tv Washington Journal CSPAN October 12, 2010 7:00am-10:00am EDT
[captioning performed by national captioning institute] [captions copyright national cable satellite corp. 2010] host: state attorney general's and 40 states are expected to announce an investigation into the mortgage service industry. "the wall street journal" is reporting this morning the announcement could come on wednesday. it may help pressure financial institutions to rewrite lawson numbers of troubled loans. we will talk to indiana's attorney general this morning on his efforts to investigate the foreclosure issue. republican attorney general greg zoeller will join us and about 45 minutes from indianapolis. as you heard, democrat chris van hollen heads up the dccc. we will follow him with an update on campaign 2010. good morning on this tuesday morning. we will begin with the news
stories about outside groups and their influence in campaign 2010. lots of debate going on in washington and barbs being exchanged in about the role of groups like moveon.org for the chamber of congress. what do you think influence of these groups will be paired -- will be. here is "the washington post" federal page this morning. those spending the most on the midterm election. the no. 1 ranking is the u.s. chamber of commerce with about 12.3 million. they are on track to spend $75 million in this midterm election. followed by the national republican congressional committee, democratic congressional campaign committee, democratic senatorial campaign committee, american
crossroads -- that group tied by -- to karl rove -- national rifle association, national educational association, american federation of state county and municipal employees, national republican senatorial committee, a national association of realtors. you can see how much money so far these groups have been spending on campaign 2010. we want to get your thoughts this morning on the influence of these groups. what do you think it will be? do you care? are there more and board issues. philadelphia, vicki on the independent line. caller: fist time caller so i am a little nervous. i just feel this way about the money coming in and the money spent on campaigns. we have people out here hurting, that can't even feed themselves, and i think it is an atrocity to spend all of this money knowing how many americans are hurting and being thrown out of their homes. i think both parties should be
estate -- ashamed. host: does that turn you off of politics? do you plan to vote? caller: i plan to vote. i vote every election. host: does it influence it at all? caller: no, it is disgusting, actually. host: what do you do when you see negative ads by these outside groups? caller: i think that i turn them off. it doesn't interest me. it is just disgusting the way they spend money, like i said, and there are people hurting. i just don't understand their priorities. i just don't understand. host: many of you have heard the president over the last few days and weeks talking about the chamber of commerce and whether or not they have used foreign donations to their group in this campaign. this is "usa today" with the
these are all conservative, but they are leading the effort. there are democratic groups. moveon.org came out with an ad earlier today weighing in on the illinois senate race and trying to tie this whole chamber issue and foreign donations to mark kirk. >> he voted to reward corporations with tax breaks for shipping got -- jobs overseas and the chamber of commerce is spending $75 million to help republicans like him been elected. whereas the chamber been getting their money lately? for corporations in countries
like china, russia, india, the same countries that threaten american jobs. time to connect the dots. exactly who is mark kirk working for? >> that -- host: that was a moveon.org weighing in on the chamber of commerce issued. american crossroads, as in other, has been affiliated with ed gillespie and karl rove. they have come out and have their own ads and are weighing in on other races are realm the country. i want to show you the latest ads on the florida race attacking charlie crist. >> the choice is clear. marco rubio stood up for taxpayers by saying no to the failed obama stimulus and charlie crist embraced it. mark rubio opposed obamacare and charlie crist flip-flop. marco rubio says no to job
killing cap and trade but charlie crist pushed it before obama was elected. we need a leader to put a check on obama's agenda. host: talking about outside groups and their influence on campaign 2010. rose on the republican line. caller: i just want to remind your viewers that obama never disclosed his donors when he was running for president. host: ed gillespie writes about this issue in "the washington post"." he writes the best --
that is ed gillespie, former republican committee chairman and chairman of the republicans the leadership committee who helps elect republicans to state offices across the country right in today's open the washington post." florida, democratic line. caller: they are talking about the u.s. chamber of commerce and there is no proof they are
taking outside funds and using it for elections. it is laughable. there was no proof that prisoners were being abused at abu grave -- girah, no proof of six prisoners in foreign countries, no proof that combatants were being abused and told the truth came out. i think this is just another case of, we will deny it until it is proven. host: on this point, whether or not it is proving -- proven, this article and "usa today" quotes a political scientist. allegations are not likely to resonate with most voters unless there is clear proof of illegal activity. what people care about is the economy. this is just a sideshow. caller: i think it is a valid point.
most like move onon.org, like the democrats, they are trying to do something good for the country. the republicans, it is all about greed. more money for me and who cares what you get. it is that simple. host: what about democratic groups that receive large dimensions the wealthy americans to support the democratic cause. you don't see a problem with that? caller: the key point is they are americans. none of them are from saudi arabia or india or pakistan or china. who knows? maybe even al qaeda. host: yardley, pennsylvania. rick, independent line. caller: you can barely talk about this without mentioning the citizens united case. i read both the opinion and dissent and i have been following for 10 years ever
since mccain got knocked out by that corporation. i was stunned when feingold and mccain wrote this bill. it is unconstitutional. all nine supreme court justices agreed it was unconstitutional if you read the opinion and the dissent. the media failed to report on the reality of that law. congress can force these -- the chamber and what not to reveal their sources of funding. congress can do that. they are doing all sorts of things -- health care bill, this and that. they can resolve this problem with the stroke of a pen. they choose not to. the media fail to mention what happened with citizens united. it was about a man who did not get an exemption -- freedom of speech.
buffalo, minnesota. linda on the republican line. caller: good morning. the question that i pretty much have is -- host: we are listening. caller: the question that i have is, when are you guys going to have experts that look at all of this stuff? it seems like our media is not doing their job in terms of investigating. not just writing the story. stories you are reading this morning from "you as a today,"
-- "usa today" is about this person is saying this or that. we need investigative reporters. when are you guys going to have investigative reporters to talk about the issues? because, follow the money. we cannot keep having you said, see shed -- she said. this country needs help. host: you can bet that a lot of reporters are trying to find out who has been donating to the chamber of commerce and how that all works. it is up to the chamber to volunteer that information if they want to, but they don't have to legally. memphis, tennessee. peter, democratic line. caller: thank you for answering my call today. host: just when it is a democratic groups don't have to disclose, either.
caller: thank you for taking my call. i wanted to talk about incoming funding from foreign countries. the players involved are not people who are really trust work. for example, karl rove, dick cheney, and rumsfeld cost this country so much with the allies and the wars. the c i operation -- the cia operator that he set up, i don't remember the name. host: we got your point. you need to turn your television down. gilbert on the independent line in tulsa, oklahoma. who also has your television. i will put you on hold for a minute. "u.s. -- "the new york times"
the story is on the front page of the dredge report this morning. -- drudgereport.com. gilbert, you are on the air. caller: i don't understand the american public. the easiest way to defend against all the money coming into the campaign is to make a ledger, one republican, one democrat. watch tv. every time a commercial comes on, put an x. at the end of the campaign -- vote for the one with the least amount. they owe everything to the voters. not the finance people who run the campaigns. for carl rove and that ilk that got us into all of this trouble -- karl rove, to have the temerity to stand up and talk about wanting to gain control again.
it is extraordinary. host: for lauderdale, florida. kathleen. caller: how are you this morning? host: what are your thoughts? caller: my thought is the foreign money, i feel like most of this money is drug money. drugs that have been sold in america. they took the money out and brought the money back. host: the allegations of foreign donations have not been proven, though. caller: i understand that. but in this country, what do we do -- they need to out these people. some of that these people are from dirt poor countries. where do they get it from? drug money. they are bringing the money back. and they are buying up america with this money. i would like to know where was marco rubio -- where was his
parents born? were they born in america? host: a little bit more from ed gillespie's piece in "the washington post." white house political adviser politely responded that he did not needed, it was up to the chamber to prove they had not done anything wrong. guilty until proven innocent and the highest officials are there to hold the charges. -- hurl the charges. new york, independent line. your turn. caller: good morning. i am a little puzzled about all of this concern about foreign money coming into us. if you consider what the united states does in terms of trying to modify elections in emerging
nations and things of that sort with all of the foreign aid we give, surreptitiously -- surreptitiously is handed to voters to vote in a certain way. i think we are looking at the same thing. in this country, so many people are so opinionated, either republican or democrat, that they are going to vote for their given party no matter where the money comes from. so, what's called this a big concern over where the money comes from? host: heidi, democratic line. indiana. what is the name of your town? go ahead. caller: i and the younger generation. -- i am beyond degeneration. i have been watching the debates. i am really worried about my daughter's features.
-- futures. instead of pointing about the money -- political representatives should be on their integrity, truthfulness, and what they will do for the people of their state. people should get to know what they stand for. the people don't hold their representatives accountable. what they are going to do, what they were promised. everybody -- if you think about it, know they cannot do and not being honest with the people who they are trying to represent. i would just hope that the country opens their eyes and seized that we, each as an individual holding our
representatives accountable and tried to vote in people who are not doctors and lawyers because they don't represent the majority of people. both in people who is the ever a person who really knows what we need to have done. -- who is the everyday person who really knows what we need to have done. maybe that will help our country be a better place. host: would you support a republican candidate, tea party candidate like christine o'donnell? caller: it is possible. i have to watch her more. because i really don't trust anybody running for a position that has any money given to them by any business to run for office, because they owe them. they have money that has been promised to them as long as they win. host: you should to into c-span is wednesday night. we will have live coverage of the debate between christine obama, running for the senate seat left by vice president joe
biden against chris coons -- christine o'donnell, running for the senate seat left by vice president joe biden, against chris coons. if you are interested in that race and others, we are covering that. and debate between senate majority leader harry reid and the tea party candidate in that race, sharron angle. iowa, clark on the republican line. caller: i was calling about what you are discussing this morning. i firmly believe without campaign reform and campaign finance reform and term limits, that this whole system is doomed. held of 350 million people, if you don't have the blessing of one of the parties -- out of 350 million people, if you don't have the blessing of one of the parties. that system is doomed to
failure. host: story in "the philadelphia inquirer" written by "los angeles times" reporters. white house attack on chamber is worrying some democrats. rustin, virginia -- reston, virginia. caller: i just want to make a contribution this morning. somebody like karl rove, who put this country into hell in a handbasket, it is allowed again to contribute just to disrupt
obama. it is wrong. you should have the conscience to pick out the thing, just so people know who karl rove -- host: george, independent line. caller: i just have a quick comment. i just have to wonder why would the u.s. senate republicans blocked the passage of this disclosed act last month. i can't imagine why they want -- would have done that. host: we will continue this morning talking about outside group influence on campaign 2010. first of other stories. "the new york times" frontpage about offshore wind power lines. google and a financial firm agreed to invest heavily in a $5 billion transmission backbone
for future offshore wind farms. that is front-page of "the new york times" this morning. in other news, president obama yesterday urging the proposed infrastructure plan that would be for transportation projects. it would be paid for by eliminating certain tax benefits for oil and gas companies. again, it is an earlier proposal that he put out there. on the israeli-palestinian peace talks this morning, "the baltimore sun" reports the peace talks are in doubt. that is the latest on that issue this morning. green bay, wisconsin. paul, independent line.
