fox interest in there, right? what are issues that have been able to provide pathways for millennials to get this on their
radar to move them from just maybe outraged into engaged and to get them plugged in and really put some sweat behind it. austin, do you want to start something? >> sure. just a couple -- one response i want to say, so far i think policy change is really key. but i also think it can't be seen as the sole goal of how we evaluate progress. abraham lincoln has a quote many of you know where he talks about the shaping of public sentiment as the most important kind of role. when we talk about the role of millennials and how they intersect with these issues, a lot of the ways they are intersecting with money and politic, shifting the narrative, changing public sentiment. it may not end up in a local policy victory but in some ways it's putting the wind of the sails at some reformers working
at the local level. some examples, one is around the issue of transparency. there's been a lot of discussion post citizens united about disclosure and make of the policy and legal work that needs to be done there. who would match the explosive energy of the most recent wikileaks that have come out or panama papers where you see people, young people in particular on the internet demanding radical transparency. these are libertarians, these are progressives, these are conservatives who are seeing transparency as an issue that's front and center in how they are thinking about their agency in a democracy, or money and politics folks engage. the second i talk about are this tactic that a lot of the more traditional campaigns are not as comfortable with but is really, really important taking off amongst millennials, which is bird dogging. i don't know if people are familiar with that, which is where you follow a candidate
around when they are running for office and you do a direct action aimed at that candidate and then force them to respond. one example of this is the fossil fuel movement who has been going after campaign fundraisers from big oil and fossil fuel and doing bird dogging actions against candidates and getting them on record saying you will no longer take fossil fuel money. lifting up money and politics through fossil fuel investment. second is key, right now the country is having a national conversation about race in america. color of change, which is a nonprofit organization working digitally around issues of race and inclusion organized a campaign to birdie dog candidates who were taking private prison money and then getting candidates to go and sa private prison money.
it lifted up this conversation about money and politics. i think the choice for us is they didn't read out front with money in politics as the issue. they led out front with fossil fuel divest meant and climate change, they led out front with racial justice and equity. but it's really about money and politics. i think that's kind of what we have to figure out is how do we find opportunities to bring more folks into the movement with a much deeper scaled issue frame. >> we just saw a super pac accepted $150,000 private contribution from a private prison out of florida supporting donald trump. i want to ask you, talk about intersectionality, a lot of people aware of the economy, occupy wall street, income inequality has been at the top of the agenda for at least democratic candidates for president during the primary. is there a way in which we can use this issue to tie in.
>> yes. i think the economy and economic inequality is very much linked with big money and politics. we see -- the economy that millennials are inheriting is really a web of policies that favor the donner class. and we know donner clastically in areas of economic polics dfe than the 99%. just one example here is on the federal minimum wage. we know that general public opinion support is very high for federal minimum wage in which if you're working full time at the federal minimum wage you should not live in poverty. i think 80%, something like that, of the general public supports that belief. among the donner class, the affluent in the united states, the support for that level of wage at the federal level is
less than half of that. yet we've seen congress be very stagnant on the federal minimum wage, even though we have incredibly high federal national support for increasing the minimum wage. i think other areas in our economy are also impacted. think about student debt and the burden of taking on student debt to go to college. something like 78% of the general public think that the federal government should do more to make shrcollege is affordable. yet again, we've seen congress be really stagnant on these issues. >> anybody else want to weigh in on this? >> i think one thing to sort of echo what both austin and allie had said, one thing to emphasize about the way that millennials and other people have approached the issue is that citizens united has come to have symbolic
value well beyond the actual -- what the decision actually said. the decision was about corporate independent expenditures, allowed corporation toss make expenditures in elections independent of candidate, taken on symbolic value. when it was issued in 2010, growing recognition and acknowledgement about the growing economic inequality in the u.s. and the world as a whole. and the broken campaign finance system, the amount of "moneyball" that flooded into our elections after united, transferred to political equality, citizens united came to symbolize broader issues of inequality and corporate power. to echo what allie said people that have the power, citizens united, older, whiter, maler
than the country as a whole, and particularly older, whiter, and maler than millennials. and it's not a surprise that government is acting -- as a result of economic inequality being transferred into political inequality, it's not a surprise government is acting in the interest of the donner class and in the interest of the rest of us and particularly not in the interest of millennials. >> so i mean -- given our arguments, dispositions of this, we think we're on the right side of history. our issue ties in with a ton of issues, moral force behind it, big sweeping values and narratives like economic inequality and what we can do about that. this next part, let's talk about what's holding the field back. i want to prime you all with some work that the american constitution society put out last spring. put out a national report called gavel gap. what they did for the first time
in state history, looked at state courts all across the country and looked at the racial and gender makeup of those courts. so i want to prompt you all with just a few numbers. nationally, women of color make up 19% of the u.s. population. state courts, it's 8%. men of color, it's 19%, state courts 12%. on the other hand white men, 30% of the population of the united states and whopping 58% of all state court judges. so they were able to trace when opportunities falls off along the pipeline, say going to law school and judge, what does this environment say about how we feel we have the wind at our back and the current makeup of the field isn't too dissimilar from what that study was able to find. akeen, austin, do you want to jump in there? >> i think nonprofits reflect power structure and
fundamentally racist background of our society as a whole. i think the type of people who get the education and have the ability to do unpaid internships in particular to access these positions is definitely a huge problem. we have to be able to pay people who are working their way through school, taking on an in edible amount of debt, if we want them to gain skills to do this work professionally. on the other hand, i don't think most movements are only professionally staffed. they should be a tiny minority in terms of working on this issue, washington ballot initiative, 330,000 signatures that were gathered over a nine-month period, 88% of those by volunteers. so does not need to be staffed. certainly if we want lower income folks of all races to be in this movement, there needs to be a funding aspect that's much bigger than what we have right
now. >> and i would say in addition to kind of the structural barriers that you mention, and the gavel gap that you mention, there's a trust gap. and the trust gap in particular is happening with communities of color. we all know the preamble of our constitution starts with "we, the people," yet generation after generation, the calling of social movements has been to expand that we to include more and more folks, because the framers of the constitution looked much like, unfortunately, the structures of today look. and so there's always been this psychological distance as a result amongst communities of color and the fundamental institutions of u.s. democracy, including representative civil society organizations. and so this trust gap, psychological distance, plays it's self out as third part by
