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tv   Discussion on Role of State Attorney General  CSPAN  November 18, 2021 4:57pm-5:53pm EST

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democracy. >> download c-span's mobile app and stay up-to-date with the coverage of the day's events with live streams from the house and senate floor and key congressional hearings to white house events and supreme court oral arguments, even our live interactive morning program, washington journal, where we hear your voices every day. c-span now has you covered. download the app for free today. >> next, a look at the current state of politics and the role of state attorneys general with former new york attorney general robert abrams and current attorney general letitia james. >> well, good evening, everyone. thank you all for coming.
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i have the honor and privilege of being with my mentor, rob abrams, who has taught me so much and inspired me. and this book, i hope all of you read the forwards. >> great book. outstanding. >> it was my honor and privilege to write the forward. it's an inspiring book and a book that underscores your value. we find ourselves in a very dark moment in history in our country. my first question to you, mr. abrams is what do you think about what's happening in our country? what are your thoughts? >> well, it's distressing, and obviously it also has spilled over into politics but i think
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it's incumbent upon people like you and i to dissipate that and to say there is an alternative. your career, my career, our values are those reaching out. i was going to ask you what things are like today when i was attorney general i had the good fortune of being the president of the national association of attorneys general. and there wasn't partisanship. there were republicans that were very conservative, moderate democrats, liberals and yet we all worked together. we were properties and sisters in a common cause in trying to help our constituents, utilize the powers of the attorney general office to protect.
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and it didn't matter whether we were democrats or republicans, whether we represented a large state or a small state. and we collaborated together. in fact, we did things that were never done before. we worked together having joint prosecutions. and so it's distressing to see what's going on in the country. but you and i can demonstrate, you know, to large numbers of people in the public that it can be different and to encourage young people to enter politics. not to be discouraged by it. there's a lot that can cause somebody to say, gee, i don't want to go near that stuff. >> right. >> so obviously it's bad. there's gridlock in washington and things don't get done.
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one of the exciting things for me in being attorney general was the fact that you could actually do things that were important to people, you know? you didn't have to rely upon a congress to pass a law. you can bring a lawsuit that could return millions of dollars to consumers. you can bring a lawsuit that could cleanup the environment. you could bring a lawsuit that protected womens reproductive freeds. you had the power to decide when to bring that lawsuit, how to resolve that lawsuit, whether it should be a civil investigation lawsuit or empanel a grand jury. that's what made the attorneys general office so exciting. and i'm excited to see you in that office because you're carrying on that tradition. you've become a leader and i'm sure you share my view it's a great privilege to have the opportunity. >> it's an honor and a
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privilege. we're going to talk a bit about public policy and the role of attorney general shortly. but it's entitled the luckiest guy in the world. not in the state, not in the nation. what makes you the luckiest guy in the world? >> a lot of things. >> okay. >> first of all, my family. my wife we're celebrating 47 years of marriage. [ applause ] >> got two daughters who produced eight grandchildren for us. i never thought that would be the case. i consider myself lucky because i had an opportunity to serve the people of new york in three different offices. i was a 27-year-old kid just two years out of law school and the people of my assembly and district gave me a chance to come to albany to serve in the
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legislature. what a privilege. that was lucky for me because i had the chance to do things on behalf of the public interest. i wept to see a doctor and he told me i had a malignant tumor and serious cancer situation. and it wound up to be a tumor that weighed 25 pounds, and i was under the knife for over 6 hours and had 12 pints of blood and transfusion, and here i am pretty healthy today 12 years later. so a lot that made me lucky not just as the luckiest guy in new york but in the world. >> so we both come from humble
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beginnings. you from the bronx and me for brooklyn. i refer to it as b squared. the attorney general, former borough president, former assembly member. what about your upbringing? >> you know, the first day i served as attorney general, a guy named stan brooks he was a reporter and he came to interview me and i was at the trade center at the time, the 47th floor. and he said what's it like being attorney general? and i said, stan, i'm looking out the window and there is the statue of liberty. what a country. my grandparents were escaping oppression from eastern europe, and they came on a ship. i don't even think they saw the statue. they were probably down -- my
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family all lived in the bronx. my aunt, my uncle, my grandparents were nearby. my father would talk about how it was tough for his parents to come here as immigrants to create a new life. it was the days of the sweatshop, terrible working conditions. my father would always tell me how it was important to fight for the little guys, the ordinary guy who'd take me into the polling booth to vote. he would tell me or show me i'm