caller: the supreme court ruling that corporations can get unlimited amounts to political candidates -- give of limited amounts to political candidates is classified as political speech. that is dead wrong. that was never meant for corporations. corporations do not have the same rights as individual americans. that is the whole story right there. host: all right. we will go to houston, texas. democratic line. you are on the air. caller: i was calling about the lady who made a statement earlier that barack obama did not disclose his monies for elections. if people would pay attention, a lot of these questions are already answered. they just do not pay attention. then another thing. the republicans, they are for
the rich and the democrats are for the port in the middle class. it has been like that ever since the beginning of time. republicans and democrats. the republicans have always been the rich get richer and the poor get poorer. i don't care what anybody says. that is been like that for years. and they need to do something about it. host: the front page of "the washington post" this morning has the story about the founder of politics and prose.
it community hub where readers gather -- and shoppers are more likely to stumble across an obscure university press title than anything from danielle steel. we have covered many event and offers at politics and prose. ms. cohen, the founder, was an exuberant forced and she died in rome and washington. she was 74 and had a rare cancer. 1936-2010. u.s. virgin islands. independent line. caller: i certainly enjoy the irony of this debate on international money. highlighted by the democrats need your support by international labor unions, particularly, service employees international union. how silly is this debate?
host: we will keep talking about this question. we have about 15 minutes left. first, joining us on the phone this morning is a reporter with "the wall street journal" here to talk about a supreme court case that is going to be heard today about vaccine makers. the issues surrounding vaccine makers. tell us what the case is about today? caller: the case is v. wyeth. whether the law shields vaccine makers from certain product- liability lawsuits. the law was set up in 1986. a giant vaccine fund. so that if your child has their regular routine vaccines and suddenly developed terrible illnesses that could be actually linked to the vaccine, rather than have individual suits, vaccine makers would go through
a special chord with a special master that focused on nothing but vaccines and the case would be determined there. the set of parents in this case, whose daughter hannah became severely developmentally disabled after she took a vaccine in the 1990's, once to sue the manufacturer wyeth directly. they say that vaccine court has rejected their pleas on behalf of their daughter and want to go directly to the court. it is a huge case, just about 5000 parents of autistic children waiting to see what happens. they want to see what the court is going to decide. if the court allows of this set of parents' case to go through, then it could open the floodgates for thousands of other cases of parents who say their children have developed terrible forms of optimism after they were vaccinated. host: this is likely to be a
highly emotional case. why is that? guest: the parents of autistic children have become a very vocal advocacy group as the number of autistic cases among children have been diagnosed. and they are pretty much convinced that taking these vaccines all but one can cause autism, some of the vaccines in the past had a former mercury. it is very emotional because they say it is directly injuring their kids and the makers of these vaccines, which are very hard and expensive to make, that they are being unfairly shield. there is a lot of the motion. the cases are tragic. people working on these cases have talked with me and said, you just want to look at the process and what the law says about how there is one guiding law that basically protects these companies, that they continue to make these expensive
and difficult to handle vaccines and you want to focus on the process. but then the evidence comes to you in some of these cases in the form of a video of a smiling happy 1-year-old baby and the next video is the same child a year later unable to hold their head up for anything after they had the vaccine. you don't know if it is the vaccine that caused it. but you are dealing with an issue involving infants, children, and parents who are, as expected, very, very emotional. i would not be surprised if there were protesters outside the supreme court this morning. this case just has a lot of emotional weight. host: why will justice elena kagan not be hearing this case? because she was solicitor general when the obama administration weighed in on this case and they weighed in with the manufacturer wyeth on the grounds that the government did set up the vaccine fund in 1986 in order to keep
manufacturers making vaccines. vaccines are very, very expensive. if you are going to get sued every time you turn around because there is a chance that your vaccine may be linked to a child sudden developmental disorder, the companies were not going to make vaccines any more. they were just walking away from it. there were a lot of other products that are more profitable. the obama administration weighed in with the manufacturer as well as the american medical association with the manufacturers saying that the courts need to protect the vaccine court to's or ultimate ability to be the arbiter of this and you can't have individual cases, ford because it wrecks the whole system. kagan was the solicitor general so she recused herself. interestingly enough, the chief justice, john roberts, sold his stock in the pfizer co., the drug company that bought wife last year, he sold it a couple
of weeks ago so he can participate, otherwise we would end of the two justices have to recuse themselves. host: thank you for previewing the case. appreciate it. guest: thank you for having me. back to your phone calls about outside groups' influence on camping 2010. if you go to "the washington post" website it breaks down the campaign cash -- whether it is a republican or democratic group. if you can go down the list to see all the different outside groups and their party affiliation and how much they have been spending. right it down just last week, two weeks ago, three weeks ago, and they're told. we will go to florida. charles, independent line. good morning. caller: thank you for taking my call. all you have to do is look back a few years about this income coming in from overseas. who is holding hands with the king of every be.
who wanted to lease the seaports to buy -- dubai? bush. who are the oil men? you don't have to look at statistics or where the money is coming from. just do your research and find out who is in cahoots with the overseas people. host: joshua, democratic line. you have to turn the television down. here is a story in politico this morning about the flood of outside funding that may sink some democrats. in the case of misses kirkpatrick's reelection campaign she seems to be a victim of friendly fire. the author of the cook house report explained that he changed his rankings in some of the
detroit, michigan. joshua, democratic line. good morning. caller: i just wanted to say that both democrats and republicans are both corrupt. china owns us. if you read the book that was written back in 1200 b.c. -- the art of war is about confronting your opponent without actually confronting them and ruining them economically, and that's what they have done to us. about the h1n1 vaccine. they had a recall on it. when i got a vaccine when i was a kid, i swelled up like a balloon and got hives. host: other news. front page of "the washington post."
oklahoma. eric is joining us on the republican line. caller: good morning. a part of the problem is that the people that we elect, we send to washington, are prostitutes. i am a republican but george bush drove me crazy. the duplicity of his cabinet with the foreign money -- you go back to clinton, same thing with the riyadis. they will follow the money. they don't really care about their country's well-being but their own pockets. sad to say. campaign finance reform -- if
you are going to run for senate, congress, should just be limited. you get $500,000, that's it. you run a bare bones campaign and let the people make their own choices. maybe we can get some sense of rationality back. host: we will go to san diego. miles, democratic line. caller: good morning. i just wanted to say, whether it is outside groups from inside groups, for someone like meg whitman who is extremely healthy, the american people can see through -- one particular group, one particular person is getting these huge sums of money to an individual. i think we are tired of it. i want to thank you for the great reporting and hopefully we will see more of this in the future. host: this opinion piece.
that is ej dionne this morning. arkansas. caller: yes. it could go ahead, we can hear you. caller: thank you for taking my call. this is going to affect our country in the long haul if our congress does not to something about its to get this sort of thing straightened out. people can give undercover and it's not a good thing. and i think our congress better look at is hard and heavy. and the people better look at it hard and heavy. because it is pretty evident that the sharks are out and they are feeding on any kind of blood that is in the water. i think the democrats are being very vulnerable this time because all of the problems that we have in our country.
i don't know why people expect the country to turn around so quick from all of the devastating effects from the banking and our wars that we had. it just doesn't happen like that. patience is a hard thing to have sometimes, but i think people need to have patience with our elected officials that we have now and stay on course because they have been trying. it is evidence that the republican party has been an obama's throw it by the time that he was inaugurated. and they are going to stay that way until they get back in power. host: david, democratic line. caller: i wanted to say that as far as karl rove saying there is no proof about the foreign money. first of all, he admits it and
then he says everything is fine, we are doing it legally. first of all, nobody believes karl rove. second, if you have money coming from foreign sources that you used to pay other expenses, that frees up money for campaign ads so there is really no difference. thirdly, the democrats put up a bill to force disclosure of the foreign money and the republicans filibustered it. the republicans saying democrats are getting money -- make everyone disclose the money. host: republican, ryan in florida. what is the name of your town? after an oldis seminole indian chief. two points. you mentioned of the obama donations that occurred for him during the 2008 election cycle and you were reading from, i think it was "usa today."