both our democracy by communities of color. they will see government as a they. they might even see some of the organizations and fighting around money in politics as a "they." they don't see it as a "we." the fundamental question on this, not just more diversity. you can have more diverse voices essentially keeping the system as it is and people still having the psychological distance. we need to move from talking about diversity to equity. how do we build a more inclusive we. one way we do that is starting with trust. we need to be in conversation with communities of color who may have different theories of change how it gets done. they may not see inside strategies at the local level being the most productive way to get change. are we open and willing to listen to their voices and be in dialogue with them. if we can close that trust gap with communities of color, i think we'll get more than diversity. we'll get a more equitable and
influential movement. millennials we get shade for voting less frequently than demographic groups. we're certainly the most indebted. we're the most racially diverse. so the question to you all, what can we do differently? if you know successful models other areas they push forward policies under more inclusive framework and coalition, what have they done to be able to get those things, get points on the board? somebody must know. >> i'll say one quick one. i think it's an outlier we've talked a little in the donner class. there are successful efforts to organize a base of donors who share the values we share here. one example of this in the money and politics space, victory 2021
fund where you have donors coming together who are wealthy individuals and bundling their money to support some of the ballot initiatives and other campaigns that were talked about earlier. so their success there. in fact, there's a book i recommend to folks if you're interested by david callahan called "fortunes of change." it's an older book. i think it's 2008, '9published version, a new updated version. what it goes through fund mental demographic flip not just millennials but donner class. donors in science and research, donors on the west coast, new york city who went to liberal universities and they are seeing acs like this one in formative years. to me, that's an example of one of the strategies we should have, how do we engage directly the donner class, particularly
millennial donors. >> i will just say on a local level, i think it is very, very specific. like here in the district we have an affordable housing crisis. nobody in the council is very serious. they all care. i think they actually genuinely care. we're not seeing the level of serious policy introduction that would actually change the problem, partly because of the funding system locally. that's an issue that really matters deeply. the bleeding age of gentrification in the district is the most african-american part of the district, ward 7 and 8 across the river anacostia. so there's a lot of deep work and trust building to do there. thankfully the d.c. fair elections coalition is already a pretty diverse group. d.c. budget coalition division which represents service organizations, also people's organizations in the district has been a partner from the beginning. i think there's continuing work
to have as many conversations in community as possible. but i think one shining example of where we're trying to go in the democracy movement, democracy awakening and spring which happened this past spring. naacp, sierra club, many groups came together and had about 5,000 here in the district protesting for voting rights and money and politics. i have to say unfortunately money and politics you to that point has largely been a white grassroots base supported issue. so we've been working very, very hard to mobilize our majority white members to work on voting rights as well as money and politics. it is a long journey for sure. >> i want to ask, so many issues in the district, you need a few for high priority items for communities of color. when you talk about coalition built around democracy work, how is that created and how is that
supported and what resources that this was able to be 40, 50 organizations behind. did you see any trends in that perhaps folks around the country can pick up on. >> showing up in person, i've gone to probably half dozen african-american churches, i've showed up after service or even sat through service and worked with members of the community that way. i think we have to be willing to go in person and really talk to people and show that you're committed. show you're willing to go anywhere in the district where people want to organize and not cross racial lines that exist in our very segregated cities. i think that's one piece. also here the corruption is so blatant. a billionaire is having the district spend $60 million building him a new practice facility. he was a major donner in the
last election, helped the mayor's coalition. that's not where we want to be spending our money when we have an affordable housing crisis, programs not fully funded for our youth to help those who don't have friends that can get them internships and can afford to do unpaid internships a chance to the some experience and get some work. >> great. so one thing that's been a real highlight for me working with field, is some of the work. a lot on money and politics through racial justice lens and putting out research and studies and drilling down and naming names and putting null and facts behind how our political system operates and disenfranchises certain communities. talk to us a little bit about the work you guys have been doing in relationship to that. >> i think i'd recommend
everyone checking out our report, stacked deck, which talks about the link between big money and politics and racial injustice in this country. i think it's important to keep in mind that austin talked about the trust gap but we will have a big racial wealth gap in this country because of a history of exclusion of people of color not just from our democracy but inclusion as well. this matters because entrenlged donner class -- hopefully this will be changing -- but entrenched donner class is less likely to prioritize the needs of people of color because they are disproportionately white. in the context of the trust gap, we know candidates of color are less likely to run for office in the first place. when they do run, they raise less money. and i think these are patterns that millennials should really seek to interrupt. scott, you've mentioned that we are the most racially diverse
generation yet. in terms of fundraising, i think this is an area where white people have an extra responsibility to show up and support candidates of color and group by people of color in a way that we probably have not historically done. i think white millennials could be leaders on that. another thing i wanted to mention is what's called our inclusive democracy project, which is a coalition between dmos and grassroots organizations, leaders from grassroots organizations around the country. these grassroots are not democracy orgs which have been traditionally very white. these are orgs working on different issue, racial justice, immigrant rights. the purpose of the ip, inclusive
democracy project it sees reforms as a tool for building political power. structural reforms like public financing of elections, automatic voter registration, restoring the rights of people to vote who have felony convictions, these are all ways that can facilitate our broader platforms and the changes we need in this country like racial justice, gender justice, economic justice. members of this idp cohort help draft the movement for black lives policy platform on political power, which i definitely recommend checking out if you haven't yet. >> great. we're going to move the last part of it. this the optimistic brighter day tomorrow portion of our talk, so you know the prompt is given that we have the opportunity first time in over 40 years that a progressive majority on the supreme court, which sets so
much of the policy we live under campaign finance and voting rights, what could be possible with a different orientation, what could be possible with different rules. fair courts angle quickly, imagine new jurisprudence where you have such expansive appreciation for someone's right to a fair trial that if a person in a case, a party to a case gives a judge receiver thousands or spends money on an attack of that judge during election season, with expansive due process mind-set, jurisprudence of the court, you'd be able to limit the amount of money that folks could put into that. we could compromise judicial bias or potentially compromise a judge's ability to remain fair and impartial. let's go to resident legal experts, talk to us about our respective organization's decision jurisprudence progressive supreme court majority 2017. >> well, maybe i'll do two