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going to register a protest vote. and he'd vote the liberal party line. he'd vote the american labor party line. one of his heroes was mark antonio, a member of congress from east harlem who was a member of the american labor party. i consider myself lucky to come from that kind of family not only loving but gives you a good sense of mission and purpose. >> that rebellion is that one of the reasons why you were so anti-establishment or anti-entrenched interests? >> how i got into politics, i never thought i'd run for public
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office. i was a student at public college. i had a wonderful professor david truman, i took a government course. and the assignment was you have to write a paper an your congressional leader. i want to know everything. i want to know its boundaries, who lives in that district, the socioeconomics of that district. i want to know everything about the congress person in that district and i want you to interview the congressman that represents you. and so i began to work on the paper. and my congressman was charles buckley. i figured i'd go to his district office and ask for the opportunity to interview him. lo and behold there's no district office. so i call his office in washington i say look i'm a student at columbia college, i have an atitle assignment, i want to interview theman. i left a second message, i left
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a third message. and i submitted the paper without having the opportunity to interview the congressman. i thought my grade suffered a little bit. i went to law school and a man named francis w.h. adams who's a former police commissioner was leading a vote against the old bosses and the law students were all gathered. he said you have to be active in the community and we're trying to out the old lines not allowing young people into the party, throwing out patronage and nominations and clubship, and i want you to get into politics. and so the names of those people who were there were sent to the
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local club. and we know you went to that reception, we got your name, we're running some races and we'd like you to get involved. i said look, i loved that reception, i enjoyed the message, i think it's right but i can't get in right now. i had three different jobs. i was dropping off the columbia daily spectator. and i was working at my dad's luncheonette. i said i will at some point in time but i'm too busy now. no, no, we're running for party office and we're challenging the congressman in that district charley buckley. and i said what did you say? that son of a -- you know what? and i got involved in that campaign and that's how i got into politics. and it was a battle against the
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bosses, and sure enough i ran against my local assemblyman. i had no money. and i ordered some fortune cookies. i ordered 10,000 fortune cookies. they'd open up the fortune cookie and they chuckled. >> i got to try that. that's really good.
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>> you can't predict what's going to happen in life. >> what do you think of role of money in campaigns? >> horrible. >> campaign finance, what are your thoughts? >> well, i think public financing is the way to go in my view. public airways belong to the people. the argument on the other side is it's not there when someone with millions of dollars can come in and blow an opponent away. >> big corporations have a first amendment right? >> i think they do, but i think money pollutes politics. and even if you're an honest person, it creates -- if you have to raise money, you get accused why did you take $1,000 from that person? i think there are ways in which
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you can limit -- first of all, new york city has a pretty good public financing mechanism, a multiplier with matching small contributions but i think it's horrible what happened today and it doesn't get better. it gets worse each year. >> you abide by a certain constitution. a duty to organize, a duty to get involved, a duty to vote. you talked to my summer interns about that duty to really get involved in your community and local politics and think more about those values and that bill of rights. >> yeah, first of all, you know, there's a perception today on the part of young people they may not want to get involved in politics because it's slimy. stories abound of people who
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cross the lines, the ethical lines. and i try to tell them, look, that happens but my experience has been and most of the people i worked with in government and in politics were honorable, were decent. and they were confident, and so i want to encourage them to get involved. and i said, look, we see doctors, librarians, teachers, ministers. we hold them in high esteem. we say they have a calling. so why shouldn't somebody in public life, somebody in public office so that role and that responsibility as a call? and that's what i try to tell students. that's what guided my career and my life. it was a privilege to be able to serve the public. it was an opportunity to be able to repair the world, to make
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changes, to make this a better place. i tell them when you're lying there on the bed and you don't have much time left and you're reflecting upon your life, wouldn't it be nice to think that, gee, i used that limited amount of time to the best of my ability to make this world a better place, to make this planet more liveerable. and you can do that by being in public service, by running for public office, by being involved. >> you served during the reagan era, and i served during the trump era. so tell us a little bit about the reagan era. obviously you pushed the state attorney general forward on the national stage. can you speak to the audience a little bit about your experience with the reagan administration? >> it's interesting because they're comparable.