host: it was ed gillespie who wroted up dead -- and op-ed piece. caller: you said $4 million -- but it was $400 million. host: sorry about that. caller: i thing that is a little oversight on your part. we don't know where obama got all of his money. so, the democrats are squealing but i think they need to look in the mirror. host: you are right. if you look at the piece written by ed gillespie in "the washington post." we will talk about this in a bit later this morning with chris van hollen, a democrat from maryland, and also head of dccc and we will talk about other issues as well. but first, we will take a short
break. when we come back, we will turn our attention to the foreclosure issue. republican attorney general greg zoeller from indiana is joining us this morning from indianapolis to talk about the issue and his efforts to push a moratorium on this. we will be right back. >> here is an update on the latest headlines. major nadal hassan, the army psychiatrist accused in the shootings at fort hood appears today in military court for an article 32 hearing. survivors of the attack will appear to testify, and then the court will decide whether there is enough evidence to try him. that attack killed 13 people and wounded 32 others. u.s. and u.k. military officials began a probe today into the death of a captive -- british aid worker possibly killed by a grenade thrown by american special forces during a failed rescue mission. meanwhile, more violence in afghanistan. two people were killed and 10
wounded in an explosion aboard a coalition helicopter just after it landed in eastern afghanistan. of the coalition says it is unclear what caused the blast. secretary of state held a decline was in europe. in remarks earlier today she called on all sides in ethnically split bosnia to increase political reform needed for european union and nato membership. speaking at the bosnian capital of sarajevo, secretary clinton told a university student they should put to their leaders to embrace a truly multi ethnic society and pledged continued u.s. support towards that goal. earlier, the secretary urged the country's leadership to mickey yu membership a priority. a more on politics as the 2010 elections near. representative peter defazio, an oregon democrat, says he may vote for someone other than nancy pelosi as speaker if his party keeps a narrow majority. his remarks were first public
stock in the oregon news review and politico reports that the representative said any time you suffer big losses in business or politics, you need to step back and ask if you need to make changes. republican strategist karl rove, speaking earlier on "good morning america" is denying his party gets campaign donations from foreign sources and accuses president obama of "being hypocritical" in suggesting such a link. he went on to say that the gop doesn't accept donations from overseas, noting it would be illegal. he accused the president of demanding republicans released donor information even though he declined to release such information in it 2008. he also stated that president obama had no problem with keeping his donors secret. he is only protester now because, in his words, republicans have taken up and started doing what democrats have been doing for years. those are some of the latest
headlines on c-span radio. >> all this weekend, live coverage from the texas book festival on book tv, with eugene robinson on the splintering of black america. it. that's an accord on her six years of captivity. sam harris on science and human values. plus, offers on the obama presidency. throughout the weekend, panels on medical mysteries, capital punishment, and infamous fugitives. get the entire schedule at booktv.org. >> every weekend on c-span 3, experience american history tv. starting saturday at 8:00 eastern, 48 hours of people and events telling the american story. here historic speeches by national leaders, i would this account of events that shaped the nations. museums, historical sites, and college can be -- campuses, as leading historians delve into america's past. american history tv, all we can,
every weekend, on c-span 3. >> "washington journal" continues. host: we have greg zoeller, republican attorney general of indiana, talking about combating foreclosures. but i want to begin with a story reported by reuters earlier this morning, and it was on the wall street journal website -- states to probe the more foreclosures. expected to announce on wednesday and an investigation into the mortgage service industry. as co-chair of national association of the attorney general's consumer protection committee, can you speak to this? what do you plan to announce? guest: i will not say exactly what we will announce but it is true we are trying to get together to get a coordinated measured response. and number of actions have already begun in separate
states. i think to have some collaborative approach where we can do something that is both protective of consumers and yet not inadvertently harmful to the economy and housing market. host: what you hope to come out of the investigation? reuters said it would help pressure financial institutions to rewrite it a large number of troubled loans. is that what you hope to come out of the question of guest: it is one of the possibilities. i think the idea that the lenders and the people who have been reviewing the documents have not done their job puts them in an awkward position but it may not be the same thing as allowing for rewriting of mortgages. i think what we really need to do is focus on the amount of misinformation that is in these documents and kind of corrected as quickly as possible and not jeopardize the fact that there's also consumers looking to buy these foreclosed homes. we need to make sure we don't inadvertently do something to
the housing market that we all later regret. host: what is the point of this investigation? guest: you have to know exactly how large the problem is. we have already been doing things in indiana and going through foreclosure papers to see whether we can find inaccuracies -- to make sure we know the extent of the problem. the fact that these servicers are now telling us they did not read the documents, it does not necessarily mean they are wrong. it means they have not done their job. in indiana that is going to be a very serious problem because they essentially misrepresented the fact that they read the documents in a court. we have a judicial process of foreclosures and it is something we will take very seriously. host: is this potentially leading to a moratorium? should there be a moratorium in the meantime? guest: i think some of the banks have taken that step. there have been other attorneys general who independently gone
often saw a moratorium. one state are right -- already filed the lawsuit. i do not think that is the measured response i will be looking for with the meeting in oregon. the idea that we do something that keeps the foreclosure property on the market and continuing to be sold to other consumers -- as long as we can read verify -- reverify the information in the for closured document. -- foreclosure document. 20% or more of the housing market is foreclosed property. -- prop.. we want to keep moving wall re- verifying the information they were required to to make sure it was accurate to begin with. host: how do you do that when there is this ongoing investigation? doesn't it lead to possible loss -- can't people say there is an
investigation going on and we can't possibly move forward? guest: when a home is for sale and there is a consumer of the other end willing to buy, they may already have their loan approved. to stall the market right now jeopardize those consumers. so, i think the answer is to make sure that the servicers, who were to have read the information originally, go back and re-verify. but the sale should go forward. the idea that we stall the market and stock sales of foreclosed homes all across the country is not really the measured response i am looking for. guest: a senior policy council for the center for responsible lending, she writes today's opposing view in "usa today" op ed page. now that occurred has been pulled back to reveal a fundamentally flawed foreclosures system we cannot avert our eyes and return to
business as usual. no reason to believe these problems are limited to just one state or a few lenders. it is time to make sure mortgage servicers do right by america's homeowners, neighborhoods, and housing market. guest: absolutely correct. i think to make sure that the of the nation -- again, in indiana we have a judicial system of foreclosure. so, defrauding a court is a very serious claim. but i think to just have a blanket freeze of all mortgages that are foreclosed, that potentially stalls the housing markets where more -- housing market where more than 20% of the homes are now for sale, it does an injustice not only for people out looking to buy a home. they are consumers, too. we need to be careful that we protect their interest as well. and plus, i think this across the board moratorium to stall
all sales of foreclosed homes may do something to the economy and it may do something to the housing market that is an intended -- unintended. host: what is the downfall? guest: to 20% of the homes of the market and put them into a stock position, i think most economists will tell you that amount of real estate in the market that will be stopped from being sold will really slow down or stop the process. some things i heard out of the white house, out of the federal government, they are concerned about what inadvertently might be done with just this boeing did stopping of the housing market, which is still reeling from some of the problems the loan industry helped to create to begin with. frankly, i am very disappointed, if not downright angry, that they would put us in this position once again.
but i think the idea that we do something rash, an overreaction, we are not quite certain exactly what the extent of the problem is. it may not be the best thing for everybody. host: "the wall street journal" reported yesterday about states that have court systems for looking at foreclosures. they looked at the issue of how long it takes to go through the foreclosure process and the delays that we have seen in recent years. it takes around on national average, 470 days today to go through the foreclosure process. 302 days in 2005. can you explain to our viewers how the court system works in a state like indiana and how that further delays sometimes this process? guest: i think you could understand the delay, the reason it is taking longer, is because the amount of properties that are being foreclosed, the spike
in these that have been put into the system. i think most of the problem in terms of the delay really comes from of the large amounts. i think it is probably one of the reasons these mortgage servicers have a so-called robo- signers. in indiana, you have to be careful when you sign an affidavit that goes before a court. everyone is counting on the fact that you actually read the document and you of the one verifying the accuracy. that doesn't mean the documents are not accurate. we have not found there are serious problems with the information contained. but the fact that they signed them without reading it, that goes against the affidavit -- affidavit they sent to the court. it means they have to re- verify because no one looked at
the information. host: first phone call, michael on the republican line from tampa, florida. are you there? go ahead, sir. caller: i wanted to comment, i think you are right that by stalling this foreclosure process and keeping them houses of the market, it puts a floor on the price of homes. my question to you is, what inaccuracies when you are looking over the documents, are you referring to and how does it speed up the process or slow it down? guest: the biggest problem with the information that is contained, if there is a problem, it is going to be the actual amount of money that was old on the property. it may be difficult, without having somebody on the lending side, go back and see what the amount currently old. a lot of times the home is for
sale -- what is owed to the bank. a rare find that number is key. if there has been more money paid in that by the original homeowner, it could violate their rights in terms of the amount of money they would owe in the future. one of the problems with this i am afraid you are in a position where you have to push the bank to read verify the amount. and i do not think it is something that should adversely affect you. they need to verify and reverify. host: tempe, arizona. go ahead. a greatisn't this opportunity to fix the control fraud that happened? also, they tried to pass- through in hr 38 that would have
allowed notary's across state lines, so that you could not identify them in court? guest: i think he is pointing out the notary public only verifies to the public is, not the information contained. to ask the question, can you verify that you understand the information? there are continued needs to reform the system. what i am worried about is an overreaction. the ability of states to come together to come up with a system where all servicers will be treated equally, put pressure on them to do their job as quickly as possible, and not stall the economy, i think, is the goal.
host: when you get together on wednesday and you announce this investigation, it will include some language that would allow these mortgage industry companies to " forward with their foreclosure plans? guest: the idea is to make sure we have a clear investigation. we do not need to have 40 different approaches. the idea of having the attorney general's getting together to measure this response avoids a lot of what people are worried about, lawsuits springing up in different states, seeking different remedies, -- there was already one lawsuit that may trigger a panic on the side of the people who are on the receiving end of the lawsuit. i am not saying we will not eventually sue, but to jump in before we have the information
before us is something that i am not willing to do. host: how long is this investigation going to take? guest: it already takes over 400 days to go through a regular more " -- foreclosure. that is why we do not want to extend this out. that is why i am worried about having this moratorium on all of them are for sale. we need to make sure there is reverification of these homes in the pipeline. host: columbus, ohio. howard, you are on the line. caller: i am an attorney, and i am uncertain what this gentleman is talking about. everywhere i have practiced law
-- i have never practiced in indiana -- but if you have a judgment based on fraud, that judgment is void. i do not know what he is talking about. it was never verified in the first place. guest: affidavit that said they reviewed it -- if it is fraught in the court, it could be void. the but to say that one server server has robo-signers, and another organization says that they are doing the same thing, that has not been done in every state, in every instance. it may raise the specter of how large the problem is, but if we find someone has misrepresented the court, he is right. it could avoid the original foreclosure.
you would not necessarily have to take all the foreclosed properties off the market, and that is but i am suggesting. host: next phone call. jane. caller: i have a question about judicial resources and perjury. with respect to the first question, people have been complaining for a long time they have not been able to kick through to their mortgage lender. -- get through their mortgage lender. i do not think this raises the question of whether or not the documents are right. if someone in the bank has not been able to look at the documents to know what is going on, which means when people call in to find out whether the claims that they owe are correct or not, nobody at the bank can do it. if you do not attempt to resolve
things outside of the courts, you are wasting your time. i am talking about the initial filing. why is there no resolution outside of course? -- court? guest: at least in indiana, we have the indiana of foreclosure prevention network. the indiana general assembly passed a statute that requires a lender to be present to discuss a workout. i think that is being taken advantage of in some places, but i think you are right. to see whether something can be done, to the bank's advantage as well as the home owner, to
refinance something. in a lot of cases, or someone has lost their jobs, income, there is no possibility to refinance. so to stall out the foreclosure process, give the opportunity for a short sale, something other than foreclosure, is something that we need to focus on, make sure happens, if possible. a large number of these homes will be foreclosed on. i would be ordered if we stalled out everything to see which of these foreclosures had these problems. host: a story written in "the washington post" today about foreclosures. guest: it is one of the things
that i hear from the government. the unforeseen consequences of unilateral action. weather is the banks automatically taking out their properties in foreclosure, attorneys general who sued to stop the a proprocess. i think this had measured approach that i keep on advocating is something that we need to look out, for consumers who could be losing their homes, those who might buy homes, and to protect the market. it is not our responsibility to protect the market, but we should not do things that would inadvertently trigger a global reaction. host: alex. republican line. caller: interesting comments. i am an attorney as well.