things. first of all, the organizing strategy, strategy on the ground is linked to but distinct from the strategy in the courts. we are, as everybody just explained, we are at a real moment where people are engaged with this issue. others overwhelmingly bipartisan support across the political spectrum for campaign finance reform, overwhelming recognition that citizens united is a problem and people want it overturned. historically the knock against campaign finance reform was that it was something that people cared about but not something people voted about. the intensity wasn't there. i think that really is beginning to change especially among younger people. and as austin said, there's this question of building a grizzly bear or teddy bear, what do we want this movement to look like. on the ground, it should be a grizzly bear. to a certain extent the broad
public dissatisfaction with campaign finance will have some influence on the court. but the appointment of a new justice on the supreme court is an opportunity but we don't expect the court to reverbs overnight. even liberal justice -- i shouldn't say this. the court as a whole is concerned about its own legitimacy. it's unlikely any justices are going to want to entirely want to reverse themselves. from the immediate term, opportunities are expanding -- looking for opportunities within the court's current jurisprudence. for example, going back to the buckley decision that allie mentioned earlier, campaign finance can be justified based on as a means of combating construction or the appearance of corruption. the appearance of corruption is not a fully developed theory and that can present an opportunity. justice briar in his dissent to mccutchen explained how campaign
finance laws can actually further some interests, further people's -- public's interest in self government and getting the court to expand on that and recognize that first amendment, campaign finance restrictions can advance, move us beyond this balancing test where any campaign finance law is just balanced against the supposed infringement on first amendment rights. and the legal strategy is also distinct from school desegregation and legal strategy, for example, we're not challenging existing laws. we're not trying to knock down desegregation laws. we're really trying to defend good laws. so any successful case will probably result from a challenge to an existing law and any existing law is more likely to
be upheld if it's narrowly tailored to a strong -- localized record of corruption. so those are the general principles we're looking at and thinking about moving forward as we anticipate the courts jurisprudence changing with this new justice. again, that's distinct from what's happening on the ground. at best if we do achieve the new jurisprudence we're hoping for, that's going to create an opening for new legislation. it's going to create an opening for new ballot initiatives. that's where the importance of really having people continually engage with these issues and organized around these issues and motivated. that's where it becomes so important. >> just picking up on that, completely agree with what brendan has said. i think looking at the longer term, for us we see citizens united as really useful tool to help spark activism and
movements on the ground. legally we kind of see it as the tip of the iceberg of what the court got wrong. so as early as buckley versus vallejo, the court has really put a lid on our ability to limit big money in politics. we've seen what that looks like in the current system, where wealthy candidates can spend as much money as they want on their own campaigns. wealthy individuals can spend as much as they can to elect their favorite candidates if they do so independently. and maybe more importantly a lot of really awesome potential candidates never bother even running for office because they are not taken seriously if they can't raise tons of money. so this is all on top of corporate spending on elections which was unleashed by citizens united. i think to us it's important that a new jurisprudence allows us to combat all of these problems and not confine us to a
clean government or anti-corruption lens. i think millennials see that the problems of racial and political and economic inequality are deeply connected. it's time for a court to interpret the constitution in a way that doesn't ban us from addressing these problems of that's pretty much what the current doctrine does. and all the while affording heightened privilege protections to wealthy trust. so we're optimistic that things could get better on the court. >> anyone else want to weigh in big ideas, strategies, with a new democracy jurisprudence? >> i think there will be more opportunities for local organizing to challenge a ruling over time and that's exciting. i think that's the kind of serious in the trenches campaign millennials are excited about.
let's do something that could actually lead to a challenge to citizens united or buckley or another piece of this puzzle. i also think we have a umbrellas senate that does not respect the institution of the court and confirmation process. and so, you know, we're at a point in general where we've kind of health congress in this trust that they would fulfill their duties to make sure that the balance of power remains, that we have a fully staffed, i guess, court, probably not the right word for it. and they failed. is there any punishment for that at all? the big money in this election is in the senate races and it's real out there. are millennials mobilizing for senate races? i think so. there's probably a lot more to do. until there's political consequences for breaking our government, breaking our courts, you know, it provides an incentive for them to continue those who don't think that the senate has a duty to confirm
whoever the president -- at least have hearings and consider whoever the president nominates, what's to say that's not going to continue. are we mobilized enough to really have a strong voice on that? >> okay, folks. it's time for some q&a. if you have a question, we have a microphone we can send around the room. if you would, tell us your name if you're on behalf of an organization, tell us who you're representing. the floor is open to questions. >> you guys will have to share this one to answer them. >> i was just thinking given that this election has exposed republican base represents
donner class as well, does anybody have any idea about congressional -- red, blue coalition in the upcoming congress with president clinton to take action on campaign financial reform. >> so one problem that i think as you describe and as this election really demonstrated and as polls demonstrate, the republican voters care about this issue a great deal. its republican politicians to block reform at every turn. you've seen with some of donald trump's messaging, he attacks hillary clinton as corrupt. he says she's beholden to her donors but has yet to put forward policy solutions that would address broken campaign finance system that he has in many ways correctly diagnosed. so in some ways it's a question
of whether republican voters will hold their officials to account. i described earlier that there is a bipartisan fec reform bill that possibly with a different congress could have a chance of going somewhere. disclosure is something overwhelmingly support bid republican voters as well as democratic voters. that is something the next congress could address. the question again is whether any republican officials will do what polls show that republican voters actually want. >> i think there has baseball a proposal in congress i'm not sure i would move. certainly at the local level there's more room for motion like in south dakota the ballot initiative there is a tax credit for public financing, which a lot of republicans feel really good about. there's challenges with that in terms of people with lower incomes waiting until they get the tax credit back.
meet impede their participation to some extent. but it's definitely ground zero for that question of whether we can get serious change on the ground with republican support. that is both in south dakota and in washington state the hub financing proposals there or vouchers or credits, and they have significant republican support at the grassroots level pushing those. >> all right. next question. >> alliance for justice. one thing i hadn't thought about and brendan made the appointment. basically to get citizens underoverturned you need a case. in this case we're not really worried about laws on hand gay marriage and civil rights, challenging bad ones.