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i got elected 1978, ronald reagan got elected 1980. he got elected on a platform of laissez-faire. a lot of people don't like politicians because they say one thing in the campaign and do something else in the course of governing. ronald reagan was true to his word. he appointed people to enforcement positions who did not believe in enforcing the law. the federal trade commission six years. the head of the trust division didn't believe in the acts, wanted to appeal those two cornerstones of legislative enactment to enforce anti-trust lawsch the environmental protection administrator didn't believe in enforcing, so he put
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the watchdog to sleep. and that created the opportunity for state attorneys general to step into the breach. and we did that. and for the first time probably in history there was this extraordinary cooperation of joint investigation and joint prosecution and challenging the reagan government when it wasn't doing its job. and you came along in the trump era in the same way because donald trump came to office and in a like wise fashion appointed people who were diminishing the rights of individuals, diminishing the rights of immigrants, diminishing the rights of those who were seeking to live in a quality environment. the clean air act and other environmental protection statutes were not being enforced. and so attorneys general did the same thing in the trump era as we did in the reagan era, and i
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was proud to see how you were a leader among attorneys general, bringing multiple attorneys general together to bring lawsuits on the same day. >> did you ever think you would be in a position of implementing public policy through litigation? >> well, i know sometimes there's criticism about the role of attorney general and i'm on the other side of that. that's the role of the attorney general, congress enacts laws at the federal level, the legislature enacts laws and the government signs them into law. what good is the law sitting in a law book in a library if it's not enforced? you have to make that law real. and so it's the role of the attorney general to enforce those laws, and i did that in the area of civil rights and
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anti-trust and consumer protection. it was the first time in the history of new york that a lawsuit was brought to cleanup a toxic waste site. there were people living in western new york, 900 homes, two public schools, sitting on top of a waste site of 40 million pounds of dangerous toxic chemicals. and people were getting sick. people were getting cancer. women were having miscarriages. children were born with birth defects. and it was the role of the attorney general as i was responding to complaints of people living in that community to do something about it. and even though we didn't have a strong statute, we used a common law concept of causing a wrongdoer to cleanup the mess it created. later on as a result the congress passed the super fund
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statute and gave more authority to an attorney general. but we utilized that statute to bring that lawsuit to get back millions of dollars into the hands of people who suffered and to have a cleanup of that site. and after that lawsuit i brought 65 other lawsuits of toxic waste sites around the state to clean them up. so if that's public policy, so be it. i saw that as my role and i saw that as good government policy, doing my job of protecting the citizens of my state. >> you were a visionary. you were way ahead of your time when it wasn't very popular, yes. so speak to the audience in a little bit about why you felt it was necessary to stand up on behalf of a woman's right to
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choose? >> well, it was part of what i just did. there was nothing written in the law about my filing of the amicus brief on behalf of a woman's right to choose, reproductive freedom. but i felt it's the fundamental right of a woman to control her own body. and so i began to file briefs. it was rare at that time for a state attorney general to do that. so it was because, again, i was elected attorney general taking an oath of office saying i was going to enforce the laws of the state of new york and to the best of my ability, so help me god. and that's what i tried to do. if i had the opportunity to fight for women with respect to reproductive freedoms or their right in the workplace to be
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hired, not to be sexually harassed, not to be discriminated against based upon their sex or to have people not discriminated against based upon their sexual orientation, i did that. i came back to my office after testifying to city council, and my secretary rodriguez said where were you? where were you this morning? what? she said the phones, they're ringing off the hook. people are screaming. they're saying they're never going to vote for you again. i was at city hall and i testified to support a gay rights bill. that was 1971. it was in a day when that was a very, very, very unpopular issue. but i felt in my own heart that people should be respected of their sexual orientation.
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it shouldn't make a difference and they have a right to live a life. those were some of my motivating dpied guideposts during the course of my career. >> what do you think is going to happen with respect to roe v. wade? >> i'm very distressed. one would have thought roe v. wade was settled, that it didn't matter who was on the court, what your orientation was it was settled law. -curves and moderates and liberals had ruled, and of course it unfortunately affects minority people, poor people the most. it's very distressing. and i was going to ask you, you know, what you thought was going to be the outcome of all this.