you are speaking in economic terms. i think this whole mess has been created by banks acting in collusion with their holding agencies. now we have the banks going in and signing affidavits of falsely, swearing that they reviewed documents, and they haven't. there should be massive prosecutions on the federal level for that. that is all said and good, but then we look a modification process, i agree, if someone has lost their job and cannot pay their bills, they are going to have to avoid foreclosure. the fdic has recently been taking on these banks, deciding
whether to foreclose or modified. however, that process has been rolled up into the private sector, and now banks determined individually whether it is to their advantage to modify or foreclose. if you are looking to help homeowners, and you want a rule that makes it clear the terms on underwriting, then that business has no business being there. the idea is to keep people in their houses and to reduce mortgages. guest: his point is well taken, at least on the side of keeping people in their homes, where they have the opportunity to do so. be careful that we look at the bags as completely responsible. what we are finding is, the
people required to look at the local level, they are the ones that are presented with the affidavit. frankly, i will not be able to bring a banker in and claim they defrauded the court. it is the server certification who signed it. whether the banker pressured them, caught all the information correct, that is something we are looking into. this is the servicer of the law who is being paid to oversee this. i do not think we can blame it all on banks until we make sure that we have analyzed exactly who signed, in what capacity they signed. in terms of this argument about whether we have the responsibility to worry about other people, others that are
most liable, the home owner, i think we do. we cannot pretend like the action that we take it may have some affect on our weakened economy, may continue to hurt people trying to get ahead. this idea that we only represent the people being damaged, and not look for to the action that we take might bring to the economy and housing market, i do not agree with that. as the attorney general, i have an obligation to do more than feel-good about suing those who i feel are responsible. host: a tweet from a viewer -- that is something they will need
to take up with the lending institution. if it is in foreclosure, if they have a rental agreement, some type of lease, that is usually protected in the foreclosure. so the subsequent buyer will still have to honor the fact that there is an ongoing agreements, some sort of leaves attached to the property. so they should not be panicking over their situation. although, at the end of their term, they may need to seek some information out of the new owner. host: of next phone call on the democratic line, bethesda .arylan bethesda, maryland. caller: my brother put in an
offer for a house because of the rebate from the government, but the government keeps on adding to cost. they say that there are all these fees that have not been paid so my brother in the meantime has been homeless waiting for this contract signing to go through. how fast is this going to get fixed? who can he contact? guest: and that is exactly the problem that i am concerned about. it already takes an abnormally long time to purchase a home out of foreclosure. we currently have is around 23% of the market consisting of foreclosed homes. people who are consumers, who i am sworn to represent and protect, they are the buyers, so they are as much but my concern as the people who are losing
their homes. some of the issues that you raised about the bank's continuing to find additional costs in the foreclosure, those are some other things that we need to look at. bringing these attorney general's together, looking at a coordinated approach, pushing for the best interest of the consumer on the foreclosed side, a potential buyer, is something that we are going to work on. host: james tweets in -- guest: again, when the attorneys general get together, coming up with a common approach -- in this case, the 40 states currently looking to join in a multi-state -- does not preclude
any of us from taking individual action. we are the attorneys general of sovereign states. we never give that up. i do think that a common and measured approach that we can coordinate gives all the people in the industry, bankers, servicers, a common playing field so they know there will be an approach that is there, as much as possible. if there are any bankers responsible for forcing that to happen, we will look at that individually. but again, looking at these cases individually instead of stopping the entire housing markets from moving ford is not something i am looking to do.
host: sandy, independent line. caller: i think the real problem that your guest has failed to mention is the problem with these titles. so many of these mortgage loans were bundled, secured titles. the original title is probably over in the yemen somewhere. how he can continue to continue selling these without knowing where the air original title is, i would say buyer beware with any of these foreclosures. you think you are getting a deal, buyer beware. host: mr. zoeller, do you have a comment? guest: the banks, other people who have created the problem may
still have liability, but the purchaser of an individual property may not be in much jeopardy. what she is pointing out is the fact that these things become securitized into some type of bond which is then sold, resoled. so the market, in terms of selling these things -- that is one of the things that got us into the mess that we're dealing with. but if you go through a court process and the documents were either fraudulently represented or there are inaccuracies, there are already processes to clear up title. but she points out well, these things are securitized and sold throughout the world.
that is something that i am concerned about. host: democratic line. akron, ohio. caller: i wanted to talk about the foreclosures, but we were talking about loans and jobs. i read something that said the fortune 500 companies and many other companies are under employed. it is almost impossible to get the economy going if those companies are under employed. if they do not hire anybody, nobody is going to get to work. on the mortgage issue, i tried, for two months, to reach a mortgage company, and they gave me the runaround to several different areas, i could not reach anybody.
this went on for about two months. i hired an attorney, and he was able to get to someone within the same day. they are not trying to speak to individuals. we were just trying to pay the mortgage off before going into foreclosure. i can imagine the problems people are having, if it is a matter of the income. i am listening to people here say that they cannot reach anybody, and i think something needs to be done. guest: the problem in the servicing sector, it is not the banks you would normally speak to about your mortgage, it is the servicer of the loan. these are the people we are looking at in terms of the robosignings. i have not thought of it this
way, but the number of people who are out of work, the lack of the ability to reach a servicer, it seems that there should be some jobs available, looking into hiring servicers to keep the process going. if you need to hire a lawyer just to get the answers to your questions, it does not sound like he has been serviced while by the industry. maybe a good resolution is there need to be more people brought into this system. they will have to pay for additional people to review the documents that they were required to review the first time. host: greg zoeller is the attorney general from indiana. bob, independent line. minnesota. go ahead. caller: my question is hypothetical. if you are the attorney-general
of indiana and three guys go into a drug store and rob them of $100,000, they are all friends of mine, they tell me that they do not do it, and i appear at each of their trials and say that i saw them somewhere else, i believe i have committed perjury and have a good chance of going to jail. i think the court system is like the banks here. they are too lazy to do the job right. you should prosecute the people who have committed perjury, submitted false affidavits, and then let the cards fall where they may. because it is banks and houses, you should not make provisions for someone not obey the law. host: can you predict, in the
state of indiana, how many that situation would apply to? guest: he has made a good point. when they sign an affidavit that verifies they have read the documents, compares the numbers that the bank has submitted to the numbers on the foreclosure documents, if they sign that, saying that they have verified it all and they have not, they may have defrauded the court. in indiana, that is something that we take seriously. there may be people who find themselves on the other side of the prosecution. in a lot of states, these are done outside of the court system, so it there will not be the same apparent that they defrauded the court. will still be consumer fraud, but it is a serious thing.
we have reliable information and there is a basis of trust. that is why an affidavit is presented to the court. we have to expect people who claim they reviewed the documents have actually done so. we will treat these cases seriously and i think you will see some prosecutions, but again, that needs to be done on a case by case basis. the need to have something that is verified, in terms of proof, that someone has misrepresented, defrauded the court. host: what about eloquent payments on homes -- homes that people could not afford in the first place. this person emails in -- guest: some of these are the
problems that have occurred in the past where people have 228 loans, things that should not have been given to them in the first place. some of those problems, we are still moving through that process. hopefully, some of the new regulations require due diligence from the banks. we want to go through an appraisal process to make sure the homes are worth what they are borrowing against. it is incumbent on the banks to verify employment, income. there is an awful lot of trust in the banking industry that is required for it to work. but again, we need to make sure they are doing their due diligence, not allowing people to get into something that will lead into foreclosure. host: you're looking more at the april issue.
what are you doing? -- appraisal issue. guest: in almost every case that we have looked at, someone would need to have done an appraisal to look at how much money to borrow. if the homes are not worth that, you have to get with an appraiser who will artificially inflate the value of the home so the loan can go forward. that is one of the key things we focused on. we have a home owner protection unit designed to focus on that, as well as the other lending problems. our indiana general assembly has given us an additional authority to focus on this exact problem. again, it is not the overvaluation. it could be the failure to do to diligence of the application, where the bar were says they have a job, all of those things need to be checked on before
they are given a loan. host: murrysville, ky. republican line, david. caller: you said that this process requires the banks and lenders to be trustworthy. in my personal situation, i have had ample documentation and they falsified their documents about responses from me and my family about our foreclosure and modification process. they document what they want but it does not mean it is the truth. guest: here are the twas that we go about our own investigations. we are doing some affirmative investigations, -- these are public records submitted in court -- so we are looking at what has been filed by the banks. the other thing, we are working
with the media to try to get out the idea -- that person who felt like they were defrauded, they need to file with their attorney general. it is that file that gives us something to go on. everyone has a private right of action against the banks, but they should also recognize, by contacting their attorney general, they can be protected as a consumer, collectively. i am encouraged that people who have looked over the documents, do not believe some of the data is accurate, go to your server search, see if you can get some information from them. but if you think you have been defrauded, you should contact your attorney-general. host: think you for your time, greg zoeller. -- thank you for your time, greg zoeller. we will be taking a look at
campaign 2010 with chris van hollen, head of the democratic campaign committee. we want to give you an update first on the indiana senate race. with me is a reporter for a news station in chicago. who is running, what are the issue driving the race? >> the incumbent governor is pat quinn who famously took over for rod blagojevich. he is coming up against state senator bill brady, a conservative republican. he would be the most conservative governor that we have had in illinois in recent history. but he is running a tight race.
today, actually, vice-president biden is coming to town for a rally for quinn. michelle obama will be here tomorrow attending a rally for the senate seat once held by her husband. she will also be rallying for some vulnerable congressional candidates in the area. host: a lot of people are paying attention to the senate race. what are the issues driving the race? >> mark kirk, the republican nominee, had some misstatements over the summer, as he called them, about his military record that he got called out on. the democrat has had some problems because his family bank was taken over by the fdic this
past spring. on the issues, kirk is a moderate republican, but he has run this campaign moderate on social issues but anti- stimulus, anti-health care overhaul. both of those policies, the democrat stands behind. host: there have been some complexities in this race? >> yes, there are two personal issues that have been at the forefront. on sunday, the candidates met for their first televised debate. david gregory, the moderator, stuck to the issues for the first 10 issues. the final 10 minutes were focused on those issues. that is where we have really seen the commercials in this campaign. mark kirk is accusing the
democrats about money that was loaned to known criminals. host: how our illinois voters reacting to this? >> the voters that i talked to are pretty much disgusted all the way around. pat quinn has a low approval rating, but it is a democratic state, which is why the race is so tight. bill brady is something of an unknown. he has been a politician in illinois for almost two decades, but he does not have a lot of state wide appeal, in a seven- .ay
he had done a lot introducing himself to voters, but more in a big way because he does not want to turn of the more moderate voters. on the senate side, the voters are not too pleased with their choices. kirk had a lot of crossover , butl from independencets those misstatements, lies about his military record have really hurt him. host: thank you for joining us. for more information about the illinois governor and senate races and campaign 2010, go to our website, c-span.org. welcome back. chris van hollen, head of the de triple c -- dccc.