here we're trying to defend halfway decent ones. why would conservative advocacy take this to court when it's a lose lose for them. how would it get overturned? >> interesting. >> great question. >> that's a good question. >> you've consistently seen conservative legal advocacy groups challenge campaign finance laws and even challenge campaign finance laws that have been on the books for a long time. it's a question you have to ask to a group like center for competitive politics. it is a good question. >> allie, any thoughts on that? pick your legal brain? >> it's a great question. i would echo everything brendan said. i think, hope they simply can't contain themselves. >> it's not a unified structure. these folks aren't always
working in such tight quarters. there is an anti-democracy feel to having a comparable event like this down the street. >> public anyway. >> right. >> put it that way. anybody else? >> actually just a brief response to that comment. two strategies could bring challenges. one would be getting small locality to pass a law that would that case, defensive action, if and when that is challenging. that would raise the opportunity. the other option provides -- failure to act, acting contrary to law, actually property this kind of action, trying to get
the change, facing a court case, through that get a court to reconsider. >> anybody want to respond to that? i mean, i would say free speech for people is pursuing both those avenues right now. we have a complaint at the fec challenges decision created super pacs. folks in st. petersburg, florida, piece of legislation passed could provide challenge to the decision that created super pacs and take a shot at citizens united. okay. so other questions? we have a few more minutes. >> rio, american way. wonderful panel. my question is in regards to enganling donors. it being the case we have billionaires like warren buffett and facebook founders basically pledging to give the majority of their wealth away. what do you think it will take
for some of that money to go towards structural democracy reforms and overturn citizens united or any number of things we've talked about tonight given the fact that so many of the concerns of not just millennials but the country in general can be traced back to the influence of money in politics. >> i don't know if you can hear me without a microphone. i would say the short answer is it's going to take time to get folks there. one reason it's going to take some patience because unfortunately a lot of tech donors right now who are emerging and are going to far surpass the older money in the philanthropic landscape, they have not been engaged at the
level they should up until this point around these type of bedrock issues. there's a massive transfer of wealth from baby boomers going to millennials in the ballpark area of over a trillion dollars. so now is the time to take the patient steps to cultivate real relationships with donors, some of whom might be inheriting wealth in this room that we don't know. they are beginning to shape their world view. it's important to get them when they are in spaces like this as young folks. it takes a lot of donner education. there's a statistic on this around focusing on these donors when they are young. that is that the "new york times" and catalyst did a study that shows political ev that high pressure at the age of 18 are three times as powerful as events that happen at the age of 40. so if you want to change and fix this issue you're addressing, we really have to start younger down the pipeline. there's a network called
resource generation that's focused on finding young high net worth individuals and bringing them together and solid air which does movement work, meetings with tech donors in the bay area recently trying to cultivate those relationships. that's the one factor. the second is a lot of direct action and continuing to change public sentiment. when occupy wall street got on the scene back in 2011 and people sapg 99% and 1%, that polarizing kind of action for better or worse, depending on your perspective did draw a lot of young donors to the side of the 99% where their moral conscious was touched. i'd say a combination of donner education with long-term kind of view of relationships that need to be built there. and then secondly, sometimes it
will take holding high net worth individual donors and corporations' feet to the fire about their relationship to our democracy. >> anybody else? thoughts on that? okay. we've got time for one more question if it's out there. any last minute burning questions? okay. well, this has been a presentation of the american -- we have one more? go ahead. >>. >> potential future student at gw. i was curious with the lack of diversity on our federal benches, what role do you think that plays? i know you said earlier but what do you think that continues to play in campaign finance laws?
do you think it's necessary for us to change the diversity, change campaigns? >> yeah. it's a great question. i think there is probably a degree to which they are intertwined or interrelated. certainly the u.s. supreme court's decision in cases like citizens united was entirely detached from reality. i don't believe any current sitting justices were elected officials. they haven't gone through a campaign. they don't knowow a campaign -- really don't know how campaign finance can operate. there are assumptions in that case and in cases like mccutchen where entirely off base. and similarly to the degree to which the justices are unrepresentative of the country as a whole, there is going to be a lack of recognition about how
their decisions impact the country as a whole. i think the two are very much interrelated. anybody else? >> enough said. okay, folks. this is a product of american constitution society d.c. lawyer chapter. thank you for coming out. could we have our board members put your hands up in the room? folks, these are chapter ambassadors. find them, engage them. buy them a drink at the bar. thank all of you for coming and being here with us, gw, the space, c-span for providing coverage of it. you are all now free to quietly into your pillows after watching the presidential debate. thank you. [ applause ] >> if you guys didn't get food, there's plenty left in the room right over there. >> a couple of tweets from the campaign trail today. hillary clinton says she's feeling great today. her 69th birthday.
she celebrated earlier with a cake from staff and boarded her plane for tampa, florida. meanwhile donald trump and his family cut the ribbon for the luxury hillary clinton continues campaigning in florida as that state begins early voting this week. c-span will bring you her rally in tampa live at 2:45 eastern. a bloomberg poll released today has donald trump ahead by two points in florida. republican vice-presidential nominee mike pence is holding a rally in salt lake city, utah, as polls show the normally republican state is coming into play for hillary clinton. you can see that event live on c-span2 at 5:30 eastern. joining us on the phone from new york is kellyanne conway,
the campaign manager for the trump-pennsylvania ticket. things for being with us. we appreciate. >> hello, steve. it's my pleasure. >> on sunday you told chuck todd we're behind with two weeks to go before the election. how do you get ahead? >> we're behind slightly, one, two, four points in some of the statewide polls, up in others, particularly states where barack obama carried the state twice. we feel really good about that. these were states that john mccain and mitt romney did not carry and mr. trump is putting together some really good numbers in those states. the way we get ahead is for mr. trump to keep doing what he's done all along, the big rallies, the round tables in the swing states, taking his message directly to the people. he can't really wait to gemany in the mainstream media to give him fair coverage. we do have paid advertising. nothing of the scale hillary clinton has. she's running a conventional campaign and i believe an unconventional candidate like
mr. trump, an unconventional approach -- lots of the folks out there think that the crowds at the rallies don't matter. i will tell you the enthusiasm and the -- it never abates. no matter what the media stories are, no matter how many victory lapse hillary clinton and her friends are taking. folks are showing up strong for each trump event. that's got to mean something. all of those folks will vote. if you're waiting in line for hours to say you were there when he was there, that you're part of the movement, then of course you're going to come out and vote. we also like some of the returns in the early voting that we see, particularly in places like north carolina, iowa, ohio, somewhat in florida. in other words we're focusing on the fact that the rnc has helped us tremendously to have absentee ballot, early voting system in place and the field operation, they've been incredibly helpful in helping us beef up those aspects of the campaign and
we're starting to see the fruits of that. when early returns are coming in. >> the real clear politics average in states like florida, pennsylvania, new hampshire give the edge to hillary clinton. in ohio right now donald trump only up one percentage point within the margin of error. >> that's what campaigns are for. we see mrs. clinton below 50 everywhere. the national polls don't matter as much but in the credible ones, it's a tighter race. you see the nbc poll five points nationwide. you see the cnn poll yesterday, five points nationwide. but she's never at 50 in these state polls. and it just suggests to me if you represent the system, represent the status quo, more of the same, it's unlikely that those truly undecided voters are going to break your way. what is america? what are the undecided voters going to learn about hillary clinton between now and election day that they don't already know?