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here we were over decades women were able to not be fearful about going to an abortion clinic, being able to get contraception, being able to make the most personal decisions in their lives, controlling their own body. and now we have a ripping away of roe v. wade. and i know you're again leading the way to try to prevent that kind of, you know, incursion. but are we going to see roe disappear? >> i hope not. but i know that in this book you do detail way back in the 1970s defended reproductive rights. you defended our right, and on behalf of all women not only in new york state but in mississippi and in texas, we thank you. so you transformed the office of
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attorney general prior to your arrival there were no regional offices. there were 16 regional offices as a result of your vision. regional offices from buffalo all the way to suffolk county on long island. and you obviously focused on consumer rights and the environmental space. why did you find it necessary to revolutionize the office of attorney general? >> well, again, it was -- i felt my obligation to try to maximize the role and the power of attorney general on behalf of the people. people should understand this isn't -- you and i know uniquely because we're both attorneys general, what a role, what an opportunity, what an office. first of all, it's malleable. the history of this office is that the attorney general was a defensive office. over 200 years the attorney general's role was to defend the
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state whenever the statewide sue. and then in the last half century or so the attorney general's role began to be redefined. the sovereign was not the only entity that the attorney general should represent. it's the people. it's the public interests, began to launch investigations, began to launch lawsuits. and so i saw this as an exciting opportunity to be at the cutting edge, to do more and more in these various areas to protect workers, protect the occupational safety, safety at the work site, to protect women, protect children, to protect those who could not afford to
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fight whether they be corporate interest or governmental bureaucratic interest. these are herculean battles and people can't do it alone. but the attorney general being aligned with individuals from community groups, with advocacy groups can bring lawsuits and can win, can bring about tangible results, can that's what made is so exciting for me. and it was all what i thought my responsibility and part of my job. >> who do you admire? >> first of all, i admire john kennedy. he was the guy who gave me inspiration. i cite in the book i was at nyu law school when he was sworn in, and i was in hayden hall
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watching that. and i said to my friend, gee, you know, i see that as an opportunity to be in public service. i looked at what's happening here with a new guy coming into public office. and along the way you and i should consider that, and i later ran for public office myself. so, you know, it's all part of a fortunate life experience, being given the chance to go and pursue, you know, an opportunity of pursuing your values, you know, what you believe has to be done. i saw the attorney general's office as an ally of the people. that was a motto on one of my campaign posters, ally of the people. people can't fight against huge companies and big law firms
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alone. they have to work together and if they do it in conjunction with the state attorneys general and comes into court speaking the name of the people of the state of new york and working together i was so proud of the fact attorneys general after i left office when we created a joint investigation went after the tobacco industry. here was an industry lying to the public, didn't tell the full truth, how people were being deceived and dying as a result of getting cancer from cigarettes. and they were preying upon young people in their advertising practices. and here were attorneys general, 46 of them, getting together and causing the tobacco industry to pay $220 billion back into the
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treasury of the states who suffered because they had to pay out medical expenses to those as a result of cancer. and a reform of the advertising practices of the tobacco industry. so here was a congress who for decades did nothing about this public policy issue. in the opioid crisis happening now attorneys general are on the front line as protectors working on behalf of people. and i wanted to do as much as i could. i held 47 hearings in new york state on environmental issues. i testified before the congress 35 times. nowhere in the job description of the attorney general or in the constitution or in statutes does it say that the attorney general should go to washington to testify. but i thought, you know, it was important for my voice to be
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heard. i thought it was important to use the bully pulpit, make speeches, talk about privacy rights. i thought it was important for me to issue a report that would advance the cause of peoples rights, environmental protection. and what an opportunity as the attorney general. >> and i want to thank you.
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we modeled it after all that you did, and i just wanted to thank you. are there any assistant attorney generals in the audience? please raise your hand. i see. so in the book you talk about how you met your lovely bride who's in the audience. tell us how you met the love of your life. with all those jobs when did you find time? >> that was the point. i was so busy. one day a rabbi -- i would go around to demonstrations and one
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day one of the demonstrations this rabbi walks over to me and he said do i have the girl for you. and then he gives me this piece of paper, and he says she's perfect. she's very attractive, she comes from a wonderful family. i know that family. call her. and go to another rally two weeks later and he said what's happened? oh, i'm busy, i'm busy. and then one day peggy rodriguez the woman who works before as my secretary one day she opens the door and she says, mr. president, she calls me -- her mother was very impressed. mr. president, that rabbi is on the phone.