let me read this headline in "the philadelphia inquirer" -- these for donations are being used buy ads against democrats. as well, this allegation that there is no proof that foreign donors have been part of influencing this campaign. moveon.og put out and against mark kirk. do you think this is a good idea, what the white house is saying about the chamber? guest: there are a number of issues here. first of all, we should agree that these groups should
disclose to their donors are. there was a piece of legislation called the disclose act. the chamber bitterly opposed it. it stood for the proposition of that said people who are trying to influence campaigns, the voters have a right to know who is donating to a campaign. you should have nothing to fear telling voters who is behind these ads. with respect to the chamber, a couple of issues. they receive in their general fund contributions from foreign entities. if they can isolate and segregate those funds, then they can run these ads with those dollars, and that is legal. the point the white house is making is they are all going into one general fund. you can use that money to pay your staff, which will then free up other monies to pay for this. host: so you are not concerned at the white house is going too
far with this? guest: no, it is important to remember the chamber bitterly opposed the idea that they would have to disclose any of their donors. let me just say, the disclose act was supported by some of the very partisan groups, the league of women voters, common cause, which has been for fair campaign finance reform, democracy 21. these are nonpartisan groups who stand up for the public interest. we believe it is in the public's interest to know who is spending all this money, because they are spending it for a purpose. this is not charity. these groups are trying to buy a congress that serves their interests. in addition to the disclose act, the chamber opposed our legislation to remove the subsidy is that reward multinational corporations that outsource american jobs.
that may have been a good subsidy for multinational corporations, but not for american taxpayers, american workers, the vast majority of american businesses. host: let's stick with this allegation. ed gillespie writes this morning in "the washington post" op-ed pages -- is this just a matter of republican beating you at the game when it comes to some money? guest: no, and everyone should know that he is the former
chairman of the republican national committee. he has been raising money for some of these groups that are spending lots of money here. the fact is, the monies that were spent in 2008, a vast majority of that was disclosed. they were disclosed under the rules we chose to operate under. what we are talking about here is a massive amounts of secret money. i think all groups should disclose, left, right, or metal. that is the fundamental issue. -- or middle. it should apply across the board. we should remember, this chamber opposed the disclose pact because they did not want voters to know who was funding these things. if you are a boater, looking at a tv ad -- let us say it is speaking against health care
reform -- if it is funded by health insurance companies, you will have a certain impression. host: in this article, it says that you tried to jam through this bill, but you carefully adjusted the labor threshold's to benefit labor unions. guest: that is false. if you look at the bill, the same rules apply across the board. labor unions would have to comply, and they should, and will comply once the bill is signed. once again, he tries to portray this as a partisan thing. i would ask fair minded people, is the league of women voters a partisan organization? common cause? i have supported disclosure in
all forms in the past. i believe it is intriguein the t of voters to have that information. ironically, the position the republicans have taken to campaign finance reform is, they do not like any limits on what people can give, but they have already it -- always said, let's disclosed. let's disclose. maybe they can present a bill. that is the question here. there is this very toxic nexus between the interests that are running these ads, special interests that have been fighting an agenda that, for example, would have stopped the outsourcing of american jobs,
begin to rein in wall street. these companies have been hurt in the past due months, and now they are spending millions of dollars to try to elect republican candidates who will serve their interest, at the expense of everyone else. host: inside the newspaper this morning -- inside the "the new york times" -- can democrats win these races? guest: yes, they can, and it is a good question in the context of the conversation we are having. what is happening in these races are, these groups with a nice
sounding names, all these groups are parachuting in and unloading millions of dollars of secret money into these elections. they do not have the interest of the community at heart, i can assure you that. their focus is trying to get elected people who will support their agenda. the more we find out about these donors, the more it is clear, an agenda that supports big wall street banks, mortgage companies, oil companies. host: can we expect more money from the dccc to be coming in in the next couple of weeks? guest: we will be helping anyone that need support. host: there was a guest -- there was a story yesterday in "the new york times" about mary
kilroy looking vulnerable. will you put more money into this race? guest: we have already invested a lot of money into that race. we have a full bore effort there. we have been supporting her fully. every day, she is getting more money through the state coordinated effort, which is ongoing. host: first phone call for mr. van hollen. larry on the independent line. caller: your guest keeps talking about people putting money into the elections, but i do not hear him complaining about the union's donating to the democratic party. guest: as i was saying, i believe the principle of disclosure should apply across the board, regardless of what
organization you are talking about. when the unions, individuals, or anyone else into bits to candidates, campaigns, number one, there are limits on what they can contribute. and it is totally transparent and disclosed. what we are talking about here are these groups who are secretly funding all sorts of campaigns. they go into a particular district and spend millions of dollars without telling the voters who they are. i would agree with you entirely, whether it is a unit organization, one of these other groups, they should disclose. the fact is, you have millions of special interest money going into support republican candidates. what we are saying is, you can spend the money.
and that is not the argument. but for goodness sakes, tell the voters who you are. why won't you tell them who is funding these republican candidates? host: don in minnesota -- sarasota, florida. caller: is a delight to get through. it is a delight to speak to this gentleman. i have seen him on some talk shows and he is heading of the campaign. i think what i have to say is the essence of the president's, democrat's problem. this president, and his team specifically, the dnc, in general, have failed miserably, in my opinion, to communicate
what they have done, but their agenda has been, what it will be coming in clear and simple terms. nobody out here understands what is in the health care bill, and there are some very positive accomplishments in there for american citizens. while the stimulus was helpful, you have allowed the republicans -- as a john kerry allowed himself to be swift voted -- you have allowed the republicans to frame the argument and defined. this happened last year when the public thought that there were death panels. guest: obviously, there are different views on how to best communicate a message. i think what the president is doing now is right. drawing a clear choices that people face in the election. as he said, the choice is
simple. do you want to continue with the progress we are making on the economy, recognizing the day that the president was sworn in and we are losing 700,000 jobs a month? we have now seen nine consecutive months of positive job growth. are we where we want to be? of course not. no one is satisfied with pace, but why would we want to go back to a set of policies that serve special interest at the expense of everyone else, and drove the economy into a ditch? i agree, when it comes to things like health care reform, we need to focus on the specific, positive elements of the bill. a lot of it has been lost in the discussion. for example, as a result of the bill, today, children with diabetes, other pre-existing conditions, can no longer be
discriminated against by their insurance company because of that condition. today, people can no longer be kicked off of their insurance policies after they have been paying their premiums month after month when they need it the most. i agree, we need to do a better job getting that message out. wall street reform, as the president made clear -- president bush and secretary paulson put into place the t.a.r.p. program. we ended the program. we also made it clear that taxpayers would not be left holding the bag for reckless gambling on wall street. the american consumer should not be held hostage to bad decisions made on wall street. we have closed many of the loopholes that awarded multinational corporations to ship jobs outside of the
country. on a focused very hard make it in america agenda, where we invest at home in a clean energy, infrastructure, so that we can build things here. the president has also pointed out, what the republicans have proposed, is nothing more than a rehash of the policies that favor the special interest. they have a provision that would add $700 billion to our deficit, put it on our credit card, to be paid for by everyone else. it would put us further into debt with countries like china. that is wrong. we know it did not help produce jobs. after the eight years of the
bush administration, we actually lost millions of jobs. i think the president is framing the choice clearly. before you rush out to the poll, stop, take a close look at what the democratic and it stands for, and what the republican candidate stands for, and make that choice. host: "the wall street journal" this morning has a sidebar story -- the dccc had not given as much money to that race, not because of a lack of a doozy of for her, but this is a tight race. if you were to give her more money, would that put her over the top? guest: first of all, stephanie has been a wonderful governor
for the people of north dakota. she had done a wonderful job contrasting the issues between her and her opponent. she is in a strong position now. the dccc has supported the campaign and is continuing. host: but if you gave her more money -- guest: we think she is in good shape. she continues to receive resources from day dccc. host: next phone call. go ahead. caller: i work in asia about nine months a year. i hear these guys talking about wanting china to allow the renminbi to appreciate. basically, we are saying, we do not want to pay $5 for a product, we want to pay you $10. the products that we buy from
china today we cannot make in this country. those jobs are never coming back. nixon, kissinger, when they opened up china, they knew that we could not keep on polluting our country making those products. the great lakes were on fire. we could not keep destroying our country. those jobs will never come back. when i hear this, it upsets me because i know that i am paying more for those products. what we need to do is find out what china needs, and that is food. guest: of course, we should export more chinese goods to china. and as you know, they have a lot of barriers to fair trade. one of the things we are focused on is creating an equal playing field for american manufacturers and businesses. i think it is clear, when the
chinese manipulate their currency, it puts american products at a competitive disadvantage coming here in the u.s. and in export markets around the world. i think you now see the international community coming together in consensus, that what the chinese have done is distorting the international marketplace. all we are asking for is an even playing field, a fair shake, for american workers and jobs. when china manipulates its currency, it makes it more difficult for us to compete. the united states can compete with anybody, always has, always will, if you have a fair and even playing field. but distorting currency, by definition, tilt's that field against american workers. that is why we pushed
legislation through the house to try to correct that issue. we were disappointed republican leadership opposed our efforts to oppose -- create that playing field. host: texas. julianne on the independent line. caller: i was calling in to talk about disclosing this foreign money for collections. how can this president say that, when he will not even disclose his own birth certificate, showing he is a u.s. citizen? he will not do that. as far as republicans, sending all them jobs overseas, this democratic party wants illegals to come over here to work cheaper. that is all there is to it. guest: with all due respect, sir, that is nonsense. this president has reinforced border security.