something is holding them back. for those voters, many have decided i'm not voting for hillary clinton and now they want the final, i think the closing argument to vote for donald trump. i think he did a great job in gettysburg and since then in this multi-stop state tour of florida in the last couple of days talking about his vision for the first president. it's a meaty plan, it's specific. you can go to our website or his twitter feed and look at it for themselves. ten years, releasing energy investment, educational reform, defeating terrorism certainly, respecting law enforcement, a specific plan to repealing and replace obamacare. the big news today is that obamacare is a very bad deal for many americans. you have a 25% premium increase coming down the pipe from one of the largest insurers and that hurts. it's what we've always said about obamacare. it's the best example of how
intrusive the government has become for many americans. >> you've been asked this so often, the number one criticism of donald trump is he's not been disciplined enough. you mentioned the gettysburg speech. he talked about the at&t and time warner merger. his own accusers stepping on what was his major policy speech on his first 100 days. when you talk to mr. trump, what the you tell him about that? >> well, first of all i think he has the right to defend himself. and those are his words, it's his campaign. this has to be his choice and his voice. so i'm always respectful of that. secondly, i think donald trump is at his best when he sticks to the issues. when you go to his rallies, listening to the voters at the polls or the focus groups that's what they want to hear. he had an advantage over hillary clinton. the issues are in his favor. she cannot say that obamacare has been a great deal for most americans. many people feel lower quality, fewer choices, higher prices,
less access. she can't say that they've contained or stopped isis from expanding. that's not true. she can't disavow her own record on the russian reset. so the issues really benefit him. the second thing he has going for him is she doesn't see much interest in talking about the issues. if you look at her negative ads, her entire campaign is about donald trump. that's not a campaign or ideas or aspiration or optimism. nothing uplifting. just a cesspool of politics and i believe many voters will reject that. donald trump outperformed a number of his polling averages in the primaries and i think at the last minute folks are saying, who am i if not a change maker. i've been telling pollsters forever i want to take the country and washington, d.c. in a new direction, here's my chance to do that. i'm going to leverage that chance and go to donald trump. >> on wednesday, governor mike pence will be in salt lake city
campaigning. this is a state that's not voted for a democrat since 1964 when lyndon johnson won in a landslide. are you worried about utah? >> we want to make sure -- mr. mullen, the independent candidate does not win utah. he's running for president but he spends an awful lot of time there. the never trumpers that put him in that position want to choke off the trump-pence path to 270 through utah which has been a very red state. as you say, if you get a candidate who shares a lot in the state with people to bring in the state almost exclusively, you can get him up to 31, 32, in a true three-way race, anybody can win. so it's also a state where governor pence has a friend in senator lee and where he
recently talked in the education reform senate. he's on his way to colorado and nevada as well. he's stopping in utah. i also take nothing for granted. that's my job. and my job also not to chase every good promising statewide poll and go and deploy our best resources there, meaning governor pence and mr. trump. we're trying to do a tighter electoral map than candidates have done in the past. i look toward the obama 2012 effort as a partial model in that even though some of the states that president obama and his team it looked like they had foregone started to look much better for him, he started to improve against governor romney in those states but he didn't visit those states. they kept him competitive. they wanted to seal the deal in the places he was more competitive. it was a smart strategy. he's a two-term president. >> this fall, snl, a skit on you, kellyanne conway's day off. your reaction to what "saturday night live" did.
>> very flattering, affectionate and adorable. meant to be a parody. as my cousin said to me, boy, they really followed you around for three days. on the family side it captured my life and chaos and blessings of four children and a busy household well. i think "saturday night live" is doing a nice job -- kate is doing a nice job transferring her skills between hillary clinton and me. that can't be easy. it was done with good humor. we had a nice laugh about it. >> how how about alec baldwin playing your boss? >> he seems to be a meaner donald trump. i think the other donald trump was a little more of the donald trump i know. and obviously the kate mckinnon as hillary clinton character is supportive of hillary clinton in real life and alec baldwin is not supportive of donald trump.
so there's something to that when you're portraying someone. some of the comedy writing is good. i think if people could see the gracious donald trump, the funny, humorous donald trump that i do. the folks in the rally do see that. the media coverage is not interested in how much time he spent after the rallies signing posters, shaking hands and hugging kids. he loves that. that's his oxygen. he loves mixing it up with people. and to me that's everything a candidate should be. so i hope that that is -- even when people are going to cover what he treated that day or what he said, i hope that in the whole thing, folks are getting that essence of donald trump as well. >> kellyanne conway the manager
of the trump-pence campaign joining us on the phone. thank you for being with us. >> thank you, steve. all the best. on election day, november 8th, the nation decide our next president and which party controls the house and senate. stay with c-span for coverage of the presidential race, including campaign stops with hillary clinton, donald trump and their surrogates. and follow key house and senate races with our coverage of their candidate debates and speeches. c-span, where history unfolds daily. american history tv primetime continues while congress is on break until after the november elections. tonight the civil war and reconstruction. it begins at 8:00 eastern with the war in gettysburg, then ulysses grant after the civil war. also, people's refugee camps and reconstruction in the north. american history tv in prime time on c-span3 all this week at 8:00 eastern.
>> next a hearing on what the affects the brexit can have on the union. >> order order. the first session with the new secretary of the state. congratulations on your appointments. >> thank you. >> obviously this first formal session with the committee. and it's a desire in that sense to be more open session than it might usually be, inquiring into particular subjects, obviously associated with everything that is going on. and, of course, we are rather
limited in the time you have available for the committee, so that is going to limit t subject coverage to a degree. and we will also then want to get the opportunity and come back. this is going to be a long game relationship. hopefully for both our sakes for some time. but i thought it would be appropriate to invite you to give us an opening statement. not for too long so we can get into the interrogative session. >> thank you. >> lay out things for about ten minutes, and then i'll ask my colleagues to begin questions. >> thank you very much, mr. blunt. a few years ago, i was traveling in the gulf region on a trade trip, and i was having lunch. and a sheikh who was my host turned to me and he said, what happened to you guys?
you used to run this place, he said. actually, he was quite right because the british flag had only come down in that particular country in living memory. and yet we had faded from the scene. whether it was because of the loss of confidence or dennis healy's despairing decision to chop uk influence east of suez, we somehow became less present in that country, politically, culturally, commerciallynd others had moved in. and as my host put it to me, with slight mystification, you left us to the french. and mr. blunt, members of the foreign affairs committee, i am here to tell you this morning, insofar as that was ever true of the uk, that neglect is being reversed with astonishing speed, as i'm sure members of your committee know. our trade with the gulf is booming. it's one of the fastest growing
areas of trade for the uk now. our relations in that area are better than ever. and after a period in which the labor government all but ignored that region, i didn't think gordon brown ever made an official visit to the country i'm speaking of. our prime minister will this year become the first female guest of honor at the gulf cooperation council summit, or so i'm told. the reason for this growing engagement by the uk is at least partly that it's under william haig, my predecessor, philip hammond and under this administration with the strong support of the prime minister, we have a foreign commonwealth office that is more energetic and outward looking and more engaged with the world than at any time in decades. and that outward looking spirit is present not just in the gulf but across the world.
and i think it's going to intensify as we extricate ourselves from the eu treaty and we forge a new identity as the prime minister has said as a global britain. and i mean global because it is vital to understand what brexit is and what it is not. yes, it means restoring our democracy and control of our laws and our borders and a fair bit of cash. but brexit is emphatically not any kind of mandate for this country to turn in on itself to haul up the drawbridge or to detach itself from the international community. and i know as a former mayor of this city how vastly our capital and our whole economy has profited from london's role and the uk's role as a lone star and a magnet for talent.