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call her up. it's an hour of your time. who knows maybe something will happen, maybe something will come of it. and she was right, 100% right. so i married diane, and done so much together over the years. she came to all the meetings of the national association of attorneys general. and my activity in the national association of attorney general gave me the right not only to meet colleagues and the people i worked with became my lifelong friends. it didn't matter whether they were republicans or democrats, men or women. they're my strongest of friends, and i think part of that happened because we were given an opportunity to travel the world together. the united states information
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agency, for example, the delegations of attorneys general after the berlin wall fell to meet with parliamentarians to talk about democratic institutions, to talk about constitutional values. and when you travel like that you develop real bonds of friendship and close relationships. of course it was broadening for me. we went to the soviet union, we traveled to different places. and diane went with me on those trips so i thank the rabbi for his leadership and assistance. >> you served as the president of the national association of attorney general, but now we have nag, daga, raga, crag. all those organizations, what do you think of all that? it's a lot of meetings, a lot of
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traveling. i try to just do either nag or daga. what are your thoughts? >> it brings us back to your first question. i think the partisanship that is dominating the political scene today. because when i was attorney general there was the national association of attorney general. and now the governors, they had their own association. in attorney general there was only the national association of attorneys general. and since then it's been the republican attorneys general association and the democratic attorneys general association. i think that, unfortunately, breeds partisanship, and the fund-raising that goes onto me
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raises certain kinds of issues. and i think it's unfortunate that we have drifted into that modality. >> but i can't have a discussion with some of my colleagues in red states on my litigation against the nra. i don't think they would accept my position on reproductive rights or my lawsuit on the investigation we're engaging in again of a previous president. whereas in daga they accept that. so in nag we talk about big tech which is bipartisan. juule is bipartisan. so i try to find bipartisan issues i can work with alli my colleagues. and some issues we know my colleagues in red states would not accept. i try to find common ground. >> i was going to ask you about that. because on your press release list, and see very often lawsuits are brought by 17
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attorneys general or 14 attorneys general, and those are usually the democrats on some of the more, you know, ideological issues. and i was wondering whether or not there are many lawsuits brought by all or most of the attorneys general. i think on the tech issue i saw that i don't know whether it was facebook or other tech companies. >> obviously during the previous administration it was much more partisan. now we find ourselves coming together on some issues. for instance, today i joined -- coauthored a letter with respect to the situation in texas involving haitian refugees that was signed on by 16 attorneys generals, most of them in blue states. and i try to appeal to the humanity of all individuals and try to bring everyone together particularly at a time we find ourselves so divided in this country. we need to speak with one voice,
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and it's difficult and challenging. but nonetheless you've inspired me because you are the luckiest guy in the world. do you miss public life? >> of course. >> what do you miss about it? >> i spent years in public life and then i went into private practice, but i told the law firm, look, if i'm to come here i mean public service and public issues are part of my essence. i can't do without involvement in those issues. and they said -- they gave me the green light. i mean, you know, we're a firm with a 100-year history, and we do a lot of pro bono work, and they gave me the opportunity to continue pro bono activities.
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the organization i worked with when i was attorney general and stood for reproductive rights, i worked at a law firm as a client and we filed briefs on behalf of united states senators on these abortion and choices issues. members of the house and members of the senate. so i worked on the last of the issues over the last 25 years that were public service and pro bono issues. yes, i missed the activities of public life but it was a carry over into my private life. so, again, i consider myself lucky because perhaps i had the best of both worlds for the first time really earning a living, and at the same time i was able to still do a lot of pro bono thing. the mayor of new york appointed me to a member of the charter revision commission. the governor appointed me to be cochair of a task force after
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super storm sandy to see whether or not the utilities behaved in appropriate and responsive ways. i worked with my colleagues on behalf of don siegelman, the former governor of alabama who i thought was unfairly treated i got republicans and democrats to file a preef on his behalf of the united states supreme court. i worked with the church of jesus christ of latter day saints to hawnter programs.
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>> where are all your papers? >> they're in the archives. the sponsor of this forum tonight is the new york state archives partnership, and i'm such an admirer of the work of the archives. they've got 270 million documents under their control and in their possession. and it's so important to preserve these documents not only to document the history of this great state but also in terms of public policy. tom who was the ceo of this whole organization and we were looking at documents related to
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incarceration. and i said why is all this here, and well, scholars want to know about prison work. and you can learn what happens in the past, from what happens in other states, so this is an extraordinary institution as in the court of public law. >> talk a little bit about prisons, can you talk a little bit about atika? i remember the section about atika, and it came up recently in my office. and i just wanted to talk to you a little bit before all these individuals about atika. >> well, that predated me. it came during my predecessor's administration. and there was litigation.