in fact, in the last few months, congress passed legislation to increase our resources for border security. the president supported that bill, encouraged that bill, and signed that bill. you're questioning the president's birth in the united states is just an indication that there are some individuals that can not face reality. it is unfortunate that in this country we are having that kind of debate when we have so many issues at stake. host: shelbyville, indiana. mary. independent line. caller: my husband and i have a small business. i want you to know that this president's policies, y'all's policies have all of our customers completely frozen. they are not expanding, they are
not buying our product. the president of the united states calls the u.s. bankers fat cats. this administration promotes the worst business policies that i have ever seen in my life. guest: the fact of the matter is, in the last 20 months, this administration, congress, has enacted a whole series of tax cuts for small businesses. small businesses have much lower tax liability today than they did 20 months ago as a result of this series of these actions. we also just past the small business lending and the jobs bill. that legislation provided additional resources to community banks, with a caveat,
the direction that they have to get that money out the door for small businesses that are creditworthy. that bill was held up for months and months in the senate. republicans blocked it until one republican, a retired member of the senate, said, let's stop playing politics with this legislation and get it passed. and as a result, a few weeks ago, the president signed legislation that would increase access to credit for small businesses, and which provides more incentives for small businesses to invest. under the bill, those who invest in the next 18 months will get a significant write-off in terms of their capital gains. the president has taken a number of important measures to try to get small businesses back on their feet, make sure they have
the support they need to support the jobs we need in this economy. host: a democrat of oregon, a longtime member of the hill, said in an interview that he may vote for someone other than nancy pelosi for speaker if the party keeps a narrow majority in the house. he said, any time you suffer losses in politics, you need to step back and ask, do we need to make any changes? should democrats do what others are doing in politics, others in business, look at who their leader is? guest: the elections take place three weeks from today. we will be talking to the american people about the issues they care about, discussing the main issues between the democratic and republican candidates. the democratic caucus is a big tent. we have a diverse set of views.
in fact, that is something that distinguishes ourselves from the republican party, who has a very narrow band of ideological purity. that is why you see what that is happening in delaware. we have a diversity of the views, but there is a lot more that unites us than separates us. one thing that unites as is focusing on making sure that everyone in the country has an opportunity to succeed. that is why we want an even playing field in terms of chinese currencies. with wall street, we do not believe workers across the country should be held hostage to bad decisions. the president has not said the bankers are fat cats. what he said are there are some
major banks on wall street, insurance companies, like a.i.g., that made terrible and reckless decisions, but because they were so large, everyone else was hit by the fallout of their collapse. we are not going to allow that to happen again. we are not going to allow those institutions to blow up a big bubble that profited them, and then the burst hurting everyone else. those are the kinds of issues that have united the democrats. that is why you see these special interests fighting back because they do not like the steps of the steps that we have taken back to phone calls, paul in -- host: back to phone calls, paul in cleveland. caller: 1 caller has said that
they do not explain what the democratic party does for people like me. i'm 75 years old and a retiree. this is the first year that i did not have to pay federal income tax. i am on the board which is listed as poverty wages. 31,000 per year -- $31,000 per year, my wife and i live off of that. and this is the first democrat that we have had in ohio for a long time. he has lowered our senior citizens real-estate taxes 25%. if you people should have people like us standing by you and explain to the public what you have done. bear with me -- host: i think we got your point. so that we can get some more voices in your, we will move on. thanks. guest: i think your caller
raises a good point to and there's a lot of misinformation out there. one of them deals with the fact of taxes. taxes have been reduced since this president has been in office, on small businesses and on individuals. in fact, about one-third of the recovery bill was providing tax relief to 95% of working americans. we have had a series of small business tax cuts. what republicans are proposing is to hold a tax relief for 98% of american people hostage until they can get tax breaks for the top 2%, even though that will add $700 billion to the deficit. it is interesting that one of the callers prada up spaull businesses. we should not hurt small businesses. we need to support small
businesses. only 2% of small businesses would be affected by the proposal. when you look at that definition, it turns out that the republican definition of small businesses includes a bid to -- big washington firms, hedge funds. that, at the end of the day, is who they are trying to help, as opposed to our tax measures, which are trying to help middle- class americans. host: how you respond to the washington journal editorial this morning saying that defense spending rose by 4.7% to 600 texting $6 billion -- $687 billion.
guest: what you have are two things going on. number one, you have the recovery bill, which is still helping generate economic activity. and if you were to cancel the recovery bill right now, as some have proposed, you would immediately cancel about 60,000 contracts and awards. i want to be clear, this is money heading to small businesses, having to economic development recovery efforts around the country. if you want a sure-fire way to get people out of work, if you cancel those contracts. if you want to send uncertainty as the message to the economy, that does -- that is what you do. the other thing is the
unemployment compensation. the fact of the matter is, this is for people out of work. it makes no sense to someone who lost their jobs through no fault of their own and can no longer make their rent payment that we are going to just say, see you later. that is not just that individual -- bad for that individual and the economy, it is bad for their landlord if they cannot get their rent and it has a ripple effect throughout the economy. yes, we believe that people who lost their jobs through no fault of their own and are continuing to look for employment, which is a requirement of unemployment compensation, should continue -- to receive that. it has been suggested that people on unemployment, that they like it. that is insulting host: -- that is insulting. host: but that does not argue
with the fact that total spending is up in the last couple of years. guest: the big things are small social security and medicare. -- our social security and medicare. we have begun to curb the curve when it comes to health care spending. which is why the congressional budget office has -- the congressional health care office has an act of a plan that would reduce spending in the next couple of years because we do need to get a handle on those costs. that is also why we have enacted the pay-as-you-go legislation. it says the government has to do what families have to do. you have to increase the -- increased income or cut spending elsewhere. it is unfortunate that our republican colleagues opposed it. it was in place during the clinton years and helped to put
the brakes on spending, which is why when clinton left office we had a huge projected surplus in this country. finally, the president has set up the deficit reduction -- the deficit and debt reduction commission, which i would point out is a piece of bipartisan legislation that had been supported by republicans and democrats. of course, when it came to vote on it, a number of republican senators who have their names on the bill voted against it, which means the president had to create the commission as a matter of executive order, rather than a matter of law. host: next call, good morning. caller: good morning. mr. van hollen, did you pass bills that were never read and did manteca locy not to say that we have to pass this to see what is in it -- ended nancy pelosi not say that we have to pass
this to see what is in it? host: that has been pointed out quite frequently. guest: we have to read the legislation to vote on the legislation. much has been made of this in the context of the health care reform bill. the health care reform bill has -- was considered for a long time -- as you know, we had a big debate in this country. members of congress read the bill, and they should read the bill. this notion that somehow republicans want to read the bill and democrats don't is just on its face ridiculous. everybody needs to familiarize themselves with what is in the bill. do their homework -- that is the responsibility of a member of congress before he or she votes on these measures. the fact of the matter is, there has been a lot more transparency with regard to the process over
the last 20 months than before. and we can talk about many of the reform measures that were taken, including on things like your marks where it looks like -- like earmarks where it looks like republicans were born to do a lot to change the earmark process, but now it is nowhere to be found in their so-called pledge. because it is pretty clear from the last time they are in charge, there's a lot of pressure from their members to go back to that. we made significant reforms to that process, reduced dramatically the spending through that process. it appears that they want to unleash it again. host: margaret in florida, independent line. hello. caller: i do agree about the disclosure of donations, but what i'm more concerned about is the electronic voting machines.
i'm referring to an editorial in a local newspaper a few months back. it brought to light the recent merger of ef &f, the dominant voting machine provider. it raises alarm when one country -- one company has so much control over the equipment for the democratic process. senator schuler has called for a review of the merger. i do not like one company making the voting machines. it opens everything up to fraud. i'm wondering what has been done about this. guest: thank you for your question. you are right, we need to protect the integrity of the
voting process. everybody has a stake in this, regardless of their political persuasion. we need to do everything we can to encourage that. i have supported legislation that would make sure that we have a verifiable paper ballot where you have electronic voting. what we need to do is make sure that every state has in place a system that adequately reflects the people. and we will continue to support those efforts. obviously, there are concerns when you have a monopoly of voting machines, but i think we have to remain vigilant. very vigilant oversight is required in this area and as we make changes and i think we should make them nationally with respect to a verifiable paper ballot. set host: antonio, texas, gilbert -- host: san antonio,
texas, gilbert. caller: most of the time when i watch c-span or the media, all you see is the republican point of view and they are trashing democrats. but i want everybody to know that not everyone in texas is just republicans. i agree that the voting machines are improper. we expect to have long lines in african-american communities throughout the nation because we feel like they're always trying to attack our votes. guest: you have a great candidate for governor, bill white, in texas. with respect to the voting process, there were many components, we were just talking about the integrity of the voting machines. you raise another issue -- making sure that there are
enough machines or the voting places are accessible so that you do not have long lines of voters. obviously, when you have to wait in line for hours and hours and you are rushing back to or from work, it makes it harder. it discourages people from voting. and we need to make sure that there is a process. many states have moved to systems where you are allowed early voting. i think that is a good idea. many states are moving more toward absentee ballots, where they also in -- also protect the integrity of the process but allow voters to vote on their own time. host: oklahoma city, steve, independent line, go ahead. , caller: losman, thanks so much for your great work. and you have done great things for -- congressman, thanks so much for your great work. you have done great things for
the country. i wish the president would take advantage of the power that he has to reach the people and get out there and quit trying to play the middle ground and call them out for a they stood on bankruptcy laws, minimum-wage, as chip program, polluting the environment -- the schip program, polluting the environment. there are terrible for the country. guest: i think the president is doing a very good job about framing the issues in this election. he is obviously going a across the country to talk about issues that are important to people. it goes back to how we started this discussion this morning about all of these secret, special interest groups that are dumping millions of dollars into these campaigns. as the president pointed out, they have an agenda, these groups. for the last 20 months we have reined in a lot of these special interests and what they are trying to do is to elect members
of congress who will support their agenda at the expense of other people. there are 60 + organizations that we now know are funded by the insurance industry, obviously, upset that health care reform passed, endicott in support of the republican budget that -- and in support of the republican budget that was voted on last year. they want to privatize it and turn it into a voucher program and eliminate the guaranteed benefits. all of these companies stand to make tens of millions of dollars if candidates who support those views are elected. these are the kinds of issues that the president is talking about and it is important. we just hope people will be listening. host: would you like to see more help from democratic outside
groups in this election? guest: we would help -- welcome help from groups, but every group should disclose their donors. that should be to protect the democratic process and to let the voters know so they can judge. the voters are the best judge of whether or not the people who are spending all of this money of the voters' interests at heart or whether they have is special interest agenda. and the reason they are not telling you was spending the money is because they know that, they know that if the voter has that information it will undermine the credibility of the ad. host: 1 donor to democratic causes in the past was george soros. he was quoted in the "new york times" in their view that he sees an avalanche coming and that is what he is not proceeding in the this race. he thinks republicans will take hours. guest: i think voters will look
before they leap and they will see that a lot of these republican candidates do support a special interest agenda. a double continue to allow multinational corporations -- that will continue to allow multinational corporations to get the jobs. wall street does want to turn back the clock. they spent a lot of money on lobbyists. george soros, richard b. pointed out, always disclose -- it should be pointed out, always disclosed his involvement. host: where you headed in the next week and in the coming days? would you be going too specific districts and where? guest: i will be spending time in my own congressional district. i am one of the fortunate members of congress that gets to go home every day since i live in maryland.