and i believe there is no inconsistency whatever between the desire to take back control of our borders and the need to be open to skills from around the world. there is absolutely no inconsistency between ending the supremacy of eu law in this country as we will and being a major contributor to the security and stability and economic prosperity of the whole european region. we are leaving the eu. we are not leaving europe. and over the last three months, i've been struck by how little i am asked about brexit and how swiftly the conversation moves on to some other aspect of the uk's global role. and in an age of uncertainty with democracy in retreat in some parts of the world, large parts of the middle east in chaos, the demand is for more britain, not less.
and we can see that demand now almost tragically and effectively in syria where the people of aleppo are hoping desperately that we and our allies may be able to do something to alleviate their suffering in the face of the barbaric assaults of the assad regime with the -- of russia and iran. and i must tell you at this stage it is vital that we do not raise false hopes. we know the difficulties and the implications of a no-fly zone or no bombing zone, and no matter how easy those concepts may sometimes be made to sound, but if there is more that we can reasonably and practically do together with our allies, then, of course, we should consider those measures and, believe me, that work is now going on. but we should also take pride in
what we are already doing. the second biggest donor of humanitarian aid to the region, after the u.s. we fund the white helmets who dragged people from the rubble after the air strikes and who have themselves suffered terrible casualties. i've seen the work of british police training local syrian police so that they are able to build public trust in the areas occupied by the moderate opposition. we're helping to clear mines and shells and we should never forget that it is thanks at least partly to the raf crews flying repeated missions over iraq and syria. that we have helped reduce by 50% the territory of daesh in iraq and 20% their footprint in syria. so whether it's through hard power in that way or through soft power, i think we sometimes
forget in this country how much britain is contributing around the world. helping to bring peace in colombia. helping to get rid of the pirates off the coast of somalia. leading the campaign to save the african elephant now perilously endangered. from the same bands of gangsters, by the way, involved in the people trafficking that's helping to fuel the migration crisis. you look around the world and you see that this country is a massive force for good. an increasingly uncertain world, a world that's been deprived of leadership. and the values that we try to project, whether through our embassies or through british consul or through the british companies or 5 million or 6 million brits who live abroad
which is a bigger diaspora than any other rich country in the world. i think those values are not just good in themselves. when i speak of british values, i mean democracy, free speech, independent judiciary, qualities, rule of law, anticorruption support for the civil society. they're good in themselves. they're ideals. but they're also economically advantageous for the areas in which -- the countries in which we try to protect them. you look around this city and this economy, i think it's pretty obvious that it provides the proof that political and social liberty are essential for sustainable economic prosperity. and that is one of the missions of global britain. but i think an outward looking britain is, above all, good for us. it's good for britain because we are about, in the next few
years, to be liberated to go across the world and do a new set of free trade deals. an extremely exciting prospect. and to get back to the beginning of my remarks, we will be going out again to places where perhaps people haven't seen so much of us in the past in places where they thought we had forgotten about them. and we have a superb fco network to help make it happen. we have more reach than our friends in france. more -- bigger network of embassies at only 70% of the cost. and, finally, one of the biggest privileges of my job in the last few months to meet our people who represent the uk to the world. they seem to me in my advanced years, they seem amazingly young, idealistic, very often intellectually brilliant like the two people on either side of me, and i believe they are excited about the challenge of
projecting global britain and they have a -- they have a confidence, a real confidence, an optimism that i think comes with the knowledge that they are speaking for a soft power superpower. thank you very much. >> thank you very much. just before i invite colleagues to put questions to you, how we're going to manage this is colleagues will have the opportunity to interrogate you on whatever subject they wish for. ten minutes or so and then i will come in and ask my questions at the end. i want to pick up one point out of your opening remarks. where i think i would recognize that the renewed focus on the gulf started under lord haig, but all of that optimistic view about the reach of the foreign office and how energetic and active it is is completely
contradicted by the utterly dire resources situation your department finds itself in. perhaps you can explain how on earth you're going to pay for these splendid aspirations given the fact that half your budget now appears to be constrained to areas most expensive. 0.7% of development expenditure that the british council budget has been cut from your department. it is the view of this committee that you were going to need to double or triple the resources available if we're to meet these aspirations post-brexit, which i think the committee would no doubt share. but what comfort can you give us that you're going to actually be able to spend money in places like in europe, reinforcing our bilateral relations in the wake of brexit.
because it doesn't appear to be any money kicking around. >> i think i would make a few points. obviously, in certain circumstances we have to make our money go further than before. we do. we have a bigger network. we're doing extremely well. we can be very proud of what we're -- excuse me. the budget of the overall -- the budget is rising from $1.1 billion to 1.24 billion by '19, '20. where you're spot on, if i may say, mr. blunt, is in pointing to the very considerable sums that are available to -- for oda for dividend spending. we obviously have quite a lot of oda spend that we do ourselves, but the game now is to make sure
that uk oda funds are used in such a way, not just to serve development goals as they undoubtedly must, but also to make sure they mesh and chime with our diplomatic and political objectives. i find no contradiction in that approach. and that's something the government at all levels -- >> secretary, just to pick that point up, that's fine but that only applies to those countries that are subject to development assistance. you can't spend that money elsewhere. so it's all very well having money there but where our game needs to be raised is with the rest of the world where our principle existing markets are
going to be, obviously reinforcing the work of the international trade department. but you can't do this on fresh air. and what you havis fresh air to do this on to meet these aspirations. >> i know that you gave my predecessor quite a grilling about this when he last appeared before you, and he made a good point that he couldn't imagine bidding for more funds himself, since he's now the chancellor. i'm inclined to camp out as they say in the front office on what he had to say. >> all right. john byron. >> foreign secretary, in welcoming you to your post, can we kick off, it may not surprise you, with brexit. to many of us, the referendum gave a very clear message, and that is we're leaving. the government's position is very clear on this. we're going to take back control on immigration. we're going to introduce a fairer immigration policy that
no longer discriminates against the rest of the world outside the eu and we're going to obtain the best deal in accessing eu markets. it's a nonsense that there is so much noise about this, one could argue, given that 170 other odd countries can trade from outside the us, there's no reason this economy can't as well. what do you say to the alarmists? some would perhaps, unfairly perhaps, call them ramoners who believe that we're heading to hell in a hand basket, and what would you say to those who are genuinely concerned about developments and the uncertainty this is creating? >> i think that those who prophesy doom before the referendum have been proved wrong, and they'll continue to be proved wrong.