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and you have to defend the state when there are all kinds of lawsuits. and many of them are not often popular. prisoners file lawsuits about the quality of their health care, their religious opportunities, all kinds of issues get thrown at you. and most people don't realize probably two-thirds of the lawyers in the attorneys general offices are defined the it defense cases because they read in the newspaper about the affirmative work of the attorney general. >> is there ever a case where you decided to refuse to look at the case? >> not refuse. you -- you try to dance a little bit. >> how well you do you dance? >> on the dance floor i don't work too well, but in the court system we did some interesting things as it related to gay rights and the constitutionality
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of the sodomy laws. we played an important role in making the court understand. >> do you see any room for any change with respect to the office of attorney general, any areas where we're falling? >> there's always an opportunity for change. when i became attorney general on the defensive side, the custom was the attorney general was there to represent all the state agencies. and you've got the obligation to represent any and all cases, all the way to the supreme court. and we'd try this say, wait a minute, sure, we're going to represent you whether there's legitimacy and justice, but wait a minute, if we lost the lawsuit because state was wrong, because the state was not doing enough,
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for example, there was a lawsuit brought against the state police when i first became attorney general and the state police was doing a terrible job in outreach and trying to make it more reflective of the population in the states. they had horrible numbers. and this lawsuit raised some legitimate issues. and i told the state police, look, we can't properly defend this lawsuit in the circuit court of appeals. the decision of the district court was right and was appropriate, and, you know, you all should face-up to reality and the facts. we're not just going to automatically and reflexively
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defend every single lawsuit even if the state is wrong. you know, change is always an opportunity. >> you spoke a bit about testifying before congress, testifying for the state legislature and also issuing reports. and i know a little bit about issuing some reports. so to what extent did that responsibility and those roles play with respect to public policy, in getting the law to change, et cetera? >> i think it had an impact. we issued a report on toxic accidents. the state was not compiling data with respect to toxic accidents happening in new york state. the federal government was not telling the public all that was happening and giving appropriate
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information. i was horrified to learn the burning of high sulfur coal in power plants in the midwest in violation of the clean air act was destroying and killing. these lakes were being poisoned, and fish had no prospect for life in those lakes. and so we issued reports. we went to court. we went administratively before the epa. we filed lawsuits in court. so, again, time after time opportunities to try to do whatever could be done on behalf of the public on a given issue by an important player called the state attorney general. >> thank you for all you have done with respect to climate change and leaving a sign. i thank you. so we're coming to the end of the program. we're coming to the end of the
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program so my last question to you, attorney general abems, is what advice do you have for me? usually we speak privately but we're just in front of our friends. how am i doing? >> you're doing great. [ applause ] >> and you should keep going. you and i had private conversations. as you were running as a candidate you wanted me by asking me to serve on your transition team, and i honestly told you, tish, you're inheriting an office that is fantastic. it's unique. the attorney general had such an opportunity and there are great people in this office, continue to attract quality people. do what you think is right. be gutsy and courageous. we've done all that.
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i was asked today before coming out here i was interviewed by public radio, and they asked me about your handling of the investigation of allegations against the governor, and i said, look, the question was is there any politics volved. what do you mean politics? the governor asked for that investigation. the governor asked, and he tried to manipulate the investigation he originally wanted to have two people to conduct the investigation. and the attorney general courageously said, no, no, it's my role and my responsibility to conduct that investigation that you're asking me to do it. then you appointed two extraordinarily experienced people, and then they did their work methodically. they issued a report widely, universally acclaimed as being a professional report.
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hundreds of people were interviewed, and the report stood the test of integrity and of independence. and so my advice to you is keep going. keep doing what you're going. you're doing a great job. >> thank you so much. the anymore of the book is "the luckiest guy in the world." he's donating it all to charitable causes. so please pick up your book and please read my forward. thank you all for coming. i appreciate you. thank you so much.
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opportunity in communities big and small. charter is connecting us. >> charter communications supports c-span as a public service along with these it other television providers giving you a front row seat to democracy. get c-span on the dpo. watch the biggest political events live or on demand any time, anywhere, on our new mobile app. c-span now, access top highlights, listen to c-span radio and discover new podcasts all for free. download c-span now today. former officials from the trump, obama and george w. bush administrations testified a at a house foreign affairs committee hearing on the u.s. withdrawal from afghanistan. they gave their assessments of the u.s. war in afghanistan and the withdrawal this past august. the nearly four-hour hearing was chaired by democratic


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