i will be going to an event in chicago where the first lady will make an appearance to support a number of our candidates there. and i will be looking at the schedule elsewhere to see where else it makes sense to go. but again, my advice to every member of congress is to make sure that you have the time to spend with your constituents and talk about their issues. that is what i will continue to do. congress host: mendenhall and, thanks for -- host: congressman dan hollen, thanks for talking to our viewers. will be talking about bipartisanship. but first an update from c-span radio. >> the department of education's office for civil rights says civil rights complaints have risen 11% this fiscal year. that is the largest jump in 10 years. the data suggest much higher suspension rates for african- american boys and whites.
children who are kept in separate english classes for years are falling behind and those who are disabled or struggling with illness have also changed. a group of law students are calling for the obama administration to do more to ensure that members of the military are able to cast ballots in the november 7 elections. the chairman of the republican national lawyers association said in a statement, "the news act was passed last year to ensure that these brave men and women would have a voice in this fall's election. it is of it -- is unacceptable that any state would fail to act on that legislation. the obama administration must act swiftly to ensure that every military member has his or her about." and condoleezza rice speaking earlier on the today show says that when she sees her words, she can now say, oh, is that
interesting. i do not have to do anything. she says when you are in najaf, you do not need anyone chirping from the outside. -- when your in that job, you do not need anyone tripping from the outside. >> the c-span networks is all available to you on television, radio, and social networking immediate sight. -- , media sites. we bring our resources to our community. it is washington your way, the c-span networks now available in more than 100 million homes, created by cable and provided as a public service. >> hey, middle and high school students, get working on those videos for studentcam. there is $50,000 in prizes. this year's theme, washington
d.c. through my lens. for complete information on how to upload your video, go to studentcam board. -- studentcam.org. host: two former members of congress are joining us here, john porter and david skaggs. mr. porter served from 1990 until 2001 and mr. dexter from 1987 through 1999. and two men have called for bipartisanship from congress. many people know the problem. they hear it. if they turn into c-span, they can hear the speeches on the floor of the house and senate. let's begin with, what is the solution in your mind? guest: there are a lot of solutions that are needed, but primarily, people have to stop
so much political posturing and a themselves at solving the country's serious problems, and we have many serious problems. host: ok, what do we do about it specifically? what are you calling for? guest: we are calling for greater respect and civility and an understanding that the people on the other side of the aisle are not the enemy. they are good americans who care just as much about this country as you do. and to act with respect toward others and stability in their conduct, get to know people on the of this side of the aisle as human beings and work to find common ground to solve these problems. host: some people would say this is about ideology and people should fight for their ideology, what they believe in. guest: and we are not saying that trip not happen.
it is a question of how it happens and how you treat colleagues who may disagree with you. because you realize this country is basically still centrist in its politics. we have high volume arguments from the edges of the political spectrum, but the vast majority of the american people want to see solutions coming out of the middle ground, if you will. that is only going to happen through compromise. there is nothing inconsistent between the rigorous debate and strongly held views and ultimately realizing that the national interest depends upon coming up with solutions in the middle. that means knowing your adversary well enough and having developed enough respect and trust that you can actually work things out. that is what is lacking. host: mr. skaggs, how do you explain that the tea party movement. they're not calling for
bipartisanship. they are not calling for less of that. they're calling for less government involvement, less compromise. guest: if i could explain the tea party movement, i would be on more television shows. it is not my assignment on this. it is certainly something that has gone the nation's attention. and i think it reflects -- gotten the nation's attention. and i think it reflects, in part, the anchor of the well- informed -- anger of the well- informed about the nature of this country where things were set up to go slow and it depended on the poise of the representatives to work things out. that is sort of the nature of the beast. host: let's take a look at the issue of cable news, because that was a plot -- a front-page story in the "washington post" and mr. porter, maybe you could
talk about this. you have talked about cable news and its impact. if you saw the "washington post" , with theesterday' republican candidates likely to go on fox and the democratic candidates likely to go on msnbc, how does that affect the tenor? guest: it is not only the candidates to go on their favored venue, but the listeners and viewers to go to their favored venue to reinforce what they want to hear. it is a very pernicious development in america where we do not listen to other views. we listen to the oil -- will only listen to the ones we want to in accordance with what we already believe. that is not our system. we do not have a parliamentary system. we have a system of contra- constitutional representative government where people are -- a
of a system of constitutional representative government where people are required to listen to others. if you look at a parliamentary system, one section controls all the power. we have to work out these difficulties. if america was like it was years ago, we were on top of everything. we are not. but we have tremendous competition. we not only have terrorism, but we have an economy with huge deficits. we're losing our science and technology leads to foreign competition. we have an overdependence on foreign oil. we have immigration problems. none of these things are being addressed by both sides. there simply telling their philosophies at each other and we need to stop and get to work. host: before i get to phone calls, i would like for you to
talk about how it was different when you were in congress. mr. skaggs, if i could begin with you, if you take a look at the time that you both served, there were some contentious issues happening at that time. the lelinski affair in the clinton administration, the oliver north controversy. how is it different? guest: yes, you had some of those high-profile and very nasty problems facing congress and the country, but to a much greater extent, the men and women who served ben from both parties could pull back -- the men and women who served from both parties could pull back and have lots of opportunities to
compromise and respect each other's point of views and work together. those opportunities have been drained out of the capital by a number of different factors. members do not move their families to washington as much anymore. the work week has been shortened. and we have a redistricting system that is about to come up again next year. that has turned the geography of a comeback -- of the country into pockets of saved districts for one party of the other, and that has aggravated districts. that is not that we do not -- did not have strongly held views, but it was not the only thing that went on and it did not dominate. guest: -- host: mr. porter, would you comment? guest: i do not think you mentioned that david is a democrat and i am a republican. when i was in the minority i was always treated as a full-fledged
member and treated with respect. and when i became in the majority and became chairman of my subcommittee that funded all of the health and education programs of the government, i treated democrats the same way. i can remember serving under bob michael, the republican leader. he and to o'neill would argue forcefully and then they would go out and have a drink together. they were friends. they did not look at each other as enemies. they did not look at their philosophy as the only one that has all of the answers. nobody has all of the answers. all of us working together have answers, but we have to find common ground. host: let's go to phone calls. dearborn, mich., richard is a at first. go ahead. caller: good morning. maybe it is more political agenda driving the government today than actually what the
people actually want and need. somebody's idea of what we want -- and somebody's idea of what we want and need. i personally like someone that is liberal with our rights and conservative with my money. just a thought. host: mr. porter, why don't you take that one? guest: i do not know if there was any question in their, but he is saying we have got to come together and try to do things right. i think that is what all the american people want. if you look at our primary system, for example, in our country, it excludes independence that do not want to be party identified. they do not get a chance to express their views in most states. and people who vote in primaries are usually the most
conservative republicans or most liberal democrats. the people who are on the edges are not very representative of the vast majority of americans. us or so -- the 70% ofho oz or so do not have an extreme views -- of us do not have extreme views. host: here is a tweet. you agree with that? guest: i do not know if i do. we have campaigns that have gone, for example, increasingly worse. and tens of money in elections. i think, frankly, our campaigns are an embarrassment to our
country and to democracy. they have gotten so low and everything is character assassination. nothing is true discussion of the issues among the candidates. it is always conducted -- not always, but too often conducted in a way that is just disrespectful. host: john porter, a former member of congress from illinois. the republican, from 1980 to 2001. joining us also is an david skaggs, a former democrat from colorado from 1987 through 1999. let me ask you, mr. skype, where we left off with mr. porter. in this campaign, in 2010, what you see democrats doing that is adding to this negative tone? guest: again, our effort is bipartisan. john and i are joined at the hip
on this. what i can say about the democrats could just as easily be said about republicans. we need to turn the volume down on as john put it, and "character assassination and vilification of the other side," the selective dropping out of positions of the other side -- drawing out of positions of the other side. both sides are doing it. we need to be put to the task of solving problems and this kind of campaign does not set up for that to happen. -- set things up for that to happen. we are asking them to set things up a friendly with a view of government working together. we hope, in a way, because john
and i and our colleagues have actually been in the trenches, run campaigns, gotten elected and served. but we think there is public dismay about this. host: what perspective do you think you have as a former member and not someone out there that is raising money and giving to candidates? guest: it may be a bit quixotic, but we are all moved by our country and the institution that we serve in to do what we can to make it better. we have gotten a decent response, i think, from around the country. we set up a little opportunity for citizens to join in this effort and sign on to a petition endorsing what we are doing.
i would be glad to give you that information. host: please do. guest: people can write to info @fmocforcommonground.org and put the word "petition" in the subject line. we would welcome your help in this effort. host: and the website if people want to see that is fmocforcommonground.org. but we can put up on the screen for viewers as to go along, too. next call, good morning. caller: i heard on the radio that as president obama was inaugurated that mcconnell house republicans to do whatever they could -- that mitch mcconnell asked republicans to do whatever
they could to distract from president obama's agenda. host: sarah, do you have a question? i think we lost sarah. guest: what did she say about the agenda? host: i do not know. we will just go along. let's go to roy on the republican line. caller: i may be a little older and i wonder where this partisanship started. if you look back at when nixon was president, that is when it started. you guys have got all these port apparel spending problems. -- pork barrel spending
problems. i have never seen it like it is now. and you wonder why the tea party is coming along. i will tell you why. the tea party is going to show you we are going to take back america. i do not know why you have a phone lines for just two. why don't you just put up three phone lines and let us call? guest: we are working for our country and getting the job done. we have a president who is a democrat. that is not going to change. let's say the republicans win control of the house of representatives, the congress is going to have to work with the president. they are going to have to try to
find common ground. it takes two to tango. it takes leadership. it takes leadership in the house and the senate to work together. that can change everything. but if you come in with the attitude that i have all the answers, the president is wrong on anything -- everything, we never get anything done and the problems get worse and worse. host: our twitter viewers picked up with that caller had said. guest: oh, that is what the word was. i hope that is not the case. that makes it entirely
impossible -- that says to me that the leadership believes it is more important to serve the party began to serve the country. i think that is a terrible problem for all of us. host: let me get this phone call in in sarasota, fla., c.j. on the independent line. go ahead. caller: i was born before the last great depression and what worries me is that i see too much happening today that reminds me of what went on in the 1930's and in the early 1940's. if you remember, we were up-and- coming in the roaring '20s. the depression started with a republican taking a tremendous beating in the 1932 elections.