i think, obviously, it will take time before the full benefits of brexit appear because after all, we haven't even begun the process of leaving. so the whole thing is really very artificial and speculative. i do think that businesses investing in the uk can have the maximum possible certainty and assurance that our partners, our friends across the channel have a huge interest in doing the best possible deal in goods and services for the sake of their companies and our friends in the political world across the channel have a symmetrical interest in doing a deal that will be for the benefit of their constituents and the people who elect them. and that's a deal that's going to be -- that's going to promote the growth and prosperity of the uk and the eu.
and i'm sure that's what we'll produce. that's how we'll -- that's how it will end up. >> perhaps we should take comfort from the fact that the very deem predicting doom and gloom if he didn't join the euro, or left the ern, many are predicting doom and gloom now. perhaps that's comfort we can take. can i drill down on negotiations? one fully understands that a roving commentary makes for poor outcomes. and despite the siren calls of certain members ever of this play, it's difficult to think th can take place. the government has made clear that won't take place. there will be scrutiny perhaps but no roving commentary. but the eu's position itself is quite interesting. they are very much, and have been put it on record, that they are linking immigration with access to single market. they say it's one before founding principles if you like. it's nonnegotiable.
you've described that approach as baloney. something i -- say again? >> mei wi. >> absolutely. there's a disconnect, how are we going to get around this, do you think? >> thank you very much for that question. i genuinely think there's a false connection, an unnecessary linkage in all these concepts. i vividly remember being ordered by the belgian interior minister in 1989 to leave the country. they tried to deport me when i went to work abroad because i couldn't produce what was then called a [ speaking in foreign language ] i had to show i was economically viable in belgium and i have to go to the commune with a letter proving that i had a job. now this was, as you'll all appreciate, many years after the treaty of rome and after the european act.
so the idea that the brownian movement of individuals, of citizens across the surface of europe is somehow there on tablets of stone in brussels is complete nonsense. it is a fiction. we are taking back control of our borders, as we said we would, and that's what we'll do. it doesn't mean, as i said in my opening remarks, that we are get that we are going to be hostile to people of talent who want to come live and work here. it's very important that we continue to send out a signal of openness and welcome to the many brilliant people who helped to drive the london economy and the uk economy. >> is there one, though, naughty problem that we've got to face and we haven't quite faced up to it or perhaps we have behind
closed doors? and that is opposition ostensibly is access to the single market. and one can understand that. at the same time, we're going to be repealing the european community's act. it's that act that gave force to the eu court of justice which has jurisprudence with regard to single market. there's a little bit of a disconnect there. how are you going to square that circle? >> the prime minister made it clear a couple of weeks ago when she said the uk will be leaving the eu and thereby, we'll be leaving the number of the european court of justice. we'll no longer be subject to european community, european union law. and that's the key point. we will get the best possible deal for goods and services for the uk and the rest of the eu. >> okay. following on from that then, then it sounds to many of us and
this holds no fear from many of our points of view, that we would be prepared if all else fails in negotiations to fall back on wto rules and tariffs. now your fellow secretary of state for leaving the eu said that holds no fears. you know, if 170 countries can trade on such a basis and tariffs are as low as 3% to 5%, the most favored nation status, et cetera, et cetera, i'm picking up here that it certainly holds no fears for you. >> you're tempting to get me into running commentary about negotiations. i'm not going to -- i think we can do a great deal that will deliver a result of both goods and services for our businesses and for our friends -- >> you wouldn't disagree with your fellow secretaries of state in saying wto holds no fears?
>> as i said, i think it will be getting into the minutia of the negotiations. >> let's move on very quickly. >> i think there will be a great deal done. >> eu divisions, something we're not picking up on. i've raised it on the floor of the house before. but what's your take. quite understandably, the spotlight is on the negotiating position. as you look across at the eu, it's quite an interesting situation. you have an emerging split, a growing split, in fact, between the ideologists within the eu commission and elected politicians who realize that courtesy of the balance of trade in their favor, playing hardball may not be in their best interest. what can you tell us with that situation as you see it? >> i understand that point, and i've heard it quite a lot. i think it's important not to -- i haven't actually tested that proposition yet with some of the key commission people.
but my impression is they are faithful servants of europe and the eu, and they will ultimately do what they consir to be in the best interest of the entire union, and i think that will be a deal that is beneficial to the electorates, people of europe. and that's where they'll end up. of course, a certain amount of plaster has come off the ceiling in brussels since the vote. of course people feel they have a project. a fascinating article in the ft this morning by the french prime minister in which he spelled out this. why the vote to leave? and he very emphatically spelled out his vis for a united states of europe, a federal system with very defined boundaries. i'm afraid, not an ideal to which i think the british people really aspire. and i think we did the right thing, and i think we can make
it work. >> do you think relations a few years out can improve in the eu? no longer will they have to contend with those awkward brits, the thorn in their side as they merge toward a closer political union? it could make for a closer relationship? >> of course. i'm so glad to hear you speak in those terms. i think europe is at its best when it's positive about the work it's engaged on. sets itself a deadline. i think we should view the whole brexit process as a positive thing. we are sorting out the uk problem. and ter all, there has been a problem for decades. we decided to stay out of state street and monetary union. that was the basic moment of divergent. i think all else really flowed from that. what we saw on june the 23rd was the logical conclusion of that
divergence, that basic drift by the british people away from that ideal which is articulated by the french prime minister in the paper this morning. we don't want to be part of such a construct. and we've always made it clear. it's always been very tense. we said we don't agree with this. we don't agree with the jurisdiction of the european court of justice over this or that. and to a certain extent, some other countries have shielded their own apprehensions behind us. but it's up to them now to get on and take the thing forward. >> finally on brexit, can i just reinforce what christian said earlier, our chairman, about resources? it's going to be -- many of us believe that actually the fc is unresourced as it is.
we've been poorly cited in many of our interventions. some of us have a particular view of those interventions. put that to one side. the resources are going to be even more needed now as we become truly globalist as we look outward facing. not just to the eu but outside the eu. an increase in the budget of, what, 140 million pounds. you know very well, foreign secretary, is a drop in the ocean compared to what is required. how forceful are you going to be in lobbying for more funds within -- from where you sit? >> first of all, i'm grateful to the committee for the tenor of your arguments because they are most welcome to us and, clearly, we want to be arguing that a global britain needs to be properly represented overseas. i think we can make that go a long way. very thrifty types in the foreign office. we'll make good use of that. but, clearly, we have a big
network, or a robust network that needs to be properly funded. >> thank you for joining us and thank you to your colleagues for coming along. some of them refer to them as unelected bureaucrats but we don't on this committee. >> sorry to interrupt you, but the ones that i -- far be it to criticize bureaucrats. the unelected ones are the ones who shortly cease to have control -- >> all right. okay. >> these are the ones who will survive. >> all right. okay. so these bureaucrats are okay as are the ones -- in terms of your analogy on you guys going off and running the place. i'm going to take you at face value that was about trade than any other foreign policy. and one of the great attractions, obviously, to our partners overseas is access and membership of the single market. do you still believe we should
retain membership? just a yes or no, foreign secretary. >> let's be clear that we are go the to get a deal that will be -- i think the terms as the prime minister herself said, the term single market is increasingly useless. we'll get a deal that will be of huge value and possibly greater value if you look at what is still unachieved in services, for instance, in goods and services for our friends on the continent and for business investing in -- i make these wearisome points but we're the single biggest consumers of french champagne and italian proseco. we're indiscriminate. we drink both more than anybody else. we import more german cars than any other country.