europe coming out of the roaring '20s into the depression developed a political party, which build their whole party around propaganda. and i would not say if was lies, but they were not telling the truth. and lately, i have seen our political system has gone into the political debts by not telling the whole truth. they use clips like the president will not give his portrait of a kid or they are going to form death squads -- give his birth certificate or they're going to form death squads. these are the things that went on in the 1930's and i do not know what happened from that point on. guest: the caller reminds me any way of a proposition that has easily lost track of for us because we are used to our
american system of government being pretty reliable, notwithstanding all problems we have been talking about. but there is a fragility building to democracy that we should never lose sight of. -- built into democracy that we should never lose sight of. it depends on our people taking the time to find out what is going on and government and politicians leveling with them about what is going on so they can size things upon in a sensible way -- the size things up in a sensible way. i think what john and i have been talking about is that we have over-propagandized things to a degree about the business at the capitol. that is risky and i do not think we are of the presidents of something happening as what brought europe into a crisis in the 1930's, but we need to pay attention to this fundamental
responsibility than our education system has and that we all have to each other in a democracy. host: bob on the republican line, good morning. caller: high, and my on the air? host: you are. caller: ok, thanks for c-span. i see both the leaders of the parties calling each other out and telling each other they are wrong and they do not know what they are doing. i do not see an impasse here. now with the current leadership. i guess my question is, are going to be able to do anything with what we currently have, or do we have to hope that we get some people with cooler heads to make it through these problems? i am 50 years old and i'm looking at social security not really being there in a meaningful way in 15 years or 17
years or 20 years or whatever the maximum -- minimum retirement age is. my question is, how are we going to get out of control spending under control, or more specifically, legislation and policies that are going to allow this country to be able to sustain itself? host: mr. porter? guest: i think there are two questions in here. the first is about the political leadership. that is up to the parties themselves and the people who are elected. if they come with an idea that they want people who are ideologues strip before the party and they want them to work for the -- strictly for the party and they want them to work for the other side, that is one thing. we come at this from the angle that we do not want this anymore. we want people to come together and work to solve the problems.
the other question deals with the broader issues of the serious long-term structural problems that we have with respect to social security, medicare, huge deficits and the like. the presidential commission that has been nominated has a chance to address this. if people will send their views to them and say, look, you have to have a little bit of each. it is not going to be all one way or all another way. it is going to have to be some of beach, some restraint on spending, summer -- some increase in revenues. otherwise, of which will not solve these problems. we will only solve these problems if we put our heads together. host: here is a comment from janet from mom prospect, illinois. -- mount prospect, illinois. caller: i'm a democrat who has
-- your democrat who has a different views and i always respected you for that. i always thought that campaign finance reform would be the number-one issue that could help solve a lot of our problems. that is what i say. ic money taking over everything. -- i see money taking over everything. and the character assassination part goes not only to each other, but also to people like myself who might have thought the invasion of iraq was a bad idea, not so much because of anything about saddam hussein, but because i did not feel we accomplished it will be needed to in afghanistan before we did that. -- accomplished what we needed to in afghanistan before we did that.
host: we will go on to florida, vetoed joining us on the republican line. -- vito joining us on the republican line. caller: if we let the government begin 100% of the profits of oil and not the corporations, then we could fix our social security and health care. host: all right, marty, and then a question. porter,ined by john former representative from illinois and david skaggs, former workers and to from colorado. their organization has over 130 former members of congress who have called for this. your asking citizens to go on your website enjoy in this as well. your web site, by the way is
fmocforcommonground.org. a comment from illinois. go ahead. caller: it is hard to bring people together. you have one side that is a totally socialist agenda, which we all know is the democrats. and they keep talking about how they're going to win back the house. what i'm seeing here and everywhere else, there is no possible way. they're going to lose the house and that is all there is to it. host: let's leave it there. if you could address this issue of ideology. he calls that a socialist ideology, but how can the two sides come together? guest: 1 would be to drop the convenient and hugely simple -- simplistically blinlabeling. if president obama work socialistic he would not be
getting all the pressure from his left from not doing enough. that is in his characterization this business and politics is very market-driven and the market is public opinion and the views of the people of this country that are expressed. they are ultimately in control and that is why we have elections. if americans across the country want to send a message that they have had it with this kind of ideologicallty driven politics, they can send that message loud and clear. it will be driven by the people they elect as leaders. if people are tired of all of the negative campaigning, they can let the politicians know that it is not going to work. the reason you see all of the negative ads out there is because, notwithstanding what most people say about them,
that they do not like them, the fact is they are shown to be effective. pogo cartoon. the pago cartoo host: if i could go back to the problems that you mentioned earlier, congressman skaggs. could you speak to the difference of when you were in congress verses the workweek now? guest: it was a short week even then, but most of the time we came in monday night's and went home sometimes thursday afternoon, often on friday. we have three days together. the typical work week as i understand it now is awful. the first vote is tuesday evening and the last vote is thursday afternoon so that people can get home for the
weekend. that really leaves wednesday as the full day to get things done. it is not as if the country's problems have gotten simpler. so that we can be one day and half on duty. if anything, they have gotten more complicated. we need more time working together to not just explore policy solutions, but to get to know one another well enough to work out the deal. host: but mr. porter, some would say the lawmakers need to spend even less time in washington and that is the relieve the problem behind this partisanship, that there is too much access to a lot -- to lobbyists and people who want them to fight on behalf of a specific partisan agenda. that really, these congressman should be spending less time in washington and that might help. guest: i disagree with you. but when i came to congress, had a decision to make as to whether
to move my family, my children who were in high school and my wife and i decided to bring them here. i think that is part of the difference. most members do not do that anymore. they are not here long enough. there is no social interaction. the wives do not get to know each other. they do not get wives committees together. there is less traveled together. they do not know each other as human beings and is a serious problem because it is easy then to say that is the enemy, not just my adversary on this issue or that issue. we need people to know each other and work together. host: congressman skaggs, d you want to chime in? guest: thank you, yes. it is a little counterintuitive, but i actually tell audiences that i speak to that they should tell candidates, if you are successful, we want to see less of u.s. home.
we want you to spend more time in washington -- we want to see less of you at home. we want you to spend more time in washington because that is your primary responsibility. we need to break this sense that being in washington is an evil in itself. it really is part of the problem if they do not spend enough time together to, as john puts it, get to know each other as human beings and have a sense of being able to deal with problems together. spending less time in your districts, more time in washington, it will help the country. host: back to phone calls. in michigan, pat is joining us on the republican line. caller: i believe that the more the government grows, the more powerful they become. their salaries go up. their benefits go up. power and money, this is a big
incentive iran. -- to run. you add in the character of the individuals who will actually run for office and we have a stew -- obtain and retain those positions at all costs. i think the only way this can be stopped, the tea party years and their objectives in a sort of roundabout way could stop this. they are for getting rid of incumbents. they are for cutting government. they are for cutting spending. host: congressman porter? guest: i think you can argue about the size of government or not, and there are certainly different views on that. but the problems are large and they cannot be addressed solely in the private sector. government does have a role.
people can solve them, as i said before, but they cannot do it without working together. iers orthe tea party yea anyone else comes to washington with the attitude that they have all the answers and do not need to work with other people, believe me, those people will themselves be thrown out because people need to have a government that works for them and not just for their party. and "them" means the entire country. we are not seen that. we are seeing far too much political posturing. we are seeing my way or the highway. we are seeing i have all the answers and nobody else does. it is just not true. host: you talk about reaching out to candidates who are
running in this election with his call for bipartisanship. what kind of response are you getting? guest: we have not heard back from a lot of candidates. and i would knowledge, most of them who have written back to was favorably are running as independents or to some degree as mavericks. that's true not surprise us, i suppose. last i have looked at our return e-mail, we have not heard from the apparent -- from very many of the major party candidates, one way or another. that is the way it is. guest: david, let me add that we did not ask them to respond to us. we asked them to respond to their constituents and the people of this country. we are not asking them to be accountable to us. they are accountable to the people that they represent. we will see if it has an effect on getting the job done or not when they are elected and they
come to office and when the leadership is elected. host: newark, new jersey, kathy, democratic line. caller: i'm really enjoying the conversation this morning. these gentlemen are a breath of fresh air. we do not have statesmen anymore in our country. we have ideologues and nothing gets done. it seems like our representatives are constantly campaigning and they are not solving our problems. it seems like they are not -- their only interest is in retaining their position and keeping the power. like i said, i have -- nothing gets done. i have been out of work since 2008. i worked at a hospital that got shot down. -- shut down.
people are arguing and nothing is getting done. host: congressmen, what about the constant campaigning? did you feel the pressure when you work in office? guest: the constant campaigning as part of service. it is going to your constituents and having a town hall meetings and meeting with anyone who wants to see you and, in effect, campaigning -- if that is campaign, that is good campaign. the campaigning that is constantly in the media where we have ideologues that simply express their point of view over and over again, that is what we do not want. we need people the respond to the people that they represent. i can tell you right now that when i was first elected to congress, a democrat came to me and said, please do not have your office covered with republican elephants. understand you do not just represent the people that voted for you.
you represent all the people of this district and you have to listen to all of them. and of course, that is what i try to do the entire time i was privileged to serve. host: the other thing about campaigning is the fund-raising aspect. when you were done with legislative business or in between votes, were you going to business? guest: i came from a district where was always alert about my political future. i spent about 218% of my time on campaign-related things, fund-raising primarily. i did not in japan -- i spent about 15% of my time on a campaign-related things, fund- raising primarily. i did not enjoy that, but having
it be the overwhelming job of these legislators is too much. we do not hear about the average member of congress being candid about his or her feeling in holding these jobs. if you went to the lobby of the house and talked to rank and file members on either side of the aisle, none of them likes the way things are right now. it is not an enjoyable environment in which to work. they came to these jobs because they actually want to get things done and not just hold the job. it is very instructive, i think, to realize there is a reservoir of discontent among members of the house and senate about t