there is -- this is a wonderful fact. and we are going to continue to do that. and any attempt to, as it were, to punish uk financial services or -- i don't think as the former governor of the bank of england said this morning -- it doesn't make economic sense for europe. in the end, as i -- >> that's not quite the question i asked. and also, as you'll be aware, forgive me for mentioning the french drink more whiskey in a month than cognac in a year. and i suspect that's not going to stop either. and the question i asked was, is it -- do you think we should retain membership of the single market, or is it your negotiating objective to retain membership for single market? that's a simple question without getting into so much for buying and selling -- >> i think we are going to get the best possible deal for -- >> you can't tell me -- >> i think that, as i said, i
think the most useful thing i can say to you is that the phrase single market probably is one that not many people really understand. and i think that -- >> i presume you understand? >> there are many countries, as mr. baron pointed out that sell very effectively into the single market, and that's what we'll do. >> so we'll be outside the single market? >> we'll get the best possible deal for trade of goods and services. >> so you don't know if we'll be in the single market? that's what i take. what a take from the secretary of state from leaving the european union. nobody appears to have a scooby about what's going to happen. i'll tell you -- i'll do it one last time. is it even your objective to retain membership of the single market? >> we are leaving the european union. >> that's not quite what i asked. >> you seem to think the single
market is sort of like, you know, the groucho club or something. we are leaving the european union. we will continue to have access for trade and goods and services to the eu. it will be to the benefit of both sides. >> you don't know, don't care, don't give a scooby. this is something i am pushing for as well. which commissioners have you met with since you took office? >> i've principally had dealings with johannes harn and vice-president hara parinta and commissioner mogarini. they deal with the foreign affairs. >> and i appreciate your candor on that. yesterday there was a question to the secretary of state for -- >> i am allowed to meet these people. >> -- about which commissioners he met with. i suspect it's an important
relationship to have over the coming months and two years and once you've triggered article 50. he said he can't tell because that's part of the negotiating strategy. will ministers be open to tell us which commissioners they're talking to? >> i'm sure they'll have no inhibitions about meeting. they are very open and, in my view, charming people. they want to engage with us. and my relations with them is really good. we've had some very good conversations. >> okay. look, as part of this, do you still adhere to what the prime minister said when she met with first minister of scotland that there should be an agreed position with devolved administrations before any agreement is signed? an agreed position. >> it is certainly the case that the devolved administrations, the overseas territories, they will all be, of course, properly consulted in the course of the negotiations. >> right.
but will there be an agreed position? again, foreign secretary, i'm asking you questions. i'm not sure i'm getting any answers. we've had a week of that in the chamber. will there be an agreed position with the devolved administrations? >> well, i can tell you that the devolved administrations will certainly play a role. they'll be consulted. but this is a united kingdom. competence is something decided by the people of the uk. you'd expect them, you'd expect the government of the united kingdom to be the lead in the negotiations. just one interesting reflection on all of this sort of consultation of parliament and consultation with the devolved administrations and so on. i have seen plenty of european negotiations and treaty negotiations. and at no stage in the run-up to the climax of those negotiations has there been any attempt to pre-agree a position with
parliament, let alone with the regions or their administrations. >> sure. but there is -- on the point of process you are saying there will not be an agreed position. they'll merely be consulted which goes against what the prime minister told the first minister at the very start of this. has there been movement on devolved administrations? >> i think i have answered the question. >> right, okay. let me ask you one further question on this if you can't answer that question. you talked about entering this eu law. is there any law that david cameron signed up to with his european partners that you wouldn't have signed up to as a full member of the council of ministers? >> i think the treaty of lisbon was a step too far. and i think it was a great mistake. and i think that we should have rejected it. i think he unnecessarily
expanded eu competence and what it got wrong was the extension of eu competence to the field of human rights. and the notion that this great european charter of fundamental rights should not be -- that sets up a great deal of confusion with the court of human rights. and it, in my view, leads to all sorts of extensions of eu judicial activism in areas that i think are totally wrong. so that would be an example of the kind of area where i might have disagreed with the previous administration. >> i think it's an area we disagree on as well. having a common set of human rights across this continent is a good thing. because i'm nearly out of time, i want to ask you briefly about syria. i'm mindful of that, chairman. in terms of syria, can you outline for me -- i mean, obviously, i think the uk has a
responsibility to protect civilians. but a part of that is trying to get broader and political agreement. can you tell me of any mapping that you've done of political factions in syria and any options you're exploring at the moment for political agreement? >> well, you'll be familiar with the various maps that currently exist of the divisions of syria and the -- >> sorry, when i say mapping, i mean of the wide variety of different groups that exist. >> one of the bits of work that we led on, the uk has led on is building up a broad-based opposition group called the high negotiations committee, which is led by a gentleman called dr. ria hijab who came to london on the 7th of september with his team. they were pretty widely drawn from syrian opposition groupings. military, civil society and so on. and they laid out a case for the transition away from assad and
the kind of syria they wanted to see. and it was very compelling. democratic, pluralistic, i think higher quota for female representation than there currently exists in the torry party today. and it was very -- certainly -- it was very progressive. and our ambition is to try to get the russians and the assad regime to desist from their violence in aleppo, to get back to a cease-fire, and to renew the negotiations in geneva. and in that context, those opposition groups, i believe, do carry a lot of credibility. and when they speak, you can see a future for syria that does not include assad. because that is the question
that the -- that is constantly put to us. who can replace assad? well, there are answers. >> i did ask about mapping. i know i'm out of time. maybe the foreign secretary, it's a bigger question. you can write to the committee with some of the details about the work that's being conducted on mapping. >> very glad to do so. >> good morning, foreign secretary. delighted to see you in your new role. there's one word that's been missing from this morning's discussion that i've not heard from your lips, and that is the word commonwealth. lord haig said there was going the sea back to the fco. not much happened after that. what is the new foreign secretary intending to do to ensure the common wealth is paramount in our long-term planning and thinking for trade, cooperation and friendship? >> the commonwealth -- thank you, mr. rosindell. i know you've long ba